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Suboxone to help get off of Norco



  • " the fact is, using suboxone or some other means isn't going to help someone avoid withdrawal at all, it will make it that much more complicated and difficult though, not to mention, in some cases downright dangerous"

    Really??? So, Suboxone won't help someone avoid withdrawal at all???

    My first thought is, yeah, started the taper off the Norco (Fly) and it sucked - sick, flu, cranky, freakin' miserable. Maybe 8 Norco/day is just a fly, but maybe it's not, for me, it was a little bit bigger than that. I'm certainly not opposed to dealing with difficult situations, but if there is something that would make it easier (for me AND my family) then it seemed like it would only make sense to check it out. So, in checking it out, I went to many different sites on the web, and also spoke with my Doctor.
    There are an awful lot of people on this world wide web that are very pleased with Suboxone. There are plenty of others that say it didn't work for them. My Doctor & his nurse, are both very pleased with the results that they have seen. Their experience is that it greatly decreased the symptoms of withdrawal that would have normally been seen, w/out the Suboxone. This is backed up by statements all over the web. There are hundreds of positive reviews from first hand users. So, it is probably safe to assume, that for some, it works great, and for others, it doesn't. Isn't that how all drugs or meds are?
    For me, I hope I made the right choice. So far, it's going great, no Norco or Neurontin for 7 days and very minimal symptoms of withdrawal (flame thrower seems to have very tiny flame). When the taper begins, and if the withdrawal symptoms are minimized, I'll be happy (so will my family), and I'll let you know, as it may be helpful to others too.
    If it doesn't go well, and I find that I wished I wouldn't have used it, I'll post that too. That way people will be able to utilize this bit of information, to make a judgement for themselves, when they come upon this fork in the road of life.
  • Roseville,
    Suboxone does NOT help you avoid withdrawal at all since you will have to go through it when you stop taking it in a few weeks. You postponed the withdrawal that you will go through. You traded one drug withdrawal for another one, one that is 80 times stronger than morphine. I hope, that you don't have a bad time when you do stop taking the suboxone that your doctor gave you. But I also have talked to too many people who have had a horrible time trying to stop it after taking it only for avoiding withdrawal with their original medication. The very same situation that you are in.
    You say that your doctor and his nurse told you that it would not be difficult, but have either one ever taken and withdrawn from suboxone? I highly doubt it. No offense to your doctor, but I bet that he is telling you and his other patients what he was told by the pharmaceutical rep. He has no personal experience with it.
    I don't wish bad things for you or any one else taking suboxone, but I do wish that people would be more cautious in using something such as this as a means to avoid something that may not be pleasant, but will have to happen anyway.
    You seem to be under the impression that once you get through these couple of weeks that you will either just stop taking the sub and there will be no after effects or that there is no withdrawal with suboxone. If that is the case, I think you may want to do more reading.
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  • Just as a side note that is relevant: in most of the stories I have heard where getting off of the Suboxone was worse, the patient used suboxone for a much more substantial time, say, 3 to 6 months. Sometimes this was because of abusive behavior, and sometimes just due to the amount of meds being taken, but since the OP(original poster) is only supposed to be on the sub for 2-3 weeks and tapering immediately, if I remember correctly, maybe it will in fact work out peachy. I certainly hope that is the case, regardless of the fact that I think it is overkill. Wishing you the best Roseville, and eager to hear your results in a month or so.

    Best wishes

  • To JWM - Thank you. From all of the reading that I have done, and continue to do, a 21 day program may just work well.
    To Sandi - Thank you - you frustrated the hell out of me, but you also made me dig, and dig much deeper than I would have, for information. I hear your passion against the Suboxone, for a case like mine, Trust me, I hear it! If we had had this discussion before I started the Suboxone, I likely would not have started it. But since I have started it, the key is to get good, positive advice, on how to make it work. (21 day plan???) The frustration for me comes from what seems to be a "It'll never work" and "there's only one side of this story" message. I Unfortunately for me, it is also coming at a time where I was really looking for some support. Again, I think, based on many different forums, that this is not a topic that is taken lightly, and I'm glad there is a passion - that means people care. It's interesting though, that it is probably often brought up in forums like this, by people like me, who are a bit irritable based on their place in the cycle.
    I copied and pasted from medhelp.org, a great post (in my opinion), that sums up this subject quite well.

    "by liscamdave, Dec 09, 2008 09:35AM
    There ARE success stories out there Jdawn. Believe me. Not everyone suffers worst then they would have with their previous DOC. I did a 21 days sub treatment. And I started out the first day with 16mgs then by the 2nd day I dropped to 8mg. By the end of the first week, I was only taking 2mgs a day. When I stopped, I was down to .5 mgs, every 3 days. In the end, I only took it if I couldn't sleep. Then after that, I got through it. And it was NOT that bad. Please do not think that all everyone said to you will Definitely happen. Because everyone is different. And everyone's experience is circumstantial. So you don't know how long they were all on it and at what dose. There are members here who have had good experiences with it and have gotten through it. I am going on one year clean. So I got through it. My w.d was not that bad. But again, we are all different. If you need anything, just ask. My only advice, is don't let your dr talk you into high doses of sub. And do not take it longer then one month. If you can get by only taking it for a couple weeks do that. The shorter length of time you are on it and the lower the dose, the easier it will all be on you. Drs have no clue how strong it is and are very quick to push it on people. Most drs don't take insurane and only will accept cash, so that's why most want you to stay on it. The sub market is hugh and drs are getting certified left and right to prescribe it. So just be careful. Stay at a low, low dose. The least you can get by with. And only stay on it for a few weeks to a month max. I think a month may even be too long. You do what you have to do. Its your body and your addiction. We can only tell you our experiences. But I notice here there are alot of people who feel negatively about sub and in turn tend to scare people and I think that is wrong. I am telling you what I know to be factual about sub, and that's stick to a low dose for a short time. Other then that, all the things written above are based on personal experiences. Good luck and if you need anything, just ask..

  • Thanks for your post. I have said before and I will say it again, that I truly do hope that your tapering plan works for you and that there are no issues for you to come off the sub at the end of the three weeks. That would be an ideal outcome in my opinion. I want you to be successful and I'm sorry if you felt that I was not hopeful of that for you. I am. I wholely hope that you don't experience one negative side effect.
    My feelings about sub are based on the experiences of others, and in large part things that you quoted in the post from Lisa....the high starting doses which truly aren't necessary when dealing with a straight opiate withdrawal in a chronic pain patient except in extreme circumstances, the sheer number of newly certified doctors who don't take insurance but will keep patients on sub for an indefinate period, and because of those patients who find themselves unprepared for the withdrawal that comes with sub, because it does come eventually.
    I am simply one of those people who feel that a patient really needs to look deeper and do more "research" when something like this is suggested. I just want us to be aware of what can and does often happen and not just take the word of our doctors or nurses who have no real experience with what they are suggesting.
    It sounds like a great idea, in the office, a truly easy way to avoid withdrawal and all of those yucky symptoms that come with it. And if it works out that way , if the taper is done properly, have you on it for a week, maybe two if you are on a higher dose of opiates prior to starting it, but then you do a fast taper off the low dose of it that the patient should be on, and you are off by the end of the 2nd week, then it's great. But far too many are not finding things going that way and then they find that the withdrawal is more than they bargained for...
    Anyway, I'm sorry that I frustrated you, but am glad that I made you think and do some research into it for yourself.
    As I said in the beginning of this, I truly wish nothing but success for you in this.
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  • in case someone has stumbled upon this post, while doing research on suboxone, i wanted to post this link:
    it appears to be a very thorough summary and there are answers to many questions. i printed it out and will be sharing it with my dr tomorrow, to ensure we're both on the same page with the same goal of a successful taper to zero by end of 3rd week. :ss
  • RosevilleTJ said:
    Their experience is that it greatly decreased the symptoms of withdrawal that would have normally been seen, w/out the Suboxone. This is backed up by statements all over the web. There are hundreds of positive reviews from first hand users. So, it is probably safe to assume, that for some, it works great, and for others, it doesn't. Isn't that how all drugs or meds are?
    You need to pay very close attention to the context of those reviews. Until recently, Suboxone use was limited to people who were on literally hundreds of milligrams of very powerful drugs like oxycontin, morphine, fentanyl, and a whole host of illegal drug cocktails at dosages that make pain management look meager in comparison.

    For people tapering off of very high doses of potent drugs or people with substance abuse/addiction issues, I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to recommend speaking with their doctors about using Suboxone to help them through that process. I'm especially not averse to recommending Suboxone to help people with substance abuse issues become more successful in their overall treatment programs.

    I'm not minimizing the withdrawal symptoms you experienced when I refer to using Suboxone in this situation as killing a fly with a flamethrower. What I'm referring to is proportional response. In my opinion, Suboxone for 18 months of Norco is like using IV morphine for a "had a lousy day at work" kind of headache. In the end, the headache will be gone, but it probably would have been gone after 2 Tylenol and a few hours rest, too.

    I just have to wonder if your doctor carefully considered what a 21-day taper off of the Norco would actually look like. From your original dose of Norco, using a 21-day taper, you would have to reducing your dose by an average of 3.8mgs of hydrocodone each day, which is less than a half a tablet a day reduction. To accomplish the same taper over 30 days, you'd have to reduce an average of 1/4 of a tablet per day.

  • Good luck tomorrow Roseville. I hope that your appointment goes well and that you and your doctor find yourselves on the same page regarding your taper plan. One week down, two more to go.
    I am assuming that you should be at the stage when you have already begun the taper from the suboxone? If so, that's terrific and I hope that you experience no difficulties with it.
    If not, did you and your doctor come up with a plan for tapering now that you have completed the first week?
    I read the link that you posted, I have read something similar before. It is some of that very information that scared the pants off me.
    I hope that PAWS and the increased withdrawal symptoms are not a part of your experiences in two weeks.
    Good luck and please keep us posted. I would love to see you successfully get through this.
  • I'm now at 9 weeks following my L5-S1 PLIF. I'm taking zero prescribed meds, have an occasional level 1 pain, kinda just a nuisance ache, and I take a couple of Tylenol to fix it. I am absolutely thrilled to be DONE with back pain. I'm certainly so empathetic to the others on this forum who haven't been so lucky, I wish everyone could be "Fixed", for me, I couldn't be any happier. (I'm also aware, for those who are already thinking it, that I may not be "Fixed" forever, but I'm choosing to think I am.
    I took my boat out today for 5 hours on the lake with the wife and kids, the kids and my wife all wake boarded for the first time since before my surgery. I really wanted to, but I didn't even think of mentioning it as my wife would have snapped! I took it easy and went slow over the waves, but it was a great day on the lake.
    Getting off the meds was horrible for me too, I went the very controversial "Suboxone" route. Anyway, I don't know if I would recommend it, in fact, I probably wouldn't, BUT, for me, I think it worked out fine. I only had one really cruddy day, and that was the third evening after stopping Suboxone, full blown flu like symptoms. I had 3 or 4 sleep deprived nights but from then on, I've been fine. Today's day 7 with no meds, other than an occasional two tylenol. I'm up and ready to go on my 1+mile walk.
    Have a great day!
    TJ = 39YO Male L5/S1 Fusion 6/24/09
  • I am happy to see that you did come back and let us know how things are going for you. I , like you, hope that you are "fixed" and won't need to ever go back on any pain medications.
    I'm glad that you were able to stop the suboxone with seemingly no problems. That is the outcome that I had hoped to see. Watch out for PAWS, which can hit at any time between a week or month after you have stopped the suboxone. Other than that, I wish you nothing but a life filled with whatever you want to do with your family and lots of pain free days.
    Best wishes to you TJ,
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