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Coming off Morphine...NEED HELP PLEASE
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Coming off Morphine...NEED HELP PLEASE

I have been on Morphine tablets for 5 years, and am now being forced to come off of them.  I was taking both controlled release and quick release tablets.  I have had multiple surgeries in my neck and brain that cause uncontrollable and excruciating pain.  The pain specialist who perscribed me the morphine, shut down unexpectedly a few months ago.  I was able to get a month perscription from my family doctor but he was a complete jerk and dosen't understand chronic pain and how to control it.  I didn't want to have him as my family doctor anymore, so I started seeing a new general physician a few weeks ago.  In the mean time, I was stuck with no doctor to oversee my pain management, and no doctor that was willing to take me on as a new patient.  Ive been told that because I was on such high doses, no doctor would want to deal with me.  I called my previous pain doctor at his home, and he told me that I should start stepping down off of the morphine so that I wouldn't have to come off of over 1000 milligrams of morphine a day down to nothing all at once.  So for the last two months, I stepped myself down from over 1000 mgs to right now I'm taking about 60 mgs a day.  All I have left are the quick release tablets in 30 mg form, so I usually take one in the morning and one at night.  I am experiencing pain so severe in my back, neck, and legs that I had to go to the Emergency Room about a week and a half ago.  The doc in the ER said that there was really nothing that he could do for me, so he gave me some more of the 30 mg Morphine tabs to take and sent me home.  I only have 3 of those left.  Every time I try to stop them completely, I cannot sleep because the pain is so severe.  I was up for 41 hours because of the pain until I finally broke down and took one of the morphine pills, a clonopan, and a sleeping pill.  I was able to fall asleep for about 4 hours and then I woke right back up because of the pain.  I took more medicine and fell back asleep, and then woke up today.  I only have 3 pills left and I am really scared.  I know that I am about to be totally without my medicine, so I have tried my best to go without taking the pills that I have left, but everytime I get to about 10-12 hours without taking the morphine, the pain is so excruciating I want to go to the hospital.  I would have gone to the ER again yesterday, but they werent able to do anything for me when I went 10 days ago, so I figure that they won't do anything for me now.  I have never experienced coming off of pain meds before so I have no idea what to expect.  I am having excruciating pain, and I am not sure how much of it is from my pre-exisiting back pain, and how much is from withdrawals.  I need someone who has gone through this to give me some advice.  I need to know if the things that I am feeling are normal symptoms, I need to know how long to expect this to last, and I need to know if there is anything that I can tell my family doctor or ask my family doctor to do to help me get off of this medicine.  I really don't want to be in the pain that I was constantly in before I got on the Morphine; the morphine really helped me be able to get off the couch and do some of the things that I wanted to do for the last 5 years.  Morphine was a god send to me.  It didn't totally take away my pain, but it kept it from being so bad that I couldn't do anything.  Now I am back to not being able to do anything and I hate it.  I hate being in limbo like this, and since right now, I don't have a doctor that is willing to manage my pain with morphine, I have to come off of it.  Somebody please help!
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20 Comments Post a Comment
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348629_tn?1212329273
like do you want to be off the pain pills? like do you think youll b able to be ok if the pain is really that severe?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey thanks for responding.  No I do not want to be off of the pills simply because they helped give me some of my life back.  I am only 25 years old and I feel like I am spending my whole life on my couch while the world goes on around me.  I don't think that I am going to be ok with my pain this bad, but I cannot find any doctor willing to help me.  I have been seen by countless doctors and specialists and have been seen by the ER docs seberal times.  I have no idea what to do, and I am running out of time.
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279300_tn?1326750278
hello and welcome. this is a tough call. it sounds as though you need pain management. the dosage you are currently on now sounds reasonable for someone with a genuine chronic pain condition and there are those people who will need pain management long term. it sounds like none of your surgeries were successful? i think you need to find a physician. there is no such thing as a patient who is uncontrollable. do you live in a small town? you need some kind of physician referral source. possibly from your emergency room? there has to be a physician who can properly diagnose and treat your problem. the reason i am saying this is you made no mention of any withdrawal symptoms. the overriding theme of your message is intolerable pain. pain is a warning sign that something is wrong. pain will get worse before it gets better for those in withdrawal but if it is leading you to the emergency room you need to seek treatment for the source. i know this does not answer your question regarding addiction but i think you have another issue to deal with. finding a physician and getting properly diagnosed would come before i would think about detoxing. from what you describe i do not think it is possible at this point. if you live in a small town i would suggest going to the nearest large city hospital in your area for a proper referral.
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348629_tn?1212329273
If being on pain meds is the only option and no doctors will prescribe you morphine or w.e. you could go to a methadone clinc also theres programs you can call and stuff and get it for free if ur insurance dont cover it

done is reallllyyy addictive it would b hell coming off of but if you need it then you need it you cant drink ect on it and do other meds like benzos

its a kinda dangerious drug but not if your not goofy bout it you no? ive heard that there arnt any huge health problems that come from it, it depleets some viamins from your body so youll havta take a mmultiviatmin that you need

theres other options out there alota of people wont agree with me telling you this but yeah i dunno if you need the meds and no docs will prescribe then i guess?
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Avatar_f_tn
I sent you a response to what you posted on here.  I sent it to your inbox though.  I was hoping that I could talk to you about this.  You seem to be pretty knowledgeable about what I am going through.  If you would please check your inbox and get back to me.  I could even call you if you would be willing to talk over the phone.  I appreciate your help and sincerity.  It has been very hard to find anyone who is compassionate to my situation.
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Avatar_f_tn
I heard from some other people that going on methadone to come off of morphine might be an option, so I started researching it.  The thing that scares me about the methadone, is that you have withdrawals with that when you try to get off of it.  My whole issue with coming off of the morphine is the pain that I am feeling, and the withdrawals that I am starting to go through.  I don't want to go from one medicine to another just to keep from going through withdrawals, especially if I will have to go through withdrawals on that medicine too.  I have tried methadone for my back pain, and it didn't help me at all, so the only reason to go on methadone would be to keep from having the withdrawals from the morphine.  But since I would go through withdrawals from the methadone when I tried to go off of it, what would be the point?  Aren't there any other options to help people that are coming off of opiates that don't cause their own type of withdrawals when you start coming off of them?
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340590_tn?1290955741
mustang, i am so sorry about your situation.  betterlife is right.  you need to go to the er at a large hospital and get some real help and a referral.  i hope you find some help soon.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have a friend that had a dirt bike accident and he has CRONIC (chronic) pain. He is using a impant morphine pump and the dr. can either phone in or logi into the pump and give him additional meds if needed. Have you ever tried the Duagesic Patches. I have bad hip pain and have just weaned down and stopped from 100mcg patch.. I had rather suffer the pain or get ready for surgery. I know its diferent in your case. I do know they can give up to I think 300mcg/h patches 2 day dosing,, That would get rid of pills and give you 24/7 relief. I am not reccommending this just givng you some options to talk to your health care provider about. I really hated the side effects of pain meds and need them but like I said.. I had rather have surgery than go back to it again..
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Avatar_f_tn
I tried the hospital route already.  My hospital in my hometown of Asheville, NC is the biggest hospital system in the western half of North Carolina.  They said that there are a shortage of pain management clinics in the area, so there was no where that they could refer me to.  The only other option is to go all the way to Duke which is about 2 and a half hours from here, but then all they will do it refer me out to a pain clinic in that area.  I cannot afford to be going on 4 hour drives to a pain clinic once or twice a month.  It is too much on my back.  I am in a huge predicament.  I am already starting to go through what I think is withdrawals, but I have never been through this so I am not sure.  I saw a neurosurgeon last week that I was referred to go see by the ER doctor.  The neuro doctor said that there was nothing surgicially that could be done, but that I needed to still get off of the pain meds.  He said that the meds were going to do me more harm than good.  He said all this **** about all of these side effects that I would get as I got older.  I am so confused because I have some doctors telling me that I shouldn't be on pain meds, but then I have my old pain management doctor telling me that they are fine to be on.  All I know is how I feel, and I feel better and less pain when I am on morphine.  The pain when I have to come off of it is so bad that I cannot do anything.  I have been dropping down on my dosage for about a month and a half, and it is amainzing the way my life has gone downhill.  I cannot do anything right now.  I am scared of the withdrawals that are starting, and I have no idea what to do.  Isin't there anyway that a doctor can at least help me get off of this medicine without feeling the withdrawals so bad?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey, thanks for respondind to my post.  I actaully have tried the Duragesic patch before I got on the morphine, and it didn't help my pain at all.  All it did was make me sick at my stomach.  While I was still seeing my pain doc, he sent me to see to see another doc that does pain pumps.  I could have had one put in, but I heard horror stories about how the pumps get infected, and that you have to have them replaced every 10 years, and I am only 25, so that would mean a lot of replacement surgeries over my lifetime.  I just was told that the pain pump wasn't really a good idea.  Have you heard any of that or did it work well for your friend?
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Avatar_f_tn
Can u desribe your pain to us, besides the w/d  pain u are having??  
r2r
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey I can try my best to describe the pain, but it is very hard to describe.  I have had brain surgery and all of the vertebrae in my neck have had a laminectomy.  The surgeries were awful and that is the worst pain that I have ever felt. I would have rather been dead than feel that kind of pain, but I am not the type of person to give up so I endured it.  Besides that pain, the pain that I have in my back and neck is the worst pain that I have ever felt.  It is excruciating.  It hurts most in the middle of my back, but it runs up and down my entire neck and back.  I have pain in the base of my brain right where my neck starts that feels like there is a ton of bricks sitting there.  It is a really bad migrain type pain but it is in the back of my head.  The back pain is a mixture of stabbing sensations, burning, and really sharp pain.  I cannot really explain it any better than that.  All I know is that it is unbearable at times.  The pain in my legs is down right above my ankles, and it feels honestly like my legs were cut off and then where they were cut off, they were set on fire.  I know that sounds weird, but that's what it feels like.  When I have the really bad pain in my back, the leg pain is there too.  The back and neck pain are constant, but the leg pain only comes when the back pain is extremely bad.  Does that make any sense?
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Avatar_m_tn
Thats a lot of pain... I feel stupid to even mention my pain after that description.. You do sound like a candidate for a pump.. Wish you could find something else to control it.. You are so young to be on all those meds..
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,  im also in a similar predicament to yours. When i was younger i had a bone disease called perthes that affected my left hip and badly damaged it.
Nowadays the pain is excrutiating and there's parts of everday where i cant bear to stand, sit or lie down.
Ive been taking morphene sulphate 50mg three times daily for the past 6yrs. I originally started on just 10mg but as my body's become more and more dependant to the drug ive felt little or no benefit and its had to be upped.
Some doctors and consultants i meet are really against me taking the morphene and at such high doses and tell me that i need to stop it.
But im really really scared of that option. The pain is so bad, id rather jump of the bridge than experience it without adequate pain relief.
Im very lucky that at the moment, i seem to have a very understanding gp who doesnt pressure me to come off it at all. (hoping that lasts)
Ive seen many many consultants over the yrs, most say that there's very little that can be done, others want to try drastic major surgery such as smashing the entire pelvis, pinning the hip into some wierd disfiguring position then rebuilding it, and none know if the procedures would benefit me.
Until recently, my new consultant wants to replace the joint with ceramic and says i'l be completely pain free. I dont believe him for one second as i know there's further damage to muscles', ligaments and so on. Something he brushes off and says there isnt. Only ive been shown scans from past consultants, which confirmed that there is??
The new consultant has made it pretty clear that he wants me off the morphene and any pain relieveing drugs.
Im scared that if i have the op, i'l be left being prescribed something like paracetamol, i was prescribed more than that when i was 6yrs old!
Im scared to come off the morphene, im scared of the withdrawl (withdrawal) (ive been on huge doses everyday for the past 6yrs). But most of all im scared of being left in horrendous pain, i couldnt manage to live with that.
ps. i noticed that your posts were in 2008. How are things now? I hope that the situation has improved x

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1648748_tn?1301420810
You wrote this in 2008 so you've probably already kicked it, but I just wanted to let you know what has worked for me. I am on day three and its not as bad as I had anticipated. Seven years ago I was a heroin addict and I got clean on my own but it was hard and so I then went on methadone which I also quit. I was clean for a little while and then I found morphine. When I decided to make the quit real- I stuck to a plan. My doctor prescribed lorazapam and I also took a natural pill called GABA. Along with those I take Vitamin C, vitamin D, and chlorophyll. For the sneezes and aches and chills I have been taking an over the counter cold medicine. One for daytime and another for night time and this has been the easiest withdrawll that I have ever experienced. I am now thirty years old and I feel like I am starting a new chapter in my life! Good luck to all of you- oh and prayers work too!
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Avatar_f_tn
I've hurt my back 7 years ago and about 2 years ago the doctors put me on morphine.  I felt great but got some memory loss. I am on instant and long term relief. 2 in the morning and 3 at night with long term (15mg each) and 1 every 6 hours instant (30mg). And I have been walkIng and doing yoga to help with my pain. I have almost stop taking the long term and almost the instant by slowing coming off.  I don't take any of the er( long term) and 1 of the instant every 12 hours and trying to lengthen that as much as I can without feeling the withdrawals ( WITH DOCTOR HELP) so far so good.  After a couple of weeks he will help me come off it completed. So yes it takes time and he told me to drinks lots of water and hit showers and do exercise if I can. Even with your pain you can do it!  
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Avatar_m_tn
I took morphine 60mg and 30mg for 4 years and my P.M. dr. just took away my 60's and replaced with 5mg methadone.  In your general consensus, do you think that this change will benefit me and might have fewer withdrawal problems.
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4341997_tn?1380655144
Hi and welcome to the forum....since this is an old thread, maybe you want to start your own post....just click on the "ask a question" at the top of the page and put it there where more people will see it...you will get more responses that way....good luck with it and posting a new thread will let more people see it and help you with the answer....i personally don't have any experience with methadone....but some people on here have.
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Avatar_m_tn
What is your clinical diagnosis for your pain? What caused your back problems? Is there an underlying disease?   I suggest that you go & get copies of ALL of your medical records for the last 6 years from ALL of your doctors & copies of ALL of your pharmacy records & start a pain journal... when you wake up scale your pain level from 1 being not bad to 10 being excruciating...  Note where your pain is & start keeping this journal...  Then contact a University based Pain Management program so that they can look at your records & decide on a treatment plan. I can tell you that they will NEVER give you 1000 mg of Morphine though...  More than likely... either the Duragesic patch if your underlying diagnosis warrants it...  Or another Narcotic Agonist like Stadol Nasal Spray....   Contact your family doctor & get them to prescribe Promethazine in large doses for the next 10 weeks to get you through withdrawal symptoms... Start taking hot baths... try finding an inexpensive TENS unit which is electrical stimulation to help with pain... find someone who can teach you some trigger point accupressure which you can perform on both your outer ears to help with pain...
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Avatar_f_tn
The member you addressed hasn't been here in over five years...I'm sorry.
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