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Vicodin withdrawal....will Klonopin help???
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Vicodin withdrawal....will Klonopin help???

I have been taking vicodin on and off for over a decade!!! Funny thing is though, it was mostly a mental addiction.  The few times I've managed to quit for 6-12 mos at a time, I did so with minimal discomfort.  Then a few months would go by and I would start feeling horribly depressed and anxious.  Ironically, I started taking vicodin in the first place because I was depressed/anxious but had no doctor/insurance.  I was self-medicating for the longest time.  Until recently, I was taking about 2-3 10/325 norcos a day....but I had been doing that for a few years and never felt the need to increase my dosage.  I'd cut them up into quarters and just pop them here and there, all day long.  They were like a "security blanket."  In August of this year, I had finally saved up enough money to meet with a Psychiatrist and pay for the visit out of pocket.  I was honest about my usage and he felt that my addiction was just as I had described it, mostly mental.  Since I wasn't increasing my dosage after years of taking them, he felt that I could taper myself off before the Celexa that he prescribed me started to take effect.  I did just that.  But the Celexa didn't start working in 2 weeks and he should have known that!  I started having panic attacks without the vicodin in my system and the Celexa having not taken effect yet.  My psychiatrist prescribed .5 mg of Klonopin to take twice a day.  I was familiar with Xanax but not Klonopin.  I hated the Klonopin right off the bat.  I would yawn for three hours straight and feel incoherent.  I stopped taking them after a few days and that's when I found myself back on the vicodin and increasing my dose from 2-3/day to 5-6/day.  I found out that Celexa actually diminishes the half-life of narcotics, hence, my need to take 5-6 a day instead of my usual 2-3.  Not only could I NOT afford my newly increased habit but the depression and anxiety was getting worse.  Recently I just decided on my own that enough was enough!!!  I honestly don't feel comfortable with this psychiatrist to discuss what I'm going through anymore but am fortunate to have a therapist that I trust and am honest with.  I'm seeing her tomorrow to fill in her on the latest news.....which is, I ran out of vics (knowing that my dealer was out of the country until 1/6/11).  I did manage to taper off a little towards the end, so that my body wouldn't be too shocked!  I find that the Klonopin that's just been sitting here unused, is actually helping to take the edge of a little and was wondering how much and how often I should be taking them?  I'm also taking vitamins/minerals, lots of Motrin, drinking water, taking hot baths, and resting.  I read Thomas' guide to withdrawal and it sounded like my own regimen years ago!  But he doesn't specify how many benzos/how often??  Does anyone have any tips/info?  It would be very much appreciated as I'm at day 1 1/2 and definitely feel like I'm dying of the flu here....although fortunately, feel as if I'm in high spirits.  I'm proud of myself for doing this right, with no intention of ever turning back to the vics.  Every time I've quit before, I told myself that I could always take them again one day....not this time!!  Thanks :)
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13 Comments Post a Comment
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271792_tn?1334983257
Hi & Welcome,

Glad to see you decided to get clean but I have to mention that if you are taking the Klonopin that you had left over, and not under a doctor's care, you are still self-medicating.

It is a violation of our guidelines to give out any medical advise or to tell you how much to take of any medication since none of us here are doctors. If offered that advise in the open forum or in a private message, please be careful. I am concerned for your health as you should be too.

Since you are seeing a new doctor tomorrow, I think you mentioned, you may want to speak with him/her about it and get yourself on a regular regime with it if that is what the doctor feels is proper for you.

Just know that the Klonopin is addicting and posses a whole new set of issues when you decide to stop taking it so be certain to discuss that with your doctor as well.

Again, congrats on stopping the pain medication and I hope this time you will stay off. Best of luck!
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82861_tn?1333457511
I am prescribed hydrocodone and celexa and neither the doctor nor the pharmacist told me anything about drug interactions.  I did some extensive googling on the idea that celexa interferes with hydrocodone and found nothing.  What can happen is that the central nervous system and pulmonary function can be more supressed since both drugs act on those areas.  Where did you read or hear that celexa interferes with hydrocodone half-life and metabolism?  Just wondering since I can't seem to find anything on it.

As for using klonopin to ease your withdrawals, there are no doctors here who can advise you, and giving that kind of medical advice is forbidden.  There are a couple alarms to be aware of about the klonopin.  It's all too easy to overdose on it while you're detoxing and desperate for relief.  Is there someone who can check on you periodically until you're through the worst?  It's also very easy to become addicted to klonopin, so the less you use the better.  Best would be to just not take it at all and endure withdrawal the best way that you can - hot baths, etc.   Best wishes and congrats on taking the plunge!
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495284_tn?1333897642
I would sit down with the doctor and have a heart to heart talk with him/her.  That would be the best....Let us know how you are doing.         sara
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Thank you all for your supportive comments!  To be honest, I've never liked how Klonopin makes me fell, hence why I had it lying around!  I ended up just taking Ibuprofen, soaking in hot baths with some epsom salts for the muscle/joint pain and of course, have a good multi-mineral/multivitamin.  I totally hear what you're saying about continuing to self-medicate and had that thought on my own a little while after I wrote my first post.  If I can make through these nest few days (which is NOTHING) in the long run, I'll feel a lot better soon....and without the risk that accidentally get hooked on something else (the Klonopin).  Last night was AWFUL though :( I couldn't sleep to save my life and I had the WORST RLS I've had since I was pregnant!!  Any tips or tricks on staving off the restless legs, other than the obvious bananas/potassium?  Does RLD tend to go away after the initial 4-5 day withdrawal?  

@Jaybay, the information that I learned about celexa (or any SSRI for that matter) interfering with the half-life of hydrocodone (or any analgesic narcotic for that matter), came from my Psychiatrist.  Granted, I'm not sure I trust this guy and am actively looking for a new doctor but until then, have a wonderful Clinical Psychologist. I'll ask her about that today and see if she's heard anything to that effect.  Will let you know later!

Thank you again, all of you, for your responses and support.  It's insane how badly I want to pop a norco right now....just telling someone who's listening though, helps keep that feeling from growing too strong. Don't worry, I don't have any and wouldn't dream of making these last few days be all for nothing.....when does this craving feeling go away????!
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1416133_tn?1351126817
I have a really good feeling about you squirrelsnest - you definitely sound like you've made your decision and you're in this no matter what it takes to get well.  Very very good to read and very inspiring!

I've heard many mention the Hylands Restless Legs that can be found in Walmart, CVS or Walgreen's, somewhere near the vitamins.  They seem to find great relief in this product so maybe that might help you?  I've stuck with eating a banana every day and that seems to help me.

And keep posting - being here and having someone to talk to is so helpful as I'm sure you know already.  You can do this - you will get better and it will be SO much better than being high on drugs.

:)
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82861_tn?1333457511
We're all listening!  :-)  Keep up with the hot baths for the RLS.  I know it's only temporary relief, but some is better than none.  It will get better, I just wish we could tell everyone how long it will last.  No two detoxes are the same.  If you haven't tried Hylands Restful Legs, give it a whirl.  It's available at most pharmacies usually around the same area as Advil, aspirin, muscle relaxants like Doan's pills, etc.  It comes in very small plastic bottles and our Walgreens stocks it on the bottom shelf which made it hard to find initially.  Hylands makes two formulas for RLS and you want the one with quinine.  Check with your pharmacist to make sure the quinine won't interact with any other meds you have on board.  I did read on another addiction board that you shouldn't take it with benadryl (diphenhydramine) and benadryl is in most over-the-counter sleep aids.  

Thanks for checking with your psychologist about the celexa/ hydrocodone connection.  I'm really interested in hearing what you find out for obvious reasons!   My husband and I have a wonderful psychologist so I'm glad to hear you have one too.  It can make all the difference in life when you find a good talk-therapist that you click with right off the bat.  Nowadays psychiatrists don't even bother with talk therapy - they just handle medications.  What a waste of all those years of education and what a pain for the patients to have to deal with two doctors for the same problem.

As for the cravings - DISTRACTION!  Distraction is your best friend right now.  It doesn't matter what you do, as long as you can get your mind off those thoughts of cravings, it will pass.  It can also help to acknowledge the cravings at the same time you turn your mind away from them.  "Oh, it's you again.  Go away.  I'm going to X right now."  Thoughts can't harm you unless you act on them.  

Recognizing cravings for what they are - harmless thoughts - and then actively turning away from them is a great exercise that you can use in many situations for the rest of your life.  You're consciously training yourself to remain calm.  One day, it will become completely auto-pilot and these thoughts won't provoke the kind of intense anxiety you're experiencing now.  I've used this technique for pain management for years.  Having that kind of mental skill in place is what has allowed me to cut my fentanyl dose to nearly 1/4 of what it was and better manage my pain.  

Anxiety is as great an enemy to pain as it is to addiction, detox and lifelong sobriety.  There is a well-documented mind-body connection that reveals just how much our thoughts can cause physical problems.  Anxiety makes us produce adrenaline and when there is no immediate outlet for it (hunting, defense of our lives, etc.) we're stuck waiting for it to wear off, which usually only makes things worse.  Anxiety causes those scary heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, panting, sweating and even crying jags.  All those things are symptoms of a panic attack and they're very common to people in detox.  It comes in waves.  If you can recognize the symptoms when they begin, you can learn to consciously slow your breathing, relax your muscles and self-soothe mentally without reaching for a pill.  Until your auto-pilot develops, you may have to continuously cycle through the breathing and relaxation routines until you realize you're calm again.  It's well worth the time and effort necessary to learn these skills.  Has your therapist taught you any relaxation and self-soothing techniques?  If not, ask!  Call it biofeedback, call it prayer, call it meditation - whatever.  It helps!  :-)
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1542812_tn?1293385973
I'm on day 11 of detoxing from Norco.  I relate to what you are saying about wanting to take a pill.  There are some times when all of a sudden the thought pops into my head that I should go take one.

The thing that has helped me the most with the restless legs is Tonic Water. It was suggested to me by someone here and it has quinine in it.  Drinking it and eating bananas made the rls go away.

I'm still very much a newbie but I believe if i can do this after taking norco for 10 years then you can do it too.

Take care,
Lisa
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Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement!!  I heard about Hyland's Restless Legs when I was pregnant but never tried them....guess I'll give them a whirl now!  You are absolutely right about how helpful it is keep posting on here....it's even more helpful to read that there are genuinely good and sober people here that are willing to take the time to go through this journey with me and we've never even met!!  

@Jaybay, your advice on distractions is exactly what I needed to hear!!  I received an iTunes gift card for Xmas and already spent the whole thing renting movies that I've been dying to see all year but haven't be able to get to.  Lying down makes my legs twitch and standing makes them throb....since sitting is my best bet, I'm just watching movies to keep my mind off the hundreds of thoughts like "there must be 1 random norco under the couch....what are the odds?! GO LOOK NOW!!! You know, I've been meaning to clean out all of my purses, what better time to do that than today?!! There must be a quarter of a norco SOMEWHERE!!!!!"  These are the thoughts that plague me all day.....hence, why I've seen 7 awesome movies in the past couple of days!!! LOL :)

@norco_no_more1960, good for you!!!! Day 11 huh? Does it get any easier???? My main thing is, what do I do now that I'm not high? The answer, of course, is THE SAME THING BUT SOBER.  I'm still motivated to live and breathe but I remember everything seeming so much easier and fun when I started a project with a norco.....sigh.....

To be honest everyone, I'm SO HAPPY that this day has come.  I'm literally crying right now as I write this to you.  Every time I'd "quit" before, I did so on my own, with no one to check in with or to keep an eye on me.  I can't tell you how blessed I feel to have you all listening to me, sharing your stories, advice, and words of encouragement!!!  Knowing that if I'm about to pull my hair out, I can come onto this board and share that with you and you will know what I'm going through....means the world to me.  I still have a fever of 100.8, my bones ache like nobody's business, my legs are, well, restless....and I feel lethargic to no end.  BUT, I'm completely sober for the third day in a row and will be on my daughter's birthday this Monday the 3rd.....that's really all I wanted for her on that day.
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1542812_tn?1293385973
I understand where you're coming from.   I think it does get easier.  Today is day 12 for me.

Let's stay strong together.

Lisa
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1416133_tn?1351126817
That's funny - your thoughts about where you might find that one, random norco that got away?  I remember having those thoughts and it just happened that early on in my withdrawal, we did a hugh cleaning project in our home.  Let me tell you, I did not find even ONE random pill anywhere.  Not ONE.  And we cleaned out everything so if there was one here, I would have found it.  Amazing how I couldn't function at all when taking all of those drugs, couldn't do anything, or at least anything WELL.  But apparently I could function well enough to know where each and every one of my pills were.  Boy exhausting just thinking about it.  I was so sick.

You are doing so great even though you might not fully see that - I'm so so happy for you.  And how wonderful to spend your daughter's birthday sober.  She may not know it, but it will be the best gift she ever gets.

Keep going - you are doing it!!  :)
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Well I made it through Claire's (my daughter) birthday sober, which was easy enough on it's own but very difficult considering I do NOT get along with her father. But I did it!! Woo hoo!!! I feel so relived but also extremely proud of myself....I'm also not feeling as physically icky as I was last week although I'm still pretty much taking 3-4 Advil every 6 hours and taking 2 hot showers a day!!

I decided to get a fresh start for the new year, rearrange my bedroom and daughter's room (no, I wasn't intentionally looking for norcos, although any time I saw something that looked like one I froze in both fear and excitement).  Alas, no pills to be found either and I'm so damn relived!!  I can't wait to meet with my therapist on Wednesday so that I can start to discuss the actual psychology behind my addiction (I have a degree in Psychology but I'm biased to my own treatment).  I understand the fundamentals of it but while I've physically withdrawn from the drugs themselves, that "urge" to find one (or to pull my hair out occasionally) hasn't gone away and won't, until I get to the root cause of my personal affiliation with addiction as a whole.

I've got a lot of work ahead of me....I'm going to bed! Happy birthday to my beautiful baby girl :)
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Avatar_f_tn
So, it's been 15 days and for the most part I feel okay.  This is usually around the time though, that I start to feel extremely depressed and anxious, thereby convincing myself that I need to take a norco to feel better.  I've been on 20mg of Celexa since August (as I mentioned, all the while on norcos) and now that I'm sober I keep trying to feel the Celexa "working".  My psychiatrist just increased my dose to 30mg.  I totally forgot about the depressive side effects of taking an SSRI since I was high on norcos when I started last time!  I feel completely unmotivated, weepy, a little obsessive too....I do not like these feelings and I'm really not used to feeling them on their "own" because there was always the familiarity of the norcos in my systems.  Does anyone have any experience with Celexa or any other SSRI and it's subsequent side effects due to an increase in dosage?  How long does it last?  Is there anything I can do short of crying myself to sleep and sending my ex vicious texts for no apparent reason (I know, I know, turn OFF the phone now!!!)

Anne
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1416133_tn?1351126817
Well, yes.  TURN OFF the cell phone!!!  Texting him now is like texting when you're drunk - ALWAYS a bad idea!  :)

I was on cymbalta for a while when I was still taking the other drugs (xanax and tramadol - and of course, having me on tramadol AND cymbalta was extremely risky - why didn't my Dr. tell me that??) and honestly, I have no idea if it was helping me.  Actually, what I really think is that it probably didn't help me because I never gave it a chance.  I was too busy taking exceedingly high amounts of both the benzo's and the opiates to notice any benefits.  So I'm sorry I can't help too much with that but I'll bet other members here can give you more insight on that one.

I'm SO glad to see you're still hanging in - and doing well considering what you're going through.  It wasn't until about a month before I finally felt like I was going to make it.  Those moments were fleeting, but were there nonetheless.  So time is pretty much the answer.  An answer that most of us addicts HATE because we don't like to WAIT for anything do we?.  We want immediate gratification, right?

And I began taking st. johns wort after a couple of weeks clean.  It has helped so much with the depression.  It's quite surprising actually.  I didn't think anything that wasn't a controlled substance or a narcotic could actually make a difference.  But it did - so I think as with most anti-depressants (prescribed or not) they take a while to work and you might have to experience those annoying and uncomfortable symptoms for a short while before you can feel the full benefit from it.  Just a thought but I think it's something you should talk to your therapist about.  Which by the way, how did that go?  I hope it's helping - talking things out is, as I have found out (the hard way!) the only way to cope.

Good to see you again - hang in there - it will keep getting better you'll see.  :)
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