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start sub June 5, need a taper!

Discussion in 'Detoxing From Buprenorphine/Subutex/Suboxone' started by mollykins, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. mollykins

    mollykins Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone,
    My name is Penny and I have been on the detoxing from opiate forum for over a year now. I've been on and off opiates, mostly on, due to several surgeries, and pain due to chemo. I've survived cancer only to be really beaten up by my addiction to oxycontin. I've successfully tapered off it once before, but cannot seem to be able to do it again, those days are long gone. I do okay during the week when I'm working and then completely blow it every weekend, only to have to start over again the following Monday.

    I am a teacher, happily married (my husband may not agree with that right now as i just told him about the mess I am in a week ago)have 5 grown children, 3 of which are stepchildren, and the coolest cat ever and her name is Molly (hence my ODR name)

    So, I took my last 80 mg oxy about an hour ago, and tomorrow am going to start on Sub. I am from Canada and Sub has not been around very long. I called several treatment centers looking for a sub doctor and they didn't know of any. We have several methadone clinics and when I called them, they didn't know anything about Sub, or so they said. So, I went to my pharmacist to see if we could get it, and then to my family doctor with a file full of information and asked him if he would prescribe it, which he did, so here I am!! (wasn't near as easy as that)

    So, I am pretty much on my own, since I know more about it than my doctor and pharmacist. The directions say to take 2 8mg subs a day but I think that is wayyyyyy too much. I'm looking for a short taper plan with as little sub as possible.

    I have a huge tolerance though, was taking up to 800 mg of oxy a day, yes 800mg, I know, I know, that is not good. i have managed to get it down a few times to about 400mg. I was prescribed 4-5 6mg of hydromorphone contin. I tried to stick to that he last few weeks, but then I would end up taking that and the oxys so was a real mess.

    If anyone could help me out with a good sub taper, I would be really grateful. I have been reading this forum for days and I must admit I am pretty scared to even touch sub, but it's my only choice right now. Many thanks in advance!

    Never quit quitting!
  2. mpharn

    mpharn Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the board! :) Glad you decided to get control......
    To answer the above question, yes, you are correct. Less is more with sub. I'd try 2 mgs. to begin with. its some strong stiff and theres a threshold where it does no more with 'xx' mgs. than it does with 'xx' mgs. There are several posts about sub on the board and alot of experience.:)
    The other thing you may want to keep in mind is detoxing from sub. Trust me, some day you will be sick of it too. Take too much and you'd be in a hell of a detox. And if the doctors have told you its not addictive they lied!
  3. jdude

    jdude Well-Known Member

    Penny....you need to be in medium to moderate WDs B4 inducting. The COWS scale is the best guide.There's a sticky in the "helpfull info thread".


    Then start off with 2mg(quarter of your 8). Wait 90 minutes..or more..B4 you dose again..IF needed. Dose 2mg ata time till you feel 'normal or empty'. Not in WDs..not euphoric.

    Keep a log of your doses. That'll be your daily dose for the next few days. From there we ca help with what plan you want to choose. The least amount of time..the better. Plan for 10 days. After 30..the 'hook' is usually set.

    <center>You can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking that caused them in the first place.</center>
  4. flashedout

    flashedout Well-Known Member

    Yeah and that a triple strength stainless hook..

    "It is so easy for me to forget how hard W/D was the last time when my addiction is doing the remembering"
  5. mollykins

    mollykins Well-Known Member

    Good morning everyone,
    Sorry it has been so long but have not had access to a computer for 5 days, my computer at home is cooked, have to get a new one.

    So, I had a horrible weekend. I should have read more about sub beofre I went home, but thought I would have access to my hubands laptop.

    I waited about 30 hours, was feeling pretty rough and took about 2 mg, then more and more until I took 2 8mg tablets and was sicker than ever. that really sucked. The next day was even worse and I took about the same amount, not sure why. Yesterday I was aware enough that Ikind of figure out what was going on, that I was probably in precipitated withdrawals. I actually thought I was the only person in the whole world that sub did not work for.

    So yesterday I took 8 mg., which I know was still too much. This morning I tood 4 mg, not sure how fast I can take so much less at a time, but I feel okay and well enough to be back at work, and I had to get back to a computer to see what to do next now that I had messed up so badly.

    So, I guess I need a taper now, starting from 4 mg today, and want to get off this stuff asap. I'ts really strange stuff. I feel pretty normal, but know that I am not, but not high, just weird. I don't really like it, so I suppose that's a ood thing.

    I'm done work in about 10 days so would like to be off before that so I have time at home to recover.

    Thanks so much for your help and support.

    Never quit quitting!
  6. jdude

    jdude Well-Known Member

    You'll most likely want to stay at 4mg for a few days to level off. Then taper down from there.

    <center>You can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking that caused them in the first place.</center>
  7. mollykins

    mollykins Well-Known Member

    thanks so much for your help with this. I really don't have a clue what I'm doing here. My doc has no idea, so I"m really on my own. I do have a great pharmacist though and he calls me every day to see how I"m doing. When he called on the weekend and I was so sick, he told me I had a script for Lyrica at the pharmacy and he thought that would help. My husband went and got it, and I felt quite a bit better, although it did knock me right out, which was okay, too. I didn't want to be awake anyway.
    So, I stuck to 4 mg again today, feel okay, a little spacy maybe, not really sure, just different. I am coming off hue doses of oxy though so I'm not too surprised that I don't feel the same.
    I would like to cut back to 2 mg tomorrow, I'm scared to death of getting hooked on this stuff.
    thanks again for your help,

    Never quit quitting!
  8. mollykins

    mollykins Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone,

    I'm at about 3 mg now, hard to know when trying to split a 8 mg pill. I have an appointment tomorrow to see my doc and am going to ask for 2 mg tablets.

    I really don't like the sub so far, it seems to be giving me headaches and I don't normally get headaches. I'm also in a lot more pain than I thought I would be so am taking a lot of advil, probably too much.

    So, I"ve been off oxy for a week, been on sub for a week today, but don't want to stay on it too long. Hope to be off it in another week or so, not sure if that's really feasable, I"m coming off a huge oxy habit.

    thanks to everyone for your help

    Never quit quitting!
  9. jdude

    jdude Well-Known Member

    Hey molly...2 very common issues with the sub that will cause headaches is too high a dose...and the nalexone in the suboxone.

    If the doc is going to change you to the 2mg pills, it may be a worth while change to the subutex also.

    The nalexone in the suboxone isn't supposed to be absorbed sublingually. But many have found thru experience the opposite. In fact there are several clinical studies on going for just this issue.

    Unless you have an IV abuse history, it should'nt be an issue with the doc.

    Good luck.

    <center>You can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking that caused them in the first place.</center>
  10. mollykins

    mollykins Well-Known Member

    Thanks JAy,

    So, went to the doc and got 2 mg doses, so that should be easier. We don't have subutex at all in Canada, only Suboxone. I think our suboxone may be a bit different also. It comes in blister packages of seven, is white and dissolves instantly when you put it under your tongue. I've read on the boards about "goop" left that people spit out, but there is nothing like that left, it just dissolves immediatly and kind of leaves a numb feeling in your mouth for a bit.

    So, Doc wrote the script for 2 mg twice a day, but will try taking it just once. I find I "feel" like I have to take something around 3 or so, and was for the first few days but stopped that yesterday and seem to be okay. Think it's just the dosing regimen I was missing.

    Also, in Canada you are supposed to get sub daily for the frist two months except for weekends and holidays, so if anyone went to an actual sub docotr or clinic in Canada that is how they would probably get it prescribed. My doc and pharmacist are kind of testing the waters to see if they can get away with prescribing for a month at a time like they are. I've had the same doc and pharmacist for over 20 years so they know my history pretty well, so that is their reasonsing for prescribing the way they are.

    These darn headaches though....driving me carzy.

    So, need a tper plan with 2 mg tablets. Would like to be off by the 30 th of June or sooner.

    Never quit quitting!
  11. guinevere64

    guinevere64 Well-Known Member

    Penny... please let me know if I understand this: you're taking 4mg suboxone, in two doses daily. You'd like to taper over the next two weeks.

    Getting down to 2mg was fairly easy for me. The way I did it was to cut .5mg off the total daily dose every 3 days. That's four cuts for a total of about 12 days.

    When I got to 2mg, I cut by about .25mg total daily dose every 3-5 days.

    This makes for a slower taper than two weeks, but I started out at a fairly high dose of suboxone and tapered quickly to about 6mg, where I hung out for about 2 or 3 weeks. I could have done it faster.

    If you think you can start out at 2mg now, that would be great. Then you can cut .25mg (1/4 tablet) off each daily total every 3-5 days.

    For comfort I took clonidine (but couldn't take much because it lowered my BP and made me feel faint) and neurontin 300mg at night. These helped tremendously with sleep.

    Please let me know if you have any questions. Suboxone can be confusing because it's so strong and lingers so long in the body.

    As for the headaches: before I was able to switch to subutex, I started spitting out my saliva after the dose melted. But: I'd hold the dose for ages in my mouth without swallowing, at least 2 minutes, to make sure it was fully absorbed. This did cut down on the headaches a bit. What really solved the headache issue was getting rid of the naloxone.

    All best wishes, G
  12. mollykins

    mollykins Well-Known Member

    Hey Guin,
    Thanks for the information. Yes, I'm at 2 mg now, hvae been for 3 days now, am going to try to cut down tomorrow. Question is, the pills are so darn small, how do you cut the exactly. I'm not sure if ours are the same. They are really small and white and crumble easily and dissolve instantly when you put them under your tongue. Anyway, I'll try to crush them to powder and then even out the piles, hopefully that will work.

    We do not have subutex in Canada at all, not sure why. I still have headaches, bad ones, and take advil every morning before the sub.

    I'm hoping to be off completely by next Friday, so I have the summer to recuperate. I've read everything I could on sub, trying to decide how long I should stay on sub, def. mixed camps on the subject. I've had a huge habit for a very long time and am a little scared to get off too soon.

    thanks to everyone for your help,

    Never quit quitting!
  13. guinevere64

    guinevere64 Well-Known Member

    Penny... how is your taper coming? :)

    Jay taught me to crush the tabs and divide into little piles of dust... U.S. suboxone is the notorious orange tablet. (I can still remember the taste... blecch.)

    If 2mg feels OK for you, when do you plan to cut to 1.75 or 1.5mg?

    Just checking in on you is all... Thinking of you. Don't stay on that damn stuff too long, now... xxx --G
  14. girlinterupted

    girlinterupted Well-Known Member

    I understand you being scared of staying on sub too long but you haven't mentioned anything about what's going to keep you clean and sober after you get off the sub.I quarantine you that when that sub starts leaving your receptors your brain will be screaming to feed it an opiate.What's your plan for that.That's the part I would be fearful about.Getting off all this stuff is the easy part.Staying off is where it gets hard.Also I would like to say that when you read all the stuff that's written about sub on the web it can really freak a person out.This is only my opinion but I think many people write things that are minority.I'm not saying that it wasn't their experience I'm just saying that it irritates me because you probably wouldn't be so freaked out had you not read some of the stuff people write.It's a cliche' but you really do need to take what you need and leave the rest.I was never one to crush and divide my doses to the teeny tiniest mg and I also realized that of course I wasn't going to feel good after abusing my body pouring tons of opiates down my throat for as many years as I did.
    My advice is to just keep it simple or your just going to be scared and overwhelmed.Please get a plan and some support for when you do decide to stop the sub so you don't end up relapsing.It really pisses me off that these doctors don't know what they are doing when it comes to this medication.It would be a huge benefit if you could start a plan with your Dr instead of having people who aren't medical professionals telling you how to take and taper off a very strong drug.
    I hope the best for you.

    "work like you don't need money, love like you've never been hurt, and, dance like no one's watching."

  15. Parachute

    Parachute Well-Known Member

    The above makes no sense!

    I would like to say that there is no better advice than experience. I have read tons of SUB posts, and they are all pretty similar. Medical Doctors HAVE NO EXPERIENCE with SUB. In 2005 I was prescribed 32 mgs a day, Ridiculous!

    Bottomline on SUB.

    Penny, My dear sweet one, I don't think you need to sweat a SUB taper of infintesimal milligrams and powder. People on long term SUB seem to need that. You ahve been on it for what, two or three weeks? Just go to one, manage the doseage as best you can, then jump. I recommend doing it within the next week. There are no free rides off the opiate express as you well know. SO, you may feel uncomfortable...put your energy into meetings, sponsorship, recovery. Not worrying about .25's and .625's of Sub...K? Keep SUB around if you NEED it. If you can't discern between want and need perhaps someone can hold the pills for you??? An oxy habit as large as yours, or mine, sorta spits us out into this bright, loud, fast paced world from which we had been removed for a long time. That is not WD, that is R E A L I T Y!! UGHH, it can be rather mindboggling. I am soo glad you ahve the SUmmer to get after recovery, you are going to need it. It took me quite a few months to sleep, and be normal in a lot of ways..I spect the same is in store for you.
    Keep your energy and your focus on RECOVERY, that is where your time is best spent....You will literally be stamping out your addiction, learning how to live without drugs, moving toward the light...REACH OUT PENNY, Keep reaching out....I felt like an intergalactic explorer that crashed into earth! Everything was SO foreign to me. I literally would watch TV shows to try and udnerstand what the hell people on this planet were doing..no kidding, I was severly dis associated with real life. CHASE RECOVERY PENNY, BURY YOURSELF IN IT...so much good is waiting for you!!

  16. girlinterupted

    girlinterupted Well-Known Member

    Not ALL doctors are idiots.Does that make a little more sense?Sometimes you have to look around for the right one that does know about this medication.From what I read on here No ones doctor knows what the hell they are doing.I just find that a little hard to believe.

    "work like you don't need money, love like you've never been hurt, and, dance like no one's watching."

  17. jdude

    jdude Well-Known Member

    A large majority of the docs are morons when it comes to sub. A mechanistic approach. Spouting the long term maintenance,easy to come off BS. Physically and mentally it's a powerfull opiod.

    <center>You can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking that caused them in the first place.</center>
  18. roxymoron

    roxymoron Well-Known Member

    With all of this back and forth about doctors not knowing what they're doing...has anyone even NOTICED that penny hasn't posted back on this thread in 9 days? Or is she PMing with you guys. Now that i'm down to 1mg on day 9, and she was a little ahead of me, i'd like to see how she's doing....so penny, in the immortal words of Roger Waters "Is there anybody out there?" Penny please check in.

  19. girlinterupted

    girlinterupted Well-Known Member

    Hopefully she will come back and post how she's doing.
    It was the weekend and to me weekends seem slow or used to anyway.
    I always get the back and forth about my opinions on the doctor thing so molly if I've offended you please come back.We are all different and sometimes we just disagree.

    "work like you don't need money, love like you've never been hurt, and, dance like no one's watching."

  20. roxymoron

    roxymoron Well-Known Member

    Hey GI

    I think she's gone :( One thing that i've noticed with myself in the past, is when i didn't make it, and went back on the pills, i stopped using the board, because i felt ashamed. Maybe that's what happened to her, and regardless, it's not your fault GI. She'll be back, some day...eventually...you watch :)


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