Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
32k Members
5005025 tn?1370790622

3rd day of Tramadol taper

I have weaned from 8 pills of Tram a day, now down to 3 a day, which is a dose i have been stuck at for over 6 months. I got what I promised would be my last script for Tram on Friday, and began my taper. I figured it out and I will be off the meds in 45 days total if I can continue to taper. I started at 1 pill every 6 hours.
Today was not so easy. Friday I did 7 hours between pills., Saturday 8 hours, today was 9 hours. I was able to do it this a.m and this evening, (by the time i hit send at 11 pm, i will have made it to 9 hours).  But midday, i physically could not get to 9 hours. I made it to 7 1/2 hours and could not stand it. I was so anxious, cold, with pain in my legs, restless. But I am focusing on the fact that I am back on track tonight, and the next 2 days, I will continue on the 9 hours between doses. My next drop to 10 hours between pills is on Wednesday.
Its weird, my last few tram scripts were for a different brand of tram,and it seems to work better (ie; last longer in my system) than the one I have now.. is that mental or what?
22 Responses
Avatar universal
Were they the same strength?  Are  you getting them from the same pharmacy, same doctor?  Not sure about any of that but just want to say great job on starting the taper and wanting to do this.  Stay strong - you can do this.  Keep posting your progress.
5005025 tn?1370790622
I order it on-line and it gets filled by a "local pharmacy" (ie somewhere in New England/east coast,) and it appears they rotate the pharmacies, so i got it this time from a different pharmacy from last time. I think its mental. I googled the pill markings and its def the same medication and same mg, (50 mg), its just a different manufacturer.
Yeah so far doing ok but already, from just stretching the hours by 3 between doses, its wiping me out. I spent all weekend in bed, no showers, nuthin', Just sleeping or watching movies to zone out, general aches and pains, sweats... try to ignore counting the hours. Supposed to work tomorrow. Will see how i feel.
Thanks for the encouragement.
470217 tn?1360568961
Hi and good to see you here :) I wanted to add that I found that Imodium offset at least the opiate-like withdrawals directly (diarrhea, restless legs, chills, some anxiety), so I used those here and there to see if I could make do with just that before I tried anything else. You may be surprised how much of the WD this addresses. Also try OTC stuff like Ibuprofen or Tylenol for the aches and pains. Good luck to you and keep posting!
Avatar universal
So far I am mightily impressed with the kratom I ordered.  Except for sleep, I have not had any other withdrawl symptoms so far.I've gone this long without tramadol before and I should be feeling miserable by now...runny nose, stomache issues, chills, shooting pain in my back etc.    I've been taking a lot of the kratom caps, but i am completely amazed so far.
4853587 tn?1360083566
I have some tips for your taper plan, but I am going to the store and will be back.

I have found the two physical tools that have helped me on the taper are:

- A diary/journal/log - This is where I keep track of everything (intake, feelings, thoughts, etc.)

- Two plastic seven-day pill minders. I use one to regulate daily intake, the other to calculate weekly intake.

I have found that I cannot bind myself to a strict intake regimen, mainly because we are all different and getting clean is not done by a formula nor what works for someone else. In other words, I remain flexible on intake AND how long this process will take.

For example, when I decided to get rid of my Vike addiction I initially thought I could be "down to zero" after two to three weeks. Going on four weeks now, it looks like I might be done in mid-March or close to April.

From MY experience and not knowing anything about your physical and mental processes, six months is a long time to be "stuck" (your word) or in a rut, so to speak. What I found is that I had to discipline myself to get to the next step (aka fewer pills). This is where my diary/journal comes in handy. By looking at intake each day and overall pattern I am motivated to do better each Monday (when my week begins).

I also look at my log to see when was my last intake and how much. Addicts are famous, (actually "notorious") for forgetting when was the last time they popped pills and end up taking pills because "surely it was six hours ago I took some pills" when it was actually three to four.

Where my log really helps is that at the end of the day I look at total intake and also take a count of remaining pills. (If the count does not comport with the previous day's count - less the day's intake - I know that I am either lying to myself, fudging on the numbers, or innocently forgot to log when I popped pills.

Bottom Line: You need to force yourself to go to the next level. Six months shows you are being complacent, and maybe "resting on your laurels" because of your reduction from # 8 to # 3 daily (which is great progress, by the way).

All that said, IMO you need to pace yourself at a rate that makes you feel comfortable. The way you are doing it is fine, IMO, go a few hours longer between intake. Each intake try to make the next one a few more minutes to an hour longer. Eventually you may be able to work your way to two pills, then one pill and next thing you know you don't have a need for any pills.

In regards to your question about pill differences, it could be "mental" as you say, or it could be that you were taking the pills under different physical circumstances (on a full or empty stomach, before exercise, diet change).

But it also could be quality of production, purity, standards, etc. To be sure, that's why brand name pharmaceutical companies argue why you should take their more expensive product, they say "we have better quality control" or whatever.

There may be some validity to their arguments, especially when I heard on the news that a small spring water company was trying to compete with the big boys. One way they did it, instead of the advertised mountain spring water they were selling, they filled jugs with local tap water. The way they got busted is that elderly people started getting sick from the tap water.

And then there's gas stations who get busted from time to time for watering down gas before it is pumped to consumers' cars.

So might there be a difference between pills, depending on company? Maybe.
4522800 tn?1470329434
Good point on the water and the gas. We have a station that we do not go to any more because it was H2O in the gas, but the lake by it could be leaking in too....LISA Good posting above..Keep up the good work whatever it may be...
God Bless
Avatar universal
Hey Lisa - hope you are having a good day and that you got some sleep last night??  I started ordering the trams online a few years ago to supplement my regular doctor's script because I was running out before my next refill was due (my daily dose increased over time to well exceed what I was being prescribed by my Dr).  There were a few times that the pills were from different manufacturers as you have described.  It's weird now that I think about it though; it happed to me (more often) a few years ago.  Most recently going back maybe a year (?) up until I quit on December 1st, they were always the same exact pills.  So it kind of happened in the reverse of what you are experiencing now.  IDK - there seems to be a lot of change going on w/the whole online pharmacy thing lately.  I know they have increased prices & reduced quantities available for purchase; and have changed shipping policies.  The very last online order I placed did not ship (for what reason I never knew), but it did cause me to do a c/t right then, as I was left with only a few pills and no other way to get any for 5 days.  Now, approaching 100 days clean I thank God for that fact every single day.  But I sure as h*** wasn't to happy about it the moment the realization hit me that they weren't coming!

Regarding the tapering, I do agree with Jordan about the fact that everyone is different and how/when you work your plan is totally a personal choice based on your situation.  I also am a fan of the journal idea as well.  No matter how you do it (# per day or # of hours in between doses, etc.), or even in a cold turkey detox, seeing yourself progress over a given time (day, week, etc.), is going to motivate you to keep going.  

I have always highly respected those that can do a taper and stick to it.  I could NOT.  If the pills were around, I took them.  I would try to map out a plan but then would obsess about and over analyze it until I got so frustrated I just took the rest of what I had and said I would start again the next week, month, etc.  I did that for 8 years.  In my opinion, how you do it has to work for YOU - what matters is that you just do it.  The fact that you have gone from 8 pills per day down to 3 and held it there for so long is AMAZING and shows your commitment to wanting to be clean!  Try not to stress so much about exact #'s, times, days and the w/d's to come .  Even with a slow, slow taper, you are going to have to have to go to zero at some point and there will likely be some discomfort.  You have come SO far and I know you want this SO bad.  You can handle this.  Regardless of exactly what day it happens, once you have taken that last pill, the physical withdrawal that occurs IS temporary . . .

Keep it up and keep posting your progress . .. I'm pulling for you :))
Avatar universal
Lisa I took 4 to 5 a day for 4 years. Decided to stop after reading this forum. I did not abuse them but even at 4 to 5 a day it was very uncomfortable to stop mostly at night.  The last 50 mill was the worst, I tapered down in about 3 weeks.  Try gatorade and bannanas at night it really took the edge off the rls unfortunetly not the restless arm syndrome. I Take alieve for aches and after off tramadol took st johns wort 3 times a day.  I am on my 4th day feel better. I know night will come and the symptons will start again but bearable. I also tried restless legs from walgreens not sure if it was all the gatorade and hylands rls  together but it helped.  I cold turkey went off lexapro this reminds me of those withdrawals minus rls.  Good luck and dont give up, taper is the key still not easy but worth it.
Avatar universal
I meant taper is the key if you can.  I noticed to it got harder and harder to get them online. I wonder what happened then it started coming usps instead of fedex,  just did not trust the senders anymore, i started takeing for severe dental issues then like the energy boost it gave. Hated the sweating and worrying iif I left the house without them.  
Avatar universal
Completely agree - totally a personal choice on the method; just want the same end result - freedom from Tramadol.  I lived it - the online pharmacy experience got pretty weird for sure; I started due to back problems then became supermom; and then they eventually took over my life.  Best thing we ever did to get off them right? . . . . congratulations on the 4 days!!!  It should get better for you every day from here.  
4853587 tn?1360083566
OK, back to manning my imaginary post in here.

Another thing about my self-administered taper, what has really helped me is making the situation as comfortable possible. What that means, if I feel a PHYSICAL WD funk coming on, I take a pill, albeit I do NOT use the slightest physical discomfort as an excuse to take a pill. The fine line of thinking this thorough is determining what is actual PHYSICAL WD funk versus popping a pill for the wrong reasons (normal, everyday frictions and controversies, stress, a buzz).

The ONLY time you should be taking a pill is if you are physically STARTING to suffer. If pill popping because you just got off the phone with a bill collector, or your mom called you a POS drug addict, those are NOT sufficient reasons.

Another reason NOT to take a pill, as a "reward" because you have gone an hour longer between taking pills. That's actually a lame reason to take a pill.

I could go on and on, but finally, another example of when NOT to pop a pill, because according to your pill minder it is "PILL TIME." I use a pill minder as a guide. It is not a rigid regimen. If you don't have physical WD symptoms at the scheduled time for a pill, don't take one. Delay taking it or don't take it at all. (And make sure to complete your "pill log" and write in your journal what you are feeling. I have found my diary very helpful in my personal getting clean journey.)

Note: Many times on my taper plan I caught myself about to take a pill for all the WRONG reasons. I have at times spit out the pill and placed it back into the pill minder. I then called myself a stupid ssɐ for taking the pill, but then gave myself the Medal of Addiction Honor for spitting it out. Yeah, my mind is quite conflicted. But for looking in a mirror and seeing where my head and ssɐ are actually located I would not know which way is up.

Anyway, there is no correct or proper way to do all this. There's those people who believe the only way to cast out the Satanic Norco Master is to go cold turkey and soldier through a week or longer of WD pain. (That reminds me of the movie Platoon, where Tom Berenger tells a screaming wounded soldier about to die "TAKE THE PAIN, TAKE THE PAIN." The soldier stops screaming then passes. You will see many comments in here where the sum and substance of the message is take the pain.)

I'm no wuss and have endured my share of physical pain, and I mean "wish I was dead" pain (e.g., when in the military and in the field doctors had to stick a horse-sized needle and syringe into my stomach region to remove infected fluid. Four big orderlies held me down, the doc gave me a piece of wood to bite on, and he said "this is going to hurt like hell." Then he dug around in there for what seemed like an eternity. I SCREAMED so loud that when I looked around the other patients were white as calcium deposits and looked at me like I was the grim reaper who was going to dish out what I just got.)

I digress, forgive me.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the Academy, the dean of the university, my parents, and two dogs for their support... oh wait, wrong speech.

Seriously, the three times I went through CT WD symptoms (because I ran out of pills before refill day), I determined in late January that a CT WD regimen is NOT for me. I also opined to myself that when I have days where intake is # 6 pills instead if #5 or # 4, that's OK. I don't consider myself a failure, I don't consider myself to have relapsed. That is just a "getting clean" program that is particular to me.

I acknowledged within myself that there's going to be some days where I will have # 3 pills intake, others where for whatever reason I take # 6 pills. On those # 6 pill days I say to myself that the next day I will endeavor to get back on plan and I actually do. (Part of what motivates me is that there's no way I want to go in reverse, increasing dosage over time. I would actually be really mad at myself if I was back to taking # 12 10/325 Vikes daily.) What's interesting is that when I think about it today, I can't believe I was taking # 12 Vikes daily (# 3 at a time, every four to six hours. And I also used to think that if I made it six hours before popping # 3 Vikes "I'm not an addict because I can go 6 hours without popping # 3 pills." Such is the warped logic of addicts. That kind of flawed thinking processes does not fly on a getting clean plan.

Nowadays if I take # 6 Vikes I consider that a HUGE number of pills. I am now down to taking # .5 or # 1 pill at a time, # 1.5 pills rarely.

This is a roundabout way of saying that YOU should feel proud of yourself for getting down to # 3 pills daily. Now work on the WEEKLY goal of getting down to # 2 daily.

That's all I got for now, I have to walk the dogs. Those fur bearing creatures are addicts too. Their demon is Evanger's "Hunk of Beef" canned dog food. When I told them they too had to taper off the Evanger's they attacked me during my slumber. Now I have to sleep with one eye open.
5005025 tn?1370790622
First of all, Jordan, screw the Academy, thank YOURSELF for your wonderful performance! I really enjoyed your post and got alot out of it. (a good laugh as well!) Your theory about taking the pills ONLY when in physical wd, without thought of "its reward time, pill time, my mom makes me use time, etc" made tons of sense to me. And you are correct, I did get complacent at the 3 pills a day dose for months... I was exhausted by my taper from 8-3, but thinking about it,  I mainly accomplished that when I stoppped automatically taking 2 pills at a time every 6 hours to dropping to one pill as needed to stave off the WDs. I went from 8-3 in a two weeks or so. Now if I take 2 pills too soon together, my blood pressure goes up to a point that my head feels like it will explode. I don't know how I did it!

I am finding sticking to a strict 9 hours between doses difficult at one point each day, usually at night, but today it was midday, at work. I was restless, could not sit still, legs cramping, and irritable as hell, and at 8 hours I had to admit my body was not going to shut up and let me work. The morning 9 hour dose was fine because I slept those 9 hours away, and tonight, I am already feeling squirrelly and i have 2 hours to go. I will wait until i am sure this is not mental and try to make it to 9 hours anyway. I am afraid that if i don't taper by an additional hour every 3 days, I am going to run out before I am done tapering and be in a full CT situation. I don't think I can do that. I am not good at suffering. Sainthood and me, not a match.

My fear is that I will not be able to get another shipment. The last time they would not ship to NYC. I had to ship to my mom in law in NJ, and had to get hubs to pick it up. He was not thrilled. So the pills I have left have to  last me until I am off.  I have no idea where I would ship to next time if I had to.
Anyway, an hour and a half to go, and I feel like your dog's doodoo. I am disappointed that i may not make it to 9 hours again tonight. But grateful to hear how tapering worked for you. I am relying on saner minds (ok, maybe not saner, but more experienced?) to prevail and help me in this trek though the drek.
I see that this may not take exactly 45 days, that I cannot be perfect, but I am proud that I have not taken any pills for any other reason then I cannot stand one more minute of the withdrawals. I see the progress.

Avatar universal
Hello everyone, I am so happy to have this forum to look forward to every day  now.  First of all, I want someone to help clarify something for me...last night I posted something regarding my use of kratom for withdrawl these past few days.  I received a note from the forum saying I am not allowed to discuss tapering doeses etc.. and they deleted my post.  I see lots of talk about tapering and other things on this forum so I am a little confused.  Could somebody clue me in on this?

Also, today is day three with no tramadol!  I must say I have been inhaling the kratom capsules, but I swear to God in heaven I have not been having withdrawl sypmtoms from the tramadol except for the sleep issues.  Last night I took the 4 tramadol pills I had saved so I could sleep better than the night before and it worked very well.  i woke up rested and had no other withdrawl symptoms from tramadol  I am concerned, however, about how I would be feeling without the kratom.  I am also concerned with the fact that I am taking handfuls of capsules.  I think subconciously I am hoping for some kind of a rush, but it never comes.  I am thanking God in heaven that  I have finally found some freedom in regards to tramadol withdraw.  I am an addicts, and I know I still have many issues to overcome aside from the drug itself, but I have been so extatic lately just in sheer realization that I am NOT bound to the tra.madols the way I have been thinking I was.;  I had literally felt handcuffed to tramadol and now I feel some hope.  

Thanks guys so much for all your support and just for listening and understanding.  Its good to have friends and I feel as though I've just made some new friends
Avatar universal
I agree, I could never stick to a taper plan..I always gave in.  I, too, ordered a lot of my tramadol from online pharmacies and around Christmas there was a big mess with all of them.  Tramaedol wasn't available for a couple weeks and now you can't get 180 anymore you have to pay just about thesame price for 90 now.  Thats part of my reason for simply having to get off them I cannot afford to keep doing them,  I couldn't afford it when they were 180 for a hundred + dollares and now I REALLY can't afford 90 for the same price.
Avatar universal
Going on my 5 th day without, tough 4th day for me. Tired, stuffy,, terrible night off sleep last night. Weird pain in my upper arms like a soft ball inside pushing out. Dont know how to explain.  I think back I wondered why I took them for so long, I never tried to stop before last friday. So glad I did.. I worked mon and today and hopefully tom will be better. Good luck to all
5005025 tn?1370790622
you are a tough one! working while in wds! Keep on going, u are amazing. Proud of you!
5005025 tn?1370790622
Just checking in. I had 2 bad days where i could not get to the right amount of hours between doses at least one dose a day, and I felt like a failure and worried that I was not going to be able to do this. But I persisted, and I am happy to say that i did great last night, & today, and I made it 10 hours three times in a row. I looked at my taper schedule & i am actually on target, as I forgot that I gave myself 6 days to do the 10 hour dose. I figured getting to the 2 pill a day mark (down from 3) would be hardest when I wrote the original plan. I have until Monday eod to keep this 10 hour dose before I am supposed to go to 11 hours. Glad I wrote this plan out, as my brain is not working at its best!  I took everyone's advice, I write down what time i took my pill & make sure that its because i feel physical wd. I got feedback that as long as i am still going in the right direction, i may not be able to do it exactly perfect every day. I get that now. The body sure can scream when it wants its meds! its crazy. But i am feeling a bit stronger that I can keep doing this, it may just take a little longer. My husband told me he was proud of me so far. THANKS TO EVERYONE who took the time to post a word of advice or encouragement, it means the world to me right now. Please let me know if I can return the favor.
4810126 tn?1503946335
Dear Lisa,
               Ah, a fellow New Yorker! - though I live in Boston now. Congratulations -- A huge high five to you. Sounds like you're doing well and you've got support at home. Stick with it - even if you slip up - just pick yourself up and dust yourself off -- as you said "as long as you're going in the right direction". Keep coming back. It's really helped/is helping  me and a lot of others.
                       All good things to you and yours
Avatar universal
14 days tommorow. Feel good most of the time,  some nights still not great but sleeping 8 hours.   Hope everyone Is well .do I miss tramadol? Maybe I have alot of pains that I hope are from me not taking them and hope temporary.  Back pain, side pain,  just pushing threw
470217 tn?1360568961
You're doing great!

One thing: When I was pushing time between doses, I would break up the dose and take half of it in between. Since the half-life of Tramadol is 6-ish hours, pushing 9 hours is understandably difficult.
4804873 tn?1360166137
Loved your post and how you went about tapering. I'm tapering now and you hit it right on the head! I like how you said " don't take a pill just because its pill time on your taper." I had that happen, it was time for my dose and I was actually busy and missed it and that actually got me down .5 mg more for the day, and I've stuck to that dosage now as its tolerable. I would've never known that I would be ok with a bit smaller dose had I just taken it to " take it."
Avatar universal
I agree.   thats how i did several of my decreases...getting busy and not stopping to take it.  
i think also for me, it's about breaking a habit to take a pill every so often
Have an Answer?
Top Addiction Answerers
495284 tn?1333897642
City of Dominatrix, MN
Avatar universal
phoenix, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Is treating glaucoma with marijuana all hype, or can hemp actually help?
If you think marijuana has no ill effects on your health, this article from Missouri Medicine may make you think again.
Julia Aharonov, DO, reveals the quickest way to beat drug withdrawal.
Tricks to help you quit for good.
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.
How to lower your heart attack risk.