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70 Day Norco Taper - My Journal
  1. #1
    extremetm is offline Junior Member
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    Default 70 Day Norco Taper - My Journal

    This will be in two posts since it's long.

    70 Day Taper Journal - February 10, 2018 to April 21, 2018

    Actual quit day April 10, 2018 8:45am (59 day taper)

    Hopefully this will help anyone considering a taper

    Decided enough is enough. Got tired of spending the entire day watching the clock and waking up with no motivation. Then the tightened laws. Now have to go to the doc once a month for refill and feel like a criminal. The final straw was planning a Dubai trip and spending more time figuring out how I was going to get my pills into the country than actually planning for the trip. And deciding if I can't get the pills in, I can't go. Actually went so far as writing the Dubai Consulate for special permission.

    Wrote up a 70 day taper plan. Failure is not an option and fortunately I am extremely disciplined.

    A little background. I was on Xanax for 15 years and quit 4 years ago. It is bar none the worst most insidious drug on the planet. Took just shy of 3 years for the withdrawal symptoms and side effects to completely disappear. Almost 3 years before I felt normal again. And I only took 2 a day max. That stuff gets into your soul and never wants to let go. But I beat that and I'll beat this.

    Been on Norco for about 5 years from mountain climbing\extreme activities\gym injuries, was on Darvocet for many years before that. I would say I've been on one form or another of pain killers for about 16 years. Started out at 20mg Norco (10\325) a day and worked my way up to 60mg a day. I took them as prescribed all those years and then I started taking an extra half twice a day. That's when I knew it was time to stop. I tried cold turkey and the first day and night was such hell I decided to taper instead. I've read that 60mg isn't a large amount compared to others but for me it's been the focus of my life for the past 5 years. So this is my journal of this journey. Hopefully it will help others out there thinking about doing a taper.

    Of course your mileage may vary. This is just what I figured was best for me and it may be altered along the way but the dosage will never be increased. I won't be changing my lifestyle either except maybe some more exercise. No supplements, no hot baths, no nothing. I want my body to experience this taper without any chemical alterations natural or otherwise. But I do eat right and maintain a healthy weight.

    The plan is to drop one right away and only take 5 a day. Then reduce one half every 7 days. My original dosage is as follows.

    Original dose (60mg)
    8am - 1
    12pm - 1
    3pm - 1
    5pm - 1.5
    7pm - 1.5

    Week 1 (50mg)
    Down to 5 a day.
    8am - 1
    12pm - 1
    3pm - 1
    5pm - 1
    7pm - 1

    No real issues except in the morning I felt a little restless for the first two days. A pretty easy week. Kinda missed those two halves but had no physical symptoms.

    Week 2 (45mg)
    Down to 4.5 a day.
    8am - 1
    12pm - 1
    3pm - 1
    5pm - 1/2
    7pm - 1

    Day 1 and 2.
    Taking a little longer than normal to fall asleep. And not sleeping as well through the night. My wife's light snoring that usually doesn't occur isn't helping. Woke up on Mon feeling slightly sick. I think it's allergies. Feel good overall. BTW, only 39 minutes to my next one. Yeah, that 8am to 12pm one is a >>>>>!

    Day 3 through 6
    Sleep is back to normal. No longer feel sick. Am missing taking that extra half but not as bad as before. Thinking about moving the 12pm one to 11am and spreading out the pills a little more even. Wife gave me a 10 days congratulations gift. Feel pretty good overall with virtually no withdrawal symptoms.

    Day 7
    Last night of this week. Feeling great. Went to pain doc yesterday. They made scheduling mistake and let a guy who walked in 40 minutes after me go first. I was pretty mad. Then had to take UA. Got in my car after and thought. I'm glad this happened. It just strengthened my resolve to get off this poison. On to week 3.

    Week 3 (40mg)
    Down to 4 a day.
    8am – 1
    11am – 1/2
    1pm – 1/2
    3pm – 1/2
    5pm – 1/2
    7 pm – 1

    Day 1 and 2
    Easiest days so far. Don't know if it's the placebo effect but I feel better already, especially in the morning. Didn't think a 1.5 pill reduction would do anything but cause slight withdrawals. In fact, when the time came to take one, sometimes I forgot and took it 30 minutes or an hour later. My resolve to quit this stuff is stronger than ever.

    Day 3 and 4
    Woke up with a bit of anxiety but that could have been from too much wine at a party the night before. Actually this week it's been easier than ever to stick to the schedule. I keep thinking of the nightmare I went through with I tried to quit cold turkey and am excited to see what happens when I take my last pill. I know it won't be nearly as bad. A 70 day taper is pretty long. I was even thinking about speeding up the process because it's been so easy so far. But I'm leaning towards sticking to the schedule.

    Day 5 through 7
    Have more energy than before. Am seeing some improvement in my clock watching and anxiety in the mornings. Have 0 withdrawal effects. Got a box of chocolate from my wife for 50 days left. Caught myself several times looking at the clock and it was 1 to 2 hours past my due time for the next pill. It's actually getting easier as time passes, not harder. I believe I'm giving my body enough time to get used to the reduction. Hopefully that will hold true when I'm down to 1 or 1/2 pill a day. Only 6 more weeks to go. On to week 4.

    Week 4 (35mg)
    Down to 3.5 a day.
    8am – 1 pill
    11am – 1/2 pill
    2pm – 1/2 pill
    5pm – 1/2 pill
    7 pm – 1 pill

    Day 1
    Great day. Felt no difference. Still looking at the clock and realizing I'm an hour or so past my next one on several occasions.

    Day 2 and 3
    The worst days so far. I had a frustrating experience with a company and decided to take a Soma Saturday night. Have never had one before. It practically knocked me on my rear. Was feeling very peaceful. Woke up the next morning with a terrible hangover. Very tired with extreme pain in my right thigh. Was depressed, had no energy. The next day was a little better but I was still tired, had pain, depressed and was starting to worry that maybe it was Norco withdrawal. Got a smiley face balloon and a bunch of happy notes from my wife for 20 days which made me smile.

    Day 4
    Back to normal. The Soma finally left. I'm happy again, motivated and back to taking the Norco past my due time on some occasions. I learned to never take a whole Soma again. But I'm back on track. Excited to approach week 5 soon, the halfway mark. Just realized I haven't counted my Vicodin supply in 4 weeks. Nice.

    Day 5 to 7
    Very easy days. Again found myself looking at the clock and it was past due for my next one. Starting to feel like my old self again. Sex drive coming back. My wife said my face looks better, more healthy. 30 days gift was, well, we'll just say it was great.

    Week 5 (30mg, Down to half of my original dose)
    8am – 1/2 pill
    10am – 1/2 pill
    1pm – 1/2 pill
    4pm – 1/2 pill
    7 pm – 1 pill

    Day 1. Sex drive better then ever. Nice perk to this taper. I have noticed that so far the first two to three days of the week are the hardest. Then the rest of the days are pretty easy until the next week and it starts all over again. Not hard per se, just different but hardly a problem. Today was the most difficult so far. A slight simmering of anxiety in my chest most of the day. It disappeared towards the evening. Looking forward to getting through this week.

    Day 2. I would say 98% of that anxious feeling is gone. Feeling pretty much back to normal, although I'm thinking about my next pill more than the previous weeks. I know it will get easier as the week goes by. Sex drive is definitely coming back. Had a great morning waking up. No dark thoughts. Something that has been absent for years.

    Day 3. Decided to try an alternate schedule today and see how it goes. 1/2 pill as my last one for the day instead of 1. Curious to see how I sleep and what waking up will be like with only 5mg. If successful. Will stick to 1/2s from now on. If nothing else I want to wean away from the possibility of RLS. I hate that.

    Alternate
    8am – 1/2 pill
    10am – 1/2 pill
    1pm – 1/2 pill
    3pm – 1/2 pill
    5pm – 1/2 pill
    7 pm – 1/2 pill

    Day 4 to 6. Been a little hard. Have this very low level of anxiety in my chest. I guess it came back. It's not unmanageable by any means but I do notice it's there. I thought it would have dissipated by now but it really hasn't. The schedule above has been working fine. Sleeping like a baby with none of the usual symptoms. Sex drive less than beginning of week. Going to start exercising on stationary bike.

    Day 7. Did something this morning I haven't done in over 5 years. Woke up at 3:45am with an incredible amount of energy and clarity. Ready to take on the day. I thought that wouldn't happen till I got off them completely. But it happened. Still taking the pills after the due time. Don't know why really. I guess it doesn't make any difference. Ready for week 6.

    Week 6 (25mg)
    Down to 2.5 per day
    8am – 1/2 pill
    11am – 1/2 pill
    2pm – 1/2 pill
    5pm – 1/2 pill
    7 pm – 1/2 pill

    Day 1. Great day. Felt great.

    Day 2. Woke up at 4:45 am and had a bit of restlessness. It didn't last very long but I wasn't able to go back to sleep. Travelled out of town today. Good morning and afternoon. Feeling a bit of anxiety in hotel room. Here we go again with the 2 or 3 day anxiety. Thinking about taking my last pill when I get down to 10mg but think I should stick to the schedule. Will see how I feel. I read when one gets down to 20mg or so it's fairly uncomfortable. I'm at 25mg and am doing pretty well overall.

    Day 3 and 4. Probably the best days I've had in over 5 years. Woke up completely void of thoughts. Just had complete inner peace. Also noticed throughout the days I wasn't even thinking about my next pill. It seems like my body has adjusted to the lower dose and is happy about it. I may decide to completely stop when I'm down to 1/2 pill a day. At the very least see how the first day goes. If there are withdrawals, I can always do 1 week on a 1/2 pill a day. Thursday will be 40 days. Expecting a nice surprise from wife, especially considering she said something is coming LOL. Overall this taper is easier than I thought it would be. Not easy per se but easier. Not hard though either. But I know I'm getting close to 20mg and less territory. Bring it on!

    Day 5 to 7. Easiest days so far. Sometimes went a few hours past due time to take next one. Thought about skipping but decided to stick to the schedule. Sex drive continues and is back with a vengeance. Mornings are positive still. Although once I'm up there is a tinge of anxiety. Doesn’t last long. Got my 40 days gift and I loved it. Eating more. Have gained 2 pounds since starting this. Giving myself a little leeway on that but don't want it to get out of control. On to week 7 and the dreaded 20mg. Thinking positive.

  2. #2
    extremetm is offline Junior Member
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    Default

    Week 7 (20mg)
    Down to 2 per day
    8am – 1/2 pill
    12pm – 1/2 pill
    4pm – 1/2 pill
    7 pm – 1/2 pill

    Day 1 to 3. First day pretty easy. 2nd and 3rd day I have a tinge of anxiety in chest and am not real happy about the pill spread. Am watching the clock a bit more. After my last pill at 7pm however I'm fine. Waking up on day 3 wasn't as good as before but not too bad. I suspect this will dissipate on the 4th or 5th day. It has all other weeks. Sex drive increased again.

    Day 4 to 5. This has been kind of a yo yo week. One day good, one day not so good. By that I mean a little anxiety in my chest. But certainly manageable still. My wife's birthday weekend starts on the day I'm supposed to take my last pill. I really don't want to spend it with 'coming off' withdrawals if there even are any. So, I think when I'm down to 1 pill. I'm going to take that for 3 days and then a 1/2 pill for 4 days and quit a week early. That's what I love about this taper. As long as I stick to the dosage I can alternate it for what works best. It's definitely starting to sink in that I am going to be done with these pills soon. I'm both excited and a little sad. It will be like loosing a dysfunctional friend. Dysfunctional sure but a friend all the same. But I am more resolute than ever. This is happening and I can't wait!

    Day 6 to 7. Well the easy cycle hit. Did a cake walk through these two days.

    Week 8 (15mg)
    Down to 1.5 per day
    8am – 1/2 pill
    2pm – 1/2 pill
    7 pm – 1/2 pill

    Day 1 to 2. Had a class on day 1 and hardly thought about the pills. Very easy day. Day two in the morning, felt some anxiety in the chest but it went away towards the evening. Decided to definitely make next week my last week. 3 days of 1 pill and 4 days of 1/2. The clock watching, the when is my next pill is really waning. Forgetting more to take them as scheduled and going about 1.5 hours past the due time. Sex drive has leveled off but is 10 times stronger than when I first started this taper. Wife did my 50 days gift (20 days left) really sweet this time (even though now it's only 14 days left.) She placed 20 eggs (Easter) around the house with candy, notes and other things inside.

    Day 3 to 5. Day 3 and 4 I had some chest anxiety. Probably the worst yet. Took like an 8th of a Selma last night and my anxiety went away. It's now 1pm the next day and I feel great. No anxiety at all. Still taking pills past my due time. My last one last night was at 9pm instead of 7pm. Was very tempted to not take one at all but decided to stick to the schedule. I can smell the finish line. Only 9 more days and it's done.

    Day 5 to 7. Still feeling great. The Norco pull that I've experienced for the past 5 years is definitely sliding away. Still a little clock watching but not nearly like before. I am experiencing my old life coming back. More energy. Accomplishing more. Less tired in the morning.

    Week 9 (Final week, 10mg 3 days, 5mg 4 days)
    Saturday – Monday
    Down to 1 per day
    8am – 1/2 pill
    7 pm – 1/2 pill

    Tuesday – Friday
    Down to 1/2 per day
    8am – 1/2 pill

    Day 1. Old life creeping in for sure. Found myself going out and doing things today and actually enjoying it whereas before I would have been in front of the computer thinking about my next Norco. Since day 5 of last week I have had 0 withdrawals, none. Wife says I can get a little agitated. Will work on that. Curious to see starting Tuesday when I'm down to 1 half in the morning if I have any withdrawals at night. How Tue night goes will be real telling how the experience is going to be moving forward for the next week or so.

    Day 2 to 3. Virtually no withdrawals except both nights I have had a slight case of RLS. Maybe for an hour or so then I fell asleep. The best part, my mornings have been without dread, ugly thoughts, regrets or really anything. I wake up and am ready to face the day. Another thing I noticed, bathroom habits returning to normal. My appetite is up there for sure. Have gained 2.8 lbs since the start of this taper. Plan to lose it soon. For now, I'm giving myself some leeway and really enjoying it.

    Day 4. Just took my half (5mg) at 8:40am for the day. Next one isn't till tomorrow morning. Actually excited to see what tonight brings. I figure I've gone from 8:30am to 9pm before with just 5mg and no withdrawal symptoms so it may not be bad at all. Fingers crossed.

    QUIT FOR GOOD

    Day 1. (April 11, 2018.) Had an hour or so of RLS last night but not bad. Had some weird dreams otherwise slept pretty good. Virtually no withdrawal symptoms. Glad that test is over. Woke up feeling great. It's now 9:40am and it's been 25 hours since my last pill. I have decided that as long as I feel good then why take more pills. This may be my first day of being done with Norco. Didn't plan it this way but why not. I think it's time to jump for good. I am done. (Day 59). Yahoo!!

    Day 2. Still have some RLS. But I fell asleep within an hour and it went away. Gone still if I wake up during the night. Vivid dreams continue. Anxiety in chest this morning till about 11am. Then went away. I wonder if the 2 to 3 days anxiety, then 4 days of peace is still in play like with the taper. Looking forward to the 'habit' of taking these pills being replaced with not thinking about them. I figure that will take 2 weeks to a month. On a side note. Doing this journal is really helping in the recovery. It has given me more resolve to quit these pills and stay off of them.

    Day 3. Had anxiety in chest a good part of the day. RLS is better but not gone. Waking up wide awake at 4:30am then tired during ladder part of day. Hoping this subsides in a few days.

    Day 4 to 6. This will be my last entry. Doing better every day however have had watery itchy red eyes and sneezing. It is allergy season so who knows. But today, day 6 it's gone thanks to Allegra and Napchon A eye drops yesterday. Also had blurry vision for about an hour on day 4. As of now, I have so much more clarity in my mind. Not really watching the clock anymore except maybe a few times a day in passing. My mind is clearer, more in focus and in the moment. Food tastes better. Sex is through the roof. The world around me is brighter and sharper. Getting more excited about the day. RLS basically gone. Am waking up every morning at 4:30am which is not good. Figure that will pass soon. Overall, I'd call this a win.

    Final thoughts. First I would like to thank my beautiful wife for supporting me through this. The gifts, the cards, the smiley balloons, the notes and most important, the love. She is my everything.

    For me, this drug slowly robbed me of my life and I am so happy to have beat it. CT may work for some but the taper allowed me to slowly wean off of it with very minor withdrawals. It took some discipline sure. But I figured, how much worse could it be than watching the clock in a opiate induced fog every day. It wasn't. It was actually liberating because now I was on a schedule and no longer had to think about it. Hopefully anyone considering a taper will be able to use something from all of this and take their own successful journey. While I don't participate much here I sure have learned a lot and am grateful to the contributors for that.

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