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Must wean off Tramadol ASAP - help!
I'm getting a tonsillectomy on the 28th (in 19 days) and have been taking 50mg of Tramadol 2x a day (every 12 hours) for about 6 years for anxiety.  Once I get my tonsils out I won't be able to swallow pills for a couple of weeks though, so I need to get off the Tramadol before the surgery.  Is this feasible?  Is this a doable schedule of taper:
9-11th:
50 MG AM / 25 MG PM
12-14:
25 MG AM / 25 MG PM
15-18:
25 MG AM / 12.5 MG PM
19-22:
12.5 MG AM / 12.5 MG PM
23-25:
12.5 MG AM only
26-27:
6.25 MG AM only
28:
Off

This is the only way I can imagine getting off without suffering miserably.  Any advice?


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271792 tn?1334983257
If the taper schedule works for you, that is great! I think it would be a good idea to consult with your prescribing physician and let him/her give you a schedule or back you up on the one you have here. I have never heard of Tramadol being prescribed for anxiety but since it has been, it is best to talk to that doctor.

Best of luck, let us know how you make out.
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271792 tn?1334983257
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My doctor didn't prescribe it.  Prior to taking it I'd always had anxiety and when I got in a car accident he prescribed it for the neck pain.  I realized it fixed the problems I had with anxiety and so I started buying it on the internet.  I guess I'm an addict (tinge of denial there?  probably), but I've never abused it by taking more than I need to keep the anxiety at bay.  As far as telling my doctors, I don't want this on my medical records, so I'm going to get off on my own.  

Anyone had success with this sort of schedule?  What should I expect as far as withdrawls go?
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176495 tn?1301284012
I'm on day 3 off of tramadol...was taking up to 12 a day (4 3x day) of 39 point something mg.   I started tapering several weeks ago buy cutting from 12/day to 10 for about a week as I recall, then down to 8 for a few days, then 6, then 4, then 2 and finally took my last one on Saturday I believe it was...and generally I feel fine...I have a touch of a bug that's running around the house trying to kill us all so I feel a little flat with that and a SLIGHT touch of diareahh (sorry) yesterday and a SLIGHT case of the heebie jeebies in the evenings...I attribute that to the mucinex I'm taking for this creeping death that I have...

You might want to see your doctor and open up and tell him...I think that would be your best bet...he should be helpful to you...he/she doesn't want you on these things legal or not..and if he sees that you're sincere I'm  sure he/she will help.

AND WHATEVER YOU DO....DO NOT EVER TOUCH ANOTHER ONE..I have 5 refills of 120 of them at the local pharmacy over the next 5 months which are not going to be refilled. .If anxiety is a problem talk to your doctor..could be the tramadol..and seek after care (Narcotics anonymous or some sort of therapy)...


Good luck to you and God bless

Jim
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176495 tn?1301284012
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Thanks Jim!  How long were you on Tramadol?  I'm very encouraged to hear that you've been able to wean off (a much higher dose than I've ever been on) of it with relatively no side effects.  It will be a very freeing feeling to not be on it anymore.
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This is a little difficult!  I had the 50 MG at like 9AM, then held out until 11:30 PM for the first cutback to 25MG.  I woke up SUPER early this morning feeling very antsy and agitated and took the 50MG.  I'll make sure to stick to a rigid schedule from here on out, I hope it doesn't get any worse than this.
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271792 tn?1334983257
Cotton,

Do you have anyone who can hold them for you and dose them according to the schedule?
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176495 tn?1301284012
IBKleen has a VERY good point..I gave mine to my wife to hand out to me according to the schedule and that worked very well..


Jim
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176495 tn?1301284012
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I don't...but I don't think it's the thing of whether or not I'm going to give in and take more than I should.  I'm very aware of my deadline because once I get my tonsils out I'm screwed if I'm not off of them and I don't want to go through withdrawls after a big surgery.  I'm just sharing my experience because I need an anonymous place to do so and have a little contact and encouragement through it.

I do have a question for you guys though...I've seen lots of people talk about how hard it was to get off (many who went cold turkey, which sounds horrible), but then how much better they felt once their bodies adjusted.  I haven't really seen much about how people fare psychologically though.  I know a lot of people got hooked because of the sense of well being and reduction of anxiety or depression.  How did you feel psychologically after your body normalized post-tramadol?  

Thanks guys, I appreciate the support!
Cotton
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176495 tn?1301284012
That's what aftercare is about....NA or a therapist..a necessity to get your head back where it belongs..you're going to feel anxiety, you're going to feel agoraphobia...one time after kicking vicodin I was in the mall with my wife and HAD HAD HAD to get out of there and HOME....NOW...look up NA meetings in your area..find one that you like..there are likely bunches of them near your home or in the area....it is a necessity.  I'd be lost without my therapist...and my son (RIP) was helped tremendously by NA a couple of years before he died.
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176495 tn?1301284012
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176495 tn?1301284012
That's what aftercare is about....NA or a therapist..a necessity to get your head back where it belongs..you're going to feel anxiety, you're going to feel agoraphobia...one time after kicking vicodin I was in the mall with my wife and HAD HAD HAD to get out of there and HOME....NOW...look up NA meetings in your area..find one that you like..there are likely bunches of them near your home or in the area....it is a necessity.  I'd be lost without my therapist...and my son (RIP) was helped tremendously by NA a couple of years before he died.
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I'm terribly sorry to hear about the loss of your son.  I cannot imagine what it has been like for you, a father, to lose his son.
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Hi~  This concerns me a little. You will be fresh off the Tramadol at the time of your surgery. You will still have some withdrawals. The anesthesiologist is going to want to know what you've been taking or just stopped taking. It's very important to be honest.
Also,why is it you won't be able to take them post op? Were you told that?  You will have a painful throat but it won't close up. You'll have ice chips and popsicles etc...and be able to swollow that. You should be able to swallow a pill in some ice cream or applesauce.  I'm not trying to keep you hooked on the tram at all but I just don't think
quitting with such a fast taper is a good thing right before surgery.
This is my own opinion and I personally wouldn't do it. Also,I'd get with a doctor,tell the absolute truth and discuss your anxiety and depression.  You may need an antidepressant as folks often do after taking tram for a period of time.  Tramadol contains an antidepressant and synthetic opiate.
Please don't keep this a secret from the anesthesiologist.
Good luck~
Vicki
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1283286 tn?1312915566
Quote" Please don't keep this a secret from the anesthesiologist. "End quote.

That is "Extremely Important"..I just had my appointment with them yesterday in preparation for my surgery in a little over a weeks time. If , by rare chance a complication came in regarding putting you under, they are working with chemical balancing and have to know whats in there..Vicki is absolutely correct on this..Don't play around..
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Hey!  I have tell you first that I agree with telling the anesthesiologist about the tramadol.  It could be life threatening if you don't.  

Also, to give you some hope, I have been clean from them for 3 months (little over) and feel great!  I didn't taper.  It wasn't in the cards for me.  I had no discipline!

Please tell the doctor!!!  It could save your life!  Good luck!
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Thank you guys for this, really and truly.  I think you're all totally right, my ENT surgeon and anesthesiologist should absolutely know the amount of Tramadol I've taken in the two weeks prior to the surgery.  I will document this and present it to them at my pre-op appointment and the day of surgery.  I don't want people to know about this problem, but I also definitely do not want to die or have any complications with the anesthesia.

Vicki - in regards to your questions about whether or not I'll be able to take it after if I'm not off, I will if I want, I'd just crush it up and put it in some applesauce, like you say.  But honestly, I just want to be off.  I've gone down to 1/2 a tab 2x a day before (25mg/2x day), so I think I can do this and that it's time.  

tramahater, were you on a relatively low dose like me (I've only been taking 1 50mg at morning and night)?  How are you doing after the detox period?

Thank you guys...and I definitely will tell the docs about the Tramadol.
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I was on a VERY high dose. About 15, 50 mg pills a day at my highest!  I'm not proud of that, but I am proud of my progress since then!  You will be too.  It's so strange how we think we will die from WDs but were never scared of taking that amount of pills!  Crazy!  Or at least I was that way!

And to answer your question about how I am doing.....AWESOME!  The first week is awful.  The first month is rough.  And from then on I have been feeling great.  The insomnia and lack of energy and motivation last the longest for most people that I have seen on here.  And, it doesn't seem to matter if you are on a high dose or a low dose, the WDs seem about the same.  Length of time taking them seems to effect it more.

Hope this helps!  You can get your life back....withOUT pills in it!!! : D

BIG hugs to you!
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Hey good!!!   Glad you just want to leave it behind. Keep posting here...tons of support as you've seen.
Good luck!
V.
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I'm adjusting well.  I didn't wake up early and while I did feel a little antsy when I woke up I was okay.  Positive progress!

Tomorrow I start 25mg AM/PM, so we'll see how that goes.

tramahater - I am so happy to hear how well you're doing, it's very encouraging!  Since I've been on tram for 6 years the re-regulation of my brain chemistry is what concerns me most.

Did anyone feel kind of spaced out or A.D.D.-ish during detox?  I'm usually a very good speller and usually write the exact words I mean to write, but I've noticed I've accidentally left out words or put a verb in the incorrect tense a few times, which isn't like me.  Plus I'll be doing one thing, then I do 5 other things before I remember the first thing I set out to do.  This is mostly online, not in the "real" world, but still...

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This morning I felt particularly antsy, woke up early, had some restless "leg" syndrome (extends to my whole lower body, what's that called?).  Coffee and Advil helped, plus the 25MG of Tram this AM.  If it's just this I can manage, but am getting anxious about when I totally go off...will I feel like this non-stop?  For how long?

I'm also getting anxious because I'll be starting to taper down to a lower dose than I've ever had in 6 years during a newly arisen trip to be with a very old relative.  This will probably be the last time we all see him...and my mother will be there and being around her triggers these old scripts to run (to use a computer term...I can't think of a better way to describe what happens).  She makes me feel crazy, thankfully my husband, who knows what I'm going through right now and how she affects me, will be with me.  Does the serenity prayer really work...cause I may need it.
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1283286 tn?1312915566
Serenity prayer takes practice, but yes,it does work..It points out reality at best. If you can't change something, don't waste anymore energy on it :)
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Today is my first at 25mg in the AM.  I made sure I timed it 12 hrs apart from last night.  Now that I have had my coffee I feel fine.  I just don't feel great when I first wake up.  I think I'll start doing yoga because I've read exercise can help, and that always helps with how I feel when I wake up the next day.  Phase 2 of detox initiated successfully though!
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The mornings are rough.  I used to have to practically jump out of bed when I opened my eyes, because I felt awful the second I woke up.  That does go away!  
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That's the feeling I'm having...like I want to jump out and away from feeling so agitated.
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I KNOW!  It's not very fun way to start the day or really to have anytime of the day!  It gets better.  Give it a few days.
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I think I'm just coming to the conclusion that I'm going to feel antsy and annoyed for the few hours right before I take my next dose.  That said, I feel pretty okay during hours 2-9 or so of the 12 hour cycle.  Tomorrow night will be the first 12.5 mg dose, which is the lowest I've been on in 6 years, so may be a challenge.  Stay tuned!
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Best of luck.  You're doing great.  It's a really fast taper, and you seem to be handling it really well.
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1349329 tn?1276988802
Just out of curiosity, aren't you going to have to take some sort of "Pain Killer" after the Tonsillectomy?  I've heard that as an adult, it is very painful.  
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1349329 tn?1276988802
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Thanks mellie4!

badshadow, I am going to be taking whatever they give me, Lortab I think.  I was actually kinda hoping that it would help mask any final withdrawal symptoms I had...from what I understand Tramadol's effect on serotonin and nor-epinephrine is different than the other painkillers, so I don't think it's like getting off the horse only to get right back on.  I actually really don't like the out-of-it feeling I get with any sort of codeine, plus it's really constipating which just makes me feel frustrated, so as soon as the throat pain lessens enough to stop taking it I will.

So, here is where I'm at in my taper/detox schedule:
June 15-18:
25 MG AM / 12.5 MG PM
I've been having quite a bit of trouble sleeping, so I reversed the amounts to 12.5MG AM/25 MG PM so I could get more sleep.  During the day I can keep busy and distracted and actually kinda use the antsy-ness to be productive.  As this process continues I'm thinking of adjusting the schedule to this:
18-20:
12.5 MG AM / 12.5 MG PM
21-22:
12.5 MG every 16 hours (so 3x in 2 days instead of 2x in 1 day)
23-24:
6.25 MG AM / 6.25 PM
26-27:
6.25 MG mid-day only
28:
Off
I've noticed that I can push through more easily anytime during waking hours, so I think this may make it easier for me.  I generally feel like I have a tightness in my chest that actually feels like it goes from my jaw to below my belly button, then my limbs are pretty antsy feeling.  Gah...I can't wait for this time period to be over.

Thank you guys and any additional encouragement and support is beyond welcomed.
Cotton
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Alright, so I'm on track with this updated schedule.  12.5 AM/PM...so far so fine.  I'm really busy, which helps a lot.

Tomorrow we fly to a very stressful family event with a 3 hour time difference, so the every 16 hours should be interesting to try to calculate.
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1350993 tn?1277496822
I'd like to mention something that's been helpful to me with very minor w/d's.  I just tell myself that my body is working hard to restore itself to normal.  I try to put a positive spin on the discomfort.  Two weeks ago, I was taking up to 300mil. a day.  I've been gradually tapering the number of pills so that for the last 4 days, I've only taken 1 pill a day...50mil. Tomorrow I will further taper down to 25mil.  I am starting to have insomnia, but I'm trying not to fight it.  I know it's not permanent, so I can deal with it.  Let's see how the next couple of days go for me.  I was so happy to find this forum!  Knowing that I'm not alone is such a help! Thanks everone!!!
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Hey Khatzee...that's great!  Why don't you start your own thread, just so you get all the help and support that others get when they post!  Just click on post a question and share whatever you want.

You are so right.  A positive attitude and mind control go a long way with all this!

Good luck to you!
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