Hi, im need some help on a hydrocodone detox issue. I have been trying to detox from hydrocodone for some time now. Here is my story, maybe you can help.
The short story. Back in December 2000 I broke my back at work. My doctor prescribed hydrocodone as the pain killer, starting at 5mg/500. I worked with this broken back for five years while steadily increasing my dose to 10mg/650 X 8 pills a day. At one point I was actually on fentanyl 100 patches along with the eight hydrocodone pills each day. All under the watchful eye of my doctor.
In September 2007 I decided it was time for surgery and fixed the problem. My pain was even worse after. About two years ago I decided enough was enough. I was a walking zombie and realized I needed off the meds while drooling on myself at dinner one evening. So I went to a pain management doctor who is great. She has gotten me down to four 7.5/500 hydro pills each day. Im off the fentanyl completely.
Im ready to stop the pills all together but I have one real big problem, HUGE PROBLEM! Every time I quit for 24 hours my arms start to do funny things. My joints feel as if they are being ripped out and my left arm will just stretch/shoot out like a punch with no control of it. My legs start to jitter real bad. Im so uncomfortable I cant sit still. I'm up, then down, then up, then down, all day and night. Needless to say I make it about six hours into this agony before I relent and take a pill. Then all is well again.
Is there anything out there that can stop this involuntary muscle convulsion? If so I want to try it. I think i can handle the pain, i just need to stop that arm, and the feeling that comes with it during my detox. I told my doc and she seems to want to put me in a controlled detox but I wont go. i want to do this myself. Any ideas?
You could try a controlled detox at home. Simply taper down the pills over time. I'd suggest a month or even two because you've been on opiates for 11 years and you're body is REALLY used to them. If this were me,I'd drop one per day . Stay there for 3 weeks for example, then continue.
RLS is a major complaint and THAT may be what you are describing. For restless legs AND arms there are a few things:
Get a good multi vit
Take zinc,calcium,and magnesium,potassium and vitamin C separately as directed.
Hylands Restfull Legs @Walmart/Walgreens 4 tabs at once
Force fluids: water and juices
I've read that some doctors have used dextromethphan for RLS with good luck. It's an off label use and I have not tried it but it couldn't hurt.
You should call your doctor if you're thinking about doing this at home. Just so she knows your plans. I'd definitely try this first before in-patient but she really knows you better.
I agree with vicki. What you describe sounds alot like RLS. You should try all the things she listed, and add tonic water. I used all these things and had very mild RLS coming off 15-20+ 10/500's a day. I was never able to taper, but i've read the least you can jump off of the better. So if you can maybe taper a little more. You may lighten the symptoms. I dont think you will be able to totally alleviate the withdraw symptoms though. If your main issue is the RLS you should definitely try those items. Good luck
TNX, im going to get the restful legs stuff right now. Ill try anything at this point. The other symptoms i can handle. Its just the involuntary spasms of my arms and legs that really stop me from detoxing completely. I was considering asking her for some of these other drugs I have read about on this site but if I can do it over the counter then i will.
This is where im at right now. I crush and swallow one half of a 7.5/500 pill to stop the spasms. I crush it because I get relief about 20 minutes faster that way and my Doc told me I would get the full benefit of the pill since swallowing a whole pill usually results in only 50% of the medication reaching your blood stream.
This small of a dose doesn't help my back pain so i alieviate that with 500mg of naproxin and 1200mg of motrin. Its working as of right now. I crush another half hydro pill as the spasms return( about 4-6 hrs). I'm hoping the length between crushing the hydro's will increase over the next few days.
Well off to get the restless legs drugs. Ill report as things get more interesting. TY everyone.
UPDATE... I went into full blown RLS during my detox last night. I took the restful legs and vitamins you suggested. It worked great for my legs but didn't help my arm issue at all. I ended up crushing a half pill to sleep.
I'm going to my doc with thte hope she will have some kind of medication to stop the arm from involuntary spasms and involuntary extention. I know it sounds woerd but I can't get completely off this stuff till that issue is resolved.
Any other suggestions? Anybody? Bueller..... Bueller.....?
My pain management specialist gave me Ambien to help me sleep, Clonidine for the cravings, and Tramadol for any lingering pain. I rarely need the Tramadol though, so I rarely take it. These things helped me a lot. Maybe your pain specialst can give you some things to help you detox more comfortably.
its been a few days now. i quit crushing the hydros. instead i cut down some old fentanyl patches to about 6mcg/hr size. They only do enough to stop the arm from spasming. My pain is controlled completely by motrin. The worst is the diarrhea. it comes and goes. I really hope to be off everything by end of this coming week.
I have had 48 hrs insomnia quite a bit. I can only sleep for six hrs when i do. God I hope this suffering ends soon.
You may very well be a person who HAS to taper. Are you taking Immodium? It's a great drug for diarrhea and also DOES help with some withdrawal symptoms. Also,I read recently that some doctors are using dextromethorphan (like in cough syrup) for
RLS and the results were excellent. It wouldn't hurt to try that in small doses....
thx, im feeling much better. the diarrhea is gone. i feel like i got hit by a truck right now. To make matters worse my dog had pups last night so very little sleep from that. otherwise i think i may be over the worst of it.
I can completely relate to what lead to your hydrocodone use - Although I didn't break my back (OUCH!!!), it felt like I had. The docs did more imaging than you can shake a stick at, and all they could find was arthritis. But they prescribed hydrocodone and later tramodal, too. I was on 4 10/500's per day; not that much, comparatively, but enough to get me hooked. I went off both meds CT, and experienced the same restlessness you describe. It wasn't as convulsive, but crazy annoying. The diarrhea seems pretty universal, but as you found, it does not last too long. I slipped up and started taking 1 to 2 hydros per day due to the energy loss. It seems everyone has one stubborn WD symptom that seems to hang around awhile. For me it is debilitating fatigue. I hope your doc can help you out! Meanwhile, enjoy the new furry babies! If I am in bed miserable, my dog and 2 cats always seem to wind up there with me, which is kind of a nice distraction! Animals are healing, I think...
yep we are at 14 boxer pups and counting. Big litter this time. My second female is due in two weeks. i expect another ten pups. I think I'll enjoy the Philippine Islands much more this year when im completely off the meds. Very soon now i hope. Im so close. I can't wait to tell the doc to just write a script for ibuprofen instead of hydros. She will be so shocked and happy.
Not sure if this is place to give my situation. I have watched these forums for days now and they help me. I was taking hydro for 6+ years per MD instructions, always aware how many remained, panic if MD was going to be closed at refill time, etc. Just picked up monthly R/X Friday, 150 pills. Looked at that, multiplied by 12 months for 6 years, almost 11 thousand of these things! I am retired, 65 yo and live alone with no family nearby. Would never admit to friends, so I am totally by myself. Here is what I could not find on these forums; exactly what to expect day-by-day when one goes CT.
I needed a pill for every chore; laundy, clean house, shop, cook, etc. Last Sunday at 3:00 PM I reached for a pill, I haven't been in a good mood, uninterested in everything and wondered if it was meds, so I stopped. The remainder of the day was uneventful, just lehargic. Next day, Monday, I was okay untill about noon and then I became very depressed, neck and back hurt, nose runny and headache, did not eat a thing and only drank water because nothing appealed to me (I always liked beer, opened one, and took a sip, poured it out). That's when I found these forums, generally saying it will be over in 5 to 7 days.
Don't laugh, this has really helped me. I took a piece of graph paper, marked 24 squares across (one day) by 7 squares down for my goal. Each square contained 4 small squares. Basically, it was 15 minute intervals. Right away I could cross off 28 squares. It gave me something to look forward to every 15 minutes, frequent accomplishments. By the way my pills remained on the vanity, want to show myself my resolve.
It progressively became worse the next 24 hours> Ate 3 crackers and 1/2 can of chicken soup (Tuesday). Did not seem to improve over the next 24 hours. Same menu (Wedensday). I just completed 4 days and 3 hours and started feeling better 2 hours ago (Thursday).
Hope this helps someone and will post again if anyone wants. This ain't easy, but must be done.
I think the grid idea is a really interesting one.. it would allow you to see your accomplishments frequently. And there's something about "checking" something off a list/table/grid, that makes you feel better, like you're getting something done and can see it on paper. What a great idea.
Good luck to you and keep going! :) (oh btw - not sure if you stil have those pills on your vanity, but keeping them might prove too tempting as time continues to pass....)
You are correct about the pills, they go out Sunday though. Must prove something to myself. Also, I forgot to tell people about yawning and sneezing. I wish I would have rated my overall feeling (1 to 10) in every sqare possible because there are and likely is more, ups and downs. I felt pretty hopeless untill just this afternoon. Am considering making some tuna salad, because I feel a little hungry and a little more optimistic.
Good - it is really important, I mean REALLY important, right now to stay nourished and hydrated. That alone will help with a ton of the withdrawal symptoms.
And not sure if you noticed it, but there is the thomas recipe outlined on this site that you can follow and the vitamins/supplements from that list was a huge help for me. It is definitely the time to start taking really good care of yourself.
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