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I want to stop taking my pain medication! Please Help!
  1. #1
    mikestopnow is offline New Member
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    Default I want to stop taking my pain medication! Please Help!

    I am a 35 year old male and I have been taking pain medication for back pain for almost five years now. It started when I had a microdiskectomy in 2009, I was first prescribed percocet. I took that for some time and then in 2011 I had a full disk replacement. After that I was also perscribed oxycotin and robaxin. So now a typical day for me is I get up and take a 20mg oxycotin at 7:30am, then at 9am I take a 10/325 percocet with a 500mg robaxin. At noon I take another 20mg oxycotin, then at 2pm another 10/325 percocet and 500mg robaxin. At 6pm I take my last perscribed 10/325 percocet for the day. Finally at 8:30pm I take my last perscribed 20mg ocycotin and a 5mg Valium. I am prescribed this medication and take it as directed with no more per day then I am supposed to. For me now the medication just gets me though the time period between when I take them. I have managed to continue to work though all this and have a beautiful family. I just don't want to be a slave to my medication any longer. I am nervous about bringing this up to my doctor for fear that he will force me to stop and then it will become real and I might not be able to do it on my terms. I am strong and I know I can do this, I have resisted the urge to take more pills then I am supposed to for five years, I think I can get my self off them. I just need help, guidance
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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    I was in a similar boat due to health problems and legitimate medical need but like you, I found after several years, the drugs just don't help that much anymore. Like you I was on OxyContin, a muscle relaxer, and a benzo. I also had short acting oxycodone like your percoset but mine were just plain oxy without the tylenol.

    What I did was taper off these drugs one at a time. Different people do it different ways and you have to find what works for you but for me, I got off the benzo first, then the muscle relaxer, if I recall, then the oxycontin/codone last. But in your case it may be best to save the valium for last because that is a very long acting benzo and so your situation is not complicated by benzo interdose withdrawals.

    First let me encourage you. I am so very much happier now that I am off the drugs. There is physical pain, but my overall pain is no worse and might even be better. I do have to pace myself and find other ways to deal with pain but overall my life is much happier. My mind is more clear and I am more motivated and more sociable now, as well as other areas of life that had been dampened by the opiates.

    If memory serves, it took me a good six months to get off all my drugs. I was on a little less than you, I took three 20 mg Oxycontin per day with only occasional short acting so my normal dose was only 60 mg per day. Also I only took the muscle relaxer (in my case soma) at bedtime but my benzo was equivalent to twice your dose, and I was also taking Ambien at bedtime. For me, getting off the benzo and the Ambien was the hardest and gave me the worst and most prolonged symptoms, specifically lack of sleep. So again you may do better to just keep the valium stable until you are off the oxycontin and percoset, IF you have a day job and sleep is crucial.

    When it was time to get off the opiate, what I did was taper down to a point, I think it was 20-30 mg per day, then jumped and went cold turkey to get it over with. The tapering is NOT fun. You have to just make up your mind that it is not going to be fun. You have kind of mild withdrawals all the time and it's just irritating as all get out, but you can function. Then the cold turkey jump is more intense and you can't even function, but it's over with fast.

    The idea was that I did not want the cold turkey jump to be too bad, so that's why I did tapering first. Although I was sick in bed for about four days I never vomited and it really was not all that awful, although in the middle of it, you think it's that awful. Your mind plays head games with you about the pill will fix everything, and that is really annoying, but by day five I started feeling so much better, and the support here on the forum really helped me through it.

    You can do it whatever way works best for you. Taper ALL the way down and try to avoid any cold turkey, but I would say you are in for many weeks or months of just icky misery. Or if you want to cold turkey right now from your, what, 110 mg per day, it will be really, really rough, but it will be over with in a week. At least the intense part. You can expect several more weeks of blah, draggy energy, not great sleep, maybe some depression but all of that should lift fairly rapidly and within say, two or three months of being off everything, you can feel like a new man.

    Addicts will tell you cold turkey is better because the tapering is too hard to control, but if you have never exceeded your dose or felt out of control, and you think you don't have an addiction as opposed to a physical dependency, then you may be able to taper. When I was in the process, I had to think about whether I was an addict and needed additional support such as NA, and I encourage you to run that question by yourself honestly also.

    But if you can control a taper, then that will make the final jump less dramatic. For me, jumping from 20-30 mg per day that I'd gotten it down to was still a matter of setting aside time for "the flu". Stock the house with chicken soup, maybe ginger ale and crackers, things easy on the stomach, Immodium, Advil or Tylenol. Look up the Thomas recipe somewhere on this forum. Proper nutrition and vitamins and staying well hydrated will get you through the jump and is good for the whole taper and after.

    This is a major decision, a very GOOD decision you are making. I've been on that cocktail and I will say that it got me through a horrible, horrible time in my life. But the time of needing it passed and taking all those drugs long term will rapidly become more harmful than helpful. Once you get to the point of realizing it's no longer helping but just keeping you "normal" then your choice is to either up the dose and become even more tolerant, or get off them, and upping the dose really does not lead to anything good, especially if you are young and have your whole life ahead of you.

    As for how to handle your doctor, what I did was ask my doctor if it was okay if I sometimes took less of the medication than prescribed and see how my body reacts with pain. If I do well I'll just wait longer between filling prescriptions. My doctor was okay with that. That was being honest about my beginning to taper but without getting myself locked into any rigid timeframe. When I made it down to lower daily amounts, I asked the doctor to please switch my 20 mg OxyContin to 10 mg OxyContin. I still had the short acting pills too that I could cut into smaller doses. When I finally made the jump and after a couple weeks when I knew I was done with it for good, I just called them and asked them to stop sending the scripts at all.

    For people with severe underlying disease who are on opiates for pain control, getting off them is a little different than for addicts who did not get started by having a chronic pain disease. For us, we have to be very careful to manage the pain issues that got us on the drug in the first place. You can expect to have more pain in the short term and you should make plans to address it. More relaxation time, massage, acupuncture, yoga, whatever, have a plan ready. More pain as you get off the drug is NORMAL and you should go with it, it WILL get better later on. But severe pain that limits your function is another matter. You should work with your doctor. In extreme cases the drug could be masking disease progression, so keep your doctor informed if you have a severe flare as you are reducing.

    Best of luck to you. I think you will be thrilled with the results after you have this all behind you.
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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    I should clarify, everything I said about tapering >> cold turkey applies to the OxyContin and oxycodone, it does NOT apply to the valium. You should not cold turkey the valium, whether you do it before or after you get off the other drugs. Valium must be tapered over time.

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    mikestopnow is offline New Member
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    Thank you so much for the encouragement and your story. I am at the point in my life where, yes I have been though two back surgeries and did have sever pain but now I cannot tell the back pain from the WD pain. I have held a full time job, started golfing again, and have a family with three beautiful daughters. Where I am right now is a place I have been and last time my doctor just increased my dosage to get ride of the WD symptoms and pain. I really do feel that I will be much better off with out the drugs in my life. I know I can manage the pain in other ways like you said and I am willing and committed to doing that.

    I think I am going to try and start tapering tomorrow. I am currently taking 90mg a day and the benzo at night. I think like you said I will leave the Valium for last. I just don't know how quickly to do this. If I were to starting tomorrow take my normal three OxyContin and split all of my Percocet's in half, that would cut my dose to 75mg per day. Then how long should I stay on that before cutting more out? Also should I try and get off the Percocet completely first and then the OxyContin second and then the Valium?

    I know what is in store for me and I have asked myself the question and I truly believe that I am not an addict but just physically dependent on the meds. I know this because I have access to additional pills, and when I am feeling this >>>>>> WD's in between doses I could easily just pop another but I don't. I am ready for a life with out these drugs. I am glad I have found these boards and look forward to the support.
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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Well I typed a long reply and keep getting the access denied message, even though I cleared the browser scripts so this is a test message...

    I guess I'm not banned because this posted, but my other message won't post. Can't figure out why.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 06-09-2015 at 10:10 AM.
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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    I'm going to try posting only part of it and see where in the message the hang up is. Here's the first half:


    Whoops, I guess I have no math skills anymore, ha ha. Okay, 90 is not bad. Cutting all the percs in half to 75 per day all at once is one way to do it, or you could eliminate just one half at a time. There is really no hard and fast rule. You can feel your way through it and see what works best. One philosophy is once you make a cut, never under any circumstance go back up. If you take that approach, might want to only cut 5 mg per day to start. You will be more likely to stick with the rule. But another philosophy, that I have used myself, is to make a bigger initial cut, and then if I have a very bad day AND I must function, go back up only part way, never all the way. So say you go to 75 all at once. You have a couple days feeling kind of bad but then the third day your car breaks down, and you have other stresses and your symptoms become pretty bad. (Stress makes symptoms worse.) Then you could add back 5 or 10 mg (go back to 80 or 85) just for that one day. Then the next day get back on 75, stabilize a few more days, then make your next cut.

    For me the bigger steps with flexibility to handle unplanned stresses where I have to function well, worked better because the huge jump down brought me quick progress, yet the ability to updose a bit kept me able to handle life's curve balls. Kind of two steps forward, one step back as needed, but must limit to one step only or you will never get anywhere. But there is no right or wrong. If you find that allowing a partial updose tempts you to go all the way back to 90 then it's not going to work for you.

    Again you have to remember, when you are a pain patient, if you have severe pain, it needs to be treated or you go downhill fast, into depression, etc. So allowing an updose if you have a very bad day is good strategy, and making a bigger initial cut will allow that. On the other hand, making small cuts instead, may avoid you having a pain flare in the first place. So this is why I say it's an individual matter and you should make your own judgments and remember, you can adjust and change your plan as you go and as you learn how your body is reacting.

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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    .... and now going to try the second half...


    How long to stay at 75? I would say if you reach 75 and are able to not use rescue updose for 4-7 days, you should begin to feel fairly "normal" at that dose. Then you can think about making your next cut. How to eliminate the OxyContin >> percoset you will just have to work it out. One way is yes, eliminate all the percoset, then eliminate one of the OxyContins. If that is too much, add back one percoset. Once you eliminate two OxyContins, add back percoset to partially make up the total daily mg but not to the previous level. You are then using the short acting to help taper off the long acting.

    This gets tricky. The short acting will not cover you through the day like the OxyContin does. Do not expect it to. Expect some pretty uncomfortable hours. Try to hold off taking the Percoset as long as you can between OxyContin doses. The OxyContin when you are taking it only twice per day will wear off early and you won't be happy. Just make adjustments as best you can. Once you feel reasonably stable on the OxyContin only twice per day, that's 40 mg per day OxyContin, you can begin to think about asking the doctor to switch you to 10 mg OxyContin pills THREE times per day. This will bring you back to a smoother daily release and you probably will not notice the drop from 40 to 30 total per day. Once you get at or under 30 per day total, you can think about if you want to jump cold turkey if you are able to have the "flu" for a few days. Do you have a supportive wife? A spouse who is emotionally supportive of your plan does wonders to help you through a difficult jump. If you don't jump and want to continue tapering, it will become more difficult as you get lower because eliminating the OxyContins and going only to short acting will be very noticeable to your brain and you will start to swing between up and down. At that point, you can cut the pills into smaller pieces and dose more often, but sometimes that's pointless because a quarter percoset doesn't really do much to make you feel better. That's why at that point, just jumping might be preferable to dragging the whole thing out.

    So to answer your question, I'd use the OxyContin and Percoset back and forth like that as you taper and then, yes, after you're completely off only then address the Valium. That's going to be a whole nother ballgame. Don't start reducing the Valium until your sleep is back to normal after you are completely off the oxycodone. In my opinion you can decide about the muscle relaxer at any time before or after the oxy taper. Probably not during, but you could try; if you'd like to move it to only one dose at bedtime you might find it not too difficult to get off that one too. Then later as you begin to taper off the Valium, it might help to add back the robaxin at bedtime to help with sleep (but not the oxy! Lock those in the safe or throw them out.) Expect sleep problems again as you get off the Valium. Think about natural remedies like low dose melatonin and other herbal sleep aids, but realistically, for me, nothing helped with sleep until the benzo was long gone, you just have to slug through it. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. You may do very well because Valium is the ideal benzo for tapering off.

    Having worked, and started golfing is just excellent foretelling how you will do. Getting out and exercise or doing any hobby will increase your chance of success, it says your body functions reasonably well and you have lots of positive things to live for and look forward to. Staying active (within reason) will REDUCE pain. I think you are going to do just fine.

    Edit:
    Well I don't know why this worked. This is THE screwiest board I have ever been on. If I never show up again to help you, just know it's not personal.

    Hmmm... maybe the post was too long? I wish it would tell you a message if that's the case.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 06-09-2015 at 10:19 AM.
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    mikestopnow is offline New Member
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    Well today is officially the first day of the rest of my life. I have started the tapering. I chose to only cut one of the Percocet's in half and lower my daily dose by 5mg. I will give that a week and then drop another 5mg's. I know this might take a little more time but I think this way it can be manageable. I can still work and function. Once i get down to the last 30mg I am contemplating going cold turkey and just dealing with the week of the "flu".

    wish me luck!
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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Good Luck! Yeah, if you have to work every day, the tiny cuts are more doable. Just have to be brutal about not going back up if you have moments of feeling blah.

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    Drivingfasterr is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikestopnow View Post
    I am a 35 year old male and I have been taking pain medication for back pain for almost five years now. It started when I had a microdiskectomy in 2009, I was first prescribed percocet. I took that for some time and then in 2011 I had a full disk replacement. After that I was also perscribed oxycotin and robaxin. So now a typical day for me is I get up and take a 20mg oxycotin at 7:30am, then at 9am I take a 10/325 percocet with a 500mg robaxin. At noon I take another 20mg oxycotin, then at 2pm another 10/325 percocet and 500mg robaxin. At 6pm I take my last perscribed 10/325 percocet for the day. Finally at 8:30pm I take my last perscribed 20mg ocycotin and a 5mg Valium. I am prescribed this medication and take it as directed with no more per day then I am supposed to. For me now the medication just gets me though the time period between when I take them. I have managed to continue to work though all this and have a beautiful family. I just don't want to be a slave to my medication any longer. I am nervous about bringing this up to my doctor for fear that he will force me to stop and then it will become real and I might not be able to do it on my terms. I am strong and I know I can do this, I have resisted the urge to take more pills then I am supposed to for five years, I think I can get my self off them. I just need help, guidance
    I been there done that! For me it has been a roller coaster for the past 10 years. I am off them now, but along the way have tried many a system. I hope it is going well for you, but if not here is my time tested, and proven advice.

    As "This week for sure" advised, a slow taper works the best - hands down. I DO NOT ADVICE COLD TURKEY! I was able to do slow taper twice. It is the best all the way around. It sounds like you will have the will power. If I was you I would start with taking a half a perc less for the first week. Take half at 9 am then the next week take half at 2pm then the next week take half at 6 pm

    After three weeks I would do the same with the oxy - The slower the better - If you can I would go down 5 mg a week Go down 5mg at 7:30, next week 5mg at noon, then 5mg at 8:30. Then three weeks later the same.

    Now we are at three month three week mark, and I would skip a perc the half a perc each week. My last week I would take the perc every other day, then the last week every third day. I would stay on Valium at night, as it will help you relax, though at this point I do not think it is doing much.

    I realize this sounds like a long time, but it is worth it, and you will not suffer any withdrawal, and give your brain a chance to recover, which is the most important. When you go cold turkey it is not a week to recover, it is months and months, as you get strange cravings, especially after you eat. Your brain is so unbalanced, that it could take years, or maybe never to turn your brain around. Of course everyone is different.

    My third time, I did not have the will power to do a taper, so I went through Rapid Detox. I felt like hell for months, and took me years to feel like my old self. The pain meds change our brain chemistry, so we have to get the brain back to were it was, and that is a slow process.

    When you are off the meds, you will feel like a new person. No more brain fog, sleeping, missing out on life.
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    mikestopnow is offline New Member
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    Thank you for your encouragement! I started cutting 5mg at 9am last Wednesday and I have been doing good. A little headache here and there but for the most part very good. So I decided to cut another 5mg at 2pm and I just got done taking that dose. I am going to try and cut 5mg every five days or so. I agree that taking my time will be better. The good thing is I do believe I have the will power to do this and to not go back to an increased dosage. I am looking forward to life after these meds. I will let you know how the second cut goes after a couple of days but so far so good.

    My next cut will be 5mg at 6pm then try and eliminate the perc's all together. I am a little nervous about going from the Oxy 20mg three times a day to each week eliminating one of those with a 10mg perc. But will see how it goes.

    Thank you!
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    mikestopnow is offline New Member
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    Just an update, I am on day 19 and have made three drops so far for a total of 15mg. Things are going good so far and I haven't really had any urges to go back up a dose. I am starting to get concerned about my next drop which will be tomorrow, because I will be now eliminating one of my Percocet doses completely and am worried about getting through to my next dose. I think I am going to stat with my 9am dose because I will have taken a 20mg Oxy at 7:30 and will be taking another 20mg Oxy at noon. I am also concerned with once I get rid of the Perc's all together and start dropping the Oxy, my plan is to switch one of the 20mg Oxy with a 10mg Perc. I am just hoping that gets me through 4.5 hours until the next dose. I am so looking forward to this being over.

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    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
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    Mike,

    I haven't posted here for you until now. I am in awe of your taper! I never could do that, but I did try!! Try not to stress about that drop and your scheduled dosing. I might suggest that you try not to pay too close attention to that clock. Listen to your body and try to stick it out as long as you can begin doses. I think you said they are 4.5 hours apart? This might be the perfect time to begin to stretch out the time begin doses as long as you can and at some point one of those doses will just drop off the day. What do you think? I found we can survive most anything for a half hour or even an hour. Just a thought.

    Peace,

    Cat
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    mikestopnow is offline New Member
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    Cat,

    Thank you, I am also shocked at how well its going. I have been taking these meds for almost six years and thought I would never be able to live without them. I think you are right, I need to focus less on the exact dosing time like my life has been for the past six years and see how my body does. I agree stretching it out an extra half hour or so could really help move things along.

    Thank you!

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    freegerry is offline New Member
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    I have been following your advice on a couple of threads. I like your approach. My doctor gave me Xanax as a muscle relaxer and I don't want to use it anymore and try Valium instead. How long do I need to wait to switch over? I take 1 x 0.5mg Xanax per day (am) I have some 5mg Valium and not sure when to switch over .... The whole experience of getting off the OxyContin facing me is exciting and and I'm looking forward to being free! I have got a taper plan in place and then when I get to 10mg OxyContin 3 times a day I will go cold turkey. Using supplements Epsom baths and Valium etc. I am I on the right track here? I'm feeling positive and determined but obviously scared too. Lol. A bit of fear of failure if I'm completely honest. I would appreciate your input.
    Gerry

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    pokergirl is offline New Member
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    Hi Gerry. I tried going cold turkey when I was on oxy. I almost died. My gf took pity. She's a nurse a gave me a few drops oral morphine to stop spasms. I moved on to norco. Two years later I'm down to one hydrocodone a day. Ten little mg. I'm proud but not content. Enough about me. I would just like to encourage you. You can do it. Especially if you can get just one person on board. My grown son helped a lot. Let me know if I can help. Christi

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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by freegerry View Post
    I have been following your advice on a couple of threads. I like your approach. My doctor gave me Xanax as a muscle relaxer and I don't want to use it anymore and try Valium instead. How long do I need to wait to switch over? I take 1 x 0.5mg Xanax per day (am) I have some 5mg Valium and not sure when to switch over .... The whole experience of getting off the OxyContin facing me is exciting and and I'm looking forward to being free! I have got a taper plan in place and then when I get to 10mg OxyContin 3 times a day I will go cold turkey. Using supplements Epsom baths and Valium etc. I am I on the right track here? I'm feeling positive and determined but obviously scared too. Lol. A bit of fear of failure if I'm completely honest. I would appreciate your input.
    Gerry
    It would be better to keep this question in the thread you started, so we don't lose track of everything you are doing, so I am going to repost this over there.

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    mish_nyc_32 is offline New Member
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    Hiya Mike - I recently had abdominal surgery because I was having chronic pain from a long history of pancreatitis. since nov 2014 i've been taking percs and in the hospital i was getting dilaudid IV. i'm post surgery about a month now and i understand what you're going through. i don't know whether to associate the post surgery abdominal pain with withdrawal pain, but i know when i take oxy's - it makes it all go away. honestly it scares the hell out of me. but you're not alone.

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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mish_nyc_32 View Post
    Hiya Mike - I recently had abdominal surgery because I was having chronic pain from a long history of pancreatitis. since nov 2014 i've been taking percs and in the hospital i was getting dilaudid IV. i'm post surgery about a month now and i understand what you're going through. i don't know whether to associate the post surgery abdominal pain with withdrawal pain, but i know when i take oxy's - it makes it all go away. honestly it scares the hell out of me. but you're not alone.
    It might be withdrawal pain but with your history you need to be very careful and if you have any doubts, be sure to see your doctor and monitor your pancreas.

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    mikestopnow is offline New Member
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    Well I into my fifth drop and my second drop of a whole dose of 10mg Perc. So far I am down 25mg/day. I must say things are going as well as I could have expected. I am down to just one 5mg dose of Perc per day and three 20mg Oxy's per day. I have been stressing about dropping the Oxy's down to a 10mg Perc because of losing the slow release but I remembered I still have some 10mg Oxy's left from a year or so ago. I am thinking of just dropping down to them when its time. I don't have a lot so its just going to be short term and then I will have to go to the Perc's at some point. I just hope that the rest of the taper goes as well as it has so far. I am already starting to feel better. Yes, my back pain is there but I am trying to manage it in other ways and its not as bad as it was when I started taking the medication. Again a big thanks to everyone that has written and given me encouragement!

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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    I'm glad you have the 10 mg slow release oxys. Things might get rougher as you get lower but hang in there and stay with it. You are doing great.

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    mikestopnow is offline New Member
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    So I am on day five of my stretch with no Perc's and I must say its been tough. I am taking three 20mgs Oxy each day and its been the first time I have really thought about bumping up my dose and taking 1/2 of a 10mg Perc or even a whole one. I didn't let myself do that but the aches and pains were almost getting to much. Things seem to be good when I have something else to focus on, but like right now I am just sitting at my desk feeling like complete >>>>. I took my first 20mg Oxy dose at around 7:30 and it really hasn't done much to the WD symptoms. I have been doing a drop every five days and tomorrow I am scheduled to drop one of my 20mg Oxy doses either to a 10mg Perc or I have a few 15mg Oxy's left ( I thought they were 10's but they were not). I have been up every night since coming of the final 5mg of Perc. I know I am getting close and I know that as I get closer to the end things are going to get worse. In these past five weeks I have realized how much these drugs alter your brain. More importantly I have realized that there is a difference between addiction and physical dependence, I had begun thinking that I was never going to get off these meds and that I was "addicted" but actually I have a physical dependence and not wanting to experience WD does not make me an addict. I say this only for my own benefit because I had always believed that I didn't have and addictive personality and I was beginning to doubt myself a bit. I will continue to stay strong and hopefully in another four or five weeks I will be off everything. Thanks to everyone again for the support, hope everyone had a great weekend!

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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikestopnow View Post
    So I am on day five of my stretch with no Perc's and I must say its been tough. I am taking three 20mgs Oxy each day and its been the first time I have really thought about bumping up my dose and taking 1/2 of a 10mg Perc or even a whole one. I didn't let myself do that but the aches and pains were almost getting to much. Things seem to be good when I have something else to focus on, but like right now I am just sitting at my desk feeling like complete >>>>. I took my first 20mg Oxy dose at around 7:30 and it really hasn't done much to the WD symptoms. I have been doing a drop every five days and tomorrow I am scheduled to drop one of my 20mg Oxy doses either to a 10mg Perc or I have a few 15mg Oxy's left ( I thought they were 10's but they were not). I have been up every night since coming of the final 5mg of Perc. I know I am getting close and I know that as I get closer to the end things are going to get worse.
    If you are feeling borderline not functional, I might suggest using the 15s to replace a 20 but cutting it in half and spacing the dose. The problem you get when you start dropping the extended release is that your blood level is going to plummet not very long after the short acting dose. You could even cut it in quarters and space the doses evenly between OxyContin doses. Put your two OxyContins 12 hours apart and take pieces of the short acting as the extended release starts to really wear off toward the next dose time, if that makes sense. It's just a suggestion, you need to do it however works out best for you.

    Good for you for not adding back the perc! If it has been 5 days DON'T DO IT, you are past the worst. However you might want to stabilize right where you are now for a few more days before the next cut.


    In these past five weeks I have realized how much these drugs alter your brain. More importantly I have realized that there is a difference between addiction and physical dependence, I had begun thinking that I was never going to get off these meds and that I was "addicted" but actually I have a physical dependence and not wanting to experience WD does not make me an addict. I say this only for my own benefit because I had always believed that I didn't have and addictive personality and I was beginning to doubt myself a bit. I will continue to stay strong and hopefully in another four or five weeks I will be off everything. Thanks to everyone again for the support, hope everyone had a great weekend!
    The difference between physical dependence and addiction can be a fine line. I too went through that discussion with myself. It can be extremely complex but you look at it from all sides. Does the drug cause you to do self destructive things with your relationships, employment or finances? (no - check). Do you find yourself often taking more than the doctor had written on the bottle and running out early? (no - check) Do you ever need to get more from the street or steal others' pills? (no - check) Do you use the drug to escape negative feelings or to have "fun" instead of for pain as prescribed? (no - check) Have you ever had driving violations related to your use of the drug? (no- check) Has ANYONE close to you (family, friend, employer) EVER suggested that you have a drug problem? (no -check) Do your doctors look at you askance about your drug use? (no - check) and so on. (That last one about the doctors is tricky because nowadays doctors are firing patients because they cannot prescribe more than a certain amount, and it might not be personal, but you have to be honest with yourself.)

    Being physically dependent feels AWFUL. And it will make you question everything about yourself. The drug itself causes great anxiety when you begin to feel withdrawals close to next dose time or as you reduce, and that anxiety in and of itself makes you catastrophize everything in your own mind. The social stigma doesn't help, so it's easy for a pain patient to feel they are a full blown addict, but not all are. This is a decision no one else can make for you, each of us must find the truth inside ourselves.

  24. #24
    mikestopnow is offline New Member
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    Well I have come along way I am now on day two of my 8 cut which has me down a total of 50mg/day thats over half of the 90mg/day I was taking. What I decided to do with the 20mg Oxy's was to cut them down and use my 10mg Perc's but cut them in half and stagger the dose so that it would get me though to the next dose. I believe that worked fairly well with day's 3-4 being the worse as usual. I do feel it getting harder and harder though. I do see light at the end of this tunnel for once. I have one more 20mg Oxy to cut which will start Friday morning, then I will just be down to three 10mg Perc's and continue to cut from there.

    Since these last couple cuts my head has been feeling really cloudy and my sinuses have been bad, almost like I have a head cold. Also I have been experiencing some chest pain, not a ton, its usually right before my next scheduled dose. Is this normal? I have resisted only the few urges to take an extra dose to not feel as bad. I can truly say that I have complete control over this process so far. I hope that to be the case as I get down to under 30mg's per day.

    I again want to thank you for your support, its really the only place for me to turn. I tend to be a very private person and am always the one helping everyone else. My wife knows I have been on these meds and for how long, but its not something we take about at all. This is pretty much the same with the rest of my family. Most everyone else doesn't even know I have been on the meds. I am almost at the end, I can start to feel my real back pain again and I almost look at that as a positive because it is not as bad as I had thought. I am going to start working out to help get it stronger and look for alternative ways to help it like massage therapy or acupuncture.

    Thank you again!

  25. #25
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    You are doing absolutely fantastic! Keep going.

    Like you I am also a private person and when I first decided I wanted off the pain meds but realized it was difficult, it freaked me out. But like you I was able to taper in a controlled way. Like you my husband knew what drugs I was on but I don't talk to him much about what I'm doing with my meds, not that it's a secret, he doesn't talk to me much about his Flomax either, however when I jumped and did the final "cold turkey" I told him what I was doing. He was a big help and was very supportive.

    Yes the nasal congestion. It's a bother. After i got off the pain pills I had to start treating my allergies again. Opiates dry out all your mucus membranes. Good for allergies but terrible for causing constipation. I don't know about chest pain. I didn't have chest pain but did have a lot of back and leg pain.

  26. #26
    rene1rene is offline New Member
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    Default You are right to not involve your doctor - "unfortunately"

    Quote Originally Posted by mikestopnow View Post
    I am a 35 year old male and I have been taking pain medication for back pain for almost five years now. It started when I had a microdiskectomy in 2009, I was first prescribed percocet. I took that for some time and then in 2011 I had a full disk replacement. After that I was also perscribed oxycotin and robaxin. So now a typical day for me is I get up and take a 20mg oxycotin at 7:30am, then at 9am I take a 10/325 percocet with a 500mg robaxin. At noon I take another 20mg oxycotin, then at 2pm another 10/325 percocet and 500mg robaxin. At 6pm I take my last perscribed 10/325 percocet for the day. Finally at 8:30pm I take my last perscribed 20mg ocycotin and a 5mg Valium. I am prescribed this medication and take it as directed with no more per day then I am supposed to. For me now the medication just gets me though the time period between when I take them. I have managed to continue to work though all this and have a beautiful family. I just don't want to be a slave to my medication any longer. I am nervous about bringing this up to my doctor for fear that he will force me to stop and then it will become real and I might not be able to do it on my terms. I am strong and I know I can do this, I have resisted the urge to take more pills then I am supposed to for five years, I think I can get my self off them. I just need help, guidance
    I just read your first reply on how you were doing and saw that you CUT the oxycontin....OH that is not good. The Oxycontin is time released and now instead of getting 1/2 of 20mg you have caused your body to be exposed to way to much. I hope it all worked out for you but if your having problems, this is the culprit.

    I understand your position - there are several reasons one would want to do this and consequently the pain relief it provides does not out weigh the stigma we are tagged with when we go to the pharmacy, a specialist, etc. --- they can all see what your taking. The concern i have is if they do urine tests on your - the doctor can see if you have reduced your medication. Also note that the pharmacy and the prescribing doctor is collaborating - theey are required to enter the prescribing date and the actual fill date to make sure you are filling your script on time. There is so much now that goes into this behind the scenes .. behind our backs.

    Ask your doctor for other pain management methods - lidocaine, TENS unit, physical therapy, etc. Good luck.

  27. #27
    hereinbalto is offline Banned
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    mikestopnow- how are you doing now? How did the rest of your taper go?

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    Xxoo is offline New Member
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    Hey everybody, I've been looking through these threads trying to find the best spot for my question. I've had a bunch of my questions answered so far but just have a couple left! I have been taking Percocet for the past 8 months, and have been taking up to 6 a day..I am now 3 days clean with very mild physical withdrawals, the depression is still here. My thoughts are that I was more energetic, happy, outgoing, productive and so on while on this medication...now I am weak, sad and lazy (no energy what's so ever)...I know it takes about 10 days to kick this, will i return to my old self? Will this laziness end? i feel like it won't! Even on Percocet I was only productive for the first 2 hours after my dose because I've come to think that I need them in order to carry on with my day or to just be bubbly and energetic...I guess I just need a boost of confidence and people who are or have been in my situation to tell me it's going to be okay, I'm doing this completely alone and with a one year old girl who needs her mommy. Thanks everybody
    AtheistDave likes this.

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    Cw12 is offline New Member
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    Xoxo everything is going to be just fine. It takes time but look at it this way. You can spend a few weeks of misery or a lifetime of suffering. 3 days is huge. I'm proud of you. And no you are not alone. You have the support of your little girl . I have a 2 year old and 8 days ago when I started this he came up to me and seeing the tears in my eyes told me, I love you daddy everything be ok. Just remember this, the older they get the more they understand. You can do this I know you can. Just take it one day at a time.

  30. #30
    mikestopnow is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rene1rene View Post
    I just read your first reply on how you were doing and saw that you CUT the oxycontin....OH that is not good. The Oxycontin is time released and now instead of getting 1/2 of 20mg you have caused your body to be exposed to way to much. I hope it all worked out for you but if your having problems, this is the culprit.

    I understand your position - there are several reasons one would want to do this and consequently the pain relief it provides does not out weigh the stigma we are tagged with when we go to the pharmacy, a specialist, etc. --- they can all see what your taking. The concern i have is if they do urine tests on your - the doctor can see if you have reduced your medication. Also note that the pharmacy and the prescribing doctor is collaborating - theey are required to enter the prescribing date and the actual fill date to make sure you are filling your script on time. There is so much now that goes into this behind the scenes .. behind our backs.

    Ask your doctor for other pain management methods - lidocaine, TENS unit, physical therapy, etc. Good luck.

    So its been some time since I have posted on here. Just to clear your comment up I did NOT cut in half the oxycontin. I used the term cut to mean cut my dose. What I had done was instead of taking my 20mg Oxy I replaced it with a 10mg Perc essentially cutting the dose in half. Things were going well until the 4th of July, I was in bad shape and I went back to prescribed dose. For both my Percocet and Oxycontin. I did around the same time talk to my doctor about coming off the meds and he decided to start with dropping me from 20mg Oxy's 3x/day to 15mg Oxy's 3x/day. So instead of 90mg/day I am down to 75mg/day.

    I have been wanting to fully come off the meds again and my doctor hasn't brought it up since I did and that was the only change he had made. Fast forward to today I just heard that the head doctor at my pain management clinic was indited and they are no longer refilling prescriptions. So here I am again left with a predicament. I have two days left on my Oxy script and two days left on my Valium script. I still have a surplus of Oxy's and Perc's from the last time I tapered. I decided to make an appointment with my Primary doctor and either try and get in a program or see if they can direct me to a doctor that can oversee my tapering. My appointment is at 8:40am tomorrow and I am nervous as hell but I don't know what else to do at this point.

    It is time to officially put these meds behind me and focus on a more holistic approach to my back pain. Wish me luck (again) I will try and keep this updated.

    Mike

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