Results 1 to 22 of 22
Like Tree5Likes
  • 2 Post By Fireshadow190
  • 1 Post By melindau
  • 1 Post By melindau
  • 1 Post By johnnythejet
tramadol taper - help needed please
  1. #1
    johnnythejet is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    14

    Default tramadol taper - help needed please

    I’ve been taking tramadol for about 3 years at this point. It started off as just occasional for pain (I’m allergic to NSAIDS) from knee issues but then I needed to take it more often after having 2 knee surgeries. I’ve also always suffered from anxiety issues and I liked the way tramadol’s SSRI effects helped my outlook and ability to function. I’ve never taken any anti-depressents but I am of the opinion that I may benefit from it. A counselor once suggested I might give thought to trying one. My tramadol usage has varied, but slowly increased to 200 mg per day (4- 50mg tablets per day) which I’ve been at for several months. Although I like how tramadol makes me feel when its in full force in my system, I hate the way it makes me feel otherwise, how it affects my life, and being dependent on it. I made the decision a few weeks ago to end my usage and thanks to reading on this site I’ve determined a good way to taper down. I am well aware by reading this site, and how I feel when I delay a dose, that I need to taper slowly. I’m reducing my dosage every 7 days as follows, and space the medication throughout the day as much as possible:
    200mg - start
    150mg – week 1
    125mg – week 2
    100mg – week 3
    75mg – week 4
    50 mg – week 5
    25 mg – week 7
    0 mg – week 8 onward

    I am currently finishing up week 2, and will be on 100mg/day starting tomorrow.

    Here are my questions/concerns:
    1. Any suggestions to changing my taper schedule?
    2. Does it make sense to skip the 25mg and just drop to zero from 50mg? Or will the WDs potentially be significantly worse?
    3. Although the physical effects of tapering haven’t been too bad thus far, the downs I suffer without the tramadol are a problem. Should I consider adding in an SSRI or a natural remedy to help? I need to be functioning at a high level for home and work activities.
    4. If I add in an anti-depressant, should that wait until I’m completely off tramadol to avoid complications between the meds?
    5. Will I need to take off work for a few days when going to 0mg, or will tapering allow the transition to be bearable enough?

    I am asking for feedback from those who have been through this with tramadol…. Both the addiction and success from tapering. Any feedback is helpful.

    Thanks to everyone who reads this, responds, or has responded to similar posts in the past (that I’ve already read and benefited from). You have helped me and others immensely and your feedback is far more valuable than a doctor’s IMO. Nobody understands this challenge except for those who have gone through it.

  2. #2
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    3,016

    Default

    You can look up posts from Maisie C, I think it is or just Maisie. Your taper plan looks good. As to what w/d you will experience, It don't know, but I don't believe it will not be manageable using the thomas recipe minus the benzo drugs. I have never been addicted to tramadol, but your taper looks good and I would go to the .25mg. The one thing you have to remember about the SSRI effect is that you are using a drug to over-ride what you would produce naturally. I would look into some supplements first, get plenty of exercise and get your natural brain chemistry balanced. Then look into anti-depressants. You need to know that life is stressful and we mostly look into a pill to make us feel better. I would wait until I decided to pick up on anti-D's or benzo's for anxiety and try natural remedies first. Read around the boards.

    Peace,

    Iloerose

  3. #3
    johnnythejet is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Thanks so much for your response!

  4. #4
    melindau is offline Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    370

    Default

    Johnny.. your taper looks great... just take it one day at a time...see how you feel and go from there...I took trams but i was more into vics and harder... the thing about trams is they have the antidepressant in them... so it puts a little twist in them ... make sure and let us know your progress it really helps to post on here...
    Melinda

  5. #5
    johnnythejet is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Thanks Melinda. I'm 2 days into the “Week 4” which is 75mg/day. Last week I was taking (1) 50mg pill around noon and another 50mg pill around 9pm. Yesterday (start of week 4) was by far the hardest day. I took ½ a pill around noon and boy oh boy did my body let me know it was cranky. I nearly had an anxiety attack in the afternoon for no apparent reason. It felt like my stomach was cramping and someone was running electric current through my bones/nerves. Not to mention I was very depressed for insufficient reasons. I took the next 25mg around 5:30pm and the WDs improved and then took the last 25mg around 9pm and was okay. As tough as yesterday seems I know it was NOTHING compared to some of the people on here that have stopped opiates cold turkey or with much more aggressive taper. Today has been better and I know the rest of the week will only improve. Given how tough it was to transition down this last 25%, I think I’m going to revise my taper schedule. For next week, I think I will taper from 75mg/day to 62.5mg/day (instead of 50mg/day). I realize it will be difficult to cut each pill into 1/4ths, but I think it is doable. I figure there’s no incentive to taper quickly, so I’m gonna make it as easy as possible. As long as I get to zero, right?

    The hardest, most consistent component, of this process has been the depression and lack of energy. I've been exercising nearly every day but its just so hard to snap out of my funk.

  6. #6
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    3,016

    Default

    I think it's fine to slow up your taper some. As long as you get to zero and keep up the good work. The anxiety and depression are the hard part. It takes time for our brains to heal, but you will heal over time. There are some things that you can do to help with some of the symptoms:

    For Anxiety try serene L-theanine or valerian root. (anxiety and depression)
    Immodium: people say that liquid is best it has an opioid like compound that does not cross blood brain barrier and will make you feel better and help the bm issues.
    Gatorade: hydration and will help with RLS
    Hyland's Restful Leg or Hyland's Calme's Forte
    Potassium and potassium rich foods, like bananas and orange juice
    B-12
    A good vitamin supplement
    Mineral complex with magnesium
    Exercise, even if it's a short 10min. walk at first
    Hot baths
    For sleep: an OTC or melatonin, strong sleepy time tea (for insomnia)

    Peace,

    Iloerose

  7. #7
    melindau is offline Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    370

    Default

    Hi Johnny
    I think you got this...Your plan sounds great!I did a long taper off my opiate addiction...This forum got me out of my Hell it was really nice to know I was not the only one!It helped me to do nice things for myself... I was spending about 2 grad a month on my addiction so when I got down to what the doctor was giving me and not buying them on the street I had money again... so I would be able to fun things again.. post on here alot it helps... stay strong my friend...
    Melinda

  8. #8
    johnnythejet is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Well, today begins my week on 37.5mg/day. I haven't exceeded more than 25% drop with my taper schedule and that's made all the difference. Even a 25% drop has resulted in a fairly rough couple days as my body adjusts but still very doable and I've been able to function as needed. I've avoided adding in any meds, but have improved my diet, exercised more, and I take a B complex every morning. I load up on potassium pretty good via smoothies every morning with banana, OJ, and spinach.

    I can see the finish line approaching and my only conflict is I can't decide when to jump off. On the one side, I feel like I can just keep cutting these pill pieces smaller and smaller because...what's the rush? But then, I'm also anxious to get this done with so I don't want to drag it out if jumping off from say 25mg isn't really all that bad. Any advice?

  9. #9
    Fireshadow190 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Hey man if what you're doing is working then stick with it. I went cold turkey after 2 years of up to 22-26 pills a day and like everyone else, it sucked.

    BUT...the grass is greener on the other side my friend. Eventually you WILL HAVE TO TAKE CONTROL of yourself. Your body, mind, and anything else has to work for you, not the other way around.

    You have to get mean and aggressive with yourself in that failure is not an option and even though you feel like hell and your mind is all jacked up, you will be well and normal soon! YOU WILL BE! But your mind plays some dirty tricks. The depression sucks, insomnia sucks, lack of focus sucks, body aches suck, but guess what...it doesn't last forever! Tell yourself to man(or woman)up and win this war, even if it's a day at a time...

    Go natural with recovery. Don't go to the Dr. For antidepressants, anti-anxiety, sleeping, or pain relief meds. They are just one more poison your body contends with to get back to normal. The way I looked at it ( which may be wrong but it seems to be working) is, I did this to myself, therefore, I need to feel the pain I have caused myself if to just serve as a reminder that this was hell. If you want relief from the symptoms, go the natural route.

    But I'll tell you, the REAL RELIEF is when you've been off those pups for a while, and you know that you've taken charge over yourself again and the fog has lifted. That my brother is relief. I've been where your at, you can do this!

    Stay focused, stay hydrated, think big picture, and GET WELL!
    melindau and Soupkc like this.

  10. #10
    melindau is offline Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    370

    Default

    yep! what fireshadow said!
    melinda
    Fireshadow190 likes this.

  11. #11
    johnnythejet is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Fireshadow, thank you so much for the inspirational message. Its amazing to know others feel the same pain and can understand what we go through. I have got angry and aggressive with myself and there is NO turning back. I'm very deliberate in my decisions and once I decided to engage the taper schedule, that's it. My main concern at this point is the taper has already gotten me so low (tomorrow I'm at 31.25mg/day approximately). Although I'm thrilled how successful the tapering has been, it has sucked every day. Every day there are periods of pain, depression, agitation, insomnia, etc. (you well know). I guess I'm just curious if at some point I'm so low on my dosage that the WD symptoms once "jumping off" will be pretty much the same whether its 31.25mg/day or 5mg/day....especially since 1 pill is 50mg. I'd rather not extend more >>>>>> days if the difference in WD symptoms from jumping off now versus later is negligible. Thoughts?

  12. #12
    melindau is offline Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    370

    Default

    Hi Johnny
    If your at 5mg I say go for it! it will be a few days of feeling like cr@p but you can do it!..well be here for ya! let us know what we can do for ya!
    Melinda

  13. #13
    johnnythejet is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Melinda,
    Tomorrow I start with 31.25mg/day which seems really low considering I was at 200mg/day. I guess I just need to know if the "few days of feeling like >>>>" will pretty much be the same if I quit now versus tapering down further.
    Thanks,
    John

  14. #14
    melindau is offline Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    370

    Default

    Hey! John!
    I would say go for it! I was on ocycontin and vic's and so much more... but I got down to 5 mg of vic's and jumped off and was fine not saying I was feeling good but I made it...give it a try and keep posting to us well help you thru this!
    Melinda
    Fireshadow190 likes this.

  15. #15
    Fireshadow190 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    20

    Default

    I agree. Just jump off. WD's may get a little worse but at least you can tell yourself the you are in fact, officially, on the mend. It's gonna suck and you know that but that's where the focus comes in.

    STAY ACTIVE! Idleness will be your enemy. Keep your mind engaged on something, anything all day. DO NOT GIVE IN! 200/day is something you can beat bro. Without a doubt you can! You have to. You don't want this >>>>. You don't want to feel like this or cheat yourself anymore.

    Remember, YOU'RE IN CHARGE, not the pills! Something else, don't make excuses for going back. Your brain will play tricks, it will make you think you can't do it and your withdrawal symptoms will last forever. It's wrong. Don't justify taking that >>>>. One pill, and your clock goes to zero and all of this works is for nothing...have purpose. You got this! It gets better!

    Something I did was take a couple of tram success stories and saved them in my phone so I could have inspiration anytime I want. Whatever works for you. BEAT THIS! Let us know how you're doing.

  16. #16
    johnnythejet is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Hi everyone-
    I wanted to give an update for anyone who has read or will read my story. I had been reducing my dose of tramadol by roughly 20% every week until I was down below 25mg. Then I started taking it every other day, although I did this for just a couple doses (less than a week). Then one night (roughly 2.5 weeks ago) it was getting late and I decided to stop taking it completely and flushed the rest of my tramadol down the toilet. The next day was a little rough and then the day after was even more rough in which I was overcome with sadness and had an episode of prolonged crying and some sort of panic attack in which some of my hand/feet muscles locked up and my body was tingling for about 15 minutes. After that, things have slowly improved day by day. I still have periods (mainly when inactive on a couch) where I get the familiar pain/sensation of withdrawals but the relief and happiness of being 100% off tramadol far outweighs the pain. I am 100% okay with knowing the WD’s will linger for a while (maybe even a long while).

    Thanks to everyone who has shared their story which gave me strength and hope, and thanks especially to those of you who responded to my post giving me the advice and encouragement I desperately needed.

  17. #17
    Terryinraleigh is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    4

    Default

    I quit Trams about a week ago and even though I tapered I felt horrible. On Zoloft now for two days. Hopeing to feel better. I hope you do also.

  18. #18
    Terryinraleigh is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    4

    Default

    I had exactly the same experience with the ridiculous crying episodes. It was pathetic. About four days later now Im a bit better. On Tranxene and starting Zoloft to deal with the "underlying issues" of my addition. I wish you luck. It gets better. But nothing is ever going to replace the Tram high so you just have to get over that I guess.

  19. #19
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    3,016

    Default

    First, Johnny, and all who have gotten off tramadol!!! Congratulations. I do want to point out one thing that was put out on this thread: the need for anti-depressants and benzodiazepines after initial w/d. One person suggested going the natural route after detox as your brain learns to balance without tramadol. I totally agree. Tramadol not only works on opioid receptors, but also as a serotonin releasing agent and a norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitor which means it works partially like an anti-depressant. It is quite natural that after quitting tramadol by either c/t or tapering that you will experience depression/anxiety. As far as jumping to other dependence inducing drugs, personally, I would wait for a few months at least before jumping onto an anti-depressant. A few weeks or a few days is not enough time for the brain to repair itself and balance chemicals overtaken by the drugs we take.

    I want to say something about tranxene: I don't know where in the world this would be prescribed but to me it sounds like it's a heavy duty benzo and has an absurd half life: 20 to over 100 hours. Benzodiazepines are considered to be the worst drugs to detox.

    I know that people DO suffer from depression and anxiety, but after detox, much of that is from taking the drug and detoxing the drug. You do not heal overnight: you did not get here overnight. PLEASE consider carefully taking any other synthetic mind/brain chemistry altering substance.

    Peace,

    Iloerose

  20. #20
    johnnythejet is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Iloerose-
    Your advice to staying natural and to AVOID using other medications to deal with coming off tramadol was the best advice, and I thank you for it. Besides taking a B-complex every morning I've stuck with bettering my diet and keeping busy (exercising daily, doing more manual labor, etc.) as my substitution for tramadol and it has worked great. Yes, WD's sucked and I had many challenges but I feel great now and actually better than ever. Had I not tried the natural route, I certainly would be dependent on a new medication and in a less healthier state (both body and mind). You really need to let your body come to equilibrium before understanding that medication is not needed (if that is the case). My mood is stable, I have a positive outlook and my energy has returned. Thanks again!
    Iwantoff2013 likes this.

  21. #21
    Fireshadow190 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Congrats johnnythejet on how far you have come! Isn't the feeling great!? FREEDOM! However, you still have to be on your guard because as soon as you get too comfortable, you may slip up. Not to discourage you, but to encourage you in that you have come such a long way that you don't want to let one single moment of vulnerability ruin everything you have worked for!

    Today is day #72 clean and I still have short periods where Satan jacks with me and tries to remind me of the feeling that drug gave me. I just remind myself how nice it is to be able to smell things (sometimes), not have to be sneaky, to have money in my bank account, to feel REAL emotions, to not have to worry about when my next refill will come. I literally still enjoy the small things in life.

    You are doing great man...keep it up, and DON'T GIVE IN!

    PS: I'll take a little credit for telling you to go the natural route also=)

  22. #22
    johnnythejet is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Fireshadow-
    Yes, you deserve credit as well! You gave the same great advice just like the great advice you just gave about Satan's ability to steer us off course. I've already had MANY moments of remembering how tramadol made me feel, etc. but they are immediately followed by memories of the hell it put me through. I know it will be a continual struggle and I'm up to the task. I love this freedom and everything else you remind yourself of.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-18-2015, 11:31 AM
  2. URGENT Subutex taper help needed!
    By Zach317 in forum Need to Talk?
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 05-29-2014, 12:38 PM
  3. subutex taper help needed
    By Vickiecx in forum Suboxone Treatment
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-08-2013, 09:36 PM
  4. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-07-2009, 05:48 PM
  5. Help needed - regarding Ultram, ultracet, tramadol
    By Jen62Dar in forum Drug Information
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-25-2004, 12:17 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22