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Can someone help me with a taper schedule to come of my pain medicine (dilaudid)?
  1. #1
    PeterPanMan is offline Member
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    Default Can someone help me with a taper schedule to come of my pain medicine (dilaudid)?

    Hello,

    This looks like a very nice community here, I have read many threads where people have received a lot of help from everyone. I hope you fellas might be able to help shine some light on my issue. I will not bore you with all the specifics and details, but I have a inoperable problem with my back....surgery might help me, but there is an equal chance I could end up in a wheelchair, so operation is not an option. For a while, I was able to control my pain with over the counter medications. I suffered an injury and was misdiagnosed with a rare form of anemia, and during that time....my back pain magnified 10X fold. So, they moved me onto opiates. I was taking several different kinds until they found one that worked best for me, hydromorphone.

    I started at a low dose, but over time...they increased the dose. They figured out what was wrong with my injury and no longer have anemia symptoms, and am starting to feel better. Not by much, but enough to where I don't think I need to use the dilaudid any more. Well...I gave it a try, but when I tried to stop....I got really sick and realized that my body has become dependent on this medication and that I am addicted to it. They are currently feeding me 8mg 4X a day. My doctor does not think it's a good idea to stop the medication. Well...when I had stopped it for a while, I was not feeling that much PAIN...however, I was feeling sick from not having the medication. He told me that if I want to stop taking the medication "against his advice", I should do a subutex program. I asked him about just tapering off the medication, but he said that if I want to stop it...it's best to take the subutex path.

    I did some research on the stuff....I see it has helped many, but before I resort to doing that, I would like to see if I can do a slow taper off the medication. With that said, I am a 210 pound male. I have been taking benzos for most of my life. I am 40 years old. I currently take the same dose of xanax as I do dilaudid....8mg 4X a day. So if someone could lay out a tapering schedule for me to try and follow....I would really appreciate it. I don't know why my doc will not have me taper off the medication. I have seen and heard of other people doing this. I just need to know how. If I need to provide any more information to get a schedule, lease let me know what other information to provide. Thank you!


    Peter

  2. #2
    PeterPanMan is offline Member
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    Is this an appropriate question for this section of the board? Or should I have posted elsewhere? Thank you.

  3. #3
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Hi Peter, and Welcome to the forum.

    I'm sorry no one has responded to you. It gets real slow around here sometimes as people gte busy with their lives. I use to post multiple times a day, but due to very demanding job duties and my personal life I can't be here nearly as often and I would like. I try to pay back what was given to me and it saddens me not to be able to post more often.

    Your doctor doesn't sound too helpful. I would think most doctors would WANT you off the narcotics after they have been used for the appropiate time depending on your situation. For him to make the statement that you shouldn't stop them kinda raises a red flag in my opinion. Maybe in it for the money only? Maybe not, who knows.

    Anyway, you certainly CAN taper the Dilaudid. You are taking a large dose at 32mgs per day. I think you could taper at the rate of reducing your dose by 1/2mg (.5) every 4 or so days. Spend around 4 days on each dose then reduce by .5mg and continue repeating that process until you're down to 1mg per day. At that point I would begin reducing by 1/4mg (.25) every 4 days until you're at a total of .25mg per day. Spend 4 days on .25mg then cut that in half whiucj would equal .125mg and take that for 4 days then make your final jump. Should be nearly painless doing it this way.

    Of course that would require cutting the 8mg pills into very small doses. Either using a razot blade or pill splitter would work. Theres also the crushing method where you cut the pill into as small of doses as you can without the crumbling then crushing the remaining amount into a fine powder. Then you separate the powder into even piles. More on that later.

    That's my suggestion for tapering. But I will tell you it takes an enormous amount of willpower to taper. Reason is you'll have those pills around and it's easy to take an "extra" amount when you're feeling the wd's from tapering. Tapering usually has you in a constant state of wd's. That's why tapering is do difficult and the success rate is lower than other methods.

    You could also stop cold turkey (CT) and that's the fastest way off. Yes you'll have wd symptoms, but they usually last about a week. The 3rd and 4th days are usually the worst and everyday day afterwards gets better and better. A few days of misery are you're done with the physical symptoms. The mental symptoms can be just as bad if not worse than the physical ones. Maybe some face to face support like meetings at NA or AA can provide would benifit you greatly as it does me.

    DO NOT abruptly stop the benzo's. That can actually be deadly. They MUST be tapered very, very slowly. I wouldn't even attempt stopping the benzo and dilaudid at the same time. Twice the symptoms will have you feeling very, very bad. Worry about the benzo after you get off the dilaudid.

    As for the Subs, I would make that my very last choice after tapering ot CT attempts. I did go the sub route (Suboxone) and that was after trying the other methods first. It worked for me. We do have a great sub plan here used successfully by thousands. Think it over carefully. Getting on and off subs takes some work too. You have to taper the subs slow and steady and that will take some time. Stopping the ubs abruptly at higer doses (over 1mg) will present wd symptoms that can last a long time due to the half life of the subs.

    Hope this helps. I'll do my best to check back soon. Make a plan and stick with it.

    Randy
    ItsPossible and 7fourteen like this.

  4. #4
    Beans1983 is offline Member
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    Great post, Randy. Even though I am still new here (I am almost 3 weeks clean and SO happy. My life is richer than I ever thought possible) I also want to pay it
    forward when I have something worth sharing.

    Randy's post was so thorough. Peter, but I do want to share that I tried tapering several times. I was successful once a few years back when I was just on Vicodin but got lured back in. However the last time I tried tapering it was like mini WDs for weeks on end and I said screw this-- I want this over with. I'm so glad I did it that way. Going through CT makes me to NEVER want to take an opioid ever again. And I was also given the advice here about the subs and holding off unless I could not CT. It was great advice.

    See my post (still on page 1) to watch my progression through CT. The first few days felt like the flu but I did the Thomas thing and it was doable.

    Good luck with your taper. But if doesn't work consider CT. You could be very glad you did.

    ~Beans
    Randy35 likes this.

  5. #5
    PeterPanMan is offline Member
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    Thank you for your reply fellas, really....I'm left without words. Thank you so much. I am not in a SUPER rush to come off of them, but I was under the impression that I could slowly taper off an not experience any WD problems. If I go past 8 hrs without my medication, I start to get sick. It's a scary though...I'm always checking my pockets to see if I have my medication with me. I have a pill box around my neck, I am always checking to see if I have my medication. It has been stolen a few times so I have to be really careful with where I leave it. I just want this junk out of my life...but don't want to suffer stopping it. I will deal with the pain...but am having a VERY VERY hard time dealing when I get sick from not taking my medication. It's really horrific...and like I said, rather scary. I use an app on my phone to alert me as to when to take my medication. This is not how I want to live....yes, it rids my pain and makes me feel like a normal person. I don't get droggy of fuzzy or sedated from the medication. My body is now used to it. And now my job is asking me to travel a lot more often and for longer periods of time...and some of the countries I go to, I can't find this medication. So than I get sick...can't work...and the trip turns into a nightmare. I feel like a junkie! I read a lot about the sub programs....maybe I will try that....I dono. I just really can't work and deal with WD at the same time. If I have to take a few days off to do a quick taper...so be it. But the feeling I get after not taking my meds after a few hours time is hell...I sweat, can't focus, shake, chills, increased heart rate, etc. I thought I could do a long taper and not have any WD effects...I guess I was wrong.

  6. #6
    PeterPanMan is offline Member
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    So there is no way of doing this taper without side effects? The sides are a total nightmare....OMG. Pehaps taking the subutex path might be best? Are the WD syptoms less intense?

  7. #7
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    Peterpanman - it is great that you are trying to kick this. Especially when you have pain. I am 22 days clean on Suboxone/subutex. I started on Suboxone but I lost insurance and my dr switched to subutex - it's cheaper. I started 9 years ago and I am 22 days clean and sober. I would first like to say when I started Suboxone it really saved me. I was constantly chasing down pills and spends thousands of dollars. I would probably ended up in jail and bankrupt. So at the time it was best choice for me. With that said - if you can taper of your meds I would for sure do that before trying Suboxone. I have tried tapering but Myself control is lacking lol. So I went c/t. When I came off hydro/oxy it was tough and made me sick. Coming off Suboxone in my experience is 100 times more difficult. My physical symptoms were more intense and lasted waaaay longer. At day 22 I'm still only at 65-70% back to human. I am doing much better but but my first 2 weeks were the most difficult ever. My energy and motivation are still pretty low. If you try and can't taper and decide to go with Suboxone/subutex please research it and find a good dr. A lot of them (like my dr) take an 8hr online course and only to rake in the $$. If you have any questions or need anything I can help you with please let me know. Whatever way you decide to go you will eventually have to go thru the withdrawals it's a tough road but I'm so glad that I finally don't have to take a pill to function I wasn't in pain though. You hang in there and you can get some great advise and encourement here when you need it - Kim

  8. #8
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterPanMan View Post
    So there is no way of doing this taper without side effects? The sides are a total nightmare....OMG. Pehaps taking the subutex path might be best? Are the WD syptoms less intense?

    Peter,

    There are NO short cuts doing this and NO miracle cures either. Abusing drugs and putting garbage in our bodies comes with a price….eventually. We sometimes spend YEARS abusing stuff so some wd symptoms are to be expected wouldn't you say? On the other hand, a short time having those symptoms will provide you with the reward of a new, clean life, and is so worth it in my opinion.

    Concerning subs…if you induct incorrectly, use them incorrectly, and taper or jump off incorrectly then YES, you can expect to have some pretty harsh symptoms. But if you use them as they are intended to be used the end result isn't usually that bad.

    With all due respect to Tears in Texas - Kim, she was on subs 9 years….9 freaken YEARS!!! She had one of the MANY horrible sub doctors out there. Most are actually. If you're on subs for years then yes, you can fully expect to have some kind of symptoms when jumping. How long and how severe varies with all of us.

    All the sub "horror" stories are ALWAYS for the same reasons - on too high of a dose, on sub way too long, performing an incorrect induction, taking sub on an as needed basis, tapering much too fast, jumping from way too high of a dose (anything over .5mg), or using sub for a "quick detox" which many times leads to relapse. There's a few other reasons that escape my memory right now. I've seen hundreds of horror stories and they all have the same common cause as mentioned.

    If you induct on the subs right, stay on them just long enough to get your head right, then taper off slow and steady down to the lowest possible dose around .25mg or lower, you can expect to have as painless a jump as it can possibly be. My own story is one that ISN'T a horror story. I switched from methadone to subs, stayed on them long enough to get away from addictive thoughts and behaviors, then tapered off and down to the lowest possible dose (.125mg) before jumping. I had about a weeks worth of very MINOR symptoms which were stomach issues and a little lack on energy. It passed quickly. I now have over 1.7 years clean…and free!!!

    Should subs be used by everyone….certainly not. They should be the very LAST choice after attempting a CT detox or tapering your drug of choice if possible. If you give those methods an honest effort and have absolutely no luck whatsoever then subs may be right for you. But whatever you do PLEASE use them the right way.

    Here's the link to the sub plan that most use here….

    https://www.drugs.com/forum/suboxone...apy-66109.html

    Read it over carefully. It flat out works and has produced thousands of success stories. I'm one of them.

    Whatever you decide you'll receive full suppport here with no judgement.

    Randy
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  9. #9
    7fourteen is offline Member
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    Peter,

    Some good advise here. You have to make the best decision for you. I tapered down to .25 when I jumped. (Subs). I started at 12 mg, too high of a dose and then tapered down 2mg a month then halved and quartered the last several mg tabs. I'm on day 11 now and started feeling better today. Subs are very bad when abused. Believe me, it's easy just to pop another one when feeling bad. If I had to do it over again I would probably go the CT route. It's over in about a week. As Randy said, when put the amount of drugs in your body that you have there are going to be some kind of WD. Good luck in whatever decision you make. There are wonderful people on these forums that are more than willing to help you out.

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