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Avatar universal

So tired of tapering; thinking of suboxone

I've posted a bunch in the past about my issues.  Maybe some will remember.  I have been tapering down off a lot of narcotics I was taking for medical reasons.  It's been really difficult for me physically.  I'm at a point not that I'm taking 20 mg. of oxycodone every four hours.  This latest drop has been really hard.  It seems the lower I go, the harder it is physically for me.  At this dosage it isn't even making a dent in my pain and I'm having a bad flare-up of fibromyalgia on top of it (maybe rebound from lowering my dose??)  All I know is I am miserable.  I feel like I'm a hundred years old.  I don't want to go back up on my oxycodone.  My plan was to come off everything and reevaluate my pain and then make some decisions.  I use other things to help the pain, Voltaren gel, advil, etc.  But for the past week nothing is helping.  I can hardly move.  Sleep isn't good.  I'm crying for no reason.  I know that the majority of this is because I'm coming off the medications.  A friend who is an NP suggested suboxone.  I told her everything I've read here and that I'm afraid of it but she thinks it would get be a good idea.  She thinks I'd get off the oxycodone and I'd only have to stay on the suboxone for a very short time because I'm just trying to get rid of a physical dependence.  But I'm also at a loss of what I'll do with this pain when I come off everything.  I am planning on making some changes to help with the pain (looking to move to a ranch house where I won't have to deal with stairs and possibly moving to a better climate.)  But for now, I'm starting to lean to thinking about taking the suboxone.  I've been in withdrawal before and I know I can't physically take the withdrawals.  Tapering was okay but this last drop (not a big drop either) is leaving me in rough shape, both mentally and physically.  Has anyone had success with suboxone on a short-term basis?  I definitely don't want to take something even harder to get off.  What's the least amount of time you can be on it?
10 Responses
1580085 tn?1400944438
i do feel for you, you have done so well with the tapering. if the oxycodone isnt touching the pain anymore perhaps its time to just stop? that way you can sort out what is rebound pain and what isnt, i think sometimes tapering can be just dragging out the withdrawal symptoms, i have always thought from others experiences, that withdrawal fom suboxone is very hard, and a lot who have gone down that route have regreted it, although it has helped some? i really wish you well mellie, its a difficult one, but someone with more experience of suboxone  can hopefully push you in the right direction and help you to decide, take care and god bless.
Avatar universal
Thanks.  It is such a difficult decision.  I feel like the pain clinic has reached their limit with me.  I think they like it best when people just go along without asking too many questions.  But I think they really messed up with everything they had me on.  I'm considering going to my primary care doctor to ask for advice.  She's brilliant and has a lot of empathy.  She has followed my stuff to a certain point but I've never asked for her input.  If I go on the suboxone it will only be for a couple of weeks to get off the oxycodone.  I don't want to deal with withdrawing from anything else.  But them I'm still left with the pain.  I feel either way I'm in a bind.  If I take high doses of pain meds, I don't care as much, but I still have pain (and I also don't care about anything else.)  On the lower doses, the pain prevents me from doing anything.  I'm near tears and sick to my stomach from the pain.  But I do feel like mentally I'm in a worse place than I was before this journey began.  ANd I'm at the point that I don't trust the doctors anymore.  Just venting here.  (My pain doctor has told me to stay away from these kinds of sites ... which tells you a lot, I think.)
Avatar universal
Hi, i completely understand pain, i have it too, but you really could be having rebound pain.   As for your taper, i did a taper for 4 weeks and i promise you it was NOT easy by any means.   You will get WD's from a taper just not as severe.  You say you can't handle the physical WD but you can, that is just the addict in you talking.  You also mentioned that you just need to get through the physical WD, i am sorry to say the mental is even worse.  As for Sub, i highly suggest that you do not substitute one drug for another, you will need to get off of that at some point.  There is no easy way out here, I am sorry to say but there is no quick fix, believe me i wish there was.  Also, just be careful with the pain doc, because they make allot of money on Sub and they are quick to give you more meds, especially, since you are like me, and is a chronic pain suffer.  Please dont think that sub is a way out, it's not, getting yourself clean and managing your pain without opiates will bring you to a very happy place, even in pain.  I wish you nothing but the best, and i completely understand the situation you are in becasue you were me 6-7 weeks ago.
Avatar universal
I read some of your posts.  I'm so confused and making myself crazy.  I've been tapering from a bunch of things since around March.  I wound up in acute withdrawal in May and wound up in the ER.  I have a couple of other health issues that makes CT not advisable.  But I am feeling the withdrawals with the taper and I'm miserable.  I was very against suboxone after reading things here.  A friend who is an NP thinks if I only use it for a week or two I would be okay.  I've never misused my medications BUT I am still constantly thinking about them ... I can't stop thinking how much I want off them.  My pain clinic is annoyed with me because they want me to just take what they tell me but I don't like what the meds do to me. How are you managing your pain?  I am sure some of this is rebound pain.  How long does it take before I know what my real pain is?  I am sick to my stomach from the pain.  I am planning on calling my primary care tomorrow and getting her help with this.  She's a great doc and brilliant.  I trust her where I don't really trust the pain clinic any more.  I think they're all about the $$$.
Avatar universal
I understand CT doesn't work for you, me either, that's why i tapered.  I was on a boat load of meds, i dropped them all and then tappered from percs.  You will feel the WD's from the taper, absolutely, and you will feel the WD's from sub too.  I understand your friend is an NP, but she is probably not an addict and thinks it is the best route for you to take.  Please, understand, there is no EASY way out.  I did a 4 week taper and was miserable around week 2 when the dosage was getting lower and lower, the lower the dose the more WD i got.  Then after the 4 weeks i had to jump off of just  a half of perc a day and it was awful.  After tapper, the WD's did get worse for the first week and then i started getting better day by day.  Everyone is different, and it does depend on how much you use and for how long.  I was on an off due to surgeries for 15 years, so really i am 22 days clean probably for the first time in about 8 years.  As for my pain management, i go to PT and massage therapy, i ice everyday for the pain and swellening, and i take Aleve, and the doc prescribed me Celebrex.  I would have said 2 months ago that Celebrex would not even make a dent in my pain, but you know what it does.  As for the phantom pain coming off opiates, that does not last long, a week maybe.  I still am in allot of pain, i have to sit down allot rest and elevate my leg everyday, but that is the story of my life, and i am finally getting my life back and starting to really feel again without the opiates controlling my life.  Glad your going to your PC doc, hopefully she could help you.  Also, i was prescribed Clonodine for the WD"s that really did help allot, ask you PC about that tomorrow.  
Avatar universal
Thanks.  I am still struggling with whether I'm an addict or dependent.  Or does it even matter.  I only know I don't like where I am.  It's true the withdrawals get worse the lower the taper.  I've been on Clonidine for a while; they gave it to me to help with nerve pain.  What I've come off is Fentanyl, morphine IR, morphine ER, OxyContin, ativan.  Now I'm tapering the oxycodone but it is hell.  I have high blood pressure and a slight heart problem.  And I am having a lot of trouble with throwing up.  I have a really sensitive stomach and it seems like I get this bout of vomiting about once a week, which means I don't keep my meds down and the withdrawals get worse.  I also have stopped taking my ibuprofen because of my stomach and I know that's a problem because it did help my pain.  Maybe I should look into an inpatient detox and get it over with.  At least they'd monitor my blood pressure.  I am tired of feeling like this physically and my kids deserve better than this.  Thanks for listening.
Avatar universal
Hey girl, YES you are an addict, i hate to say it myself too.  But we are, i know its not fun to hear or want to accept it but it's true and once you understand that it will help you.  And dependent yes, thats because our body's are so use to the opiates and unfortunately these little demons are so dam controlling over our lives.  Wow, you have been on a ton of opiates, i have been on all of them with the exception of fentanyl and ativan.  Clondine, actually lowers your blood pressure and it's surprising it was prescribed for nerve pain, are you sure about that?  I suffer from nerve pain as well and was on Neurontin for the nerve, it did help but i had vision side affects that i didnt want to deal with.  I am so glad your going to your doc tomorrow.  Write all your questions down and talk to her about all of this, i am sure she can come up with a plan thats safe and effective that can work for you.  As for the vomiting, she can give you something for that too, i was on a anti nausea but sorry i forgot the name of it.  Let us know how your appointment goes, im curious what your doc has to say.  Best of luck, believe me i completely understand you:)))
Avatar universal
So do you not see a difference between dependent and addicted?  I'm not sure what I believe anymore.  I have never misused my medication in all the years I've been taking it.  I have always been afraid of addiction and have had hundreds of conversations with my surgeon, the pain clinic team and my primary care doctor.  All have said you won't get addicted and there's a difference between addiction and dependence.  But I'm not sure about that anymore.  I don't know how to deal with the pain; it's all-consuming.  But even when I was on the highest doses, Fentanyl 75 mcg. every 48 hours, 45 mg. oxycodone every 4 hours, 800 mg. ibuprofen ever 4 to 6 hours, I was still having signficant pain ... I just didn't care as much.  I've come off so much and I can't believe the lower I go the harder it gets.  And I wonder am I killing myself with this taper and increasing pain only to get to a place that I realize I really do need something for the pain.  What I was hoping for was to get to a place that I only had to take something as needed.  This is really confusing for me.  I thought of suboxone to get this over with and figure out where I am, but I'm afraid of that, too.  I've also thought of going to a detox.  I'm afraid of my blood pressure going too high.  (And Clonidine is sometimes used to treat nerve pain.  They put me on it about a year ago along with Cymbalta, which is also supposed to help with nerve pain.  I've tried Neurontin and Lyrica in the past but the side effects were too bad.  We may try Neurontin again.)
Avatar universal
Hi!   First off, don't get hung up on dependant vs addicted.  It just doesn't matter!  For the record, I don't think you're addicted...

I think going to your PCP with these questions is a good idea!  Have you researched Suboxone?  Do that,okay?  Sub comes with it's own set of problems, it's also addicting, and it needs to be tapered in order to detox from it. I don't see where that's going to vault you ahead!!  Talk to a doctor about it...Didn't you tell me a while back that someone suggested Methadone for you?  Taking Sub is along those lines.

The thing is, I think you're going to be on some kind of pain management for the rest of your life. (Just my opinion here...) And I think part of the problem is that you really don't want to be and your brain plays tricks with you. But, that's the reality for you and your condition,which is chronic. Am I saying this right?    I think when you accept the reality of your situation, it will be easier for you...I say that with good intentions because I hate to watch you struggle like this!!

I'm not sure if you'll find a doctor to put you on Suboxone short term, for pain...when used for addiction, it can be for 21 days including the taper,but most prescribe it long term.

Your situation is a little unusual and you need a bright,supportive doctor to sit down with you and make a plan.  What do you think?
Avatar universal
Thanks to everyone.  Especially a huge thanks to Vicki.  I'm hoping I'm not wearing out my welcome on this board.  You hit the nail on the head with my brain playing tricks on me.  I absolutely hate having to take medication.  I've never been someone that liked that altered feeling, even in my younger days when everyone was doing it.  I was always the driver and the one who just couldn't stand being out of control.

They brought me in for a lidocaine infusion this morning.  I must have sounded pretty pathetic because it's usually weeks to months to get a procedure.  I know my pain issues are real and severe.  (I had a worker's comp hearing last week and the judge ruled for me.  At least financially I'll get back on track.)

For now, I've decided to go along with what the NP and doctor at the  pain clinic have suggested, which is to stay on a low dose of the oxycodone.  The infusion today brought some relief and hopefully it will last.  If not, she said they're willing to do it once a week until they can get some of the nerve pain to quiet down.  She thinks I should put the medication out of my mind until I can quiet things down and then go from there.

I have been approved for six visits with a pain psychologist.  I had an introductory visit and he said pretty much what you did, Vicki, that I'm overthinking the meds.  And I need to let other people's opinions not get to me.  It's hard when people I love and respect just can't grasp chronic pain.  But at the same time I don't want to get too complacent because there are just too many people who've gone from treating their pain to addiction.

I don't know if suboxone is right for me.  I don't want to jump into a worse situation.  (It was my pain clinic that mentioned the methadone but I'm too anxious to try that.)  I'll bring in my PCP to get her opinion and see what goes on with the pain psychologist.  I have asked about other things like acupuncture, meditation, and an occupational therapist to see if they have suggestions on how to do things differently.

Thank you for all the suggestions.  Sometimes I'm slow to come around ... patience isn't my strong point.  All of you are amazing to me.  The guidance you give is priceless.  All of you are prayed for.

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