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680775 tn?1234875422

To Suboxone or not to Suboxone

Ok. Here's a little bit of history on me. I've been on oxycodone and oxycontiin approximately 60 mg a day for the last 3 yrs. I'm 42 and I had back surgery when I was 18 because of scoliosis. I'm fused from T1 to T11. I typically have chronic pain from the natural degeneration of the spine because of the postion of the curve. I'm tired of taking opiates and I'm scheduled to start suboxone next Tuesday afternoon under the guidance of my pain management clinic. I have some knowledge of suboxone. I've been on and off this website for the last year or two and I've read both good and bad things about the drug. I'm asking the members who have been on or have experienced the drug and can openly give me their thoughts on whether or not this is a good idea for me?


11 Responses
Avatar universal
Tough question.  So you are scheduled to start suboxone for pain management?  Ive heard it helps very little for pain and also heard it controls moderate pain pretty well.  It would be hard to guage for me as I did not take it for pain.  

Some of the benefits are: once a day dosing (it stays in the system a long time). One of the purposes of sub is to break the every few hour dosing behavior.  Once a day should do it..  

Very little craving for any other opiates (sub is a pretty powerful opiate, and floods your opiate receptors immediately.. after the first few weeks, most if not all of the cravings will go away).  

I never felt the typical 'high' from suboxone.  In the beginning, once I adjusted to it (initially it made me pretty sick) I thought it was great.

Some of the negatives: after a while, it really exhausted me.  I would nod on sub every day, but at the end of the day, I could never sleep.  It took a lot of life out of me.  And even though its once a day dosing, you are a prisoner to that once a day rule.

Biggest negative for me was becomming addicted to it.  Its binds quickly and tightly. Its a very difficult drug to quit after long term use, for some its impossible.  There are many people who are lifers on a low-dose of sub.  And that's ok too if that is what works for them.  Withdrawal from suboxone was the most difficult experience of my entire life.    
Avatar universal
Tonight I took my last oxy, I'm quitting cold turkey, I've been taking 120 mg chewing them daily for almost a year. I don't want to tell my Dr. Am I nuts to do this cold turkey? Should I take sub? I don't even know how to get it or does it only come from a Dr? Any advice or comments as to what I'm going to go through with wd, and when it will start?
228936 tn?1249097848
It sounds like you need strong pain meds and don't sound like a typical addict. I hate to say it but you would probably get better advice on the "ask the doctor " pain mgt. board. The other poster said it, sub isn't as good for pain and it has other drwabacks.
511524 tn?1266353534
if you are still dealing with severe chronic pain and if you really want to quite having to take strong/addictive pain medications just to feel normal then I think a short term treatment with suboxone would be best. It hasa  very long half life it last just voer two days and wd's are not as severe and take much longer to kick in, but it is generally alot eaier to manage than methadone or other opiates. Plus it is unique in that it is only partially a opiate agonist (the opiates that you can take to get high or what you took for pain relief,-oxycontin, fentanyl, opana, dilaudid,etc), but also has antagonistic properties which opiate antagonist are drugs used to stop an overdose such as narcan or maloxone. suboxone has 8mg of the main chemical buprenorphine (whicha s far as pain relief goes it is very strong and good for it, but doesnt have the addictive high like the oxies do) along with 2mgs of naloxone in it. the naloxone is only put in their as a deterrent to ppl trying to abuse the suboxone by shooting it up if you take the suboxone proerly the naloxone is ineffective letting only the buprenorphine take effect but  if you shoot it up youll be put into instant wds.
buprenorphine is 25% stronger than morphine on a mg to mg basis so it is quite stronga nd should sufficiently take care of your pain issues while at the same time get you off the addictive pain meds you were stuck on before. I think going on sub is a great idea for you and you can use it for a short period of time ( a 21 day detox) or if you still suffer from pain and will need something for it that would be the leeast likely to be abusable and addictive. I was on it for 9 mths. after being heavily and severily hooked on first oxycontin and then heroin. I was using huge amounts and as soon as i started suboxone I was able to sttay cleana nd focused and it worked marvelouslly. definitely talk to a doctor and a drug counselor and get good info from them as well it cant hgurt and always ends up being beneficial. hope that helped a little if you ahv anyother question at all let me know anytime- christos
680775 tn?1234875422
Thanks you guys for your comments.

I wasn't planning on using sub for any pain managment. If it helps with the pain, then great. I really just want to get off the opiods without the withdrawal symptoms. I honestly believe (today) I could go without opiods for my pain management. I just had a recent sciatic nerve injury and just got done taking prednisone and neurontin. For whatever reason the neurontin seems to be helping as well with the back. My plan for pain is to stick to anti-inflammatories if possible.
Even though I've been on oxy's for several years steady, I don't feel I have a craving for them. My body tells me when I've gone to long without the drug and I start to get the burning/skin crawling sensation of withdrawals that force me to want to take the drug to make it stop. Hopefully with sub I can get through these feelings and then off the sub within a 21 day time period.
I guess my next question is, because I'll be on suboxone for 3 weeks, how bad will the withdrawals be, (even with a taper) to try to come off of it?

Thanks again.

Avatar universal
Well Ive gone through many different w/ds from oxy's, methadone, suboxone along with other various opiates and benzos. In my own humble opinion being that your 60mg/daily dose isnt that high your best bet would be to quit cold turkey or figure out a tapering method to get down to a lower dose before you quit. The reason I think its a better option than suboxone is in my experience the bad w/d symptoms with oxy's last between 5-10days compared to suboxone w/d's that almost always seem to last for a longer period of time. Im not saying that suboxone would be a bad decision for you, but just remember that you have the option of just quitting the oxy on your own. It might be worth the effort of atleast giving it a shot on your own before you turn to suboxone, Ive had my run with opiates and while suboxone can be a great tool, it can also become just another problem. I wish you the best of luck, this forum can help you through the process regardless of the path you choose, but its great to hear that your ready for a change. Good luck and Take care!!!
Avatar universal
Sounds like you are doing your homework - - sub just never touched my pain - mostly cervical 3&4 and Lumbar/ Sac joints 1 &5 .......some DDD and scoliosis - things like that. And liver failure - but that doesnt currently hurt!  There are some good detox's with sub - - but also some poor choices. A Doc just has to take an 8 hour course to prescribe sub......some Docs pay attention in class and they do well. Some are recovering themselves and are quite good at everything, and they understand whats going on behind the lines with your addiction.  Some others should just find a new line of work. Dont feel locked into one - if it isnt a good fit, just be open and tell them that. And move on. Dont use the sub any longer than you planned on. 10 days is a good one.  Sub can be dangerous. But not as dangerous as continuing a life threatening narcotic habit!!  Nuerontin was used for peripheral artery disease originally - designed for diabetic neuropathy - and its okay for moderate pain.  Keep investigating - - you will find the answer - - probably a combination of you, your Doc, and a pharmacist will be the team that puts the winning points on the scoreboard for your team.  
228936 tn?1249097848
I think you would be better served on the pain med side as you don't appear to be an addict with no craving and not much withdrawal. It sounds like sub wouldn't be good for you  and you aren't interested anyway and methadone would be worse and there are no easy answers, so the narcotic specialists would best help you which are often anestigiologists. all the best
1335484 tn?1275617407
Can't you try to just taper off the oxy's instead of starting up with another pill to get off one? I'll probably be on meds the rest of my life. I have Crohns, Fibromyalgia, RA, Degenerative, spurred, bone on bone in back, spinal stenosis, curviture, neck is messed up as well, seems like I'm forgetting something. I am currently taking oxy, somas, xanax, and have a morphine pump implant oh and cymbalta which is supposed to help the fibro. You mentioned neurontin helped your back, I think if you were taking prednisone with neurontin is was the preds that were helping. Neurontin causes back pain, it did for me and it states so in side affects. I wish I could take Aleve or something like that. I've been on all different meds for 8 years. Marinol, Fentenayl, you name it. It *****!! Best of luck to you all....God bless...
Avatar universal
This is really interesting to me as I'm thinking of coming off my meds.  (I just posted a question about the Thomas recipe if I decide to go cold turkey.)

I had never heard of suboxone until I came on this site, and it's crossed my mind it could be beneficial to me to get off the oxys.  Like you, I never have a craving for them, nor have I ever ran out of them, overused them or anything like that.  I'm just tired of being on them.

I am afraid of withdrawals though because I know I'm physically dependent on them.  I am hoping to get an appointment with a pain psychiatrist to look into other ways to handle my pain, as I will always have it.  I've thought of acupuncture, meditation, and I figure he may have other ideas.  My hope would be to maybe use anti-inflammatories and if I had a bad flare up on occasion, maybe a low dose of Percocet or something.

I feel like the meds have changed my personality over the years and I don't like it.

I hope you'll keep posting and let us know what you decide about the suboxone and how it goes.
Avatar universal
I wish I saw this tears ago.  I have the same issue, doctors told me 7 years ago I was too young to stay on opiates and put me on this and never took me off.  I will never be normal again. This drug is my living hell.
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