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quitting suboxone with percocet

I was on suboxone for 4 years (about 8mg per day at first and tapered down to 1mg).  Here comes the tricky part...under the supervision of my addiction specialist, I switched to oxycodone and think it will be easier to come off that that the dredded subox.  Subox is 30 times mg per mg more powerful than oxycodone.  And with its half life, it is like taking 30 mgs of percocet but never coming off of it for 24 to 36 hrs.  That is a lot of percocet to fill those shoes.  So far so good with the percs.  On day one I took 14 5 mg oxycodone.  Today, one week later I am down to 8 5 mg pills.  Next will be dropping one per day.  By next week I should be taking one a day for the extreem withdrawals.  Has anyone attempted this before?  If I get down to one 5 mg oxycondone per day....can I avoid withdrawals?
41 Responses
199177 tn?1490498534
its me your doctor is helping you get off subs with oxys? Did he tell you to take 14 in one day ? There will be know no way to aviod wds sooner or later your going to have to go threw some tapering will help a bit but will not get rid of them altogether .
271792 tn?1334979657
Hi,

I don't understand. Did you take the Suboxone to get off of pain meds 4 years ago? Now you are taking pain meds to get off of the Suboxone?

I am not trying to be rude, just trying to show you that it is a vicious cycle and it will continue. The Oxycodone is highly addictive and I am concerned what you will do when you are done with those.

I doubt you will avoid withdrawals. You have opiates, in one form or another, in your body a long time. It is inevitable. Have you ever tapered before?

I wish you the best and hope you keep posting and let us know how you are.
3 Comments
I've been on suboxone for 15 years. Its 100 times more addictive and the withdrawals are so bad that your better off using percocets and tapering off them
Thanks for that input.  I take it you have tried to get off.  Rough.
That is what I am doing... Using Percecet for 12 days, max 10/day, now at day  7 I am taking 8 per day.. I thought I could drop more but the half life of Sub being so long I still have it in my system, so w/d from it is still happening.   I will switch to Tylenol #3 next Tues..  I can honestly say I hav e not felt good from the Percs at all..  I'm just okay.. I'm not in w/d's.. and it will easier to get off the Tylenol #3, than the Suboxone.  

Are you thinking of getting off the Suboxone Nrsoto ?
Avatar universal
Ditto avisg and ibkleen.  You will have WDs no matter what.  Maybe I missed it, but why didn't your doc just taper your suboxone down to a crumb and then stop?

Good luck and let us know how you are doing.
Avatar universal
I am confused too? You tapered down to 1 mg of sub and your addiction specialist wanted you to take 14 5mg of  oxy's a day. Makes no sense at all to me and stange, but i may have read this post wrong.
222369 tn?1274474635
I thought the Harrison Act made this illegal. There are only two medications currently allowable to be prescribed for opiate dependence..methadone and buprenorphine. To me, prescribing oxycodone to help detox off of Suboxone is a slippery slope.
495284 tn?1333894042
COMMUNITY LEADER
Is your addiction specialist doing anything else but putting you on pills?  
Avatar universal
HI im a bit confused to are you prescribing these to yourself ?? if so be careful I see you tapering off but your going to run into withdrawals along the way down you need to prepare yourself for some discomfort wile doing this...I never herd of anybody getting off sub this way...your going to have to be careful not to get strung back out on the oxicodone  this is like lighting the fuse to the bomb you put out with the sub...good luck and God bless
....Gnarly  
Avatar universal
Its definitely playing with fire and you should be extremely cautious of your inner intentions.  What can start as a good intentioned theory of helping get off the sub can end up with you right back hooked on the oxy..  

I have heard lately from two friends that their sub docs are doing the same thing.  The 2 people I know that said this have to go to the sub doctor every day or every other day (cant remember) for their oxycodone dose and are also tapering every 5 days.  I guess the theory is getting through the worse of the sub w/drawal then dealing with a shorter oxycodone w/drawal.. ??

In my mind though, taking oxycodone after sub maintenance opens you up to ALL kinds of cravings and struggles.. It may make the physical more tolerable but I would think it would multiply the mental/cravings..

Just be very careful.  I wish you the best of luck and hope it works out for you.  God bless.
Avatar universal
Wow.  Thank you all for your comments.  I didn't realize anyone was watching/listening.  This truely is a great site!  So to answer most of your questions, I am trying to get off of suboxone using oxy.  I am not sure as to the legality of it, but the bottom line is that the subs throw off a vicious WD which percocet or small does of oxy doesn't.  The opiate is the culpret in subs as well as oxys.  So the only way to get below that 30 mil constant dose is to move to a short acting opioid and taper qiucker.  I no longer want to be on the pills.  When I went to subs, I was lied to as many people are as to how addictive it is.  Subox is a double edged sord.  on one side of the coin, heroin addicts and high dose oxy addicts should be introduced to it.  It CAN save lives.  However, lower dose users should NOT be put on it.  At least that is my opinion.  The manufacturer (not from the USA) is not being honest about how hard it is to quit.  The wd's last over 2 weeks.  Up to 1 month.  I have bad simptoms.  As you all know we are all different in how we react to wd's.  I get horrible sweats/aches/sleepless and that is the olny reason I stayed on them.  I guess I should also mention that I was an "off lable" user of subs not for addiction but for pain management.  I am not chasing a "high", so I think that tappering can work because all I am trying to do is dull the pain as it becomes too miuch to deal with when I get to using 2 or three pills a day.  Users who are chasing a high do increase doses to "feel" the drug. I don't care about the feeling, I care about the withdrawals.  I work (as many of you do) in an intense job (finance), with a great deal of responsibility as well as public speaking and meeting with very large clients.  Not to mention regulatory issues and such.  I don't have a month to "sweat it out".  So this post was to really attemtp to find someone who has been successful, or unsuccessful, but has at least tried this.  Here is an idea.....why doesn't whoever manufactures Subs....create a taper kit...... a package like womens birth control, and have it reduce by 1/100 per pill and do it over 100 days.  It has the ceiling blocker in it already, but the amount of opiate it has is too high for extended use.  Making people crush into dust and lick is embarrasing and rediculous.  No need to answer that question, I know it is becuase of the money...lots of it.  My doc agreed.  Now...the last part of this story is that the ultimate reason I was switching to oxys and the main reason for doing it now is that I was going to go through the Weisman Method or something cheaper like hte Opiate Detox center in MI ( I know I just opened a can of worms with that one.. :)  and even they said that they can get you clean from heroin for sure....in 8 hours (give or take), but even they can't scrub your receptors clean of subs for sure.  It was ultimately that reasoning that sent me down this road.  Now that I"m on it....I realized that I am not chasing a high....so I don't increase doses....I decrease....  Again...thank you all for your support and I will keep you posted becase if it works...maybe someone else can get free of this stuff.  I want to save the 15 to 25 grand get down to 5 mg oxy and then jump.....it is less sticky and should be much shorter to manage....maybe a 4 day weekend and then done.  Thanks again!
Avatar universal
Someone may have already suggested this.  I'm not sure.  But how about asking your addiction doc for something NON-narcotic to help with the WDs?  Like clonidine?  It's a BP med used my many rehab facilities to get people off of opiates.  I have taken it, and it's very effective in reducing symptoms.  There are lots of different meds available for this kind of thing if your doc will do it.  I'm not sure what to think about your doc giving you this stuff to get you off of sub????  Seems like a vicious cycle to me.  I would be scared if I were you!

Best of luck!
Avatar universal
That is a good suggestion.  I have never looked into it.  The Doc did mention that he could give me a BP and taper down, but I was just tired of new drugs and wanted to switch to something that I knew.  Yesterday was day one of tapering to less than 8 5mg oxycodone per day.  I am taking one 5 mg every 3 hrs.  The suxoxone should withdrawals would still surface if I quit cold T until friday.  Today is 7, tomorrow 6, and so on.  By Friday I should only take one tab for unbareable symtoms while at work and then nothing once I go home friday night.  Hopfully a week from today I will be one of the few that was able to leave subs for oxycodone (completely avoiding suboxone withdrawal) and tapering down with oxycodone.  One thing I would like to add to anyone trying this.....we have a psycological problem....worry of the wd's....and the desire to feel euphoric.  What I have done is look at the oxy's as asprin (not expecting to feel anything at all).  That way I don't want to take more than needed.  I try to convince myself that I won't feel different if I take one or take 10.  It is like taking a vitamin.  I don't want to feel loopy or high.....so it makes it easy (don't get me wrong....I too liked the feeling...a lot).  I will start working out as much as I can this week to generate some natural endorphines and get my dopamine production going again.  Thanks again for the support and I will post in 2 days and should be at 5 5mgs every 3 hrs and nothing after 6pm (I get up at 4am for work so I start dosing at 5am).  Wish me luck.  Be back in two days.
Avatar universal
Hi everyone...new poster here...I just wanted to say that I too used suboxone to detox from a 10-12 a day hydro/oxy addiction and I also weaned myself down to 1mg. I was so nervous about the w/ds but I honestly have to say I felt fine. I believe that our fear of w/ds makes us make choices that might be detremental to our sobriety.

I think you should have taken your doctor's advice and went with the BP med because what little w/ds you might have experienced could have been made easier with the clonodine.

Good luck to you.
Avatar universal
Hi MissLesa,
You "jumped" from 1 mg of subx?  You are right that it is scary to even think about wd's let alone go through them.  You are saying they were not that bad?  I am down to 6 5mg oxy's now per day.  They are short acting and by friday the wd's should be based off one 5 mg tab 12 hrs later?  That can't be bad.  Did you have restless legs?  Chills? Sweats?  Thanks for the post.
990521 tn?1311906308
My sub doc mentioned that the Mayo Clinic was experimenting with tapering off sub using a short acting opiate - like oxy or morphine.  He also mentioned that this was against the Harrison Act too - which is why he did not do this with me.  My sub doc worked for the manufacturer training other docs on how to prescribe sub - so he knew a lot about it.  He said getting past the last 2mg was tough and the company was not sure why, but I don't know that they were doing anything about it.  As long as you are under your doctors care and following the instructions for your taper, I think you should come out OK - get some aftercare though, as I would suspect that coming off a pure opiate you would probably have some craving once you are done.  the BP med - Clonidine does help for the withdrawal and make it a little easier.  Keep posting and let us know how things do for you once you are done with the taper.
Avatar universal
I don't know that what my doc is doing would be concidered illegal because I was using subs as an "off lable" user.  Not for addiction, but for pain.  In any case, this seems to be working.  I took 5 5mg's yesterday and today I have taken 10 mg's so far and the day is half over.  Again, the biggest thing getting past this is not thinking of the pill as something I will feel.  I have noticed very minor sweats and leg gitters, but it is so slight that it could be related to anything.  No anxiety, i'm actually calmer than I ever was on Subs.  By Friday the Sub wd's would ahve been over but the last two weeks would have been hard.  I plan on taking one 5mg tonight before bed and tomorrow should be the last day I take any.  Boy....Its weird to be taking so few pills when I still have so many left!  It feels good!  Best of luck to anyone following this post for any reason.  

PS.  Thanks for the info from your past doc Sal.  It is interesting to hear that from soneone so close to the manufacturer.  It is a shame they don't have a sub mg set of pills which would be taken daily....but if someone is mentally done with the pills and is stuck on subs at 1-2 mgs...if you are truely done, Oxy 5's might be the way to go. You can't really snort them (they are already immediate release) and they don't feel that great if you do catch a slight euphoric feeling.
Avatar universal
Well I hit a snag last night.  Trying to manage the minor wd's with 5 mgs was working as long as I took them before the wd's kicked in.  My last dose was supposed to be around 2pm (5mg) and by 7pm I had restless legs.  Took one more at that time and by 3am it woke me up again (I get up at 4am to go to work and that last hr of sleep dictates my day).  I took one more.  At 7am I had the sweats and some chills.  So waiting until 2pm again was out of the question.  Going to the doc if I can't sweat it out this weekend to try colondine (sp?).  Not sure what else to do.  I am taking supliment pils and very small doses of xanax (0.05mg) to help with sleep but I will not take it two nights in a row because of its addictive nature *(not falling into that trap).  I am going to subtitute the hard nights with excedrin PM. I don't think I will make my goal of being at work all day tomorrow with having taken anything after 2pm today.  Errrr.  
Avatar universal
I think you need to put down the percocet and xanax and talk with your doc about some clonidine.  By your own admission, the percocet isn't giving you much relief.  You have been on it for a while, trying to get off the sub.  What's going to happen when you stop the percocet?  Back to sub to get off of the percocet?  Can't keep that up or you will just continue a bad cycle!   And the xanax can bite you QUICK.  Before long you will find yourself having to taper off of it, if you don't already!

Just think about what I am saying before you talk to the doctor.  I am just worried about the cycle you are getting into!

All my best!

Lea Ann
1 Comments
No, he's going to stop taking the percocet once he is tapered down to 5mg a day and then quit. Done ! Yeah he will have withdrawals physically for a few days but nothing terrible
Avatar universal
Just to finish things off....I am at work, no energy, but this is day 5 without any opiates.  Last dose was 1mg on Friday at 6am and went to work.  I took monday off.  The first two days were pretty bad.  But i managed to go to my nieces second bday on Saturday (don't know how)...didn't talk to anyone...but it was all family and they understood.  after the first 50 hours, things started to be ok.  I did use flexeril (muscle relaxer for RLS).  I would say that is a must.  That an bendryl to sleep.  I tried most of what is on the Thomas Recipie, but in the end, it was the xanax and flexeril that got me through. I didnt' take xanax 2 days in a row.  I switched out with Advil PM which has benedryl in it.  This also helped with sleeping.  I was taking 5 showers a day *(most in the middle of the night)....and that seemed to help as well.  I searched high and low to find a better way to avert wd's.  From clinics in Mexico, to florida, michigan, LA, and BC Canada......I talked to local hospitals and ended up just doing it myself in the end.  I think I will appreciate it more. I quit for myself and looking back at the worst of it....it was worth it.  I am tired as hell right now...it is 7am and I have to make it 10 hours at work like this.  My mind isn't right and I hear week two is where the cravings kick in....so I made sure to flush everything that I had....oxy and subox included.... and am trying to make it to the weekend.  Good luck everyone....I noticed that many original posters dissapear either after they relapse or got through the wd's and never finish up the post....so here is to closing a long chapter in my life and starting a new one.....
736475 tn?1281259327
wow! what a ride! i will be very careful. i cannot use. not percs. not xanax. none of that. man this is one of the wierdest tales i have ever read on here(except for the mothball thing of course). thanks for doing the research for us and following up like that. that can be extremely helpful for those trying to become better informed. wow!   peac, sway
Avatar universal
Just checking back...... On day 9 and feeling great!  Evergy is coming back....I can control my mind...and when I laugh....I feel different!  This might sound odd, but I feel like I had an out of body experience for the last 5-7 years and now i'm seeing the light.  I have not had any cravings....and the wife and I are going to vegas for some R&R this weekend. .... Forcing myself to go to work and staying busy helps.  Exersized a few times, I assume that helped too.  I am eating well (too well) and sleeping like a baby.  I will not concider this completely behind me until 4 weeks are up....but I will check back from time to time too see how others are doing..... Ciao for now.  

736475 tn?1281259327
glad to see your latest follow up. i love a success story, and i have a good feeling about yours. no offense but guys can be the biggest wimps when it comes to withdrawal symptoms. lol. just like when my husband gets a bad cold or the flu. he is my big baby, so i take care of him. withdrawal is not really like the flu although they have alot of the same symptoms. i'd rather have the flu any day! i am also doing good. did some step work with my sponsor yesterday, then went to a really good meeting. that's my recipe for success. don't forget to check back in. have a wonderful getaway with the missus! peace, sway
Avatar universal
None taken!  I am not a wuss by any streatch.......But I think the combo of the wd's and good feelings combined cause problems.  Now day 12 and energy comes and goes....I feel bad because my wife is picking up quite a bit my slack....That has helped...but I am the one who went to work feeling like I got hit by a bus on the way in for the first week.   Anyway.... sway1.....You seem nice and thank you for your comments.  These are issues that so many people deal with and frankly every time I go to a doctor...I feel like I have "seen" thousands of patients because of these blogs.  I just got done reading my own words above and remembering what I was feeling.  That in itself is probably the biggest deterrant from getting sucked back in to anything.  I wish you and "your baby" luck.  One of the hardest things is living with someone who is medicated all the time....but when I was...I never understood why my wife was so crazy :)  now I understand...It wasn't always me...but the way I was made her crazy too!  Keep moving forward.... I will check back in after Vegas!  Good luck!
Avatar universal
Back from Vegas.  Had a few drinks... (never had a problem with drinking)... took some advil with me and 1 2mg xanax.... came home with all of my advil and 2mg of xanax.... The only time I thought about the devil pills was when I didn't have the energy to walk the strip...but I powered through it.  I am not sure about the "intense" desire to relapse...that was suppposed to come in week three.... well... week three is up for me tomorrow and I have had no desire.... If you like HipHop.... an album that really speaks a lot about what we are going through is Eminem's "Recovery".  Many of the songs talk about how he has gone through what we have...and is on the other side....it is an uplifting album.... or just read the lyrics of "goign through changes" or "not afraid"..... Good luck everyone..... 20 days clean.....
Avatar universal
Dude you are sooo right about Eminem's new album. Its the best he ever put out and it def helped me get through this fight so far. #7 Not Afraid and #2 Talkin to Myself...WOW
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