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Help coming off Suboxone

Discussion in 'Detoxing From Buprenorphine/Subutex/Suboxone' started by nesscal, Jan 2, 2004.

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  1. JoeyL

    JoeyL Member

    I am a new member and I am desparately in need of help. The information I am looking for is probably here somewhere, but please indulge me and help me with my dilemma. I was using around 450 mg of hydrocodone a day two months ago. I have chronic back pain and the addiction took hold of me and just took off before I knew what was happening. I was on the hydro for about 10 months, starting at normal doses and ending up at the 450 a day I mentioned. I heard about subutex online. I am a recovering alcoholic for 19 years and I was desparate to be off hydro. I thought I did a good job of reading about bup, but apparently not good enough. There is only one doc in my area (about a 4-hour driving radius) who can prescribe bup. I talked with him and he seemed really cool till I got on the sub.

    I started on suboxone and had a serious reaction--turns out I am allergic or sensitive to the naloxone so I had to go on Subutex. Doc started me on 20 to 24 mg. and he fully understood I wanted a detox and not maintenance. Once I was on the sub he wouldn't tell me anything about the plan for going off. Nothing. So, I slowly started tapering down on my own. When I got down to 12mg and told him, he was furious. When I asked for "the plan," all he told me was to quit smoking (cigs). This has been the pattern. I finally made a decision to taper off the Subutex at 20% every 2 weeks. I have done fine until I got down to 6 or 8 mg--I'm not sure. I am experiencing depression, anxiety,lethargy, stomach problems, and severe nausea. I'm not really sure about the nausea though as I think I have had some of that ever since I've been on the Sub. It is worse now though. In a nutshell, I was on 20 to 24 mg Subutex for about 8 days. Then I was on 16 mgs. for about 3 days. 12 mg. for about 3 weeks. 8mgs for 2 weeks. 6 mg. for 2 weeks. I've tried to cut down to 4 mg. this week but have too much anxiety and nausea. I can't really talk to the doc, or at least I don't feel like I can because I know he wants me on maintenance and I want off. What do I do now? Go back to 8mg.? Hang in at 5 or 6mg? I am so desparate, and frankly frigging scared to death because I am pretty much forced to get out of this mess alone. Would it be better for me to go back on hydro and try to taper off of that? Please help me. I will really appreciate it. Thanks.
  2. wdartmore

    wdartmore Well-Known Member

    First off you need to be clear and direct with your doctor. Keep in mind he is no different than a plumber, electrician, or car washer. You have hired him to perform a service for you. If he can't or won't explain to him that is not acceptable. It may take some force but he'll go with it if you make him understand.

    As for subutex. I used both subutex and suboxone. I found it much easier to cut with the suboxone. That being said it was still doable to work with subutex.

    My program was single 24 hour dose. Dose at 6am, feel good most of day sleep when tired. You should have some valium (not a lot) and clonodine to ease the transition.
    If you are stable at 6mg the next step is maybe 5mg. The key is to keep going down. Even if just a little. Don't freak out over how long it takes.

    I wanted off in 4 weeks it took 12. But I did it. So if you want off plan for it, and implement it in whatever steps are aceptable to you. Just don't go up, don't lose heart.


  3. JoeyL

    JoeyL Member

    Hey W, thanks for the words of wisdom. I have to say this stuff has me more scared than all the hydro I was taking. Could I bother you for a suggestion as to how fast to cut down? I've heard everything from 10% a week to no more than 10% every 3 weeks. How far down did you taper before you quit all together? I see my regular doc next week and I'll ask about the Clonidine and Valium. He is way cool and I know he will do anything to help even though he isn't real up on the sub. Thanks again. I appreciate your help.
  4. new

    new Active Member

    Hey there people,It seems like most people on this site had a pill addiction. I don't really know how to relate because I have no idea what your w/d's were like. I read where you folks take valium and clonidine and all this stuff to lessen the discomfort of w/d. I used to take Daravon's when kicking methadone but it only prolonged the process because Daravon is an opiate too. I don't know too much about pills except that I do know that Valium and Klonodine are benzo's and I've read that they are very addictive and shouldn't be taken with opiate's. This Suboxone is a fairly new drug on the market. I wish it would have been available years ago. I understand that it was available for pain. I had a friend who was strung out on heroin and he went to a doctor that specialized in pain meds. He told the doc that he had back pain. He had had unsucessful back surgery. I think the doc knew what the real problem was gave him some kind of injectable Bup. Anyway I guess there is no set protocol for w/d's yet right? I know that with methadone it takes one month of w/d for every year that you have been on methadone.I have a script of percocet which is an opiate. My dentist gave it to me after oral surgery but I didn't take it because I probably wouldn't have felt it since the suboxone has naloxon which is an opiate blocker right? I thought I might take it if the w/d's were intolerable probably not a good idea. Not good for my liver. So far I haven't even felt any discomfort. Anyone else having the same luck? Please excuse my typing. I'm not very good at this. I hope you can understand. Does anyone know what is worse for your liver percoct or suboxone? I will probably throw the percocets away and hopefully no more suboxone.
  5. diavolo7

    diavolo7 Well-Known Member

    Hi new,

    Yesterday you answered my question under the topic 'ok...one more time'.
    You said you had oral surgery and that you were prescribed the percocets and you DID take them. 2 at a time as a matter of fact. Your post here says you did not take them and you might throw them away. Which is it? I don't mean to challenge you but, I'm looking for real information!

    Percocet has acetominophen (tylenol) which is very bad for the liver, especially in high quantities.
  6. new

    new Active Member

    diavolo7 You asked about the percocets Yes, I took a couple the first day. I got a terrible upset stomach and then realized that it was an opiate and thought about the naloxon blocker. Then I read that it is bad for my liver so I still have the remainder of the script. I didn't get any pain releif with the percocet and I have no use for them.
  7. lily

    lily Well-Known Member

    Hi all - this is my first post. I am over the moon to have found this forum , as I have jumped off Subutex and have been trawling the Net for info on handling it, with no luck untill...NOW! This is exactly what I have been looking for - others going through a similar thing. All your posts have been so useful, although because I live in Australia, alot of the drugs you mention and also the legalities of prescribing etc. are pretty different. Subutex is relatively new here, and there are no takeaway doses - you have to front the chemist everyday (unless you have a nice one like mine, who lets me come in 3 times a week.) Anyway, it's just good to have someone to talk to about this, as I haven't used for years and don't even know anyone who does anymore - I have a 'new' life where I am a mum and a trainee teacher, not a junkie/ prostitute!No-one except my husband knows about my past - it's not like i can explain to anyone else why I am so cranky and can hardly put one foot in front of the other! So this is a good outlet for how I'm feeling. I was on methadone maintenance for years - I found the decreases so hard - I dropped from 60mg to 20 mg over about 18 months and each drop was harder than the last - I thoght "I'll never do this." Then my doctor put me on 4mg of Subutex daily (from 20mg 'done.) The transition was great, I hardly noticed it, and felt good from the start. I tapered from 4mg to .4mg in a year - SO MUCH easier and quicker than if I had still been on methadone. A year might sound like alot, butI'd been on 'done for years - wanted to keep it slow and steady. Anyway, I jumped off the .4mg a week ago. I'm doing OK - some pretty bad nights at first - restless and irritable - but have had no bad cramps or unbearable cravings - in fact, whenever I feel bad, I make myself remember how much worse methadone WD was, how far I've come, and how fantastic it will be to be free from chemicalhandcuffs for ever. I like what someone else on the forum siad - that at least we're not suffering some terribly painful terminal disease - there are others far worse off - hope that doesn't soudn too Pollyannaish - but it works for me. That's not to say I feel normal yet by any means - the fatigue is crushing, the dishes have sat in the sink for days, and i'm snapping my poor family's heads off. Comments from others on the forum ringso true - like feeling depressed, not wanting to do anything except sit and stare at the wall! The house is a mess, and I have study to do...can't find the energy to do it. But there's no way I'm going back. Also, its summer in Sydney and very hot - it doesnt help! wht I'd like to know is..has anyone come right off , like me, at a small dose (.4mg is the smallest Subutex tablet you can get) and can they tell me how long the fatigue and sleeplessness will last - I hope we're not talking months here! Have just realised I've written a novel here, so sorry!and thanks for listening!!!! :)
  8. Bup4pain

    Bup4pain Well-Known Member


    Welcome...:) I was on Buperenex (Buprenorphine liquid injectable) for 2 years. Reading your post makes me really wonder why here in the US they give such HIGH doses of bupe. [:0]

    Anyway.... I'm still at the newly clean point. I'm at 25 days now. I still have some energy problems, but am now starting to get 4-6 hrs of sleep a night. Sneezing is still there as is some yawning. I sorta crash every now and again and just need to sit down.

    I think a long taper is needed if you have been on bupe/sub for a long time. If under a month getting off sooner is better.

    Glad you found our site.
  9. JaH

    JaH Well-Known Member

    Welcome Lily, and good for you!

    I know that right now you probably feel weak, but something about your post made you seem so strong and courageous to me.

    How long will the depression and lack of energy last?

    You're about halfway through it. Almost every day now, you should feel a little better than the day before. By 3 weeks or so after your last Suboxone, you should feel much much stronger and be sleeping pretty much okay. After one month, you'll find yourself actually enjoying life again.

    One month. At most (some people feel good after a week only). I know that seems like a long long time to have to feel weak and depressed, but it's really a small price to pay for getting your WHOLE LIFE back again -- for being a human being again, reborn and free.

    Just hang in there, please, and I promise you that within just a few days or so you will taste happiness again.
  10. lily

    lily Well-Known Member

    Hi again - it's 5.30am here, and couldn't sleep properly - it's so hot, and a possum crashing around on the kitchen bench eating the kid's lunches didn't help! So got up to see if anyone had read my post - yeeha! Thanks so much Bup4pain and JaH - I feel I have some kindred spirits to help me through this thing now. :)

    It's Day 8, and I'm travelling OK - actually feel better than I did yesterday, although can relate to the 'crash' thing you mention Bup4 - just when I think I'm feeling better, I collapse on the bed in a heap - thought I might get some uni reading done at these 'collapse' times... but NO FOCUS! The books remain on the bedside table! LOL

    Anyway, I'm telling myself "I can do this thing - this isn't pain, this is only discomfort - Get Real!!" And am so glad to hear you say 'one more month', JaH - yes, I can handle that. I feel the worst is over (the 'worst' being the first few days when I REALLY had to fight the desire to take a tiny bit of the one last .4mg tab in the drawer! But knowing that that would only delay the inevitable stopped me.) Also, the fear of the unknown - not knowing what to expect or how long it would take - was difficult but you guys have given me an idea on that, which really helps. My overall experience of the WD so far (aside from being irritable as hell) is one of profound weakness (physical, not mental!) which is how I imagine someome must feel when recovering from a long illness. But the prospect of absolute freedom is so tantalisingly close - it's what keeps me going. It's also a big advantage that I have absolutely no desire to use anymore - in fact I think it would scare me s***less (Plus no veins left anyway - let's be practical!) Not having to fight the urge to score is a big plus, let me tell you!

    Thank you both for your encouragement, it means so much. Congrats on your 25 days Bup4. After so many years....Freeeeeeeeeeeeeedom is within sight for us !:D (I wanna throw a party when I feel better - or dance in the street, or something!)
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