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Tapering off 40mg hydrocodone daily
  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    Default Tapering off 40mg hydrocodone daily

    Hi,
    I wanted to share my story because I have read so many on this site, and it was helpful to me to hear how others are dealing with tapering off 10/325 hydrocodone (and some did it cold turkey). I started getting a prescription for 10/325 back in early 2010, after a total right hip replacement. The pain never quit, and to boot, I had difficulty walking. The 4Xdaily dose of 10/325 really changed my life, and I found that I could get out more, exercise, walk the dog, etc. However, it has now been 7 years on this dose, and I notice my life feels very strained and I worry all the time about my next pill...and while I do keep to a strict time of day for each dose, as the years went by I noticed that it got harder and harder to make it to the next pill. I would experience things like restless leg syndrome, couldn't fall asleep. I picked this year to quit the medication because it has become a horrid addiction and I really don't benefit from it, other than to try and feel "normal" by taking it. I can't imagine continuing it longer because it has got to have taken a toll on my body. I decided to taper off, since cold turkey sounds far too painful for me to survive (I am 60 years old, in ok health, but I'm no spring chicken). What seems to be working for me is to take off 5 mg every 10 days. I've gone through two 10 day cycles now, so I'm down to 30mg a day, or 3 pills. I cut one of the 3 pill in half. So my schedule is 1/2 at 2p.m., another 1/2 at 4:30p.m., then a whole at 9p.m. and last whole at 11:30. From 11:30p.m. I go 14 1/2 hours with no medication. I seems to handle this fine. I admit, at 2p.m. when I only get a 1/2 dose it takes willpower because I am wishing for a whole. But I do ok on that. Then at 4:30p.m. I take the next 1/2 pill before dog walk. I am already noticing some good things. I feel better, more like the old me before I got addicted. I like that and I hang on to that, reminding myself through the day of how great that is, and it is worth some mental pain to keep moving forward. I will never let myself go backwards. In a few days, it will be time to reduce again another 5mg. That will be tough, I know it. It means probably I drop the 4:30p.m. 1/2 pill. The dog walk will feel hard. I have a lot of desire to quit. So I will bare the discomfort and any agony. My body seems to be responding to the reductions ok. I don't get any bad side affects from the reduction. No stomach problems (no diarrhea), no major pain, maybe some anxiety but even that is minor, I can deal with it. How? I keep busy, distracted with anything I can find. I do more housework, put on soothing music (like Enya), watch a t.v. show that grabs my interest. The biggest way I deal with reduction is to exercise on my stationary bike, every day, hard, for at least 45 minutes to an hour. The exercise might be one reason I am sailing through this without too many awful feelings. I pay attention to eating healthy foods, no sugar (I am not a big sugar eater anyway), drink lots of water. I don't drink soda or coffee because I never drink those beverages and also I can only imagine they would enhance the anxiety and RLS.
    I'm looking forward to the next big reduction! (But yea, a little nervous, of course) Looking ahead I already know what will be the difficult goal: when I start cutting my later night pills in half. I save them for later mainly due to I know how I rely on that dose to sleep (even though my sleep is never solid, usually wake up through the night, fall back asleep, wake up, etc). I'm mentally preparing myself for the time when I start reducing those night pills. I have a strong feeling that once I get through that part, my sleep will slowly become better, until when I no longer take any pills at all. I believe hydrocodone is destructive to sleep, which is another reason I want to quit 100%. This is very hard to do, tapering, but I prefer it to avoid the really bad withdrawal symptoms. It is slow, and sometimes I wish I was already at the end. But it is ok, I remain patient and moving slowly forward to the big goal. I want to be done by this September. I don't know if anything I have said will help anyone else. We all have the same goal, and the point is to reach that goal safely. Get this monkey off our backs.

  2. #2
    Anonymous Guest

    Default Tapering 10-325: How do you handle RLS?

    I wrote awhile back on tapering from 7 years of using 4 X daily 10-325 hydrocodone. I initially tapered by cutting out 5 mg. So was using 3.5 tablets a day. Then after 10 days I cut out another 5 mg, so using 3 tablets a day. For that phase I cut one of the 3 tablets in half. I really felt the loss, it was hard for my body to accept being at 3 a day, after 7 years of using 4 a day. So I stayed at 3 tablets longer to adjust. Also, I made myself go 14 hours to the first cut tablet, so that felt weird. But I got through it ok. Today is day #24 since I began the taper off. I am starting to feel ok at 3 tablets, so ready to reduce another 5 mg. When I am at 2.5 tablets a day, I am guessing I will feel the loss again. But one thing I noticed is that the withdrawal is not as bad as I thought it would be. Yes, some RLS. But that is easily managed with hot shower. Most of it is mental. You feel the loss of the drug and your brain will play tricks on you. What I do to combat that mental stuff is constantly remind myself WHY I am doing this and that I could not continue using this drug. For my health and well being I need to cut it out of my life. So I remind myself of the benefits and this keeps me solid. I also allow myself to picture a day (soon, I hope) when I no longer take any dosage. One other thing: I feel stronger and happier as I reduce the drug. I notice my daily exercise on the stationary bike is better and better, and I am feeling rewarded for the hard work of getting off this drug. Since I chose to do tapering method, not cold turkey, I know it will take longer. I often think that if I were to suddenly stop the drug right now, cold turkey, I might be ok except for stronger withdrawal (RLS, trouble with resting and sleep, etc). But at this point I can sense the finish line is not that far away. But I am still being cautious and tapering slowly so my body can adjust without too many symptoms of withdrawal. My question to anyone who might be reading this thread is: how do you manage the Restless Leg Syndrome? And that edgy feeling when you are trying to rest? I know it comes and goes. When I am feeling edgy and RLS going on, I try to ride it out, knowing that after a period of time it will calm. Sometimes I take a hot shower, but due to rationing water, I keep that to once a day as short as possible. So I save hot shower for my worst episode of RLS. Are there any other good treatments for RLS? Besides hot shower? I am curious how others manage the edgy (tension) feelings and RLS.
    Autumnhopes likes this.

  3. #3
    Autumnhopes is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denise57 View Post
    I wrote awhile back on tapering from 7 years of using 4 X daily 10-325 hydrocodone. I initially tapered by cutting out 5 mg. So was using 3.5 tablets a day. Then after 10 days I cut out another 5 mg, so using 3 tablets a day. For that phase I cut one of the 3 tablets in half. I really felt the loss, it was hard for my body to accept being at 3 a day, after 7 years of using 4 a day. So I stayed at 3 tablets longer to adjust. Also, I made myself go 14 hours to the first cut tablet, so that felt weird. But I got through it ok. Today is day #24 since I began the taper off. I am starting to feel ok at 3 tablets, so ready to reduce another 5 mg. When I am at 2.5 tablets a day, I am guessing I will feel the loss again. But one thing I noticed is that the withdrawal is not as bad as I thought it would be. Yes, some RLS. But that is easily managed with hot shower. Most of it is mental. You feel the loss of the drug and your brain will play tricks on you. What I do to combat that mental stuff is constantly remind myself WHY I am doing this and that I could not continue using this drug. For my health and well being I need to cut it out of my life. So I remind myself of the benefits and this keeps me solid. I also allow myself to picture a day (soon, I hope) when I no longer take any dosage. One other thing: I feel stronger and happier as I reduce the drug. I notice my daily exercise on the stationary bike is better and better, and I am feeling rewarded for the hard work of getting off this drug. Since I chose to do tapering method, not cold turkey, I know it will take longer. I often think that if I were to suddenly stop the drug right now, cold turkey, I might be ok except for stronger withdrawal (RLS, trouble with resting and sleep, etc). But at this point I can sense the finish line is not that far away. But I am still being cautious and tapering slowly so my body can adjust without too many symptoms of withdrawal. My question to anyone who might be reading this thread is: how do you manage the Restless Leg Syndrome? And that edgy feeling when you are trying to rest? I know it comes and goes. When I am feeling edgy and RLS going on, I try to ride it out, knowing that after a period of time it will calm. Sometimes I take a hot shower, but due to rationing water, I keep that to once a day as short as possible. So I save hot shower for my worst episode of RLS. Are there any other good treatments for RLS? Besides hot shower? I am curious how others manage the edgy (tension) feelings and RLS.
    Wow Denise you're doing good that you can taper. I had a hard time with that. You're coming down & that's great Keep up the good work. I'm on Day 9 of suboxone at the moment. Look at the Thomas Recipe which is posted quite a bit on this site. It has several supplements that can help you with RLS & other symptoms. I heard that Hylands had a restful supplement many found helpful. I'm sure others will reply with other helpful suggestions as well. Keep your chin up & before you know it you will be clean and feeling great!!
    Leah987 likes this.

  4. #4
    Anonymous Guest

    Default

    Reading lots of helpful posts today. I am on day #14 of using only 2.5 hydrocodone (10-325) daily now. I had been prescribed 4 daily for over 7 years. So I have been tapering slowly. It has been going OK. The hardest reduction was going from 3 pills daily to 2.5. I had about 7 - 9 days of periodic challenges. Overall, it went fine. But I did have some tension/anxiety but it was not that bad, and did not last very long. Some RLS, even that was not too bad. Now here I am on day #14 and I can tell you that I feel a lot better, more stabilized. The reward at this dosage is that I am sleeping better at night, more soundly. I had not done that in many years. I take a 1/2 pill at 3:00p.m. Then 1 whole pill at about 8 or 8:30p.m. Then last dose of 1 pill at 11:30p.m. (so adds up to the 2.5 pill dosage daily). The hardest part to get through was the 1/2 pill at 3p.m. After not having any dose since night before at 11:30p.m., and only giving myself the 1/2 pill at 3p.m., it was mentally hard and there were some physical discomforts. But when I really look at it, they were not bad at all. Now on day #14, I can say I am beginning to plan for the next reduction. I do not really know what that will look like, but it will be going from the 2.5 pill daily to only 2 pills daily. I am planning that the 8pm.. whole pill will get cut in half, and I will take one 1/2 pill earlier, like 5 or 6p.m, then the other half at 8 or 8:30p.m. Saving the whole 1 pill for 11p.m. Another thought enters my mind, that when I reduce to 2 pills daily, maybe I should just take the leap and quit all, in other words, go from current 2.5 dosage to zero. I consider that because at this point it becomes painful in many way to continue the taper. Why not just quit and endure the withdrawal that is obviously going to hit me? I have two valium pills and I could just use one the first night, then the next night, and see if the withdrawal goes OK. I read other people's posts, some going cold turkey and it sounds really hard. But I am now at a stage where I am not taking a high dose anymore. Thus, taking the leap might just turn out to be OK.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 08-19-2017 at 03:04 PM.
    Gilsmom likes this.

  5. #5
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denise57 View Post
    Reading lots of helpful posts today. I am on day #14 of using only 2.5 hydrocodone (10-325) daily now. I had been prescribed 4 daily for over 7 years. So I have been tapering slowly. It has been going OK. The hardest reduction was going from 3 pills daily to 2.5. I had about 7 - 9 days of periodic challenges. Overall, it went fine. But I did have some tension/anxiety but it was not that bad, and did not last very long. Some RLS, even that was not too bad. Now here I am on day #14 and I can tell you that I feel a lot better, more stabilized. The reward at this dosage is that I am sleeping better at night, more soundly. I had not done that in many years. I take a 1/2 pill at 3:00p.m. Then 1 whole pill at about 8 or 8:30p.m. Then last dose of 1 pill at 11:30p.m. (so adds up to the 2.5 pill dosage daily). The hardest part to get through was the 1/2 pill at 3p.m. After not having any dose since night before at 11:30p.m., and only giving myself the 1/2 pill at 3p.m., it was mentally hard and there were some physical discomforts. But when I really look at it, they were not bad at all. Now on day #14, I can say I am beginning to plan for the next reduction. I do not really know what that will look like, but it will be going from the 2.5 pill daily to only 2 pills daily. I am planning that the 8pm.. whole pill will get cut in half, and I will take one 1/2 pill earlier, like 5 or 6p.m, then the other half at 8 or 8:30p.m. Saving the whole 1 pill for 11p.m. Another thought enters my mind, that when I reduce to 2 pills daily, maybe I should just take the leap and quit all, in other words, go from current 2.5 dosage to zero. I consider that because at this point it becomes painful in many way to continue the taper. Why not just quit and endure the withdrawal that is obviously going to hit me? I have two valium pills and I could just use one the first night, then the next night, and see if the withdrawal goes OK. I read other people's posts, some going cold turkey and it sounds really hard. But I am now at a stage where I am not taking a high dose anymore. Thus, taking the leap might just turn out to be OK.
    Hi Denise,

    You're dong really well. Tapering is NOT easy. I cold turkeyed detoxed from really high doses. Also not easy, but doable. I see from this post that you are considering trying to jump instead of another reduction soon. I would most definitely give that a try.

    I do have a couple of suggestions for you moving forward. The first is if you do continue with your taper, I would think about switching up the times of day you are taking your doses. Sleep is always the symptom that will hang around for a while once we are done. This is a dangerous time for most people because it's exhausting. I suspect that your sleep will become an issue even before you are done. This, by the way is another argument for jumping cold turkey but more on that in a bit. Back to the timing of your doses. I would move these doses to a little earlier in the day with each reduction. My thoughts on this are to begin to allow your body to adjust to sleeping with less or no pills. I would definitely drop the latest dose last though.

    I do want to say a few things to you about a cold turkey. So long as you continue to do well with your taper, I would continue on. If at some point you begin to feel symptoms that are becoming more difficult to handle, that's the time I would seriously consider just stopping. You already know that to properly do a taper, it has to be done slowly. You also know that you will experience some symptoms almost the entire time you are tapering. If and when it gets to that point and you jump you'll have the same symptoms that you are having now but more intense. The good news is that in about five days, the worst of they physical symptoms will be gone. What will remain is some trouble sleeping, some anxiety, and lethargy. It's pretty hard to avoid this aftermath.

    Hope to see you post again soon. Good luck and keep checking in.

    Peace,

    Cat
    OrangeRose likes this.

  6. #6
    TheCib is offline Member
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    Good afternoon,

    Im on my second acute detox due to back issues and just finished reading your thread. I wish I could tell you that there was a sure fire way to knock out RLS, but there is no cure. After doing some research and I have found that a lot of people like to use heating pads on each leg set on low. It's not a cure all but it does help.

    Now I'm no expert or a doctor here but alot of people who use the Thomas plan believe that taking supplements helps. Two, which have seem to help me out. One is Potassium and the second is Magnesium supplements. You have to remember that everyone is different when they go through acute detox. The hard part is finding out what works for you.

    My first journey through detox I had RLS really bad and it drove me nuts. Hot baths did relieve the RLS for a short while but came back. Walking did the same thing. But any relief was welcome

    Feel that you have to remember that this is a journey you must go through to grab that brass ring of sobriety. You have to slay that dragon every day. All your symptoms will go away. Just stay positive, stay strong and remember this saying....Just For Today ! In time I hope you will be well and healthy again

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