Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test


AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,662
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Chronic Pain
I am to start this in a few days. My PM says that if my pain is due to failed pain receptors (or some such thing), that using this, I will still be in pain, so I will know that my pain is "real", anyone have any experience with this? I have been on pain meds off and on for 10 years, but never had a huge problem getting off, so I'm wondering if this whole thing is a sham. I understand that Suboxone is used as pain reliever in other countries, but in the U.S. has only been approved as a way to withdraw from opioids. (another reason I'm confused).

If you have experience, please explain! :p



  • Hi Kat,
    My understanding is that suboxone is used to treat addiction and in those addicted, also used to treat chronic pain in that same group.
    I have also read lately, too much in my opinion anyway, of those in pain management being treated with suboxone. Unless there is a history of addiction, it makes no sense to me to put someone on suboxone, when there are far too many other medications out there to use to treat pain.
    I also understand that doctors have to have a special certification to prescribe suboxone. I don't recall reading anything anywhere that said otherwise.
    How do you feel about suboxone and using it to treat your pain? Did your PM also advise you that stopping suboxone is similar to stopping methadone?
    I wouldn't go for it if my PM suggested it, but those are just my feelings on it. It seems that far too many doctors are willing to prescribe it, when there is no history of addiction.
    Best of luck to you,
  • Hello. I work in the medical field, but am NOT a doctor yet. I wanted to let you know that suboxone is a great medication used for chronic pain, however, when a patient decides to ween of/discontinue suboxone it is hell. Suboxone is not a medication that should be taken here and there as you had in the past. The reason it is hell to stop taking is because it has such a long half-life. In English lol when you stop taking a medication like this you will go through the worst withdrawals you have ever experienced. I speak from experience because I had to take care of a friend when he decided to ween himself off. I am not trying to scare you by any means, all I'm saying is talk to your doctor about other options. It sounds very strange to me that he/she would automatically put you on a medication that is normally used on patients who already have a history of addiction. Who knows? I have heard of cases where doctors put chronic pain patients on methadone. Good luck!

    L5-S1 Chronic Low Back Pain with neuropathy and arthritis: MSIR, MS Contin, Soma, Celebrex, Lidoderm Patch, Lyrica

    Past Surgeries:
    1. Microdiscectomy/Laminectomy
    2. Laser facet deinervation
    3. Anterior Fusion w.interbody cages
  • Thanks, but I WANT to be off the meds, especially if the only reason I need them is because I'm feeling pain that should be a 1 as a 8-10. And, he is not prescribing it for pain, but to get me off the percocet/tramadol I currently take. My understanding is that if my receptors are "broke", this will work, but if they aren't, and I truly NEED the pain meds, this won't work...

    At the same time I go in for a CT Myelo next week to check my lumbar and cervical spine for any changes since my last one over a year ago (had surgery for l5-s1 in January), so that will show if I should be in pain or not...

    I really want to be free of pain, but lately the doctors find out how long I've been treated for pain, they automatically assume I feel pain differently, which has given me doubts. The whole reason I had the surgery was to be free of the ball and chain of narcotics, so I actually want them to be right at this point.

    But I still have doubts that if I truly need pain meds, that the Suboxone will do nothing for my pain, especially since it's been approved to be given FOR pain in other parts of the world, so I am confused to say the least...

    I think I may just wait until after my CT, and see what that shows before I try their method of determination, unless I can find someone that actually was put on this with the same info as I... :/
  • This is my opinion only, so give it whatever weight you would like to, but I have a really hard time seeing how your PM could justify using something as difficult to stop taking as suboxone for a chronic pain patient taking percocet and tramadol????? :O
    It is far too potent a drug for taking someone off those drugs. One of the many problems that I have been reading about far too often is a PM using this drug to get patients off medications that are in no way even close on the scale that suboxone is supposed to be used for.
    Yes, it's an easy way to take you off one drug, but you have to be in withdrawal before you can take it, otherwise it will throw you into the mother of all withdrawals. :O
    It would be far more prudent for your doctor to taper your percocet and tramadol usage over a period of weeks, minimizing any withdrawal symptoms that you might experience, versus putting you on a far more potent drug, and causing you to have to go through a far more difficult withdrawal than you would have if you had tapered. :/ :/
    Suboxone, like any other pain medication does not work for pain for everyone, therefore, his putting you on this to see if it is going to work for you or not , is not going to give you, nor your doctor reliable results. It may just wind up meaning that suboxone doesn't work to relieve your pain, just as any other pain medication may or may not.
    I would seriously rethink this plan and at least dicuss it with another pain management doctor before you do this. I think you may regret it if you don't.
    Sandi :|
  • Thanks for the insight Sandi.

    My PM actually said something like:

    "If you take it and the pain is still gone, you don't need pain meds. But if you take it and your pain is still there, you need pain meds."

    What I'm hearing now though, is this is not reliable, and won't really tell me if I'm in pain because of "broken" pain receptors", so I decided if they don't find anything on my CT, I'm going to taper off and hope for the best.... If I'm still in pain after a few months, I'll find a new doctor.
  • Hi Why,
    I think your plan is far more reasonable than the one your PM had in mind. Once you do taper, and are off the medications, you may still find that you have increased pain for a bit. This is normal, after stopping pain medications. That should correct itself once your own endorphins start to kick in again.
    I know how you feel about wanting to know how much of the pain we experience is because of something being wrong or could it be because I am still taking pain medications. I did the same thing a while back, took myself off the medications that I was on, to see how I did without them, if the pain that I experience was something that could be managed by over the counter remedies, or maybe, nothing at all. For me, I did and do need the medications to be able to get out of bed each day, let alone do much of anything else. But I had to know for my own peace of mind.
    I wish you luck. When you are ready to taper, if you do it in partnership with your PM, he should taper your meds by somewhere between 10-20% of your dose at each decrease. When I did it, I did it by cutting my dose every three days. It gave my body a chance to get used to the new , lowered dose, and then after another day, I would cut it down again and I suffered minimal withdrawal. It was nothing compared to what I was told it would be.
    I wish you the best.
  • Just a note (and rather ironic): My insurance doesn't pay for Suboxone anyways lol. =)) :))( :$
  • A lot of medications are used off label,suboxone is no exception.Here is what some people are saying about their experiences with suboxone.There are ways that a Dr can test you to see if your pain is real,high,low,etc.,without resorting to suboxone,but maybe this is a new 'study' or something that we aren't privvy to?Here's that link.

  • Hi Kat,

    In my opinion I would get a 2nd opinion from another pain doc.

  • Hi Robin,
    Yes, I know that most medications have off label uses, but it just seems that sub has become the new "oxycontin" in that it is being prescribed to get someone who does not have a history of addiction , as a means to get off pain medications faster and avoiding or trying to avoid a withdrawal, instead of doing a medically controlled taper, which is just as effective if done correctly.
    It is an effective drug, when used properly to treat addiction, no doubt about it, but it is not a drug , in my opinion anyway, that should just be given out to anyone who is legitmately taking pain meds because it is easier for a PM doc than having to work with a patient to do a controlled taper, or because a patient wants to avoid having to go through withdrawal. And it is ridiculously difficult to stop taking, according to reports that I have read about the withdrawal from it, so it is only putting a bandaid on a problem, which has to be faced eventually anyway, which is a taper off the medication, no matter which one it is.
  • Thank you all for your comments. My PM is working with me. I have a ct myelo on wed, so we will know if there is any physical reason for me to be in pain. If not, I will ask him to help taper me off using tramadol instead of percocet, since it tricks your receptors into thinking you are getting an opioid.

    I really hope they find no further reason for my pain. Even though I really do have a lot of pain still, I so badly want to stop taking drugs, it's been far too long coming in my opinion, so broken receptors is easier for me to get over than pain for the rest of my life. I may be old, but I still feel very young, and I have a lot I want to do yet!
  • Kat,

    Our situations sound very similar. Similar pain med levels. I haven't ever looked at this section of the blog--but perhaps I should have earlier.

    I was taking Oxycontin 20mg a couple times a day--plus--before my L5/S1 "supposed to be a slamdunk" fusion that I had back in November 08 (I'm 37, in shape, non smoker, one level, clear cut problem, etc). After the surgery, they had to go up to 20mg 3 times a day, plus a lot of Dilaudid (around the clock). To make a long story short--I got off the Dilaudid cold turkey about 2 months after the surgery--no real problems--then I got off the Oxycontin cold turkey--2 months ago--no problems. I say cold turkey--but I immediately went down to Vicodin--which equalled about half the opiates I was taking with the Oxycontin--so, slow but good progress. I don't remember having increased pain at either of these two markers, but my wife reminds me I was a mess for about a week when I went down. I have held steady on Vicodin--the daily limit--since then--which you and I both know is still too much long term. It just takes the edge off.

    My pain feels the same or worse as before surgery. My surgeon says it is the pain meds tricking my body into feeling more pain which I find hard to believe because my pain is so related to activity levels and feels mechancial. My CT Scan, however, shows textbook fusion. My discogram-per-surgery showed no problems at the levels above--so the rest of my back is OK. Like you, there is a possibility there is no physical reason why I should still be in this kind of pain. Although the PT and others have told me that it could take a year--pain meds or not.

    My PCP and I have been working together--he is not as concerned about the pain meds at this point--but I, like you, am very concerned. They cloud everything and it would stink if my body really is healed but the pills are tricking it into thinking it's not. I also think the pain meds trick your body into believing it can do more bending/lifting/twisting then it should be doing, thus inhibiting healing. When I was on the heavy hitters early on, I developed blood clots in my calf that would literally knock me off my feet. Had I not been on those pain meds, I believe I would have gone to the ER sooner and maybe avoided multiple pulmonary emboli and 6 months, so far, of Coumadin therapy--so, the pain meds almost killed me by masking life-threatening pain.

    So, this past week, I went from 5 Vicodin a day down to 1.5 to 3 a day. It has been very hard. My pain levels have shot way up to the point of tears. The first couple of days I did pretty well. The withdrawls are nothing (5 vicodin a day is different from those on a couple hundred mg of Oxycontin a day, I can't imagine those withdrawls!)--yes, the WD's are a bit uncomfortable, but my doctor gave me Clodinine and Xanax (yuck) to help with these. So, the plan is to keep tapering while using the Clodinine in between--this seems to make the withdrawl a non-issue. The issue for me is increased pain. I may be to the point that the benefits of the Vicodin (which my PCP says is "nothing" compared to what he sees in others) outweigh the pain I would be in off of it.

    I hope it IS my pain sensors--but on the other hand I have heard too many stories of people who thought they were fusing, had continued pain, were told it was the meds, only to find out something went wrong in the surgery. Early CT Scans can show progressing fusion, but then it falls apart later on.

    I asked my doctor about Suboxone. He said it is NOT for pain--it is only for coming off opiates. Perhaps Suboxone controls the increased back/muscle pains associated with the withdrawl but keeps your underlying pain at bay?? My doctor wanted to do Clodinine first--but I'm really thinking my problem is not the withdrawls--those are nothing compared to what we've been through--it is the mind-numbing back pain.

    For what it's worth--I have heard it can take a VERY long time for your natural endorphins to start doing their job again--but it is well worth it. Boy am I glad I am no longer on Oxycontin and Dilaudid!!! My surgeon made a good point at my last visit--he said, "I bet if you took an Oxycontin right now you would have no pain"--well, he was right, the other night I was in severe pain, I had a stray Oxycontin, took it "just to see" and my pain was gone. That tells me the pain tolerance/pain med issue is a legit one. I would think you will need more than a few weeks to determine whether or not your continued pain is being caused by the meds. What do others think? How long do you need to give yourself off the meds to determine if it is the meds tricking you? A month? 6 months? I guess it depends on your dose and so many other factors.

    Sorry this was so long.

    I hope this helps--you are not alone. It's a tough road.

  • Chuck - I wish you well on your very similar road! I tried looking up Clodinine, but can't find anything, what kind of drug is it?

    My PM says the pain receptors take 6 months to a year to recover from long term opioid use. This alone is enough to scare anyone who is living or has lived with chronic pain. Only 2 months ago, I was CERTAIN they would find something wrong if only they would run the right test, now I'm not so sure.

    I have always had intuition that would almost seem like ESP, but now I second guess myself at every turn. This has made me a completely different person, and I don't like her! I will be happier in the long run if this is a pain receptor problem, but, oh how good it would feel (for only a few days, if that), to be vindicated. But as we all know, it is just fantasy that vindication could ever be even a fraction as good as a long, pain-free life.

    So I am hoping my intuition 2 months ago was wrong, for the first time in my life, I would prefer to be humbled, and know that in a few years, I will be helping others as a nurse, not sitting at home in pain, and knowing my life will never go anywhere...
  • Oh my goodness Kat, we sound so similar.

    Wow--that is actually great to hear that it can take 6 months to re-set. I would be very curious to know if Suboxone can help the increased pain while getting you off the opiates.

    The drug is called Clonidine. I may have spelled it wrong. It is a blood pressure drug and is normally the first step for withdrawl before something like Suboxone. It lowers your blood pressure so you don't have those hot and cold flashes. It did seem to work well--but of course does nothing for the increased pain.

    I hope it goes well for you. I have said before that I am afraid the opiates talked me into this surgery, however I can't allow them to talk me OUT of a recovery.
  • Here you go, Kat. There's tons of other stuff online about it.


    Clonidine is an alpha-adrenergic blocker. It blocks sympathetic discharge. This sympathetic discharge may be responsible for elevated blood pressure and some of the symptoms, such as chills and sweats (diaphoresis), of opiate withdrawal. By blocking this sympathetic discharge, clonidine can relieve or decrease these symptoms of opiate withdrawal. It is probably the most widely used medication in treating the signs and symptoms of the opiate abstinence syndrome and precipitated opiate withdrawal. http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/243/4/343

    The major side effect is hypotension, low blood pressure. This causes dizziness. Dizziness can be relieved by lying down. Patients are cautioned to get up slowly and hesitate; sitting before standing and waiting a moment before walking. Patients should also avoid sleeping in a sitting position; they should sleep lying down.

    Clonidine is used in higher doses for withdrawal symptoms than to treat hypotension. It is usually used in combination with other medications to treat opiate withdrawal symptoms whether from abstinence or precipitated with antagonists.
  • My previous post was not directed(personally) towards you.I always find your posts informative,honest,and to the point.I simply wanted to add what little I knew about the topic because I had researched suboxone in the past.

    I do agree with your views on the drug,in that it seems to be being prescribed more frequently,and from what I've read,is incredibly addictive itself.
  • Thanks Chuck, I'm on "water pills" already for HBP, wonder if those could even be used for me?
  • An update: I went off oxy a week ago at my PM's, hmm, not request, he moved me like a game piece to the "quit oxy" square on the gameboard that is my life. Don't get me wrong, I'm ok with it, and I need to show them I CAN do it, and I actually am not in pain every day during the day anyway (mostly night pain and intermittent daytime.) I am handling it well, to me that shows I was never even dependent on them, and think I can live with OTC. I used Ultram, and am taking only one of them a day, went from 4 to one, I don't even know if I need the one, going to try none tomorrow. My main worry is the continued tingling and numbness in my legs/feet, over my left hip, and hands. Don't need drugs for that. I pray it will all just go away eventually.

    Chuck, have you tried discontinuing yours yet? I hope you are able to, so you, too can get the answers you want! Good luck!
  • Congratulations Why! You sound really positive, and aren't you glad now that you didn't choose to follow your PM's suggestion of suboxone? It would have prolonged a situation that really didn't warrant it's use to begin with, and would have put you into a withdrawal, that you are barely experiencing now.
    I'm proud of you and happy that things turned out this way for you.
    Just watch the tramadol use, it can sneak up on some people, and while it is marketed as a non opiate, it does effect the same opiate receptors that opiate pain meds do, and cause withdrawal in many people.
    I hope that you can manage the pain that you do have with an over the counter medication. The tingling, numbness is nerve pain, which shouldn't be treated with opiates to begin with.
    Anyway, take care, and continued feeling good.
  • Kat,

    I stopped Oxycontin a few months ago--no real problems--but shifted to Vicodin--basically half the opiates. I've held stead on this dose since then. I tried coming off the Vicodin and I have no doubt that I could if I didn't ALSO have the increased back pain. As it is--I am just managing the pain--but you take away the pain meds and I don't know. They are talking another surgery to fuse it from the back because they think it is the facet joints causing me the pain. Before I allow this--I am going to have to bite the bullet--go off pain meds totally--for at least a month--no matter how bad the back pain is--just to make sure the pain meds aren't increasing my perception of pain. Due to the quality of my pain--I can't understand how that could be--my pain is very mechancial and stiffness--how could opiates cause this to be intensified?

    I am very happy for you--it is a double edged sword having an easy time coming off the meds. On one hand you are thankful to have gotten off them--on the other, it was easy to comme off, so what's a pill here and there later on when you are in pain? I guess the latter is really the way it is supposed to be...

  • Kat,

    I don't want to throw cold water on your plan to get off of pain meds - I too would like to try to go off and have done a lot of research on this.

    Everything I have heard and read is that it takes at least a year once you have been off opioid meds for your pain receptors to "normalize" again. My understanding is that this is often a very tough year (tapering and the "jump" off is the easy part compared to handling the PAWS [Protracted Abstinence Withdrawal Syndrome] that comes after going off the meds), and that most/all people going off pain meds who have been on them for longer than 6 months or so will have PAWS that gradually improves. There are supplements you can take to help with the process, and exercise is the best thing kick start your own production of endorphins and enkephalins, but ultimately, it is simply going to take "time" to heal your receptors.

    As far as Suboxone goes, there is "some" evidence that it may help with the "healing" process, but this is controversial. What Suboxone "can" do, is speed up the taper - you can "jump" from the dose of meds you're taking to suboxone and "use" suboxone to taper off your meds rapidly. I am new here and will have to read the rules about mentioning other forums and various things, but I have learned A LOT by reading the accounts of addicts who are getting clean and how they have used suboxone to do this. I *think* I am allowed to post a this link since there are instructions on how to post web page addresses below:

    This is a page oriented towards addicts - Unfortunately, even if you have used your medication completely responsibly, your body still has to go through the same recovery process as an addict's body goes through. You probably won't experience the "cravings" that addicts experience, but physically, the process is the same if you have been on meds for an extended period of time (6 mo- a year). This page addresses the use of suboxone in getting off pain meds, PAWS -- it's the best information I've seen on PAWS anywhere, techniques you can use to lessen the impact of PAWS...etc. Don't let the fact that it's oriented toward addicts stop you from making use of the information.

    I recommend all the pages on PAWS, the suboxone FAQs, the Amino Acid Protocol, The Thomas Recipe, and anything else that looks helpful/interesting. I'm not *positive* that all the suboxone information is accurate. I haven't reread it since I read about 30 (!) medical journal articles on suboxone/buprenephorine (spelling-sorry!)


    This is NOT meant to discourage you from trying to get off the meds. You can often find people who are not addicts and just want to be free, as you say, of the ball and chain, of pain meds, on sites for opiate addicts. And, while it's possible that it might not feel comfortable sharing the same space with painkiller addicts, they are generally open to helping anyone - addicted or not, get off meds; they have *a lot8 of experience trying to get off these meds and really are happy to share what they've learned with anyone.

    I spent some time on one site where one person was particularly revered for being able to get people through a fairly painless suboxone detox in 2-3 weeks. From what I have read, suboxone can help people get off of pain meds if it is used as a "tool" for 3 weeks or less (I have also heard that when it is used this way that people have managed to avoid the dreaded PAWS). PM me if you want more infomation. I can try to find the name of the website and the guy who had advice for people doing a rapid suboxone detox. (without PAWS after their detox)

    To be honest, from what I have read, your PM dr's statement that suboxone will tell you if your pain receptors are broken or not does not make sense to me.

    Buprenephorine, (same as Subutex - no naloxone (I think it's naloxone that is added to Suboxone) has been used as a pain med for moderate to severe pain in Europe for over 20 years. The Europeans understand the advantages and disadavantages of Bupeprenephorine much better than most doctors in the US do. It can be very effective for both noiceptive and neuropathic pain. It can also decrease your sensitivity to pain, something which pure mu agonists appear to increase. It may help to "heal" the pain receptors, though this is controversial (maybe this is what you PM was referring to - still doesn't make sense to me though). It is in a class of it's own and a very interesting pain medication.

    As someone mentioned, it is not a fun med to try to taper off of (if you take it for an extended period of time). Most pain patients find that it either works for them or it doesn't. There are some unique properties that make it both very attractive as a pain med and not attractive. I think it will be on the market here in the form of a patch (like fentanyl) within a couple years. I know it still has to go through the approval process, but that this has already begun.

    There are problems with going on suboxone for pain now - Insurance companies (mine at least) will not pay for suboxone unless you have a diagnosis of addiction. If you wind up in a hospital and you are on suboxone, the ER doctors may assume you are an addict rather than a CPer (despite protestations to the contrary). They may also not realize that they will need to add a hefty dose of morphine or another pain med on top of the suboxone to handle your pain (yes, this can be done -- you can add what is called a "full agonist" like morphine, oxycontin or methadone on top of suxboxone to help alleviate pain (the reason why a doctor would do this is b/c suboxone has a "ceiling" and you cannot get relief by raising the dose above suboxone's ceiling. So, a doctor may have to add a full agonist - morphine, etc. on top of the suboxone if you are in an accident or there is some other reason why you need more pain relief.

    The confusions stems, in part, from the fact that adding suboxone (which is a mixed agonist/antagonist) on top of a full agonist like morphine will displace the morphine from the receptors (because bupe has such a strong "affinity for the mu receptors and it "bumps" off the other meds that do not have such a strong affinity. If the dose of suboxone is not as "strong" as the morphine you are taking, then you will go into "precipitated withdrawal," which is NOT at all fun from what I have heard! (it's a many times worse than "regular withdrawal"). I didn't phrase all of that very well, and I think I've gotten far more technical that was necessary here. Doctor's have a protocol to follow to avoid precipitated withdrawal when giving you suboxone. Switching to suboxone is hardest when you are taking a med that stays in your body for a long time after you stop (like methadone or the patch) or when you are on a high dose of a med. Sorry, this is WAY too much information given your question!

    My point was just that suboxone or buprenephorine can help people get off pain meds and, if done correctly, may help you avoid PAWS -- this is something to investigate seriously before going down this road. My understanding is that some sub doctors make a mistake and leave you on suboxone too long, which makes it harder to get off.

    The other point was that suboxone can be a powerful pain med in it's own right and is currently under development as a med for pain in the U.S. I didn't really talk about the advantages I've read about (often in European Journals on Pain since they have so much experience with the med) At this point, the U.S. is not really "ready" to use suboxone as a pain med - except for addicts. Many doctors don't understand it as well as they understand other pain meds, insurance coverage can be a problem, like any other med, it may or may not work for your pain, if you are in an accident or need more pain control, there's a good chance the ER dr. isn't going to know he can add a full agonist to the suboxone...

    This is just my very very LONG opinion on suboxone. I think we will begin to see it used as a pain med frequently in the next few years, and doctors will become more familiar with it. For CP'ers now, however, I think suboxone is probably best used as a tool to help go of pain meds if that is someting you want to try.

    If (and, in my mind this is a big IF) if can help people avoid up to a year of PAWS, then going off pain meds using suboxone sounds great to me. The key is to find someone who really really knows what they are doing if/when you go off. I found reading other user experiences invaluable in helping me decide how and when I might be able to free myself from these meds.

    It sounds like you don't know if you're going to try to go off pain meds yet or what you're going to do. I did a TON of reading about suboxone and going off pain meds from December through March because I wanted to try to go off. I decided that I would have to taper my dose down to a level where I could try suboxone if I wanted to very slowly. I am a long way away from being able to go off of pain meds right now. But, I wanted to pass on *some* of the research I did on the topic.

    Best of luck to you. If you you would like more information or have questions, please feel free to PM me. It may take me a while to get back to you, b/c my schedule is really hectic right now, but I'll do my best.

  • I don't know for certain that there aren't differences in the physical recovery process for pain patients and addicts when going off of pain medication. However, I know that much of what pain patients and addicts experience physiologically when they go off of pain medication is very similar. Sorry, just wanted to clarify that I said this with a bit too much certainty.

    Personally, I was really annoyed when I found out that a heroin addict would have a much easier and shorter (provided they didn't relapse) recovery than I would. Since the meds I take are stronger than what most addicts take, I can't just take suboxone -- I have to taper down first b/c my current dose would throw me into precipitated withdrawals.

    I had another thought, but I think I've said more than enough anyway!
  • Kat,

    Oops, I should have read through all the posts before posting my response. I hope you're doing ok. Sometimes I wonder if the doctors understand how much control they have over our lives....

    Doesn't sound like you've been hit with PAWS and there is NO SENSE in reading about it if you haven't since our expectations shape what we experience (IMHO). Tramadol is a bit different as well..

    Hope to hear how you're doing...But, one big congratulations - chess piece or not, if you can do without, the doctors will not have any control over your life (at least not this doctor)!

  • ive been on suboxone for detox from pain meds and as a pai killer. a dr does need special lic, for it. and its very expensive. suboxone is noropenephrine mix with naloxone, ts a partial opiate agonist. it works well for detox by takin away sick withdrwal feelings, however did not work well for pain for me and it was very sedating at least the dose i was on. it comes in 8mg and 2 mg, its a tablet that u put under your tounge and le disolve. it goes into body from there.
    its pretty easy to come off suboxone the withdrawal is present but much less severe than with full opiate agonist's specailly mu agonist's that target the pleasure center in brain.

    so what am i saying, idk, lol. but what did u mean in your origanal post about knowing if your pain was real. u might wanna think about that one.
  • Remzy,
    I am not sure how long you were on suboxone, but my understanding is that if you are on suboxone for any longer than 21 days, it is very, very difficult to stop taking, the withdrawal is worse than it is for methadone. This was told to me by doctors, in fact my own doctors in discussions that we have had about different new medications that are on the market.
    He is very, anti suboxone use for withdrawing from pain medications, unless someone has a history of drug abuse.
    Suboxone is made of buprenorphine and naloxone, not noropenephrine. I'm sure that you meant that anyway.
    I'm glad that it worked so well for you in the withdrawal process. I have read mixed results in using it to treat pain , most have been like yours, it didn't work as well for that. Usually when it is used to treat pain, it is at the lowest doses, around 2 mg. During withdrawal I have read that they dose as high as 24 mg at a time, which is highly dependant on the drugs of choice and the former dosage.
  • soryy your right its bupronorphine/naloxone, i wasnt at good for pain i agree. i was on 7 8mg tabs a day. its the easiest med to come off of thats why its the top choice for addiction treatment.
    its not a cake walk though b any means.
  • Blessings to all of us Spineys >:D<
    Kat I hope that you continue to keep us posted about your process. I have questioned my pain many times and have also desperately wanted to not be on medication. I seem to go through periods of fighting all of this and then somehow I am in acceptance.
    Last Friday my psych brought up the possibility of switching from Oxycontin 60mg/day to Suboxone. I have severe depression and anxiety which she thought might also be helped with Suboxone. I am leaning toward not switching after spending about 2 hours a day researching Suboxone.
    I have been emotionally fragile since the beginning of May when I had a rhizotomy on 8 medial branch nerves that sent my pain from 6 up to 7-8. :''( I feel as thought I was just beginning to learn to live the way I am now. What used to be a small set back for me is now a huge one. A med change right now does not seem like a good idea. Jackie
  • Suboxone is being used on pain patients more frequently. It is especially used in cases where a patient seems to be having hyperalgesia, which some people dont even believe in and Im not really sure about it. Suboxone does have pain killer ability and actually is pretty powerful. Dont feel like an addict because you are being started on suboxone because it is not only used for drug addicts, its used on chronic pain patients who have dependency on their meds and who supposedly have hyperalgesia. If you see a pain doctor and are on a decent dose of opiates and still complain of pain many would probably say it is because of this.
  • Just an update, and a bit more info that I think explains what my PM may have been talking about regarding using Suboxone to see if my pain is "real".

    First update: I have not taken any prescription painkiller since the 3rd of June and for up until yesterday, Tylenol and just a little Ibuprofen helped a lot for pain, but I was told last Wednesday (he waited until NOW?) not to use so much Ibuprofen, since I haven't begun fusing, and that my peek cage is loose (NS says "normal"). SOOO, trying to manage the pain I have today and had yesterday with tylenol failed, and went back to ibuprofen. It took 8 hours to begin feeling any relief, and I have a call into my pm to see what he wants to do. I am hoping for a nerve block or some such remedy, I don't want to go back on the pain pills.

    Now a little info:

    This article actually mentions something that sounds similar to what my pm was talking about:
    "The $10,000 question then is this: If the pain receptors that opioids are known to target are completely blocked, what is making the subjects' pain worse?"
    Thus, I believe his idea was that if my receptors were blocked by the antagonist naloxone, and I still had pain, he would deem my pain "real".

    anyway, I hope everyone is doing well. I plan on returning to the boards when my pain is such that I can help others without going off half-cocked on a quest to find the reason for my continued problems. I much prefer giving of my experience to complaining about it, so until then, I wish everyone well!

Sign In or Register to comment.