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Weaning from Oxycontin

Gretchen1GGretchen1 Posts: 105
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Pain Medications
Can anyone give me examples of how your surgeons weaned you off the oxycontin, oxycodone?

I had TLIF w/instrumentation & decompression on 2/2. At 3/1 appointment xrays showed top 2 screws had moved a tiny bit. Given soft corset style brace and another 30 days of restriction. At 4/1 appointment, everything looked good on xrays, just some foot/ankle swelling and nerve pain, which has been resolving. Have appointment on 4/30 with surgeon and PA said would most likely be released for next 6 months at that appointment, without physical therapy, as long as xrays looked good.

I was taking 20mg Oxycontin every 12 hours. At my 4/1 appointment the PA switched my evening dose of oxycontin to four 5mg oxycodone. She specifically told me not to just stop the oxycontin or oxycodone. I know the oxycontin is continuous release and oxycodone is immediate release. I just don't see how switching me from continuous to immediate release, with the same mg, at night is the start to weaning off this medication.

I am also taking Percocet 5/325 and Valium 5mg, as needed, usually once a day.

I'm anxious to get off the medication but am now terrified to just stop taking it since the PA made such a stink about it. I realize I will still need the Valium and Percocet, as needed, especially since going back to work part-time. I find I do need to take one each after a 4 hour day. But they don't bother me as much as the oxycontin and oxycodone.

I have been craving steamed shrimp and a beer for a month now!

Anyone who can share their experiences of weaning I would appreciate so I know what to expect or exactly what to ask my surgeon about weaning as quickly as possible.

Thanks guys.


  • Hi Gretchen-is weaning off hydrocodone the same thing?not sure---but I do know not to stop cold turkey!I learned the hard way. I take 3 7.5 hydro a day,down from 4-----I am going to try to cut it by half a pill every week or two.I have always had a high tolerance for pain med--it takes alot to work for me,but it doesnt make me loopy.I say go for the beer and shrimp!!Good luck,and let us know how you are doing.Jeannie
  • do you feel that you need to be off your meds. Weaning down slowing is a very appropriate way to go.
    I still take oxycodone 2.5mg during the day, and 5mg at night, and I'm 20 weeks post PLIF.

    You are only 10 weeks post op, and many on this forum can tell you that the more active you become, you may still need some pain relief.

    Ultimately, you are the only one that knows your pain level. But I wouldn't sweat it if it is working for you, and let your PA help you also.

    Take care,


  • I was just curious how people were weaned off the meds. My PA said we were starting and I couldn't see how the same mg of the drug, with the only difference being immediate release, was starting the process. The only difference she could really specify was the release. She doesn't always strike me as being the brighest bulb in the room and getting a good answer out of her isn't always easy.

    Believe me, I'm a little nervous about weaning off because I am afraid I will have pain, which is why I'm wondering about it. I had a hard time the first 2 days after surgery while they adjusted my meds in the hospital. A lot of them were making me terribly sick and they were having a hard time finding the right combo. I don't expect pain like that but don't want to go anywhere near that level ever again if I can help it.

    The main reason I'm concerned about getting off of them is because I still have not been released to drive and was told it was because I'm still taking the medication oxy. I'm only released to work part-time and my poor husband is having to take his lunch hour to shuttle me back home. Luckily we work near each other and don't live that far from our offices. I know he doesn't mind but feel terrible about it because he has done so much since surgery.

    I see my surgeon on the 30th and know I'll get more information from him then. I'm one of those people that just like to know ahead of time what to expect.
  • Just a small note, Oxycontin and Oxycodone are the same thing. Percoset is Oxycodone with Tylenol, why are you taking both? It sounds like the PA would like to have you on the IR meds so you have more control and will be able to spread out the time you take it as time passes.

  • The Percoset is just for breakthrough pain. I was at the point where I was very very having to take any. But, this past week, having gone back to work part-time, I do find I need one around 1 or 2, after working for 4 hours. Will see how that goes this weekend when I'm not working. Hopefully won't need any Percocets.
  • she took you from 1 pill to four, even though its the same thing. Then little by little, you take one less pill. So for example, this week take 4 before you go to bed. Next week, take three before you go to bed, after that 2, etc....

    I was taking 3 10/325 hydrocodones a day. When he weaned me off, I then took 2 a day for the following week, and 1 a day the last week. I would think that is what your PM is trying to do. I would think she would explain it to you though?

    Hope this helps!!!!!

  • Actually there is a big difference by switching out the oxycontin with oxycodone at the evening dose. The oxycodone being short acting, is there and gone before you wake in the morning and take the oxycontin. Since you are active during the day and the risk of higher pain level is associated with activity, having the extended release oxycontin in your system from a morning dose, helps keep you a step ahead of the pain. In the evening when your activity is decreased and/or you are sleeping, by switching to the oxycodone, you are starting to taper down slowly.

    You can't compare the dose of oxycontin with the oxycodone, they don't truly equate to the same thing.

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