1. Information in this forum is not monitored or provided by a medical professional. The information reflects member opinions only. Do not act on advice from these forums without first consulting a qualified medical professional. No professional addiction advisors are recognized by the owners, admins, or moderators, even if the member states such status. All content is copyrighted and protected. DO NOT use any information that can identify you in these forums. If you do, a google search can link your addiction post to your name causing harm to your future activities including employment.

Getting off Bupe/Sub, a place to post experiences

Discussion in 'Detoxing From Buprenorphine/Subutex/Suboxone' started by Bup4pain, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. Bup4pain

    Bup4pain Well-Known Member

    This may be a good "Sticky" Share both good and bad experiences with Buprenorphine W/D.

    If you can post your doses and how long you were on Sub/Bupe it will be a help... thanks!

    Let the truth be known. :D
  2. Bup4pain

    Bup4pain Well-Known Member


    I tapered off of Subuxone successfully just recently. I went on 16mgs on July 29th coming off of Roxicodone & OxyContin. I felt great until I started to taper off of it 5 months later. As I got down to 2mgs a day, I started to feel lousy. One mg a day was worse, 1mg every other day even worse. I stopped altogether on December 30th 2003.

    That was when the full withdrawal kicked in. I felt like I had just gotten out of an inpatient detox where they used methadone for 4-6 days. I did that detox 3 times before.

    I was totally shocked that I felt so bad as my doctor led me to believe that a slow taper off of Subuxone would be painless. HA! What a joke! However, I kept going to my AA meetings every day as I have been doing for 6 & 1/2 months now & I got through the withdrawal just fine.

    I felt almost as bad as I did coming out of detoxes where they used Methadone. I had the restless legs aka muscle spasms, terrible trouble sleeping, intestinal distress, debilitating fatigue, depression, anxiety, and the sneezes. However, after 4 to 5 weeks, I started to feel better mentally & then physically.

    Now it's 6 weeks since I stopped the Subuxone & I feel pretty good and I am still going to AA meetings every day & plan on continuing to do so for the forseeable future. I never would have survived the past 6 months & stayed sober without the help & support of AA and my sponsor as well as my higher power.


    Edit for Link correction
    mikebm likes this.
  3. spring

    spring Administrator

    Thanks bup/John for starting this thread and posting this persons experience. Yes, I will most defintaly make it a sticky.

    Damn! Your post is BAD NEWS for me!

    I just saw my shrink this morning...not the Sub shrink but the A/D shrink. I asked him a couple questions that had been on my mind. One was the question about me taking A/Ds while still taking an opiate(Sub) since opiates stop the natural production of endorphins. He explained to me that the bup affects different receptors, different endorphins, etc. I didn't understand all of what he told me but I got my question answered.

    The second question I had was about weaning from the bup. Not that he will be the one weaning me, but he will be the one I will be seeing more often than my Sub shrink. He told me that if a drug, just about ANY drug I think he said, was slowly weaned over a period of 4 months, that I should be able to step off with no problems.

    That person's experience does not sound encouraging to me at all. My start to wean is not too far off, maybe 2 months tops.

    I guess the bottom line for me is this....When the time comes, I am going to go into the weaning process expecting to feel like s**t. I am going to prepare for the worst. I am going to be prepared with back up support.I will post my daily progress as many of you have...

    THEN....I will get up on my soapbox and make sure to let people know what they're in for if they decide to go the maintanence route with Sub. It's a MIRACLE drug for a short painless detox but I'm beginning to see that it isn't so great as a maintanence drug.

    That takes me back to my gut feeling about opiate addiction....The only way out of that vicious circle is to walk right THRU it and keep on walking without looking back...aka...SHORT DETOX THEN ABSTINENCE.
    mikebm likes this.
  4. SlipMan

    SlipMan Well-Known Member

    My experience coming off suboxone was not as easy as my doctor said it would be but was still way better than cold turkey from oxys. My doctor said I wouldn't have to miss work or anything. I felt very lethargic the first ten days and had trouble sleeping. The restless legs were also part of the detox but again, not anything like cold turkey. I also believe that the longer one is on sub the longer the detox process is. Sub seems to linger longer in your system.
  5. lily

    lily Well-Known Member

    Spring - i think your idea of 'preparing for the worst' is excellent. I've always done the same...I go through life thinking of myself as 'the happy pessimist'! My philosophy = expect the worst, then if it happens it's no more than you expected and you've planned for it... and if it doesn't, so much the better!! You're laughing! It might sound like a negative approach - but it's kept me sane in a mad world. (That being said, there are a few important exceptions to expecting the worst - I DON'T expect to relapse, for eg.!! That would be TOO fatalistic even for me! I still believe in the power of positive thinking for some things.)

    As I've said before, my experience of being on bupe long term and tapering off was largely a positive one. I was lucky I didn't get the negative effects some have experienced. But I'm sure this is probably to do with the LONGGGGG time I took to taper down (over a year - plenty of time for my lil ol' receptors to adjust to the changes!), and the amount of time I stayed on .4mg daily before coming right off (at least 2 months I think it was - I wasn't in any hurry to come off over Christmas, and wanted to wait till the summer hols were over and the kids were back at school in Jan. before finally stepping off.) It really was a long slow process, but for me it paid off.

    When your doc says anyone should be able to step off any drug after a 4 month taper with 'no problems' - I think that's an exaggeration! Of COURSE there will be *some* WD symptoms, and you should plan for them - but don't get too freaked out - 'cos in my experience they are handlable (says SHE who is over 2 weeks off bupe, and starting to sleep and feel better now!!;):D)

    One more thing (sorry for the novel)...when you taper to a low dose, be wary if your doc advises you to dose on alternate days. How 2nd daily dosing works here is...say you're on 8mg daily but want to get dosed every 2nd day (cos we have to pick up from a chemist and there's no takeaways, alternate days rather than everyday seems appealing) they double your dose, giving you 16mg, enough to last 2 days. We are explicitly told that when we start to taper to lower doses, we will most likely have to return to daily dosing - 'cos a small dose of bupe just won't hold you 2 days. IMO it's no wonder Gene (in Bup4s post) felt bad on 1mg every other day.

    Just my 2 cents worth, anyway. Good luck with preparing for your taper. I will definately be hanging around to see how u go with it and offer the same support I've been given here.

    :) Lily

    The AD issue is a tricky one. It's true you get a bit depressed coming off bupe, so if you're prone to depression anyway that could complicate things. Hopefully others on the board will have some input on this for you.
  6. wdartmore

    wdartmore Well-Known Member

    I used suboxone to get off methadone. It took about 3 months more or less. It's been two months with nothing and I'm feeling better and better everyday.

    The first month I needed some ritalin to keep functioning, the fatigue was really bad. But after 4-5 weeks I didn't need it anymore and now am functioning better and better.

    Been traveling, mayan ruins, stuff like that. Moving is required to get your life back.

  7. Zloi

    Zloi Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the post Bup4 (Gene?),
    I am at 16 mg of Sub now, having started 5 weeks ago. Mild constipation was about the only symptom I had up to 8 mg, but doubling the dose has dramatically increased the symptoms. It feels much more like I'm on an opiate now. Am now experiencing random drowsiness, bouts of itching, peculiar sleep patterns, fairly severe constipation, loss of libido, decreased emotional response (affect). I'm trying to get an accurate idea of WHY the doc (and literature backs her up on this) as a matter of course increases the dose to 16 mg as per schedule. The putative reason is increased blocker effect, but in light of the side effects and, presumably, increase in tolerance to the drug, I'm beginning to feel like this is a mistake for me. I'll stay at this dose at least a few more days-week to see what happens, but your post suggests that as low a dose as possible is the best one. It's along story, but basically, the methadone clinic I was in shunted me onto Bupe, so I, too have jumped from methadone to Bupe. No regrets about getting off the 'done, but I was never thinking that I would stay long on Bupe--long enough to stabilize through certain other life changes I am going through simultaneously, then it's taper down and get completely off everything. I, too, have heard how much easier it is supposed to be getting off Bupe than 'done or other narcotics, but sounds like it is still not a picnic and that the less time on it, and the lower the dose, the better all around. BTW, for those paying for it out of pocket, it's an expensive bugger, too! Where I live (Seattle), the drug along (not counting doctor visits) costs about twice as much as methadone treatment.
  8. AfroSonic

    AfroSonic Active Member

    Personally, I believe that the post-acute withdrawal symptoms (i.e. lethargy, fatigue, restless leg, sleeplessness, etc.) are not a result of coming off Bup specifically, rather they are a result of coming off of ANY opiate (or opiate agonist/antagonist, i.e. Bup).

    I detoxed using Bup for only 3 days and still had weeks of fatigue, lethargy, etc. I didn’t have those WD symptoms because I took Bup for 3 days – I had those WD symptoms because I WAS COMING OFF A 2 YEAR DOPE HABIT.

    I think attributing these post acute withdrawal symptoms to Bup and Bup alone is a HUGE misconception… but that’s just my 2 cents.

    -- No Love for the Haters --
  9. ashley80

    ashley80 Well-Known Member

    Afro, your words are encouraging to me because I was on bupe for less than ten days after a 1+ year hydro addiction (after many other years of opiate abuse), and it has been 30 days for me off hydro and 21 off bupe, and still feel like crap.
    I can't tell if it is because of WD or because of a bug I picked up in the tropics a couple of weeks ago. All I know is that I am exhausted, lethargic and still have major intestinal probs along w sweats and chills. It's enough to make you want to give UP! I'm on Cipro for the tropical thing, but so far I'm not much better. If I don't get myself together soon my family is going to toss me out and I will be in big trouble at work. :(
    Sorry, but I am tired and discouraged, and I could have some hydro tomorrow. I can't believe I just typed that.
  10. Sandman

    Sandman Well-Known Member

    Well today is day four off Bupe and it is at least as bad as day three. My main problems are fatigue and upset stomach. Last night, before falling asleep, I was very restless and had to keep stretching and moving around. Fortunately, the Xyrem (prescription GHB) I take at betime for narcolepsy really helps knock me out. Even though I don't have to work and can spend most days at my leisure, this still sucks big time!

    Also, for narcolepsy, I have a prescription for Dexamphetamine but haven't taken any since being off Bupe. I don't know if it will help or just get me more agitated. I rarely take it even for the narcolepsy because it sometimes causes anxiety as a side effect. But after these past few days I'm going to try some tomorrow morning and see how it goes. Has anyone here found stimulants helpful while coming off Bupe?

    I'm so glad this board is here or I don't know what I would do. The support plus all the knowledge here is so helpful!


    UPDATE: 2/28/04 12:20pm

    I took the Dextroamphetamine this morning and so far am feeling sooo much better than the past two days!! If it continues to work for me, the rest of the withdrawal should be much less painful.
  11. Eddy1072

    Eddy1072 Active Member

    Well, I'm just starting now to get off of the subutex 2mg tablets. Monday will be my last day but already I'm starting to feel it. I've doubled up on my clonidine and that does seem to help [:eek:)]I've felt better but I've felt even worse on the other stuff I use to use, so I guess that it's a good thing. I'll try to post and let you guys know how things are going day by day.

  12. Sandman

    Sandman Well-Known Member

    Today is my 15th day off Bupe and the first day I'm starting to feel human again. It's also the first day of no stomach problems, something I found much worse than the fatigue. It started around the second day and seemed as if it would never end. Now with that behind me, I'm finally in the mood to go out and do things!! Until now, I've only gone out to keep appointments or engagements where others were counting on me to show up. I felt too crappy to do much else. But this afternoon, I'm going to go out and enjoy the beautiful weather down here in South Florida.

    I was on Bupe (sublingually) to help with my chronic depression. Even though I'm not an addict, I can't believe I've managed to keep off the Bupe all of this time. Knowing that one ampule under the tongue would make me feel good again, made it very was tempting at times when my stomach was upset. I couldn't have done it if not for all the knowledge and support I got from reading this message board. I assume it will keep getting better from now on. Thanks again to everyone to responded to my various posts.


    "Don't chop anymore wood...Papa's comin' home with a load!"

    Curly Howard
    (Three Stooges)
  13. ashley80

    ashley80 Well-Known Member

    Rik: DON'T! Please. I've never had real bupe WD, since I was on it short term, but how easy is it to use a short acting opiate (codeine or H!!!) just once? I just tried it. It ain't easy. I know Bup4 did it with morphine, but morphine wasn't his drug of choice. And he didn't like the morphine 'head.'
    Don't do this, my friend. Please? Hang in there, it will get better. I know I'm a big fat hypocrite here, but hang in there for all of us, OK? YOu have come so much further than many of us, it has been such a long haul for you. Don't!
    Your Can't Practice What She Preaches Friend
  14. Bup4pain

    Bup4pain Well-Known Member


    Would taking H "help" you? NO! It will just get you hooked again. Will it make you feel better? only till it wears off, then you will be in a bigger jam as reactivating our opiate dependence is a real probability

    Day 3 through maybe day 4-6 being the worst. Then it will start to get better slowly.

    I struggled for a quite a while, but am finally finding it easier. I did use bupe 10 days ago. That was a HUGE effen MISTAKE. It screwed up my sleep again for 10 days! It was a HUGE setback. I'm at 62 days off opiates now (except of for the one dose of bupe)

    My sleep was finally back to acceptable levels, but I messed that up.

    What to do about the lack of sleep... difficult issue. Slugging it out is the fastest way to get back into a sleep cycle of some kind. At first 2 hrs blocks, then maybe 3 hrs up for 3 hrs and sleep for 1-2 hrs.

    I still wake up at 2:30-4 AM and have to try to get back to sleep. The nights of only 2 hrs total a night are over. After a week that crazy crap starts to get better.

    Just tough it out one day blends into the next. Slowly you come out of the fog of sleep deprivation and start to get better. We really don't need that much sleep. 4-5 hrs can maintain us fairly well for weeks on end. The military and MD's do it.

    It's frustrating but we can manage.

    I would strongly advise you NOT to use opiates at this point. Give it 2 weeks an you will be much better. Make sure you eat right exercise and rest at night even if you can't sleep. Your body will regenerate, and if you try to let your mind slow down and wander thinking about relaxing fun things so will you mind.

    Hand in there...Keep me posted! John
  15. spring

    spring Administrator

    Do you see the self defeating behavior in your post Rik? These are the same solutions I always managed to come up with. Do a short acting opiate to wean off the long acting one then do another long acting opiate to wean from the that and then a short acting opiate to wean from that one...and on and on...when does it end?

    The only way to end it is to end it. The more I read from you people who are coming off long term Sub, the more anxious I become when my time comes. My doc decided to wait until May to start weaning me off. That will make it a whole year that I have been on it.

    I think back about my last bout of long clean time...I would have been more than okay by now!! But here I am looking forward to yet another detox ahead of me.
    You have been doing so well! I hate the thought of you going back to the heroin and that's what will happen Rik, we both know that. Once you feel that touch of eurphoria that will be the beginning of the long haul....please don't. Pleae think long and hard about what that will do to your recovery. I know those leg aches are tough! Keep em elevated...it wont last much longer!! You are only on day 2. Give yourself a chance. Try and convince yourself that your leg muscles ache from too much exercise....anything....just don't look for that quick fix for your pain...please Rik.:(

  16. spring

    spring Administrator

    Come to think of it....what dose did you step off of? Since Sub has such a long half life I am wondering why you havent slept in 48 hours. Did you step off at a large dose?

    ~~~Do the right thing and risk the consequences~~~Spring~~~
  17. Bup4pain

    Bup4pain Well-Known Member


    Ahhh finally. :D I did not sleep like that 2 nights in a row, but like every other day, or every 3 days. But the night I did it was wonderful!

    We are all different. You may start sleeping OK soon. Glad you are doing well.

    Remember, just DON'T USE ;) [:eek:)]

    Every day will slowly get better. Some days may have a "speed bump" where you feel worse, but that's the exception. If that happens slug it out, and the next day will be much better.
  18. JoeyL

    JoeyL Member

    I am writing this for a friend who is in great need. You all, especially Bup4, really helped me out and I am doing okay. Here is the problem. She was hooked on hydro (20 to 30 mg. a day for about a year). She heard about sub, wanted a quick detox and like many of us found herself on it since October 2003. She has been trying to taper down, taking something like 2 to 4 mg daily or every other day but she is having some tough withdrawals and she never really got rid of the cravings the whole time she was on the subutex. She has 3 pre-school kids and a husband who isn't terribly supportive. She has been stuggling so hard that she decided she would talk to the sub doc and see about increasing the dose and staying on it longer just to be able to cope. Well, sub doc told her that under "new federal guidelines" he can't give her any more sub unless she is in his program. By this he means an inpatient program followed by who knows what. There are no other sub docs anywhere near her and she doesn't feel like she can up and leave her kids--afraid hubby will leave her and get custody of the kids. Anyway, she has 15 8 mg. subutex left. What's her best bet for tapering off completely before she runs out? I will be really grateful for any help you all can give. Thanks.
  19. winnerr146

    winnerr146 Member

  20. JoeyL

    JoeyL Member

    Okay, so if a person is down to 2 mgs of sub a day, is the best thing to do at that point is just stop? I've read what the wds are like, but I'm wondering how long the really bad wds will last. Will it be 3 days, 5 days, a month? Reading Bup4's post, it looks like it's about 5 to 6 months to feel fairly normal, but anyone know how long the acute wds will last? What can be done to help? I greatly appreciate any help on this. Thanks.

Share This Page