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1070971 tn?1299614110

Vicodin withdrawal questions

I stopped taking my script of Vicodin 5 days ago. I was taking 2- 2 1/2 a day due to back pain. I used to take them off and on but the last couple of months my back pain has gotten worse. Just typing this I am in severe pain but I am dealing with it. I made the decision to stop since I realized the Vicodin was not working anymore and I did not want to be an individual that ends up taking a huge amount. I thought only individuals that take a huge amount go through withdrawals.....boy was I wrong. Since I was taking it for a long period I am getting them too. I had a upset stomach for a day, depression (I hate the depression and I will not take depression meds. I took Wellbutrin for 7 years and stoped last year and have severe withdrawals for a month and a half), insomnia (I can't even go to sleep so the doc gave me Ambien-  I don't want to get addicted to that), I am sooooooo irritable.....etc. I have no desire to take another Vicodin so no worries with me. I just want to be back to normal and enjoy life agin. I have two young children that need my attention all the time which makes it hard. I called my doctors office to talk to him today about alternative things for pain and my bought of insomnia and I got the worst news. The nurse practioner quit and they are finding a replacement for my Dr. He must be very ill. I kind of feel frustrated. Can someone give me an idea of when this will end especially the insomnia? Not getting sleep makes the depression worse. Thanks for listening!
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1218318 tn?1266808601
Good for you! Calling your doctor is the exact move to make on the Ambien issue. None of us are MDs on this site as you well know. He'll advise you on what to do for sleep and address being on it for more time than they recommend on the instruction sheet. Hope you can get in to see him tomorrow.
  
I'm now down to a very small amount of Ambien per night, as per my taper schedule, and I indeed take Valerian Root, Melatonin, and Chamomile to supplement. I didn't know anything about Valarian until i signed on to this site and started reading. It's good stuff it seems. Lots of people recovering from WDs have taken it and have noted it on this forum. I actually take Yogi Tea (contains only 20mg Valerian) and Melatonin along with my alloted ambien dose at bedtime. I always wake up at 4AM if I'm lucky to sleep that long, then I take one Valerian cap which gets me to 7:30AM or so. I now plan to look up your Alteril just for my own information. I'm open to learning about anything non addictive to help me sleep while i go through this withdrawal.

I wish you luck with everything you're going through right now. I know what you mean about no end, but please believe there IS an end. With the help of your doctor, you will get there and be happy and free.
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Avatar universal
Hi~ The Alteril should really help you. Take it and have a hot bath then right to bed!
You'll feel better after some sleep. You're almost there!

Vicki
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1070971 tn?1299614110
I got some stuff from GNC the other day called Alteril. I think I will try that tonight instead of the Ambien. I don't want to get addicted to Ambirn. It has Trytophan, Valerian Root, Melatonin, and Chamomile as the main ingredients. I hope this works. I don't like the daytime drowsiness and forgetfulness I am having with the Ambien. Wish me luck on the insomnia tonight!
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1070971 tn?1299614110
I thank you for the advice on the Ambien. I feel like I am in a vicious cycle right now. I slept fine on the vicodin. Just when I stopped I got insomnia really bad. I tried all the over the counter remedies and they did not work. I am in the stage of depression right now from the vic withdrawal. I know if I get no sleep the depression gets worse. It feels like there is no end. I don't know if I should just try not taking it but no sleep for several days. Every time I don't take ambien I can not get even an hour of sleep. I have to work every day I am going through this from now on and take care of my kids. I just don't know what to do with the sleep issue! I wanted to talk to my doc today and found out that his office is closed and he may not be returning.
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1218318 tn?1266808601
I can really relate to you. Good solid advice above. Does the original pain outweigh the side effects from opiates? In my case the vicodin and ambien combination created much more of a mess in my life than I really knew I had going.

I started out slowly on VicodinES because of a herniated disk. Vicodin has a tolerance level and it took more and more to help ease the same pain. My doctor also gave me ambien to help me sleep with the pain, which woke me up all the time as my disk swelled at night. Finally ESI treatment from the pain clinic started helping me out, but by then I had become addicted to the vicodin. I didn't give the 10MG generic Ambien a second thought, even though the instructions said "use no longer than 10 days, can cause withdrawal symptoms and rebound sleeplessness".

Becoming dependent on an opiate is to be expected, that's what it does when used on a regular basis, and there is no way around it. And when we stop we get withdrawal symptoms, no way around it. I went through what you're going through, maybe a bit worse. It took 6 days to feel so-so, and by 10 days it was pretty much over, although the cravings hit every now and then. I participate in my recovery & have taken positive steps with aftercare because I'm done with taking vicodin and wanted my life back. I still have back pain and disk problems all over but have learned how to live with them. I'm not getting any younger.

It's the Ambien withdrawal that completely blew me away. It's a short acting non-benzo hypnotic drug. If you take enough of it, for long enough, it produces intense withdrawal symptoms that effect the same brain reactors that drugs like Xanax effect. I had no idea. They don't tell you on the instructions that if you take it long enough you'll need to go on a long taper program to get off, just to avoid the full withdrawal. Once you're off your sleep will be messed up for quite awhile. I took much less than prescribed for 8 months. Mostly 7.5 MG a night. I've now been tapering for 10 weeks, about to end the ordeal, but sleeping very little right now. My sleep cycle has been completely ruined so far.

Be careful. REALLY research this drug. It's no fun to withdraw from. topix (dot) com has some forums going when you search Ambien on their site. Read parts of the longest forum - over 200 pages of posts.

If I can help one person to avoid going through what I'm going through, I've had a good day. I wish you the best.
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Avatar universal
If you have been off of them for 5 days the worst is over but being in constant pain makes it really hard I imagine since it sounds like you need them.  The good thing is that it sounds like you were taking them responsibly and only for pain management and not chasing a high which some say makes it easier to quit and the withdrawal isn't as severe. I tried Ambien when I was in the middle of withdrawing (2-3 day) from junk and it didn't put me to sleep just made me feel worse if possible but at that point I was willing to take almost anything.  Same with Benadryl.  Valium helped a little bit I guess.  Clonidine supposedly helps but I couldn't get a scrip for it.  Imodium is an otc opiate that can help with some of the stomach problems but not much else really.  But your physical symptoms should be about over anyway which was always the worst part for me - now you just have to fight craving it for a while but that will pass too I promise.  Good luck
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1070971 tn?1299614110
I thank all of you for your support. I stayed home today since I was in so much pain with my back. I know everyday will be a better day. The depression has bothered me alot today. Just been crying off an on all day. I am very lucky that I have a wonderful husband and two great children. They give me the strength to get through this. In regards to the insomnia. I tried alot of over the counter stuff and it has not worked. That is why the Ambien. I found something at GNC that might help. I am going to try it Friday night so in case I do not get sleep I only work a half  day on Saturday. I guess I have to try not to beat myself up over this. I am a bit critial of myself at sometimes.
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Avatar universal
I was taking about 10 lorcets a day. I have been doing that for over a year now. It starting affecting everything in my life, my fiance and I were fighting about the money that I spend on them. I get a prescription for 60 a month, but they always ran out in about 5 days, so I would have to buy them off the streets, which gets expensive when you are taking as many as I was. I knew that I had to quit. I cried for two weeks before I made the decision to quit because Iife was getting bad. I wanted to quit, but I was terrified of the WD. Everytime I got that twitching feeling I would go take one, especially if I was at work because I lost all motivation when I didn't have one. It literally felt like I could not move one foot in front of the other. I hated it. Last Monday I came to work after taking my last 2, by 9 am I was in tears because I had no more, and no money to get any, and it was two weeks before I could get my prescription filled. I don't know what happened or if I was just that tired of dealing with everything that comes with it, finding them, going to get them every other day, asking my parents for money to buy pills that would be gone the same day, fighting w my fiance about how much control it has over me. I wake up thinking about lorcets and I go to sleep thinking about them.
But last monday around 10 am, I decided I was going to do what I had to to quit. I do payroll at a very reputable manufacturing company, so I have a good job. I asked my boss if I could talk to her, I decided to tell her everything. I also called my mama. I was trying to get all of the support I could. I took one week off, I knew I would not be able to do it while trying to work too. I started twitching that night, it was miserable. I wanted some so bad I could hardly stand it but I did. The twitching, night sweats, not being able to sleep at all, diarrhea, lack of energy and motivation to move, and everything else lasted about five days all together. It was bad, I look back now, and I am so proud of myself. I did it. Each day gets a little better. just a little though. yesterday was my first day back at work clean, and it was hard. It's been a long time since I haven't had them to help me through my day. I can't wait for the day when I feel good, just being normal. This is my 9th day clean and I plan on staying that way. i DO NOT want to go back through what last week brought. That is my motivation. Just sharing my story because I know there are other people going through the same thing, helps to know that.
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Avatar universal
Sorry to hear you're going through this.  I, too, thought if I followed what the doctors said and only took what they ordered, I'd never get withdrawals.  Hah!  I'm a little annoyed because I do feel I was misled.

But back to your problem.  As far as sleep goes, did you stop taking the Ambien or is it just not working?  You can try melatonin (it's natural.)  I've tried it and it helps, though some people say it doesn't do anything and others think it's great.

I've only had Vicodin a couple of times and don't know much about it, though I'm sure someone who is knowledgeable will come on with some suggestions.

Did both your nurse practitioner and the doctor leave your practice?  They must have someone covering for them!  They can't leave all their patients in the lurch.  Do you see a pain specialist?  If not, considering your severe back pain, you may want to check into what a pain clinic can do.  I go to one, and they have a lot of different treatments, not just medication.

In the meantime, you can try to treat your symptoms.  Advil helps with muscle aches.  Not sure if you tried the ThermaCare patches for your back before.  They are fantastic.  They heat up and last for about six or eight hours.  It really does help with muscle aches and pains.

Good luck.  I hope you find some help.  There is also a pain management forum on here that you may get some answers from as well.
Helpful - 0
271792 tn?1334979657
Hi & Welcome,

It is different for everyone so it is hard to say, but it normally last 5 to 7 days. The good news is that you were not on a high dose and you were not on them very long so it should not be much longer before you are up and about.

Be very careful about what the doctor gives you as an "alternative". Before taking them, ask here and let the members share their experience. Best to be armed.

In the meantime, take hot baths and relax. Stay hydrated and exercise if you can. It all helps. Hang in there and post anytime you have a question.
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