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I initially started taking Suboxone to get off of hydrocodone. I have been on 8mg 3 times a day. I know it helps with some pain but don't think it really helps that much. The cost of this drug is almost $700 per month for a 30 day supply and I really cannot afford it as my insurance has changed. I was wondering what other options are available for me.


  • Suboxone is not intended to be a pain medication. It is to be used to wean a person off of opioids. Each person is different so you may get a little relief from it.

    You ask about options - for what? Controlling pain or for treating a dependence issue?

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • If you are only taking it to stop taking the vicoden, then you should only need it for a week, then taper off it. At 8 mg, three times a day, you are taking far too much suboxone. A short taper, with a minimal dose is all that you should have needed. It sounds like this doctor is treating you for dependency/addiction rather than a short tapering plan.
    In fact, you easily could have tapered off the vicoden by eliminating part of a dose , for each dose per day, slowly reducing the vicoden every few days until you were off it completely. It would have been far easier and far less expensive.
    Suboxone is intended as a maintenence medication for addiction treatment. Although it can be used as a short term medication to help with withdrawal symptoms from other opiates, in that case, the doses should be much lower than 24 mg per day...that is the dosage for managing addiction symptoms.
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  • Buprenorphine is primarily an analgesic, and has been for 30+ years, although it is used more in the States for treating opioid dependence nowadays. Suboxone is the formulation for that particular indication - for treating pain there is a patch (Butrans) and sublingual tablet (Temgesic). The doses for pain relief are much lower than those for addiction treatment (nowhere near 8mg, which is a very high dose). I'm prescribed Temgesic and the daily divided dose only comes to 2.4mg. It's a very safe drug when used properly, and has several advantages over more traditional opioids such as morphine. For some patients it works very well, especially in combination with adjuvant analgesics.
  • Hi Huggy,
    Yes, you are correct in stating that butrans is a much better choice for the management of pain than using suboxone. In this case, it sounds like the original poster was given suboxone to use instead of doing a proper taper off of hydrocodone ( vicoden/norco) rather than being given it to manage his/her pain levels.
    Unfortunately, it is happening far too often that these suboxone licensed doctors are using far too much suboxone and keeping patients who should only be using it in minimal doses for a very short tapering period, and treating them as they do a patient that they are seeing for addiction and maintenence therapy- which typically uses the doses of 8 mg. three times a day- all that accomplishes is replacing one opiate type of med with another, one usually far more expensive and more difficult to taper off it later.......
    If someone is wanting to replace a pain medication with butrans, then that would be a much better option than having a doctor use suboxone for the wrong reason and definately the wrong dosage for this case...
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