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Another Tramadol Victim
  1. #1
    Shattered Soldier is offline New Member
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    Default Another Tramadol Victim

    I was reading some reports on the web that Tramadol was helping people with their depressive symptoms. I've been suffering from chronic depression for four years so I decided to give it a try. After reading all of the rave reviews about the drug I was excited about what kind of benefits it might give to me. Being a drug addict I was hoping to be "careful" with the drug and only take a couple of pills a day. Well, on the first day I popped about 300mg of the drug and felt some good effects. My mood was lifting and I was able to communicate better with other people. My suicidal thoughts began to start vanishing and I felt like I was living a normal life again. It wasn't long at all before I began upping the dose, taking in upwards of 1000mg per night. Sometimes just going throughout the day popping 300mg here, 300mg there. I started to want to sleep all the time, lay on the couch, and enjoy the feeling of inner comfort that the drug gave me. I've only been on it for two weeks, but it seems I got hooked really fast.

    I had only started taking the drug about two weeks ago and just decided to stop completely. I started to think that I got off of it scott free, that it wasn't doing good any longer, and that I could just go about my normal every day life. Boy was I wrong! I started noticing last week that my sleep was being broken up in the night and I was getting overly emotional. I would want to cry at night and started to withdraw from people. On Friday I had my last full night's sleep. By Saturday I was experiencing migraine headaches and didn't get any sleep at all that night. On Sunday I had the worst headache of my entire life, I had a runny nose, chills, muscle stiffness, and a feeling of terrible disorientation (like my mind was no longer in my body). I got home from working my first day at a new job and tried to take a nap, all I could do was shake in bed. I got up and ate dinner but felt really sick from eating. Last night, I decided to take 300mg and my mood suddenly lifted again, the headaches went away, and I felt calm. I lay down on the couch in front of the tv and tried to relax. I fell asleep briefly and had one of the most chaotic and intense dreams that I had ever experienced. It was like my mind was trying to go to sleep but my body wasn't relaxing at all. I went to bed, lay down, and stayed up for the rest of the night. I got on the computer and decided to google Tramadol Withrawal Symptoms and was in for a horrible shock.

    After reading the information on this site about tramadol withdrawal I decided to flush the pills down the toilet. I had gotten them over the internet and have no other prescriptions for them. I am starting to feel the anxiety of withdrawal today and can barely sit still. I am just so scared because I know now that I am in for alot of sleepness nights and that it might be quite a while before I get back to normal again. I am so angry at myself for making such a huge mistake by taking this drug, even for such a short period of time! I have given up all hope of having a good night's sleep ever again any time soon and just wanted to post here so that I could get some support from some people who are going through the same thing I am. I have been through benzodiazipine withdrawal over the summer and it took me two months to finally feel like myself again. I am just wondering if it will be the same thing with this medication. My mind feels like it wants no sleep and my body wants to pace, and since I took 100mg this morning when I woke up and I seriously not even at day one yet!

    I told my mother about it, whom I live with, and she was very sad and distraught. She knows my history of drug abuse and just can't believe that I would get myself into such horrible trouble again! She wants me to call my psychiatrist to see if there is anything that he can do in order to help me, but I know from reading the posts here that there is nothing he can really do. I just wish I had never messed around with such a horrible demon of a drug! I can feel the anxiety from the trials and tribulations for the days ahead already weighing on my back. I just hope it doesn't take too long for me to feel normal again, or for me to actually get some already much needed sleep again. Please, if you have any support, please reply to me! I feel I have gotten myself in so much trouble that I don't know what I'm going to do! I just wish there were some way out of what I'm going to have to go through.

    Mike
    Last edited by Anonymous; 03-08-2010 at 11:46 AM.

  2. #2
    lawyer100 is offline Junior Member
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    Thumbs up Tramdol victim as well

    Shattered Soldier,

    I totally understand how you feel and what you are going through with this drug. I had a doctor prescribe this to me a few years ago for headaches. I don't remember how much I was taking each day, but I believe I did follow the instructions on the dosage. I believe I was on the drug for about 2 years. I also felt better taking Tramadol-less depressed and just generally feeling in a better mood. So after 2 years or so on this drug, I get a letter from this doctor's practice saying that he was leaving the practice and apparently going out of state. I really didn't think this was any big deal, not knowing that I was in fact physically addicted to these pills. The withdrawals kicked in not too long after, maybe a day or two was it. Let me tell you, it was horrible! I couldn't sleep, my legs wouldn't stop moving, cramps in my legs...it is almost as bad as withdrawals from narcotics (because I had to go through that last year). They should really control this drug more because it is addicting, maybe not for everyone, but for me it was.

    I should also mention that I had a history of drug abuse starting in my teens, but nothing that was out of control. And addiction runs rampid in my family. About a couple of years ago my dad recommended a pain doctor that was really good because I was having bad back pain (my dad is also addicted to pain meds and whatever else he can get his hands on)-he also told me this guy handed out pain meds like candy. So here's my dilemma, I'm having real pain plus a doctor that hands out narcotics like crazy-I'm like this is great (so really being honest with myself, I knew I was really going to this doctor to get pain meds, the old addict in me was coming out again, plus I was going through a lot of other problems in my life at the time). This doc did some MRI's on me and really found no major problems, but there were some issues (but nothing to justify the amount of drugs he started to give me). First I asked for something mild for the pain, some Darvocet. The "high" on them at first was great! I had energy, I wasn't depressed, I could get up for work everyday because I knew I had the meds to make the day better and go by faster, etc. After a while, I moved on to Vicodins and then Vicodin ES and then to Norco's because I was worried about the acetamenophin. He would give me about 200 of these each month, which at first was great. But then I started going through these in less than a month and would have to go to another doc or the ER to get enough to last me until I could refill my scripts from him. Months into this I told him the Vikes weren't really lasting long enough and not working as well, so he put me on MSContin and was taking about 120 mg a day of morphine. I started getting headaches from the morphine so he switched me to oxymorphone (which is an equivalent strength drug to Dilaudid). Coming off the morphine was awful!! Even though he gave me a different drug in its place, I still had to withdraw from the morphine! I was sick for days, throwing up and such-felt like a bad flu. I had to lie to my employer and said that I got salmonella poisoning and was real sick. So this new med I didn't like too much, plus I wasn't getting that good "high" that you get with short acting narcotics, so I asked to go back on the Norco. It got really bad then, I was up to about 25-30 Norco's per day. This doc finally caught me, found out I was getting narcotics from other docs, so there went my connection and I was screwed! I had used so many other docs and ER's in the area that I couldn't get them anywhere.

    This is when I had to fess up to my husband and family what was going on. The withdrawals were pure hell-I just wanted to die!! And what is weird is that this is basically what I went through with the Tramadol! Although with the Tramadol, I eventually got better and didn't have cravings and didn't use any other drugs. But with coming off the narcotics, even after the physical agony ended, I just fell like s***! I was depressed, crying, interested in nothing and noone, not even my kids. I felt so guilty. I finally decided to find a psychiatrist that dealt with addiction-he turned out to be a lifesaver. He started me on a couple of anti-depressants, weaned me off my Ativan (I was also taking that with the pain meds) and put me on some meds for my bipolar disease and to help me sleep. I did OK for a while, but then I started going to doctors again after a while and getting pain meds again. I knew I had to get drastic at this point. Told my psych doc about it, and I had also read up on the drug Suboxone (the new Methadone these days) and found out he was a doc that could prescribe it. So with Sub, you wait until your W/D's kick in and then you take the first dose of Sub in his office. It dissolves under your tongue and within 15 minutes or so the physical and psychological agony just went away-I mean I was speechless! I have been on this for over a year now and have only used pain meds for a liver biopsy and an infected tooth. And the Sub blocks any "high" I used to get on narcotics, so I only took them as needed for pain and even threw out the unused pills!!

    Sorry this is so long, but I wanted you to know that I really understand your situation! And I've read posts where people make fun of those addicted to Tramadol, saying it's nothing compared to say Vicodin or whatever, but I told you all this to let you know that Tramadol addiction is real and if used for long enough, the W/D's are as bad as those gone through with heavier narcotics. I even would use Tramadol as substitute if I couldn't get my hands on pain meds to help me hold out until I could get my next fix. So I think the Tramadol does affect the same receptors in the brain that pain meds do-in fact I believe I read this in my research on Tramadol.

    Even with all the psych drugs that I'm on, I still don't feel "normal"-I feel like I will never get back to the person I was before drugs. Don't get me wrong, the meds I'm on have really made a difference and my family and husband say I am much better to be around (no mood swings, etc.), but I still feel like something is missing and feel depressed most of the time lately. I would definitely recommend that you find a good psychiatrist that deals with addiction, and maybe try some meds that will help with depression and any other issues you may have. They may find underlying issues or mental illnesses as well-I know they did with me. I was diagnosed with PTSD, major depression, addiction and bipolar. And if he won't take you seriously, keep going until you find a doc that will take you seriously! I can tell you that it will get easier once you get over the physical W/D's, but it takes a little time. Maybe go to some AA or NA meetings as well, it's not like you have to tell what your addicted to, so you don't have to worry about what people would say, like "Oh it's just Tramadol, that's nothing compared to being on the streets addicted to crack...". Until someone goes through what you and I have, and tons of others with this drug, they should not make fun of us, judge us or put it off like no big deal. But I really believe in medicating to help make people feel better and to deal with addiction.

    I have never personally been through benzo withdrawals, but I heard they can be really bad and dangerous. I've heard they are probably the worst drugs to come off of. The Tramadol withdrawal, in my opinion, will be a lot easier. I quit cold turkey on it. You might find a psych doc that will actually prescribe it to you so you can wean slowly off of it (I know my doc will do this with opiates for opiate addicted patients). If you kicked a benzo addiction, I know that you can kick this drug! I honestly don't know what your doc can do for you, but you'll never know unless you ask him-hell, it says right on the info sheet you get with Tramadol that it can be addictive, and that people with a history of drug abuse should really watch taking the drug and to avoid it if possible. I know the Suboxone is used for opiate addiction, but you might find a doc that will prescribe it short term just to get you through the withdrawal period since Tramadol does act very very similarly to opiates. Go to Suboxone.com and you can find docs in your area that are allowed to prescribe it-each doc is only allowed so many patients to be treated on Sub at any given time, so it might be a little difficult. But you know, the worst they would say is "no" to giving it to you!! If it was me going through getting off the Tramadol again, and I knew about the Suboxone, I would give it a try. My doc also had me on Zyprexa for a few months after I went sober-it helps in relaxing you and helping you sleep-this also may be a great drug for you to try. After I stopped that, I got on Seroquel, which also has been great for sleep.

    OK, so I'm getting out of control typing so I'll stop for now. I hope some of the advice I gave you will help and that you don't feel so alone and know that what you are going through is real! A lot of people that post on here really don't know what they are talking about sometimes, so it's important to ignore the negative ones, especially those that say that there is nothing that can help you-there is always something to help, always a solution. So stay positive and know that it will take time to get over this, but it will end, and should get better fast after you get it out of your system. And it sounds like you have support with your mom, so talk honestly with her about how you're feeling from day to day if she'll listen and be compassionate. And I have to add that only addicts can really understand what other addicts go through and how they feel. So take care, and post again to update on how you're doing. Or you can email--I'll try and see how to make that visible on my account!!

  3. #3
    MaisieC is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Mike,

    I'm really sorry for what you're going through. Using tramadol for depression is a terrible trap. People who don't get results from SSRIs sometimes find that tramadol relieves their depression. They think they've found the answer and don't want to hear that tramadol is not a miracle drug. I don't blame them for feeling that way, but tramadol is no miracle. I'm not a chemist, but I think it's the combination of the SSRI/SNRI component of the drug, with its opioid properties, that makes people feel good. Unfortunately, tramadol is addictive, and it's very rough to get off.

    Everything you're experiencing is normal for what you're doing. Generally going cold turkey off tramadol is not recommended, because there is the potential for seizures. I normally wouldn't recommend this, but is there any way you can get your hands on more pills to do a taper? Of course, not everyone has seizures from this, and you haven't been on it for very long. But I honestly can't advise you what your risk might be. If you have the self-discipline to do the taper, it would be better. And calling your psychiatrist is not a bad idea at all. He can't fix your cold turkey symptoms, but he might give you a script for the taper. And you should be honest with him about what's happening to you, in any case.

    The emotional misery you're feeling is definitely tramadol withdrawal. It will get better. I was addicted to trams for a couple years, and getting off it was rough. It helped me to remind myself that the emotional symptoms were just that: SYMPTOMS. They will get better over time. You have the advantage that you were only on the pills for two weeks.

    If you're going to do the cold turkey, Google the Thomas Recipe: it will give you some ideas about how to ease the withdrawals. I also think you should make some NA meetings to talk about your decision to self-prescribe tramadol. You need the support. And really, I think you should call your doctor. Hang in there. You will be OK. Call your doctor.

    Please let us know how you're doing.

    Good luck, and take care,
    Maisie

  4. #4
    Shattered Soldier is offline New Member
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    Thank you so much for your reply. I have a friend with a medical background who believes that this withdrawal isn't going to be as bad as I think its going to be. I just don't know. I'm really hoping that since I've only taken the drug for such a short period of time that it won't be as bad for me as some. So far, it seems, the horrible picture people are painting about the whole withdrawal scenario is just making it worse for me. There are so many horror stories out there about this drug! Worst of all is, I am starting a new job this week with alot of new things for me to learn about. All of this stress and not sleeping came on when I got this job as it is a very challenging position. I am really hoping that my insomnia has alot to do with the pressure of this brand new career. If it is as bad as people say it is, I really do not think that I'm going to be able to handle not sleeping for days, getting spasms, chills, sweats, etc. All of this remains to be seen.

    Well, I am a former drug addict with bipolar disorder so that is a combination of things that show me, in hindsight, that I never should have been involved with tramadol. My doctor says that eventually it will be out of my system and that eventually I will sleep again, but there is nothing he can give me for it. I stopped going to my NA meetings a few months ago, so I guess this is the present that God gave me for not going anymore. I just feel so angry about this, and so stupid!
    Last edited by Anonymous; 03-08-2010 at 06:12 PM.

  5. #5
    MaisieC is offline Senior Member
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    I'm sure that the new job is part of the insomnia. No way to tell what is what, and there's nothing you could do about that anyway--you just have to take care of yourself the best you can.

    In my experience, the physical withdrawal from tramadol is not too different from the physical withdrawal from any of the other opioids. Were you an opiate abuser before? If so, you know what to expect. The emotional component is different and can be very rough, but remember, those feelings are just symptoms: they don't reflect reality. Hang on tight, and do what you need to do, and you'll get better.

    Look on this site for information about the Thomas recipe if you want some suggestions for making the withdrawal easier to deal with.

    I used Benadryl for sleep when I was coming off the trams, and it helped me a lot. The lack of sleep is distressing, but it won't kill you. Hang in there, one day at a time. You'll be OK.

    I suspect it's probably not God punishing you for quitting the meetings. But I think there might be some other relationship between your quitting the meetings and picking up this drug. I think some meetings would help you, when you feel able to go. Do you have a sponsor or any NA friends you can call?

    Hang in.

    Take care,
    Maisie

  6. #6
    doc.rose is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Shattered! Welcome to the forum! You came to the right place support. I am gonna have my friend Luke come and give you advice. He is 2 months clean off of tramadol and doing great. He is extremely knowledgeable about the drug and the symptoms of withdrawal. So hang in there and let me get in touch with him, ok?? Good luck!!

  7. #7
    newyorkgal is offline Advanced Member
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    The thing I noted in the origina poster's post is that she has only been taking tramadol for TWO weeks. I think that will work in her favor greatly as far as the severity of her withdrawals. Don't listen to horror stories. Two weeks isn't that long so it shouldn't be too bad for you. Good luck!

  8. #8
    doc.rose is offline Senior Member
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    I didn't realize that NYG. Two weeks is definitely gonna be a huge advantage in Mike's recovery. hey Mike, let us know how things are going for you, ok??

  9. #9
    Shattered Soldier is offline New Member
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    Well, my psychiatrist said that there really is nothing he could do for me, that I just had to give it some time and eventually I would bounce back and fall asleep. I really need a new psychiatrist. He is part of the reason why I did this to myself in the first place. He always seems to be in a huge rush and takes more patients than any normal pdoc would want to handle in a day. He has a very uncaring attitude, rarely quotes any research that he's read, and usually decides my psychiatric fate in a matter of five minutes. The guy just refuses to display any compassion, time and time again, to any situation I have ever been in. And these complaints of mine are not really due to the fact that he won't help me in my current situation, I had no expectations that he ever would, this has just been a problem for me for quite some time. I personally think that he should at least thought of sending me out a script for Clonidine in order to cut down on some of the agitation that I am currently feeling, or make some attempt to at least make me feel a little comfortable.

    Anyway, I got about two hours of sleep last night, from 4:30am - 7:30am but woke up shaking like crazy. It felt good to know that all hope is not lost, that I'll be able to get a little bit of sleep here and there. But this shaking is driving me crazy! I have to go to work tomorrow and I know that my constant quivering will be noticed. I took two Soma as soon as I woke up and are hoping for them to kick in.

    I talked to a friend with an extensive background in medicine, well, veterinary medicine, and she seems to think that taking some xanax for this wouldn't be such a bad idea. She sent me a small amount in the mail which I should receive today. She said that I just needed to get some kind of relief at all costs. Being a recovering addict who was once heavily addicted to the damned things, I'm not so sure about the decision. I mean, I do need to relax sometime, and she is adamant that I should take the small amount of the drug she has given me to help me out at least until tomorrow.

    I'm in for another boring day. I've read all of the horror stories on the internet about coming off of this drug and have just about scared myself silly. My mind seems to be very open to the power of suggestion and it seems it wants to follow these stories itself. I am just hoping beyond hope that my case will not be as bad as all the others I have read since I have only been taking the drug for a few weeks. Well, my nose is starting to run now and I'm starting to get a headache. This morning has just been a white knuckler, and has me full of fear and regret. Now I have to find something to do with the rest of my day.

    Mike

  10. #10
    MaisieC is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Mike,

    It sounds like you should definitely find a new psychiatrist! It's rough enough to be dealing with bipolar disorder without having a doctor you feel doesn't care. That's awful. That's one thing you can do with your day...start looking around for a new doctor!

    Can you tell us about your history of drug use? You had a problem with xanax? Did you ever abuse opiates?

    I would strongly suggest you NOT take that xanax your friend is sending you. You thought you could control your use of tramadol, remember? If you have a history of abusing xanax, you shouldn't be thinking you can keep that under control, especially given how desperate you're feeling now. Do you have any NA friends you can call and talk to, to help you through this?

    How many days have you been off the tramadol now?

    Are you eating? You need to try to get something into your stomach. Gatorade is great, and bland foods that won't upset your stomach. You'll feel better if you get some food into you.

    Sitting in your house freaking out is probably the worst thing for you right now. Do you think you can make a meeting? At least get out for a walk. A little exercise will help you, and will also help you get back into sleeping.

    Hang in there!

    Take care,
    Maisie

  11. #11
    lawyer100 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Reply to my first post reply

    I obviously read over the part also that you have only been taking this a couple of weeks. I'm sorry for telling my horrible story of the physical W/D's. If you kicked the benzo addiction, this should be a very easy detox off the tramadol, especially since you have only been on it 2 weeks. Once the stuff is out of your system, you will feel a lot better. I only remember maybe 3 days at the most having the physical W/D symptoms (and that was after using it for 2 years). Of course then you go through the psychological problems of W/D, but I believe that subsided only a couple of weeks later. So I didn't mean to scare you or others! You can do this. I agree about not taking the xanax because of your past history, BUT it it only a few and you think you can take them just for the physical problems and insomnia w/o getting hooked back on them, I would probably do it, just because I know how bad the insomnia and restless legs is with the withdrawals. Valium is actually a better choice b/c it also is a muscle relaxant. I'm surprised your doc wouldn't give you clonidine. Do you have a primary care doc that you can go to and ask him?

    And I think that I suggested tapering the tramadol, and maybe someone else on here, which is good in theory, but anyone who is an addict knows that when you have pills you're gonna gobble them down and not have the will power to taper--I didn't have the will power with opiates to taper, if I had them, I was taking them! I went cold turkey after 2 years on them, and you've been on them 2 weeks, so I really don't think you should have problems with seizures-I didn't have any serious problems.

    I definitely agree to find a different psych doc-I think you need one that specializes in addiction. I think that Tramadol addiction is something not openly talked about and a lot of people probably don't believe it's possible b/c they haven't gone through it or haven't known someone else who has. I think definitely try NA or AA and get the message out there that this is a problem, and it probably is a problem with a lot more people than we think! And I agree with Maisie that the emotional symptoms are just emotional, so try to relax as much as you can through prayer or meditation or whatever you find that relaxes you. And again, find a good doc to help with your addiction issues and bipolar disease--you will feel a whole lot better!

  12. #12
    Psyched is offline Member
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    Mike,
    Masie is right! PLEASE don't trade one addictive med for another one! Xanax is just as addictive if not more. I strongly urge you to find another therapist like someone else suggested. You have the responsibility of being your own advocate when it comes to your physical AND mental health care; if you're trusting someone to help you that doesn't seem like he/she hasn't got the time for you then you definitely need someone else. I hope you are able to find someone and I also hope you have an easy time withdrawing from the Tramadol. Good luck and God bless!

  13. #13
    Soobie is offline Member
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    I hope you're holding up ok. Although you weren't on the tramadol for a long time, you were on high doses, so it's a shock to your brain chemistry right now and that always feels terrible. Hopefully the physical part will pass quickly. I'm also on the dump your doctor bandwagon. Please find another doctor ASAP. What is being done for your bipolar? I'm thinking a new psychiatrist might address that situation better than your current one has been. Your bipolar probably acted up and pushed you in this direction in the first place.
    Try not to overdo the caffeine, take warm-not too hot- baths if possible (showers are nice, but you may be prone to rapid blood pressure drops during temperature changes right now, which could be dangerous, you don't need to fall), try to stay hydrated and rest as much as possible. If you're up to it, go to a meeting, try to distract yourself with something low pressure-a light hearted movie, maybe. Take care.

  14. #14
    -Luke- is offline Junior Member
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    Mike,

    Hey bud. I recently went cold turkey off Tramadol after a two year habbit, and I was taking very large doses. My first thought of advice to you is to NOT take that Xanax. It only has a 48 hour half-life, which means 48 hours after your last dose, your withdrawals are going to spike like hell. That's what happened to me. I had a panic attack on day 2 of the Tramadol withdrawals, and went to a "doc in the box", they gave me a script for Xanax. It knocked me on my ass, let me get some sleep and aleviated the severe anxiety I was having. After taking the Xanax for about a week, I was sure my withdrawals from the Tramadol would be over with. WRONG. Two days later, I was in the ER having a full blown panic attack. My blood pressure was through the roof and I felt like I was going to go out of my mind. I literally felt like I was going to jump out of my skin. They gave me 8 more Xanax and sent me on my way.

    A week later I met with my new Psychiatrist, explained everything to her, and she understood completely what I was going through. It was such a relief just having a Doctor who agreed with me about how Tramadol can be addicting, by affecting our Seratonin levels. She was shocked that a doctor put me on Xanax for the W/D's, and put me on a low dose of Valium. She also put me on Prozac to try to help with my depression. I have been working out everyday and feel stronger mentally than I have in years. I don't mean to talk your ear off here, rather I want you to know there IS a light at the end of the tunnel, and since you've only had the Trams in your system for a few weeks, your withdrawals should be comming to an end quickly here.

    Exercise as much as you possibly can, push yourself but don't strain anything. This will help get your Endorphins going again and also help you sleep. Stay away from that Xanax man, it's nothing but trouble.

    Throw us an update when you get the chance. YOU CAN DO THIS!

    -Luke-

    P.S. Your Psychiatrist CAN help you, and is probably the best person you could go to for this. Make an appt, what do you have to lose?
    Last edited by Anonymous; 03-10-2010 at 07:50 PM.

  15. #15
    sue13 is offline Member
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    I am sorry to say I am going through Tramadol withdrawal. 60 100 mg pills (escalating from one a day to uo to 8 or so the two days ago. Friday and Saturday I had the last two, one per day, and now and just gutting it out.

    I would NEVER believe such a short time would bring such misery, but it has-I can never do anything addictive again.

    My question is: How long is this liable to last? (The sweating and chill, the feelings of no energy...)

    I made myself stay in bed all night with the valium I had, thank goodness. Can I expect relief any time soon?

    Is there anything more I can do to make this easier?

    Sue

  16. #16
    MaisieC is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sue13 View Post
    I am sorry to say I am going through Tramadol withdrawal. 60 100 mg pills (escalating from one a day to uo to 8 or so the two days ago. Friday and Saturday I had the last two, one per day, and now and just gutting it out.

    I would NEVER believe such a short time would bring such misery, but it has-I can never do anything addictive again.

    My question is: How long is this liable to last? (The sweating and chill, the feelings of no energy...)

    I made myself stay in bed all night with the valium I had, thank goodness. Can I expect relief any time soon?

    Is there anything more I can do to make this easier?

    Sue
    Hi Sue,

    I'm really sorry to hear you're going through this. The pharma industry has been very deceptive about tramadol and has led people to believe it's not addictive. Unfortunately a lot of us had to find out the hard way.

    You're going through opiate withdrawal, and I know you've been there before. Tramadol withdrawal can also cause some emotional symptoms because of its SSRI action. Have you used the Thomas recipe before? That can help.

    Once you've been addicted to opiates, your body is "programmed" to fall back into that addiction, so that even a short period of abuse will hit you harder than it would "normal" people. We really cannot mess around with these drugs--even a little bit--without paying the price in addiction and withdrawal.

    Hang in there. Most people say that the fourth day is the worst, as you know. So hang on and take care of yourself, and you'll be feeling better soon!

    Take good care,
    Maisie

  17. #17
    sue13 is offline Member
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    Angry

    Does it help that I only took the one (100mg) on Friday (down from 6+) and one on Saturday, then none yesterday? I did sleep last night with the help of a lot of valium. Wondering whether I should take some today just to stop the shakes?

    So tomorrow will only be day 3 and I still have the worst to come???

    i really appreciate any support I get with this; it is so easy when you feel so depressed (Tramadol does that?) to go looking for more drugs to help. I would rather not, and be totally clean. How is Wednesday looking?

    I had no idea that your body develops an affection for opiates that never goes away. Thanks for that info.

    Sue

  18. #18
    MaisieC is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sue13 View Post
    Does it help that I only took the one (100mg) on Friday (down from 6+) and one on Saturday, then none yesterday? I did sleep last night with the help of a lot of valium. Wondering whether I should take some today just to stop the shakes?

    So tomorrow will only be day 3 and I still have the worst to come???

    i really appreciate any support I get with this; it is so easy when you feel so depressed (Tramadol does that?) to go looking for more drugs to help. I would rather not, and be totally clean. How is Wednesday looking?

    I had no idea that your body develops an affection for opiates that never goes away. Thanks for that info.

    Sue
    Hi Sue,

    I'm sure that little taper you did will help. How did you feel on Friday and Saturday? You might actually have been in withdrawal those days, because it was a real drop from six down to one. So it may be you're getting the worst right now. You know this stuff stays in your system for a while, which explains why we don't get the withdrawal symptoms instantly. Then your body has to adjust.

    Are you able to eat? Getting some food in your stomach can help with the shakes (try Gatorade and bland foods like white bread, if your digestion is upset). Take it easy with the valium, but there's no reason you shouldn't use it to take the edge off and help you sleep. (You don't have a history of abusing benzos, do you? Just opiates? I'm trying to remember. You're wise to be careful of them, but if you don't have a history of abusing them you can use them for a few days to get you through this. I know you're keeping an eye on yourself.)

    Tramadol is a synthetic opioid that hits some of the same opiate receptors in the brain as the "traditional" opiates do. It also has SSRI and SNRI properties, which I think is what makes it attractive to people with chronic depression--the combination of the opiate action with the anti-depressant action. So when you're coming off tramadol, you're not just coming off an opiate, you're also coming off an anti-depressant. That can give you depression and anxiety during withdrawal.

    The thing that helped me during my tramadol withdrawals was to remember that the emotional symptoms were just that: symptoms. The world wasn't ending, I wasn't about to lose my job, my friends DO care about me, etc. They're all just symptoms, not the reality of your life, and they WILL get better with time.

    So hang in there, Sue. You will be feeling better. If you basically started this on Friday, Wednesday should be much better for you!

    Please take care, and be sure to eat a little something!

    xoxo,
    Maisie

  19. #19
    sue13 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaisieC View Post
    Hi Sue,

    I'm sure that little taper you did will help. How did you feel on Friday and Saturday? You might actually have been in withdrawal those days, because it was a real drop from six down to one. So it may be you're getting the worst right now. You know this stuff stays in your system for a while, which explains why we don't get the withdrawal symptoms instantly. Then your body has to adjust.

    Are you able to eat? Getting some food in your stomach can help with the shakes (try Gatorade and bland foods like white bread, if your digestion is upset). Take it easy with the valium, but there's no reason you shouldn't use it to take the edge off and help you sleep. (You don't have a history of abusing benzos, do you? Just opiates? I'm trying to remember. You're wise to be careful of them, but if you don't have a history of abusing them you can use them for a few days to get you through this. I know you're keeping an eye on yourself.)

    Tramadol is a synthetic opioid that hits some of the same opiate receptors in the brain as the "traditional" opiates do. It also has SSRI and SNRI properties, which I think is what makes it attractive to people with chronic depression--the combination of the opiate action with the anti-depressant action. So when you're coming off tramadol, you're not just coming off an opiate, you're also coming off an anti-depressant. That can give you depression and anxiety during withdrawal.

    The thing that helped me during my tramadol withdrawals was to remember that the emotional symptoms were just that: symptoms. The world wasn't ending, I wasn't about to lose my job, my friends DO care about me, etc. They're all just symptoms, not the reality of your life, and they WILL get better with time.

    So hang in there, Sue. You will be feeling better. If you basically started this on Friday, Wednesday should be much better for you!

    Please take care, and be sure to eat a little something!

    xoxo,
    Maisie
    Maisie,

    Thanks for your kind and helpful words. Yes, Friday I was off the walls (so tempted to take that last Tram) but I waited till Saturday for the last pill. Pretty awful Saturday, but I got through it. Sunday: well I was a limp rag wishing for anything that would lift my emotions. Opiates surely do that..for a while, then without them you drop like a rock.

    As for the Valium, I have never gotten addicted to that stuff; it just makes me depressed. If taken when I go to bed It can help, but after that it is a real downer, so I have had a 5 mg prescription for that for years, which largely goes untouched. I think it is helping with this; at least it lets me sleep. Think I will get rid of it once this is done. I am (when not under the influence) sort of a health nut, so it has been hard to understand that I EVER got myself in this mess, starting with a significant arm injury 5 years ago.
    Read: Vicodin, Percoset, Hydrocodone. All of which I did not know were addictive. Stupid me!

    I guess that is why I believe that the only answer is...take NOTHING! I really dread the next three days, and I am concerned about lingering effects. Do natural "highs" come back eventually? Or as someone has posted here he may "never be the same".??????????

    I so want "me" back. Somewhere I lost my path in life, and am trying to regain it. You have been a wonderful help.

    BUT, I emphasize, I NEED support right now. It is so easy to keep solutions in mind until they cease to work....

    Sue

    I should add that this was a much-needed help: "The thing that helped me during my tramadol withdrawals was to remember that the emotional symptoms were just that: symptoms. The world wasn't ending, I wasn't about to lose my job, my friends DO care about me, etc. They're all just symptoms, not the reality of your life, and they WILL get better with time."

  20. #20
    MaisieC is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Sue,

    I am here for you. I remember we joined the forum around about the same time. You are going to kick this thing and be well again. I messed around with opiates for 10 years, off and on, and I am really happy to be getting "me" back again. I got clean off tramadol in December of 2008, so it's been a little over a year. I had some other challenges in the meantime, including the death of my mother, so it hasn't all been peaches and cream since then. But yes, you do feel much better after you get clean! And a good diet and regular exercise will make a huge difference. I had been lying around being drugged and depressed, so it took me a while to get back physically, but it can be done, and you will get there!

    I've been in therapy so long, I was trained not to ignore my feelings. BUT...that one little realization made all the difference in the world to me: "it's just a symptom, it isn't real, the drugs are causing it, and it will go away." And in the meantime, keep doing what you need to do, taking care of yourself, taking steps to make your life better. Addiction is all about the loss of control, and we will never have control of the drugs and how they affect us. But we do have control over some things; we have to keep trying; and that's empowering. You will get through this.

    I feel like I lost my path in life, too. For 10 years! I am a much more thoughtful person than I used to be. Things seem less easy. I can't take certain things for granted. But I feel like I'm fashioning a new life with new priorities that's going to be much more deeply meaningful. It's astounding how resilient we really are.

    If you were in withdrawal on Friday, then you're on Day 4 now. It's hard to be 100% precise, but I don't think you need to fear it getting worse at this point. Get through today, nibble your snacks, stay hydrated, watch a funny movie, talk with some friends on the phone. Let your body heal. It WILL heal.

    Can you go out for a little walk? Or can you plan that for tomorrow? Girl, you will be feeling better so soon!

    Hang in there. You're going to be fine.

    xoxo,
    Maisie

  21. #21
    sue13 is offline Member
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    Maisie, such wisdom. I really feel that today is the worst,and that tomorrow will "lighten up". How I could be so stupid about Tramadol. I will never know but addiction kicked in very fast (no surprise there, I guess).

    I think if I can finish today, tomorrow will be better. Let's see...3:47 right now. 3-3/4 hours till my favorite AA meeting. And I still have work to do.

    I cannot thank you enough for hanging in here with me today; it may make all the difference!

    Sue

  22. #22
    MaisieC is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Sue,

    I remember those long, awful days. I am glad I can help keep you distracted! You are almost done with this one! And I'm really glad you've got a meeting to go to. That will be nice.

    I know what you mean about stupid. I am the Queen of Stupid when it comes to relapse. I'll tell you a "stupid story." I had gotten myself clean off whatever garbage I was using, percocet I think. I had been clean for a few months. I was doing well. Then out of the blue, no kidding, I got a call from one of these pharmacies offering me drugs. I have no idea where they got my number; I had never used them before, never even thought about it. So I get the call, and she's making the sales pitch, and I'm thinking, "no, I'm clean. No, I'm not interested. No, I'm done. No no no." And guess what I said to the girl? I said, "you got any vicodin?" As Bugs Bunny would say, "what a maroon!"

    So that's how I got involved with tramadol: that's what they had to sell.

    I wasn't involved in NA/AA at the time, and I didn't really have any defenses; I just thought I did.

    So you've learned about this drug, and you've learned more about yourself, so you are better armed for the next time you have to make a decision.

    Hang in there. You are doing good.

    xoxo,
    Maisie

  23. #23
    sue13 is offline Member
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    Ok Maisie, I am throwing in the towel here; going home ... just can't make it in this darkness at my studio till 8 Pm, so I will go home, have a diet coke, do some studying, watch the bf have his scotch... and regroup for a better tomorrow.

    I WILL check in later. You have gotten me through this day.

    Thank you thank you, Sue

  24. #24
    MaisieC is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Sue,

    I was out late at the theatre; sorry I missed your last post. I hope you are sleeping soundly and getting ready to wake up to a better tomorrow. I will check in when I'm awake again.

    Take good care of yourself,
    Maisie

    PS--Are you an artist? I'd love to hear about it.

  25. #25
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    I wrestled with narcotic pain meds for 6 years. I went on Suboxone last year for 6 months to get off of Vicodin. After asking my primary care Dr for a med that was non addictive but effective he gave me a scrip for Tramadol. I have restless leg syndrome and severe chronic pain from osteoarthritis. I went to this site and did other research and found that it takes the same opoid pathway as the rest of the bunch. I have also heard from folks who are occasional >>>>>> users that it kicks up their cravings! The drug is also being used for its serotonin reuptake inhibitor properties as you have described here. I've gotten some mood stabilizing effects from it. I have bouts of anxiety & depression. Also, Tramadol is presently being looked at for use as an opiate withdrawal drug. The higher dosages seem to be the problem with addiction - 300mg daily and above. I take 100mg 2X daily. Serotonin effects, opoid pathway -- all this spells: ADDICTION. But I guess if you can keep it at the lower dosages and come down gradually it could be helpful for a variety of issues.
    __________________

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    Busted, I dunno. I can only tell you my experience. If you can truly keep it at 2/day it might be OK. My prescription was for 1 or 2 (100mg) a day, and sad to say (because I have an addictive personality) 3-4 started to give a little emotional lift, and then at 5-6 I found out what people were talking about: that Tramadol has that lovely effect of making you feel FINE! and have ENERGY! ... for a while. Then (is this true with all opiates?) you have to have more and more of the stuff, and THEN you get to a point where it is not making you feel particularly better with any amount, but you feel awful without it.

    That is when it all gets so messy. Now you are faced with getting off of (whatever opiate you are on). I did not know till Maisie told me that the Tramadol found the way to my already-established pathway of opiates: Percoset, Hydrocodone, Vicodin (all prescriptions BTW).

    With Tramadol, I loved that I felt "myself" again... for a while. Now as you have read, I am withdrawing from Tramadol. I've read everything on here from "that it takes days, months, etc." to return to a pre-drug state (if ever). Or... maybe not. I am hoping that I am on "day 5" and almost out of the woods.

    Personally, (Maisie) I seem to be alright today. Chilly sweaty night but NOTHING like the night before, and with the help of valium, I slept. At least I am functioning without too much distress. Now I have to get the stuff outta my head. I hope Luke is not right and I am going to get a whammo reaction in a few days...

    So that is where I am,

    Sue

  27. #27
    MaisieC is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Sue,

    I'm really glad to hear you're feeling better. You won't get a whammo reaction in a few days, don't worry. Luke was talking about the half-life of the drug, saying a person goes into full-blown withdrawal 48 hours after their last dose; you're past that point and past the worst of it. Hooray! Just keep taking good care of yourself and you'll gradually feel better and better. Good for you for sticking it out!

    Doctors are actually warned not to prescribe tramadol to patients with a history of opiate abuse; that's a warning from the manufacturer. The pharma companies are not honest about the addictive potential of this drug, but at least they go that far in admitting it.

    I hope you have a good day, Sue! Take good care of yourself.

    xoxo,
    Maisie

  28. #28
    sue13 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaisieC View Post
    Hi Sue,

    I'm really glad to hear you're feeling better. You won't get a whammo reaction in a few days, don't worry. Luke was talking about the half-life of the drug, saying a person goes into full-blown withdrawal 48 hours after their last dose; you're past that point and past the worst of it. Hooray! Just keep taking good care of yourself and you'll gradually feel better and better. Good for you for sticking it out!

    Doctors are actually warned not to prescribe tramadol to patients with a history of opiate abuse; that's a warning from the manufacturer. The pharma companies are not honest about the addictive potential of this drug, but at least they go that far in admitting it.

    I hope you have a good day, Sue! Take good care of yourself.

    xoxo,
    Maisie
    Maisie, thanks for your reply; I have really had enough of this withdrawal stuff. The thought that the worst was yet to come was ... well, terrifying!

    I won't deny that I feel awful, but not the same kind of AWFUL.

    Yes I am an artist. Illustrator to be exact. Rebuilding what was a substantial career. An accident wrecked my right hand (read: the hand that knew how to draw) and I am re-configuring how I do things. Very depressing after being so facile. You have been such a source of hope I cannot tell you.

    Please stay in touch; I am not out of the woods yet...

    Sue

    PS. I do not know on this site how to give you my email: info please...

  29. #29
    MaisieC is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Sue,

    Well, I'm glad it's a better "awful" today. I know just what you mean. You get better gradually, and I think as long as you feel things changing--even slightly--that's a victory. It's a nasty drug, and it messes with you. But you will heal!

    I'm sorry to hear about your injury. You're very brave to retrain yourself that way; that's very impressive. My dad was an artist, and so is one of my sisters.

    I'm going to be in a four-day workshop starting Thursday, but I'll be here on the site tomorrow. There are a couple of people on the site that I'm still "following," but basically I am not here anymore. I recognized you from "the old days." You can email me at writer1776@yahoo.com. There's no way to send private messages through the site anymore.

    Hang in there. Are you eating?

    xoxo,
    Maisie

  30. #30
    lawyer100 is offline Junior Member
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    I haven't had time lately to read updates on this post, but I hope that you are doing better Sue? Once you get over the physical withdrawals, it should only take a couple more days to start feeling yourself again. It did for me anyway, and I've been on and off drugs all my life (about 20 years-I started young!). I took tramadol as prescribed for two years-I think I maybe took at the most 4 a day. I was in total shock when my prescription was cut off suddenly and I was not able to taper. The physical symptoms were horrible, and I have restless leg syndrome, so it was pure agony with me when it came to my legs! I read somewhere in these posts that Tramadol can be used for restless legs, as can opiates also. But a doctor should never start with those drugs for that. I use Requip and have for years-it is the best medicine for RLS. And I have no side effects from it! My mom uses clonazepam for hers, just 1mg at bedtime, and that works great for her (the Requip did nothing for her). Doctors should even try the benzo's before opiates for RLS, of course that is if you've never been addicted to them, or other drugs.

    Sue, I know it seems like you'll always be miserable, but it won't. You will start to feel better pretty fast once the physical symptoms go away and you can sleep good again. Valium is a good choice to help people coming off of opiates. I recently went through opiate withdrawal a year or so ago, and that was way worse than the Tramadol! I missed work for a week. And I had no taper with them-the doc just cut me off and dismissed me from the practice. It's ridiculous-they should at least help with some kind of a taper. But I am on Suboxone now and that changed my life. After I started that, I started to feel so much better!

    But I agree with Maisie's advice to you. Try to get out and move around, get some exercise, occupy yourself with any hobbies you might have. I know it's hard, but will be feeling better realy soon! People really do need to start speaking out more about Tramadol and its addictive qualities. And one other thing I must comment on-about the Thomas recipe. It did nothing for me when I was in withdrawals from my opiate addiction! It may help some, but for me I just had to suffer for a week and then finally they were over. But I still battle depression everyday, even being medicated, from my opiate use. It's like it does permanent damage to your emotional self or something.

    Anyway, good luck to you Sue and take care. It will get better for you!
    Last edited by Anonymous; 03-16-2010 at 05:48 PM.

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