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BackhertzBBackhertz Posts: 1
I have been suffering from chronic pain as the result of a lumbar radiculopathy and RSD of my left leg. I was treated with opoid medication for many years. My pain management doctor switched me to Suboxone 8mg/2mg last July. Although I did not enjoy full relief, I was able to get off Avinza and Dilaudid & was successfully managing the pain under the supervision of my doctor.

Two weeks ago, I was denied a refill on the Suboxone from the DOL OWCP (workmen's compensation) because the claims examiner determined that Suboxone was not for the management of chronic pain.

As a result of the denial, I suddenly stopped the Suboxone which I was taking 4 sublingual strips a day. My pain symptoms skyrocketed to the 8/9 level along with a withdrawal unlike I ever experienced before. I spoke with the OWCP claims examiner today who told me that she looked up the medication which is not used for pain management & would not cause any withdrawal symptoms...

I lost about 14 lbs, experienced the worst insomnia with only 2-3 ours of sleep with medication, sweats, runny nose, racing thoughts, and many other withdrawal symptoms. I am waiting to hear back from my doctor.

I would like to know if Suboxone is used by others for pain management.



  • I have been on suboxone for over 5 years for pain management. First of all many docs are using suboxone for pain management but it is an off label use to use it for pain management in the US. In the UK it has been used for pain management for over 25 years. Several select docs are working with the drug company and the FDA to get pain management of cronic pain as a labeled use but this has not happened yet. I have to fight with my insurance company every 6 month to get a new prior authorization but my doc is pro-suboxone for pain management as he is one of the docs taking part in the study but if your doc is prescribing suboxone he should be ready to back up why you should be on it ( I.e. overall less medication costs, even though suboxone is expensive it still is cheaper than you being on multiple Meds to achieve the same result. Less trips to the ER since your pain is well controlled. Less doctor's visits since again your pain is well controlled) bottom line is as sick as it is it doesn't matter to the insurance company how you feel all that matters is the money or better yet their lack of spending money and making a profit. Bottom line if your doc is not willing to step up to the plate and defend his decision it might be time to look for a new pain medicine doc, also you can talk to your doc about your eligibility for the low income program through the drug company, another option is to look for a free or low cost prescription card that would reduce the cost of the med by around 60% on average, you may be able to find one at your local family independence agency/ department of human resources ( whatever your state calls where you go to apply for food stamps) or check with your local health department, they normally will give these to anyone no matter your insurance situation. Hope this helps cause suboxone is a million times better both physically and mentally from my experience.
  • Also you will experience withdrawal symptoms if you abruptly stop suboxone, it actually can be worse than some narcotics. Whoever told you that the symptoms your having are not from the abrupt stop of suboxone has no idea of what they're talking about. Anytime you stop suboxone you should be gradually weened. Again your doc should be willing to advocate to the insurance company for you. Hope all works out for you.
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