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Thread: Dilaudid detox

  1. #1
    Pippa is offline Junior Member
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    Default Dilaudid detox

    Hi, I'm new here and need advice on how to get off Dilaudid. It was given to me for chronic pain due to neurological spinal problems but it is like being in handcuffs. I want to be able to go somewhere without having to be chained to the only doctor available who will give me the meds. It is also making me very depressed, so I want to get off it.
    I am on a very low dose from what I have investigated. I take 2 mgs. 4 to 6 times a day depending on my pain. The problem now that my body has gotten used to it is that I start feeling sick after only a couple hours between doses. I won't go up on it but I can't seem to get down either. I was told by a doctor that I should go down only a quarter milligram a month. It seems kind of crazy because I don't even know how I'd break the tiny pill up to do that and I can only get one prescription a month for the 2 mgs. pills, so even if they gave me lower milligram pills I'd have to have hundreds of them for one Rx. and the pharmacy won't give them out in those numbers. I've been on them 7 years now, so I know I can't just stop taking them cold. If anyone has any experience with this drug I'd appreciate your input.
    Thanks a lot, Pippa

  2. #2
    SinCityRN is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome to ODR Pippa! I don't know that I have the answers for you but wanted to welcome you and tell you you are not alone. I too got hooked through chronic pain although I definately have the disease of addiction. I have had long periods of being clean but am really struggling to wean myself right now as well. Do you have access to a good suboxone doctor? A brief, less then two week, suboxone detox is the best thing I have found. Do you have the strength to taper? I know if I have access to the pills when I start to feel uncomfortable I would take them. Any taper or detox will be uncomfortable so there is no painless way to do it. I have heard cutting by 25% every 3-5 days people have used. Maybe start to take no more then four times a day then go to three times a day but stay there for a while to adjust. What I have been told is that when trying to taper the worst thing you can do is go back up on your dose. The other essential things is to build a support system during this time. Many use AA, NA or the church. I have found much love and support in NA and know that when I work on my recovery like my life depends on it (because it does) I feel so much better. Do you have family or friends you can confide in for support? Just know that I am pullling for you and you are not along.

  3. #3
    frazzled is offline Member
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    hey pippa. i managed to successfully come off dilaudid (about 12 of the 4mg per day) last week after a 2 year habit. personally i could not taper or c/t but i was able to use suboxone for only 6 days and am doing pretty well-taking nothing for 3 days now and pretty comfortable. i kept a thread called "sub taper" under the "detoxing from bup/sub/sub" forum. check it out and let me know here if it helped you. since u get your dilaudid from a pain doc, you could do a medically supervised detox which is always preferable to my home based strategy. still, it worked, thanks to the extensive info i got in these forums. i cannot overemphasize how much "comfort meds", esp clonidine help. also, a lot of people taper-one strategy is to taper 20-25% per week, again with comfort meds being helpful. personally, i could not taper cuz i could not control my doc usage, hence the sub. good luck and keep posting.......frazzled

  4. #4
    SFboy is offline Junior Member
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    Hey Pippa,

    I am detoxing from dilaudid right now. I took 4-6 4 mg a day. I sort of tapered. Once I realized I was down to about 10 left I just tried to take 1 in the morning and 1 at night for the last 5 days. I didn't do the best on the taper but I still think it helped. I am on day 3 and it hasn't been quite as bad as I expected but it isn't pleasant for sure. I have detoxed all the way once before but slipped in and out several times when things got low. I just remember from the last time that there was a day, don't remember exactly which on but I think it was 5 or 6 where I just felt soooo much better for a little while. Where I felt a certain kind of happiness that the dilaudid had somehow taken away from me. I just want to get to that place again and then figure out what to do from there. The worst part for me is just the lack of energy and motivation. Unfortunately I HAVE to work right now. There really wasn't a better way to plan it. I am hoping on day 4 I can see a glimmer of the light at the end of the tunnel but I know it might be another day or 2. I am jumping on a 17 hour plane ride in a couple of days so I hoping for the best. The good thing is once I get on that plane I will be away for almost a month and where I am going there will be NO way to take anything. I will have no choice but to suck it up and make it to clarity. When I get back that is where I will have to work to not slip back in again. For me tapering at least a little bit has been better than ct but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Don't have too many words of wisdom but I just wanted to let you know that you weren't alone. The first 3 days or so will be rough and if at all possible try to make it where you can just lay on the couch. After that it starts to get a little easier everyday. By 10 days you should be feeling pretty damn good and free of the opiate. I have a hot tub so that is my savior. As soon as I get home from work I spend about 30 minutes in there and I feels great. Sleeplessness will also come but you just gotta truck through it knowing that it will end. After like 2 days just don't slip because it will just be wasted. When I feel like crap like I do right now I just try to think about the last 3 days and use that as motivation NOT to set the clock back to zero and relive them again.

  5. #5
    Pippa is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for all the input, it really helps to knowing there are other people who are going through the same thing, not that I wish anyone was going through it, but that I'm not out here just trying to wing this alone.
    My brother came to stay with me last week to help me because I woke up almost 2 weeks ago with half my face frozen, seems I have some condition called Bell's Palsy now just to make like even more delightful. It hurts like a witch too, so hoping I can just get though this with this new thing to deal with. It might me easier than I thought
    because he ended up taking my pills and left me with very little until I can get another rx filled. I knew something was weird, they just kept getting less and less and then I asked him and he said he's been taking a few day because he was coming off a 2 week run on heroin when he had to come and help me. I won't go into his addiction issues, that's for him to deal with and not for me to blab about on a message board. The crappy part about it is that he's the only one in the family that cares if I'm o.k. or not and he always will help me no matter what, so I try to kept my perspective about it. He got back on Methadone now so he won't be taking my pills anymore, they don't stay in the system long enough so he doesn't really like them.. how lucky for me huh?
    It's funny how these things they give us for pain in the beginning seem like a miracle and then turn quickly into a nightmare. We aren't supposed to live in awful pain all the time but these pills stop working anyway and then leave us with a different set of problems to deal with, so what's the alternative, who knows. I just want to feel like my insides aren't polluted anymore, to not be in a haze all the time and have my clarity back. One of the side effects I get too is that I just say whatever I'm thinking if someone gets me pissed off and it could really get me in big trouble one of these days, because I was always a smart *** anyway!
    Thanks again to all of you who took the time to answer.

  6. #6
    Pippa is offline Junior Member
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    Well, I got a later start on my plan to come off the dilaudid due to the bell's palsy I woke with 5 weeks ago. The nerve pain it caused in my head was off the wall and my doctor suggested I wait until that calmed down until I try to do the taper. In the meantime, I had run low on my meds due to my brother taking my pills while he was at my house helping me. I can't drive with this bell's because it causes your eye to stay open and you have no blink response to spread the tears around the eye to keep it moist. If you don't use drops every hour and ointment at night the cornea can dry out and you can lose your sight, so that's why I needed him to get me to some appts. and help walk my dog because my vision is blurry and the sunlight hurts too. It's a little better now but the recovery can take anywhere from 3 to 18 months so it's really bumming me out. The paralysis affects the mouth so I can't even smile or talk right yet and I'm really self conscious about the whole thing.

    Last week I needed to get my rx. filled to use for the taper, and low and behold I found out there is a nationwide shortage of dilaudid. The rx. I had filled the month prior they shorted me 80 pills which was almost half of the rx. and they kept telling me they would have them in a few days, then a few more days, ect. Then with my brother taking some when he was here I was down to nothing. I was going to use the 80 owed me and then my next rx. to do a longer taper. They finally told me on Friday they couldn't get any and I only had enough meds left for about 3 days and was facing a major c/t with no medical help lined up. I was able to find another pharmacy that had almost a months supply left, short 30 pills, in stock and that was how I was able to get the new rx. filled. They aren't even manufacturing any 2's or 8's at this time and it will be sometime in October before the 4's are available. I guess it was just Karma or something that I had already decided to get off them, and now I have no choice. I started cutting down on Friday from 4 a day to 3 a day. Today is the first day I felt a difference and it wasn't a nice feeling at all. I've been spacing out the hours evenly over a 24 hour period, so it's 2mgs. every 8 hours now instead of the usual dosing schedule of every 4 to 6 hours. I have always sucked at math so I know I was taking 4 pills most days and once in a while 5 if I was in really bad pain.
    The thing with the dilaudid is the short amount of time it stays in your system, so buy the time 8 hours came tonight I was sweating like crazy and felt very icky to say the least. It's also been 97 degrees where I live and the humidity is very high so it may have something to do with it, but even was I was in my room with the a/c I was still sweating profusely until about an hour until I took my last dose for the night. I've also been waking up feeling kind of achy for 2 days now.
    I am supposed to see my doctor tomorrow to figure out what other meds I can use for my spinal pain and neuropathic pain, in addition to her wanting to give me some clonidine or klonopin, I don't know which is for what for the taper thing. I have enough meds to stay on 3 a day for a couple weeks, then go to 2 for another couple weeks, and then to 1 and then off. I hope I can make the appt. tomorrow because I can't drive there with the eye thing and to take a cab means using my utility bill money. I live on disability and I've been cabbing it to the other docs for the bells palsy thing since my brother left. I'll figure it out somehow.
    Also, I was wondering if a short course of sub would help me after I get down to the 1 mg. a day.
    I am kind of getting nervous about all the physical stuff because I don't know how I'm going to be able to walk my dog and take care of myself if I'm having to run to the bathroom all the time as well as all the other stuff I've been reading about. I never did this before so I don't really know what to expect, and tonight I had bad leg pains like my bones were burning. I've had that before and thought it may be coming from my

  7. #7
    Peabody is offline Senior Member
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    Hi there,

    For me, Gabapentin (Neurontin) helped quite a bit. It is used for seizures, anxiety and nerve pain. Look into that, and it is also non-addictive, so see if that might help during your tappering and your detox, and maybe even for your nerve pain after. I am no doctor, but many people here have used this, in all sorts of situations, especially during detox, which does help some.

    Best wishes
    -Peabody

    ** Everyday, I strive to live a life that does not offend God, my conscience or my fellow men, God give me the strength! **

    Clean since: 06/08/2009

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