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Just want off
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Just want off

Hello all. I am not even sure if this is the right forum. I am not an addict. I hurt myself terribly over 4 years ago and have weaned myself off of ativan and ultram. I am currently on ms contin and I take between about 45 to 75 mg a day.
Lately I feel hot flashes that are possibly that or my body has become tolerant to these. It doesn't make a big difference if I take 45 or 75.

I am thinking of just getting off and see what I can tolerate. I have stenosis and other back problems that cause pain on both legs. I figured just as I have done in the past, wean about 25 mg ev. 4 days or so. I think I hurt myself for life and though it has gotten slowly better, may never go away.

Any other ideas? My doctor had me on ultam and morphine, which actually helped more, but now he won't let me take it, but in a way, it may be for the best.

I was a semi body builder and probably contributed to the pain. I worked out for over 25 years and should have slowed down.

I guess my question is, does 25 mg every 4 days or so, sound about right?

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23 Comments Post a Comment
That sounds like way too much too fast.  If you want to just stop.....yeah, you can, but your body will tell you if your decreasing too much, meaning how bad you feel the withdrawal.  You can try it.....let us know how it goes......

Is ur dr still giving u the ms contin?  bad drug to taper with cos it is time relased so when u break it u get the whole dose at once.  MS contin is not really a huge drug if abuse but IV drug abusers love dilaudid, neither r absorbed well in the GI tract so shooting those drugs is more what u here on the streets to get the "buzz"

But u dont take ur meds for a buzz cos u r not an addict..which will make this much simpler for u cos u will not crave mentally..u just need to get thru the physical part if u r not an addict.Morphine if swallowed whole orally is not but a smidge stronger per mg as lortab/about equal to oxycontin in strength but oxy is preferred in the abuse crowd as  the buzz is better than morphine
You may want to read thru the health pages..lots of info the article on tapering..include ur dr in ur plan..he may be able to give u morphine IR to taper with to avoid the time release part by halving the MS Contin pills to taper with...and u r completely off of ativan? that is a feat in itself//congrats as getting off benzos is not easy

if u were able to taper off trams and benzos successfully..then u can do long since u tapered off of the other 2 drugs?

U can CT the narcotc dose u  r at if u want is equal to approximately 50-80 mgs of hydro a day,,people do not usually have as hard of a time with time relaesed drugs like ms contin/unless they chewed, snorted, etc/than short acting drugs like hydro that peak very quickly and are gone very quickly
Since u r not an addict then u should be able to control ur own taper and not cheat..addicts often hand their pills over to someone they trust so they r not tempted to cheat

Main thing is is educate the health pages and focus on the thomas recipe, the tapering article and the dopamine article to understand ur brain and what it is going thru when u cut back on outside supply..i will be happy to help u write out a taper if u want to PM me
U need to pick a QUIT day when u have a few days off..if u taper u need to count out the pills u need and flush the rest/many keep a couple extra just cos of emergencies..then u write out a taper plan...cutting 5 mgs a week would take a while or u could do 10 mgs a week and see how u feel with each drop...u really need some pills that r not time released to do this with but if u do not then u can still taper/just a bit harder cos you cant break pills in half
Quit day remains quit day no matter what happens during ur taper..if i felt up to it and was on ur dose of morphine..i would probably ct it/but i am an addict and u r not..i like to get things over and done with//but since ur not an addict u will have more control over ur taper...for an addict it is opposite/the pills control us
You will need to tell ur dr..u may need sumpin for anxiety and sleep..preferrably not a benzo but if need be valium is a safer benzo than ativan..librium and temazepam are also choices of weak benzos...avoid benzos if u can..even ambien or lunesta are safer//vaerian root and melatonin even safer than that...i use phenergan for sleep..not habit forming andhelps alot of the physical wd symptoms as well..and dr will call iti for u if u say u have a tumy is over the counter in other countries so it can also be bought online

your dr will need to know what u r doing so he can help..lots of support here as well...lemme know ur plan
Hi Dylan,

I am so sorry that MS Contin is not effective for you. But are you sure you want to give up your pain control medication or is the medication simply not effective for you? Ms Contin is not effective for me. I didn't get the "hot flashes" but when I would change my position I felt like I couldn't get my breath. (No it wasn't panic attacks.) I was willing to deal with the side effect if the drug reduced my pain significantly but it didn't. It was my physician that took me off it.

I admire you for deciding you are going to take the challenge of living without narcotics but you should not do this alone. Everyone can offer you suggestions of what worked for them or what this or that article was helpful but when all is said and done it comes down assistance from your physician. That is the only safe way it should be done. You need his/her approval. Physicians want to call the shots, right or wrong.

You'll want the support of your physician, especially if this does not work for you. So keep him/her close and in the loop. It's my opinion that MS Contin may just not be the right drug for you. You may do better on something else. I would discuss that option with your physician. Is he/she aware of the very uncomfortable side effects you are experiencing? My physician would not expect me to continue on a medication that produced intolerable side effects. Don't be afraid to have a heart to heart with him if you haven't. You may be surprised at his reaction.

Best of luck to you. Please let us know how you are doing. We will look forward to your updates.

Take Care,

Honestly, nothing seems to work very affectively. I get very sick on the come down of percocet. The only 2 that don't make me real sick is the MS Contin and Ultram. The hot flashes may not even be from the MS Contin.

The problem is that sometimes they help, other times nothing. I just told him about the possibility of going back to ultram and he thought it better to stay on the Contin. Last summer he even had me on both, now he says no--though my dream is not to need either. But if they aren't helping much but making me addicted, it's stupid to me. I think it's good to have something for the days that are bad  but I don't see a big choice. My pain is like a rollercoaster. If my mind is occupied and I didn't twist the wrong way, I'm not even thinking of it. It's been 4 years since July that I hurt myself. At first it was so bad, I considered the ER frequently.

I think I have muscle and bone pain and my physician is very careful, yet at one time he was giving me the ms contin and ultram. I forgot what I said, but he stopped the ultram. But together, only at first they worked well. I can't find anything to help that agrees with me and would love to be on nothing if possible. Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see a huge choice. What helps you?

My physician is very nice, but he is at a loss, and very careful, plus my husband is sick.
I still believe in miracles. One day at a time.

Thanks for the support.
I read your post and can't help but feel the same way.  I have only been in pain management for a short time now, but I don't like the way I feel.  I still have pain, and I have been waking up with horrible sweats all of a sudden.  I am on opana 20mg. once every 12 hours and percocet 10mg. every 4-6 hours for breakthrough pain.  I am undiagnosed still after six months now.  I was told I had Rheumatoid Arthritis then they thought it was fibromyalgia.  Now the rhematoid doc found a severe vitamin D deficiency which she says can cause severe muscle and bone pain.  I told her I wanted to come off the pain management even though we have no resolution, and she said to wait three months for the vitamin D to get back to normal.  I have to take 50,000IU once per week and have been doing that faithfully for two months now.  I still feel like ****.  My PM doc said last week that he thinks I may have a pinched nerve in cervical area and ordered an EMD test.  I want to know if I should just try to go cold turkey off these meds or talk to my doc about it.  Last time I mentioned it he kinda rushed me out and said that the objective was not to get me off the meds but give me some quality of life back.  I am prescribed 180 percocet every month, and told him that I do not take 6 pills a day for break through pain, and 60 opana.  I have pills left over every month and he still writes the same rx.  I am just so scared of becoming dependent on these things.  I don't feel great relief and if I tell him he just ups the milligrams.  I want to just try to get off everything and see how I feel.  I am just afraid of what will happen if I just stop taking them?  Any advice would be appreciated
Addiction and dependence on medication for pain control are two toatally different issues all together.
Myth number one....
Addiction is inevitable if opioids are taken long-term or in high doses—and the risk of addiction is very high for short term use.

"This myth stems from confusion about the nature of addiction. Many people believe that addiction is simply needing a substance to function—but if this were the case, everyone would have to be considered addicted to food, air and water.

“The reality is that addiction appears to be distinctly uncommon in patients without a prior history of addiction or a family history of addiction,” Portenoy says. In his own research on more than 200 patients treated with OxyContin for chronic pain over three years, no new cases of addiction were reported.

“Over 30 years, I’ve seen a few thousand patients with cancer and sickle cell [disease] and other [conditions], and less than five that I’m aware of became addicted,” Payne says."

Myth number two...:

Most people who get addicted to painkillers are “accidental” addicts who sought pain treatment and had no prior history of drug problems.

"More than three-fourths of the patients who had misused OxyContin in this national sample of addicts in treatment had never received a prescription for it.

Even having chronic medical problems—which includes chronic pain—did not increase risk for OxyContin addiction.

If you do not have a personal or family history of addiction—especially if you have never suffered psychiatric problems like depression, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and especially if you are middle-aged or older—your risk for developing addiction during pain treatment is “vanishingly low,” says Portenoy.

Here is an excellent article.... Please read it so you will have a better understanding.
I do not know if it is possible to become resistant to Ms Contin, also these hot flashes are the first signs of withdrawal from the Morphine (MS Contin) you cannot just stop taking the Morphine without taking Methadone for a day or two for withdrawals,( Morphine Sulfate/MS Contin is synthetic heroin),maybe this will help but you should definitely express these concerns to your Dr. Good Luck
Hi Dylan:

To answer your question about the hot flashes..Yes, I believe that the medication is causing it. I too have these. After reading the input here, I'm wondering if your Doctor will help taper you. There are medications out there that will make the transition somewhat easier than doing it yourself.

You are going to feel the effects of tapering no matter what but your Doctor can make it so much easier for you. I would suggest that you call him and make an appt. to discuss that possibility.

I also have to commend you for trying to go without. Indeed it will make your body healthier and you won't be so foggy. If you can do it then hooray. Learning to live with pain is a hard thing to do but if you really put your mind to it and the pain isn't to where your body can't stand it then yes, do it.

Take care and good luck Dylan,
Sorry I am a bit late with my response to you.

If you feel the medications are not effective than discuss that fact with your physician. As careful as you say he is, it sounds like he would be willing to wean you off them.

If you find once you are off them your pain is tolerable than wonderful. If you discover that you need something to ease your pain than you should have the option of taking something less potent.. What ever you decide we wish you well.

Please let us know how you are doing. We will look forward to your updates.

Take Care,
Thanks everyone for your feedback. Alicia, I got my share of very nasty responses. I think I told Molly about them. I told her how this other board I was on would NEVER allow someone to speak that way and if they did, they heard about it and their response got deleted. We all need each other and need tenderness and support. There is no reason for nasty answers when one is looking for help and already feels bad and then comes hoping for some gentle support but gets put down--I had that happen and it was like they were ganging up on me and to this day, I know I didn't deserve it.

I have tapered sucessfully and got off many pills, this is one that has been hard. Someone has this long thread about the horrors of ultram and I got off of it in a month and never had hot flashes. I even thought maybe it's just menopausal. Ultram was not the strongest but I never had any side effects and percocst makes me sick and I feel I haven't much of an option. I feel my doctor would make it harder for me. I know my body and heard how he does it and I would not do well. I will continue to pray and rely on my husband for support.

I don't believe ms contin is a synthetic, unless I'm mistaken I read it is morphine, period as opposed to percocet and vicodin.

I would never ct, never. I never said I did that.

I also never felt in a fog from it. Nor did I feel like I was in a fog from ultram. I felt more in a fog from flexeril, the muscle relaxer, I couldn't even drive!

I wish you all well and for taking the time to write. I believe in miracles and prayer and you are all in mine.

I am sorry you were offended by any advice you recieved here. Everyone that posts was only doing so to try and help you. There are many people here that have no choice and have to be in pain management and they do not like taking pills either but they have to in order to have some quality of life. It is fine if you feel thats not for you but for most here it is their only option.
You sound very defensive and I am wondering why as I said we were only trying to help.
There are so many people out there who have no help with their pain and they search only to find no assistence so when we do find the help we need we treasure it.
You do not have to take pills, thats your choice. I suggest talking with your doctor as I mentioned in my first post. He can/will help you get off all the medications and then go from there. PM is not about pushing pills to those in pain. I am sure your aware of this and being in the medical feild you know there is a shortage of doctors willing to treat chronic pain paitents.
Also as I stated in my original post you need to find the source of your pain. This is something that is very difficult as there are those who have pain and and have had all the test done and have no diagnosis. I do hope you will find the source of your pain but it is not always possible.
I wish you the best of luck and hope you find what your looking for.
The pain management community is a very compassionate community and everyone here just wants to help others in their situation. I have talked with Dylan several times by PM and really hope that I helped. Everyone makes mistakes and no one here is perfect either. But I must stress that all advice is given with the upmost compassion and respect for the person going through what they are going through.
I have always deleted responses that were not compassionate and that were not well meant but but I see none here. Every single post was made with the intention of helping the person who ask for advice. Advice is just that, you can take it or leave it. No one here is forcing any personal veiws on to anyone they are simply trying to help another person who suffers from pain.
I think your question may have been recieved incorrectly atleast by me Alicia. There are a lot of members who suffer from chronic pain and they are too afraid of treating their pain with opoids/narcotics because of all the negitive press. These medications are a godsend to many people and though they would rather not have to take their pills they do because they have a disease that requires medications.
I understand that you want to know how to get off of your medications and that your in the medical field. I was not aware that you were in the field and I apoligize for giving you information that you do already have.
As with any medication taken on a daily basis it is best to have your doctor help you wean off of it. Going cold turkey is dangerous and I would never recomend that. Your doctor will give you a schdule to go by and possibly another medicine just to help you get off the meds more comfortably.
Tuckamore is a great asset to this community and is also in the medical field and has been for many years so she is very knowlegble. She reffered you to the SA community because alot of the members there deal with pain also but do not take any medications such a narcotics or addictive medicines. They deal with their pain in many different ways besides taking pills and this is why Tuck reffered you there. She never insinuated that you were an addict or an abuser. I hope you understand this.
If anyone feels that a post is made without the upmost respect and compassion it deserves then please let me or Tuckamore know and we will look into it.
We want everyone here to feel comfortable and be able to get the information and support they need. If you feel your not being treated with compassion and kindness then please hit the contact MedHelp at the bottom of your page and tell Med Help how you feel and they will help you .
Again let me stress this is a kind compassionate very imformative community that has some awesome members that have been where you may be and can and will help all they can. I go out of my way to help each and every member here and I take my job here as a community leader very seriously and want every member to know they can contact me if they need anything at all.
Hi Sandee and all,

The last 2 posts were not directed to anyone. I left you a message. I do hope it wasn't for me b/c you have been nothing but kind to me. I agree, we are asking for advise and that's it. Sometimes, someone will say something and it will spark an idea and really helped.

I want everyone to know that I truely appreciate all your comments and the time you took reading them and responding. I am grateful.

I really hope that wasn't to me. I appreciated everything said and if something came out wrong, I apologize and only wish the best for us all.

BTW, it's my birthday and I want a good one and no hard feelings.

My blessings to all.  
I think I just answered my own question. Since I am not in the medical field, it can't be me.
Besides it's my birthday, u have to ne nice---only kidding.

The other night. I took only 1/4 less and I didn't feel the detox feeling but pain. So, it just might be a life long thing. One day at a time. Have a good day.
Hi Dylan,
I have sent you a PM explaining that the post was not directed at you. I just simply wanted to explain why were here and what we try to accomplish here in the PM community.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you have a great one:)
I haven't read your pm yet. Thank you for the birthday greetings. My body is going crazy. I never had problems with ultram. I am still on the ms contin and waking up as if I am detoxing. I wish I could just get off. I hate to be on any meds but to be on one that lets you feel like you are detoxing as soon as you get up is absurd. I wish I knew, I never would have got on this but this was the doctor's advise. They may mean well but often don't have the answers.
Thanks for listening. Have a good day.  
Hi Dylan,
I hope you had a great Birthday:)
I may have already suggested this in our discussions by Pm but have you talked with your doctor about other medication options?
I think I remember you saying the MS Contin worked well for pain control but the withdrawel syptoms (symptoms) are too much for you to handle.
there are numerous different extended release medications you can try. have you ever tried oxycontin?
I am also wondering if your waiting to long in betwen doses of the MS Contin. How do you take it, how does your doctor prescibe it to be taken. You may need to decrease the amount of time in between each dose.
If your taking it every 12 hours for example then maybe you need to go to every 10 hours or even every 8 hours. Of course do not do this on your own though ask your doctor what he/she thinks.
Please let us know how your doing and if we can help in any way:)
Hi Sandee,

I am doing terrible. There is no way I can detox. The ms contin is not taking care of the pain and now it's giving me detox feelings and I've stopped the little detoxing I was doing.

This doctor is not the best for pain control and ms contin is not the best for my condition. The ultram was weak but helped at times and never did I feel like I was detoxing.

Has anyone heard of such a thing? I can't live like this, I barked at my husband and he didn't deserve it. He is sick hiself but the ms contin helps him. It first helped me when I took it with the ultram than the dr. took away the ultram. I believe it's time for a change and realize I don't think I can live with my pain w/o anything.

Amy ideas? I can't take percocet btw.

Thanks so much.

And unfortunately b/c I felt so bad, my birthday wasn't very good.

Hi Dylan.

I have CRPS (Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome) and 3 years ago was put on morphine to deal with the pain. I stopped taking it due to the loss of all my coping skills and feeling like a useless blob. The withdrawals were like the worst flu imaginable, but they passed and I was able to learn biofeedback to deal with the pain.

My CRPS came out of a remission stage, the pain now back and worse then ever. I did not read all the responses but perhaps look into biofeedback, it really helped me a lot.

Gentle Hugs!

Thanks for taking the time to read my post and responding. I am glad it helped you. I never tried it. My original thread was I want off. I thought I could handle the pain with nothing and feel doubtful. I don't think the ms contin is for me but I know he would help wean me off. the thought of detoxing makes me sick. For some reason, even though I am taking the drug I feel like I'm detoxing. It is absurd. I was on ultram for about 2 1/2 years and stayed at about the same level and never felt like I was detoxing. I got off of it by myself in about a month. For the past few days, I have felt just awful.

I will probably make an appointment with him. I told him this on the last visit but I wasn't feeling that detox feeling, just that it wasn't helping much and mentioned going back to ultram.This happened another time, with another drug, I wanted off of and hesaid to wait, I waited and went back to say I still want off, in fact, I took myself off and thought he would be upset but wasn't.  
Dylan, I've just spent the last few minutes reading your posts and the resulting responses. My heart goes out to anyone who feels pain, because we are all so different in what works and even how we each perceive our pain. Heck mine is different every day and even at different times of the day. I, too, can't do percocet. It doesn't make my stomach sick; just makes my head funny. I should tell you I started to have severe pain in mid 1999. Had 5 operations for herniated disc between 2000 and 2002. Had one more cervical fusion in 2004, and was left with chronic pain in my left side radiating down my leg and my right side from my neck to my fingers. I've tried all kinds of remedies over the years because I didn't want to be addicted. I've started and stopped almost every pain killer out there. This year I finally relented and had an electric stimulator implant. I sooo did not want to, but eventually the pain killers do stop working, & I just did not want to increase my dosage any more. After adjusting to the electric pulses, I was able to cut my doses from 3 30 mg morphines and 3 hydrocodones per day down to one morphine in the morning. I find that if I catch the pain before it takes control, that is something I wouldn't do before. I always waited until I couldn't stand it and then tried to play catch up. Now, I am actually starting to exercise again (with the help of a PT), and even using weights again!!!(2 lbs). Learning to live life in moderation has been one of my biggest challenges. Accepting myself for who I am-pain and all- has been another. I know I've been long-winded, but I want you to know that you can be happy and at peace with yourself. My birthday wish for you is that it doesn't take you 10 years to do so :)
BTW, I am Not advocating elec stim; only saying what worked for me. And it took me 2 years to decide! I wish you peace, blessings and a pain-free week.
Cyn aka painintheas
Hi Dylan,
I just wanted to check in on you and see how you were doing. I do not know if I have asked you this before but have you discussed other options available to you with your doctor? Id he/she is not willing to listen and offer you another option then it may be time to look for a new doctor.
Chronic pain medications are great but unless you are taking the right one for you they can be more harmful than useful. there are so many different types with new ones being developed all the time. Have you tried oxycontin? As I said there are many different types and formulas so it is like a trial and error finding the right dosage and medication for you.
We all went thru this and while it is frustrating when you do find the right one and the right dose for you all the frustrating time spent finding the right one will have been well worth it.
I know you have said the ultram and MS contin regime was helping you, is the doctor against putting you back on this? I know also you were concerned about the addictive qualities of the ultram but to be honest if you need the pain relief and it sounds as if you will for some time to come you should think of controlling your pain and then when the time comes ( if it does) that you need to get off the Ultram then there are ways to detox from this medication comfortably with the help of your doctor.
Please understand I am not pushing to take something your uncomfortable with I just want you to understand that there is a difference between dependence and addiction.
If you had another disease such as say diabetes you would not hesitate to take the insulin you would need to control the disease and controlling the disease named chronic pain is no different.
No one here likes to take the medications we take but we have a disease that we must treat. there are many different options to control pain you just have to find the one that's right for you personally.
Please let us know how your doing,
Thank you Sandee and Cyn for your concern..I realized (like a jerk) why I was feeling so rotten and feeling like I was detoxing, even though I was taking the ms contin.
This is really dumb, but I had leftover ultrams and took one one day and then I think 2 1/2 the next. In the past, I got off the ultram and stayed off and one day my legs hurt and caved in and took some for 2 days and nothing happened, no bad reactions. My mind still isn't clear, but I told myself I could get away with taking 2 in a row and I think I took them for 3 days in a row and thus felt the detox. I know that was a bad idea and will never do that again. Si for I think 2 or 3 days, i felt sick and finally it went away and am very ahppy that I know it was me that did it to myself and not the meds nots working. For now, I'll stick to them but realize there is a good possibility I might be needing pills for I don't know how long. I am not happy about it but I have to face the reality. As much as I want to get off of them, I will have pain and I don't like the idea of living with pain and give anyone credit who can. I got off the uktram myself, just like I have other drugs--slowly tapering. I don't feel ready for it and physically I don't think it's the best idea.
I still can do some weights and exercising but it was most of my life and I miss the big workouts like crazy, but I have to except that I am fortunate to be able to do some.

I thought I mentioned, but maybe it was elsewhere that this doctor allowed me to take both ultram and ms contin. It did work great at first but soon lost that initial help, he even eincreased the ms contin but then I forget what happened, I think he wanted me to try cymbalta and I had to get off the ultram because of the ssris. Turns out that my insurance wouldn't pay for it and he gave me welbutrin, which did nothing and I just got off of it and when I asked to go back on the ultram he said that mixing them (the ms contin and ultram) could be dangerous--so I just let it go, figuring the less the better. Thank God it is basically bareable. I mean knowing how hard I worked out and how much I used to walk, that my son couldn't keep up, it stinks and knowing I have to be careful in the way I bend, twist, etc and can have bad nights, it's not fun. I am still praying for a miracle. But figure to stay put for now. Going through a detox after a few days of pills is crazy--but that's where I am right now.  

Thanks so much for the concern you show. I wish like I guess we all do--to turn back time. I think I know exactly when I got it, yet years prior I had leg and knee pains but worked out anyway.

So, I take it one day at a time and pray

You all be well, take care and I'll be in touch.
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