i am a 57yo woman in otherwise good health - not fat nor thin, somewhere inbetween.
i have severe osteoarthritis in my lower back and have been taking norco (hydrocodone 10/325) for several years. my dose is 4 (40mg) - sometimes 5 per day. i went down to 30mg and began going through withdrawal. i'm affected at night with body aches and restless legs that drive me crazy. However, if i stay at 40mg, which i'm doing now, then i'm ok.
i understand that i am able to maintain this relatively low dose, 40mg, and make it through my day but the thought of addiction scares me as i know that i am physically dependant. i am terribly afraid of withdrawal as i had gone through it before, cold turkey! a doctor had prescribed the norco and fentynal patch; i began increasing the dose on the misstaken belief that it would take away all my pain. i know better now - that it just takes the edge off.
i couldn't deal with the side effects ofthe patch, itchness, and that is also addictive.
i have two questions:
how can i stop taking this medication without going through a severe withdrawal?
if i stop the hydrocodone, what can i do then about the pain from the osteoarthritis that is often debilitating?
The fentynal is very addicting .....
You are going to have withdrawl you can minimize it by tapering off instead of going cold turkey.
You will have to discuss other ways to manage the pain with your doctor...
I had to use the fentanyl patches several years ago (50mg). I stopped using them and went into WD. I still had a couple left and one day I was in a LOT of pain. I put a patch on, and 72 hours later, took it off, and started WD again after only ONE patch, NOTHING else. Those things are awful in my book! I would put the patches away and just use your other meds to taper down. Maybe discuss it with your Dr. and come up with a plan of some sort.
to answer your first question, if you can get a prescription of clonidine it's the way to go. it minimizes w/d's tremendously... i recently quit again (i too take pills for pain) and between the clonidine and alot of amino acids & vitamins, i had pretty much no w/d symptoms (i got very lucky...) you take .1 mg 3x a day... some take it up to 10 days upon quitting. i take it 4-5 days, at only half the dose, and it works.
it's night and day going off the pills this way vs. using nothing at all (i have done both.)
as for your pain, i think you'd be best served to see a pain specialist and talk about other means to manage/decrease your pain. i know a few things that have helped me, but my pain is different (back.) so i would personally see a few more doctors and find out what other options you have..
go to 'FLaddict' profile. She has excellent taper advice. Message her and she can help you with a taper program and make this a lot easier for you. She has an article on how to taper and what dependence/addiction is. Also visit 'Ga Guy' profile. Lot's more useful information.
I'm betting once you've weened yourself off the drugs you will find your pain is not as bad as it is while you are dependent on the drugs. This seems to be a come theme with those of us using pills for pain management.
Let us know how you fair,
I hope you are doing well after your decision to cut back on hydrocodone. I too 51 and in a predicament similar to yours. I've had a knee replacement and then a revision to it. I've now suffered with piriformis syndrome since my revision surgery 3-1/2 years ago that also gives me sciatic pain. I have had injections in the back and into the piriformis muscle which is quite uncomfortable. I don't sit or stand without discomfort on my left side. My knee repl. was on my right and all my complications have occured on my left side. I was put on hydrocodone 5/500 for a while then to 10/325 (4xday). I do stick with this but i sometimes break one in half and have 1-1/2 pills but then only take 2-1/2 for the rest of the day. My concern is that my pain doesn't go away with the mediciation, it only makes it bearable. I'm better able to get energy to get on with the day. This is no reason to take medicinel. I'm extremely active but have noticed I don't have much interest in getting things done lately. I've decided that I need to stop the hydrocodone and see what the pain is without. I'm hoping to find out that I can live with it. I know I'll have to live with pain because my leg is now shorter and it has compromised my body structure. Anyway, compared to what people live with on a daily basis, I feel stupid taking medication for what I believe I can learn to live with. I've always had a very high tolerance for pain, living with migraines and osteoarthritis. I need to get back to MYSELF. Learn to live with what I've been given which is a great family and a good life. Aches and pains just go along with it. Just writing this makes me feel better. I took a pill this morning and that's all I'll be taking today. Tomorrow will be the start of a change in my life. I'd love to hear how you are doing since you made a choice to try and stop medication. My very best to you.
Hi all, thank you for all the help on this forum thread, I thought I was going insane.
A brief history: Suffered a nose condition, pescribed steriods, outcome without details, both hips needed replacing, was put on Oxycontin, and as the weeks went on so did my dosage, 240 mgs a day, well had op and was told ' carry on with painkillers', after 3 months I thought I should not need these anymore and cut down by half, the result was flu like feelings and a lot of muscle pain, this went on for 6 weeks feeling like ****, then I decided to STOP. Nothing prepared me for the HELL I was about to visit, all the symtoms, 85hrs off now, still got the sweats real bad, ( slept in dressing gown for warmth), and this morning it is soaked, and the what I call 'Crazy Arms and Legs', no wonder they call it 'Kicking the Habit'.
I thank God for this forum thread, boy have you great people helped, and I wanted to tell you I have kept a diary from the first hour I went CT to try and help others in the same boat, and to warn others of the danger of this drug, let's hope a few doctors read it, as it seems to me they should be more aware of the pitfalls.I will write up the diary when I feel I am clean and post all over the web on sites like this.
Kindest regards and keep at it, I'm sure we will all come clean together.
There is no easy way off of these "medications" and that's what they are. We all have some type of cronic pain and when you hurt you want it to be cured. Your Doctor does not want you in pain so they prescribe these med's. Then, being human, we become addicted or dependent on this stuff; mentally and physically addicted. Some people can quit cold turkey, most can not or are not able to withstand the withdrawl side effects. These are unpleasant!!
Read Oxykicker's response; he pretty much hit on the head. Of course all people are different and the withsrawl side effects can be better or worse. I take in excess of 10 norco 10-325 a day no problem. Stopping not so easy. 1st day mainly mental side effects i.e constant thinking about taking the meds and any way you can get your hands on some. 2nd -3rd or 4th day, depending on the person, you will experience lack of appetite because your vomitting quite a bit, spells of sweating - I have woke up to my bed totaly soaked from sweat and then feeling cold like I can't get warm to the point of my teeth chattering, grinding your teeth. I had to buy a very expensive dental made mouth piece to help these two problems. I tried the ones sold at wallgreens and I just chewed threw them in a day. very high pulse rate, heart palps, severe stress headaches, anxiety, agoraphobia - fear of leaving the house. I can loose 10-20 pounds through these withdrawls; no appetite and very little sleep. Anything you can do to help sleep is great it's best if you can go through this asleep; but it's hard to sleep when your vomiting, sweating and your heart is racing, I have had one heart attack, I don't want another.
I am starting to work with a pain specialist along with my cardialogist to put a stop to this or I will just have to increase to a stronger pain med or increasing the amount which will not work because the doctor cuts me off; so I have no choice. At this point I would prefer a week or so of feeling like crap as opposed to increasing ny addiction. I kicked this habbit once before and with the amount of pain I was suffering caused me to fall off the Norco wagon and I got run over by it.
I have had multiple surgeries for lower back injuries fom a car wreck. I have no disk between L4 and L5 and the disk between L2 & L3 and L3 &L4 are bulging and slowly rupturing. Even my Nurosurgeon is at a loss. he tells me that he would have to fuse my entire lower spine from L1 to L5. I would be stiff as a board or in this case a stainless steel rod. Then he looks me in the face and tells me that might not relieve all of my pain?? At this point I am at a loss as far as what to do. Undergo a very major surgery and still hurt; which I will have to do in time no matter what because the other disk will eventually rupture. Stay off all meds and just hurt or hopefully find a good pain management doctor who will have an answer. To top it off I had pneumonia which required a Thorocotomy which involves using rib spreaders to get to my lungs. I had that done in last June and my ribs still feel like someone beat me with a bat and that doctor says it can take up to a year for the pain to completly subside and it may not totally subside.
My name is pain, but I have to drastically reduce my use of these meds or I will have no liver. I just have to put my trust in the Doctors and God and hope for the best.
Cindy I wish you all the luck. Stay mentally strong and you will come through this. It may not feel like it at times but YOU WILL WIN!!
I have been/had been taking 10/325 Hydracodone for over 20 years when my orthopedic said I would have to get it from pain management.
I decided that I did not want to do that so 18 days ago I quit altogether. Until then I was taking 2 tablets every 4 to 6 hours.
I have pain from ruptured discs in my back and neck but it is something I will have to live with until my primary physician can get me an appointment with pain management.
So I guess what I am saying is, put the hydrocodone or Narco down and don't look back.
I will NEVER TAKE ANOTHER.
Ed ( San Antonio, Texas)
Thanks to everyone for responding to my old posts.. As of this week, I am drug free!!.
I'm off Fentanyl after doing a long taper from 50/25/12.5. I had no trouble cutting the patches, and I slowly tapered off the Norco 10/325. I cut each pill into 8 pieces. Get a good pill cutter. For 1 week I would take the pills spread throughout the day. The next week, 1 less (1/8)less. Then a week later another 1/8 less. It took a real long time, basically 2 months per pill; but this taper was so gradual that wd didn't happen.
My pain is ever present but not as bad as you would think after quitting the narcs. I'm eating better, exercising and sleeping better. I take Advil occasionally.
I would rather deal with pain than suffer the merciless agony of WD. I've been there and wouldn't wish it on an enemy if I had one. I don't know what to do when my pain level spikes -- but it won't be anymore addictive substances. I'm thankful for the good days.
FENTANYL: Stay away from it!! WD from it is a worse nightmare than the opiates.
I'm concerned about the amounts of acetaminophen that you're getting with your doses. 10/325 norco nut you say you take 40 mg 4-5 x daily. That means 325mg Tylenol x 4 or 1300mg ACETAMENOPEN per dose. If you do that even 4x a day you're already exceeding the 4,000 mg allowable per day of Tylenol. That Evans you are damaging your liver. Tylenol is hepatoxic and will cause you more health problems than the amount of hydrocodone you're taking. Ultimately these doses of hydro will stop working for you related to tolerance and the inability of the live to continue to metabolize these doses. You're looking at liver failure in your future. Reevaluate this with your MD.
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