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  1. #1
    piperlaurie is offline Junior Member
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    Default Help! FDA study: Methadone to Vicodin to Suboxone?

    I am on Day 10 of methadone detox (was on 25 mgs for 10 months) using a high dose of Vicodin (7.5/750 8x p/day) to cover withdrawals. Previous to using methadone, I was on a low-dose of Vicodin for 2 years for chronic neck pain due to multiple issues.

    In 3 days, I will be inducted into Suboxone which I will be on for 21-30 days, while being tapered off so that at the end of the 30 days I will be "opiate free".

    I am doing this as part of an FDA study that uses Suboxone to get people off of opiates. Phase 1 uses Sub to get people off of opiates within 30 days. Phase 2 uses Sub to get people off of opiates within 3-4 months. They will not tell me ahead of time if I would qualify to go beyond the 30 days though my hope is I won't have to anyway.

    My question is, what will I be experiencing at the end of that 30 days given my personal pain med history? I realize everyone's body chemistry is different but it would be helpful to hear from anyone who has a similar history and come through to the other side so I can know what to expect--at least naturally speaking.

    I have read that very helpful post on this site that has that Q&A on suboxone, but I was looking for someone who had the same--or almost the same--pain med history.

    Also, if you are a person who used pain meds for legitimate pain (as did I) what have you used since being free from opiates?

    Thanks for any and all help here!

  2. #2
    tubalkain is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Piper,

    I wasn't on exactly the same meds as you, but I went down the short acting opiate (heroin) - long acting opiate (methadone) - short acting opiate (heroin) Sub road so perhaps this will be of some use to you.

    1) switching from Vicodin to Sub shouldn't be a problem. FDA know enough to let you sweat it out a little before putting you on Suboxone. You are unlikely to experience any wd, but you may feel a little weird (being kinda sober compared to full agonists you've been taking).

    2) Suboxone is a crapshoot. Some people report a high, others (me included) dont like being on it due to a set of side effects, none of them pleasant.

    I dont exactly understand what you mean by "qualify for 3-4 months"? Being on Sub for 30 days is more than enough, probably too long, why keep it going for 3-4 months (if that is what you mean). If that is suggested politely refuse, describe extreme lethargy and depression you are likely to experience anyway.

    As far as I know, there is no effective painkiller for severe pain that is non-addictive. They are doing some research into puffer fish poison and snake venom to eventually replace fentanyl for general anaesthesia, but we'll probably eat the fish and kill the snakes before a non-addictive painkiller is discovered.

    I understand hypnosis can be effective for pain but it seems difficult to find a good hypnotherapist.

    By the way, may I ask what made you decide to quit Vicodins after just 2 years of what you describe as legitimate use?


  3. #3
    steffaroni is offline Senior Member
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    HI!!!!! I did the POATS trial as you are doing I am assuming. I did it in 30 days... Lemme tell you.... I was started on 24 mg and by the end of the trial nada. it was the bestest dang detox ever for me at least. I did however relapse after a month. I took 2 ms-contins after I found out my baby brother died of an overdose of methadone xanax and zoloft. So my hatred for methadone is well known. I actually jumped off methadone at 35 mg to join the trial. I took pain meds for a month prior to my sub induction as you had to be methadone free for a month prior. then after I relapsed I came here and asked about ppls feeling about what I should do. Well.... I actually was going to start on the 2nd part of the sub trial as I felt like the hugest failure for relapsing especially considering the circumstances behind my relapse. Well I believe it was sudokee and arlene who slapped my cross the face and brought me to my senses. I only slipped once so what am I gonna go back on sub but this time for 6 months??? sheesh. This was the wake-upo call I needed and then just went back to being clean and haven't had an opiate since the end of 2006. Sub was a gr8 experience for me but I also believe it was gr8 I did the monthlong one rather than going on to the 6 month one. me thinx any type of replacement drug swhould be used with caution as well ....narcotics are what got me into trouble in the first place. I really think that you should try the month one if your not already on it. I had a 7 year opiate habit prior to my sub detox/taper.

    Heres a bit of advice...
    When you start your taper start right away with a plan. Make note of all your triggers. Lock up any and all meds that may belong to a family member. Start a light exercise routine and graqdually add more n more during your taper. It's weird but it is very very easy to become complacent and just enjoy the feeling of not wanting pills when you are on the sub. Take this precious time to work on what you are going to do AFTER the month is up. Going to a support group etc exercising, triggers etc. Good luck to you. hafta tell you my induction story one day ...It was pretty funny and pathetic all rolled into one. (((HUGS))) Steff

    "“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. “
    George Washington Carver

  4. #4
    steffaroni is offline Senior Member
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    well sheesh thought I'd give you an idea about how my induction went. Like I stated above I was taking methadone(35mg) and my clinic really really pissed me off so I nevere went back. OUCH is right . So the next day after I jumped I signed up for the trial they said I had to be methadone free for 30 days so I waited for 30 days taking ms-contin 60 mg and oxycodone 30 mg to stave off w/d. Every day for that month just to keep w/d at bay I took 3 (60 mg )ms contins and 4 (30 mg)oxycodones. Never got high this was just to keep me from getting extremely ill. The day prior to induction I was told I could take my last ms-contin at 4 pm then no more meds(drugs lol) By 7 pm I took a tylenol pm and slept pretty good till 6 am. Then I had to be at induction at 7 am they do em all the same day.Picture 8-10 very crappy feeling people in this nice office on their couch. Some talking some moaning, me? well I was freezing to death. Well I watch those go in for their induction and come sit back on the couch and wait. Then it's MY TURN YES!!!! I go in they explain I get my first sub 2 mg. They send me back out as the dr. office was even more freezing than the waiting room.The whole staff there was used to me looking rather nice ya know makeup a nice suit or dress etc. Not that morn sweats and a tee were all I managed to get on and was lucky I even got tennis shoes on rather than flip flops. So..... everyone has been dosed. they are all talking laughing:):D:D after a few . Me? My head [:-(]is down frozen to death more goosebumps than ever and my dam leg won't stop that crazy nervous shaking. The nurse n doc come out to see their last patient to be inducted and take one look at me n say hey steff come back in.There I get another 2 mg. Go back out... same as usual everyone is laughing:D looking waaaaaaay better cept me sit on the couch again head down they even gave me a warm blanket yet still I was frozen.They had me wait an hr for another one but my bloodpressure goosebumps all the symptoms were in full force still. So they gave me 4 mg then...... felt a lot better and before I left gave me another 2 mg. The next couple days went to 24 mg and stayed there till my next visit. If you could've seen my face when I walked in that morn to my face after I left it was night n day. They had a good laugh with me.. Most ppl left on the 2 mg dose. And the ones I became friends with their max dose started at 4 mg or even 8 mg one guy did. Oh no not me 24 mg lol. BUT out of the 4 people I knew there and became friends with only 2 of us made it and are still clean. But we both did follow dr.'s orders to the tee even the dumb ones or the ones we thought we're dumb.

    "“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. “
    George Washington Carver

  5. #5
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    mtgoat911 is offline Senior Member
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    quote:Originally posted by piperlaurie

    I am on Day 10 of methadone detox (was on 25 mgs for 10 months) using a high dose of Vicodin (7.5/750 8x p/day) to cover withdrawals. Previous to using methadone, I was on a low-dose of Vicodin for 2 years for chronic neck pain due to multiple issues.

    In 3 days, I will be inducted into Suboxone which I will be on for 21-30 days, while being tapered off so that at the end of the 30 days I will be "opiate free".

    I am doing this as part of an FDA study that uses Suboxone to get people off of opiates. Phase 1 uses Sub to get people off of opiates within 30 days. Phase 2 uses Sub to get people off of opiates within 3-4 months. They will not tell me ahead of time if I would qualify to go beyond the 30 days though my hope is I won't have to anyway.

    My question is, what will I be experiencing at the end of that 30 days given my personal pain med history? I realize everyone's body chemistry is different but it would be helpful to hear from anyone who has a similar history and come through to the other side so I can know what to expect--at least naturally speaking.

    I have read that very helpful post on this site that has that Q&A on suboxone, but I was looking for someone who had the same--or almost the same--pain med history.

    Also, if you are a person who used pain meds for legitimate pain (as did I) what have you used since being free from opiates?Thanks for any and all help here!

    More guinea pigs!!

    I used drugs to change the way i felt piper, and my body did not know the difference between a street drug of a pharmacutical pill.
    Its all the same, i think that you are unable to catch on to that concept.
    I have taken pills for energy, for emotional pain and for physical pain.
    I have been through all the government matinence drugs searching for something to take away that pain.

    You should not seperate yourself from a street addict, you are the same as i was, and i did it all!!
    that constant search to kill the pain through sedation. how does your body know that you are taking sub rather than methadone???
    do you honestly think that your mind can tell that you are taking loritab or herion??
    It dosent!!!

    I do hope in 30 days that you will be opiate free like you say, i never trust the government to give the best treatments

    sorry to you if this is a bit bitchy, i think it is very ignorant for a pain patient to say, oh well please only those of you who are taking the medicine for a ligitament reason
    so it pisses me off, what do you think people who take street drugs are doing? they are self medicating, killing some sort of pain.

    You know what, i am going to shut up now, i have been on the same sh*t you are on for ligitament reasons, and i have been on the same sh*t for off labled purposes... just another way to segregate addicts, we should unit to fight this disease.

    One last response to your last sentence....i have been opiate free just short of 4 years

    i live with liver disease, asthma, knee injury, neck injury, back pain, auto immune disease, dental problems, and right now they just found a lump on my breast.

    I do not take anything for it.

    i have changed my diet around, started taking time to seek alternative measures to help my pain, i am working the step on chronic illness, i do specific exercises to build strenght in my "pain areas"
    you see on pills i could do nothing but take more pills

    i am not angry at you, i deal with pain patients all the time that have little knowledge of the similarities between herion and their pills
    there is a section of the NA book that addresses this, there is also a book designed to help members with chronic pain.

    Again i hope that this experiment you are going through with does not ki

  6. #6
    josie is offline Senior Member
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    quote:Originally posted by steffaroni

    .... And the ones I became friends with their max dose started at 4 mg or even 8 mg one guy did. Oh no not me 24 mg lol. BUT out of the 4 people I knew there and became friends with only 2 of us made it and are still clean. But we both did follow dr.'s orders to the tee even the dumb ones or the ones we thought we're dumb.
    Congragulations on your successful treatment steffaroni. Following the "rules" seemed to be a winning plan for you. Piper I wish you the best with your treatment and that you reach the outcome that you are looking for.

    ~josie

  7. #7
    sta1ndsoul is offline Junior Member
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    ...There seems to be a fair mix of people here...So, I want to ask...Because no one else knows addiction like another addict...I am on Methadone...Probably what most would consider a negligable dose...6 mg...But I want off...I pay $60 a week for what alot of people take in a day...I can't afford it...I hate it...It feels like a huge anchor dragging me to the bottom every week when I drive to the clinic...I have a plan (best laid plans, right?)...I have a stockpile of 10mg Hydrocodone...My question is...Has anyone ever switched from Methadone to Hydrocodone? I have chronic pain from several neck injuries and subsequent surgeries...But, I am no doubt an addict as well...I rarely take the Hydrocodone since I am on the methadone...My idea is to try to switch to something short acting, then if need be going to suboxone because my insurance will pay for that (if need be)...As an addict though, I do everything in a secretive, isolated way...Not looking to be judged athough no doubt some will...I just need some help from somone who has been there...Just some advice from someone who has been there before about what to expect...I appreciate any thoughts or ideas...Even criticism, if necessary...Because experience is one thing we all can respect...

  8. #8
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    jdude is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome sta1ndsoul......to answer your question..yes. Some have switched to a short acting opiate to help ease the 'done or sub WDs. But that approach is best in an IP facility.

    A much more feasible jump might be to try the clonidine first.

    The transition from methadone to sub can be tricky at best. Doable with your "neglible" amount....but why go to another long half-life opiod? Even if insurance doesn't cover the clonidine...it's inexpensive. But does need a script.


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

  9. #9
    sta1ndsoul is offline Junior Member
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    That's one idea...But, I am sure a physician would try to hospitalize me to do this...And, again I can't afford to be off of work...Alot of people do "cold turkey" detox at home...I would love to have a professional opinion and a physician to help me out...But, the last time I wanted off quickly my clinic said the doctor would make me inpatient...The funny thing about that is, if you don't pay...They divide your dose in half daily for 3 days, then cut you off...Their concern if not for our safety, it's for getting paid...I appreciate your response and it makies a lot of sense...

  10. #10
    The King is offline Member
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    You sound a little similar to my situation, but not exactly. I took both norco and methadone for years and just stopped the methadone last week while continuing the Norco (Vicodin). Methadone is a real lingering detox but I have gone to work everyday though it isn't pleasant. I can not imagine doing that if I didn't use the norco. It wasn't enough to remove the WD, but it had to help.

    The difference I see is that you are not currently taking the vicodin, so you are introducing a new drug. If you never abuse your medication, I don't think you will have an issue. Obviously you are the type who can be around a jug of pills and not start popping them for kicks assuming you have had the vics for a long time. Not evryone can do that and if you can it may be OK for you. ONly you know the answer.

    I would slow my dose at the clinic probably 1mg less per 3 days if you can handle it 1mg/week is more common. Savew the vics until you can not DEAL WITH THE wdS (OOPS CAP LOCK) and try to very slowly replace them. Going off the methadoen takes a long time, even after you stop taking it. Don't rush things do what you can personally handle, and do not take more then the minimumyou need. My feeling is if you can take only 6mg for pain, you can get off everything but OTC drugs and be OK. You should not need much vicodin at all. You can see in my thread where I started and where I am at (still 30m/day, feeling a little better every day after a week or so.) Very soon the Norco taper starts.



    "Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son." Dean Wormer, Faber College 1962

  11. #11
    sta1ndsoul is offline Junior Member
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    Actually...I have never been the kind of guy who could keep even one pill in reserve much less a huge bottle...But, oddly enough a little over a year ago I became very sensitive to all of this stuff...My morning routing used to be to take a 20mg oxycontin and a 10 mg Vicodin, then go to my clinic for my 55mg dose...I did that for months...I had prescriptions so my clinic didn't care...Anyway, one day I did it and felt like I was OD'ing (I nearly did once a long time ago)...So I learned that adding the extra meds was the kicker, then eventually even my methadone dose was problematic...I went right down to 10 mg in the soonest amount of time that my clinic would allow...But, below 10...every milligram has been a struggle...I had dreams of just jumping off one day...I had this idea because a friend once told me that she got down to 4mg and just stopped going with little or no ill effects...But, of course she must be a rare case...and maybe she's using again after and left that part out. Everyone else's story seems waaay different than mine...I am glad I started methadone in a way, because it interrupted a very vicious cycle I was in...But, in a greater way I regret not just using it to detox and going on long term maintenance because now I am facing what is probably going to be the most difficult detox ever...It helps to be here though...I am on a "pro-methadone" site also and anytime you say anything negative about it, people are all over you...I realize methadone works out long term for some people...I get it...But, it's not good for everyone...And, it's even worse when you decide it's not for you anymore...I just want to be off it and I appreciate being here and reading what others share about their personal struggles and successes...Sometimes I feel so alone...I know you guys can relate...Thanks, again..."King" thanks for your response...

  12. #12
    peacenik is offline Administrator
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    sta1ndsoul,
    Hi. Welcome :) If you'd like it might be good to start your own thread where you can share a little more of your story. It's easier to find you that way.

    Anyway, way to go getting down into the single digits. I really believe that anyone who can get down that low can make it to zero.

    And you're right, we can relate. I had to really motivate myself to get through all the after effects of methadone. I think when you go through the whole thing, your thoughts about methadone change. Since I'm drug-free and have been for years, I realize now that the idea that I "needed" methadone was really keeping me sick, rather than helping.

    Continued good luck
    Dave




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