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I want to stop taking OxyContin - I have chronic pain but want out!
  1. #1
    freegerry is offline New Member
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    Default I want to stop taking OxyContin - I have chronic pain but want out!

    I have been taking OxyContin at various strengths and intervals (20 - 80mg)and Endone (oxycodone 5mg) for 5 years now for peripheral neuropathy. The doses and frequency have varied and I feel now they cause more problems than the condition itself. I don't want to go to rehab. My husband is in denial about my problems and couldn't cope with me just leaving for a few weeks. I want to STOP all meds to firstly assess my chronic pain and then try a different approach to treating the symptoms. Needless to say the meds have caused more problems than they have treated. I am in a good frame of mind to quit but want to do it right and safely. Plus I would like to do it at home. Can anyone help me please?

  2. #2
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    You are not alone. Many of us have been there. It is a very good idea to take a holiday from these drugs and assess what your baseline pain is, and see if you can find other ways of dealing with it. While getting off the drugs you may find your pain increases, once they are completely out of your system a while you may find you are in no more pain than you were when on the drugs. And you will be without these bothersome side effects.

    If you would like to quit and do it at home there are basically two methods: the taper down, and the cold turkey. It is entirely up to you which method you use.

    The taper method, you will eliminate part of one dose, or one pill (whatever you decide) and stay at that new dose for several days, then when you feel adjusted to the new dose, eliminate another portion. Just keep doing that all the way down, or you can decide at any point to "jump off" and endure withdrawals for a few days.

    The cold turkey method, you just stop all the OxyContin and oxycodone all at once. The first morning without taking a pill you will call day 1. You will go through several days of feeling very sick, and should plan on it, as if you are going to have a week long flu. Ginger ale, chicken soup, crackers, Tylenol, Immodium, (you can get other hints from the Thomas recipe somewhere on this forum). If you have a job you should take vacation. At your level, this will be a pretty difficult cold turkey, but it is not dangerous. The biggest danger is dehydration or complications of vomiting. Symptoms will peak around days 2-4 and you will start to feel better days 5-7. But it may take several weeks to recover good sleep, motivation and energy.

    You can avoid the most severe cold turkey symptoms by tapering down as far as you can first, then jump and get the rest over with. I tapered down to about 20-30 mg per day and jumped from there, and it was not bad, I never vomited and by day 5 I was feeling very much better.

    For me, and for some people with chronic pain problems, we do best when we are in control of our taper. But for addicts, or anyone who cannot stick to a taper no matter what, rehab might be the only way to get off the drugs. Only you can decide whether you cannot do it yourself and need rehab or other support for addicts. It sounds like you might just be a physically dependent pain patient. If that is the case, then you CAN do this yourself. You just need some information and support.

    You can have a lot of negative feelings on these drugs, feelings of being trapped. Feelings of fear (will my doctor stop my prescriptions? What if I lose them? and so on). You question whether you are a drug addict. You question a lot of other things about your life. These drugs numb emotions, fog up your brain, mess up your digestive tract and kind of make you a slave to the clock. All of this is very uncomfortable and seems to get worse with time. In my opinion, these are very normal reactions to being on these drugs for many years. You have anxiety about the depth of your dependence on them. At a certain point the anxiety about being dependent on them becomes worse than any pain relief they still give, which in many cases is minimal anymore. That's when you reach the point of making the decision to get off them and your desire to be free of them becomes strong.

    And so you must make a plan to get off them. This plan should be your design, how you think you can cope with either tapering down, going cold turkey, or a combination of both. For tapering, figure how you will cut your doses. Use a combination of eliminating the OxyContin and/or cutting up the short acting oxycodone.

    For me it was very helpful to make a chart and keep a diary of how I felt. I bought a pill cutter and I calculated daily doses and noted how much I took every day and also how I felt that day, while I was tapering down. This way I could go back and see how I was doing. It gets easy to forget how much you take or how you felt. If you choose to taper, keeping track of it with pen and paper is extremely helpful. It gives you a sense of control and you can see your progress.

    You can do this. You seem to really want it, and that is the one most important thing needed.
    freegerry and Maggie1976 like this.

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    freegerry is offline New Member
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    Thank you so much for those words. They are very helpful. I like the idea of a diary too. I have not really done much to date. A little less than normal and then a domestic disaster over my attempts to quit and being told I will fail - and then swallow another. I talked to someone on lifeline last night - I reassured them I had NO INTENTION of self harm. I was just feeling so alone and frustrated. So it starts today with no interruptions! There are many positive people here I know now I can refer to so I know I'm not alone. Thanks again ❤️

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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by freegerry View Post
    A little less than normal and then a domestic disaster over my attempts to quit and being told I will fail - and then swallow another.
    Being undermined by another person, you will need to be on guard about that. For me, I made my tapering my business and didn't talk about it with the people in my life. Yes, from the stress of this confrontation, you swallow another pill. Be aware that as you taper, stress will bring out withdrawal symptoms, and the temptation will be there to take a pill to cope. The best defense against this is to keep in mind your goal, and resolve not to allow other people's tantrums, or whatever, to derail you. Find other ways to cope, such as leave the room and listen to music, or whatever you can do. Also talking on this forum can be a huge support. Read the stories of others and gain inspiration from them. You can do this.

  5. #5
    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
    From your post in mikestopnow's thread.

    You have been on .5 mg xanax every day for a while? The problem is that .5 xanax is equivalent to 10 mg Valium. If you switch to 5 mg Valium you will be taking a 50% cut in benzo which will give you benzo withdrawal. While you are tapering the OxyContin, this will mess you up.

    Are you able to take 10mg Valium per day? In other words, will your doctor or your prescription allow it? If not you should stay at .5 mg xanax until you are through with your OxyContin taper, and then you can address beginning a Valium taper.

    If you are thinking the Valium will be good for OxyContin withdrawal when you jump cold turkey, that is recommended for people who have not been on a daily benzo. For people who have been on a daily benzo, you will indeed still need to take the benzo during cold turkey, but only because not to do so will add benzo withdrawal on top of opiate withdrawal, not to really ease your symptoms.

    So whether it is Xanax or Valium, you should stay stable on your current level. Tapering off benzo is a whole different ballgame and should be done very, very slowly. A 50% reduction is way too big a cut. I am hoping your doctor did not think 5 mg Valium is equivalent to .5 mg Xanax because if he/she did, they are off and need to go back and check the benzo equivalency charts.

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    freegerry is offline New Member
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    Thanks for that. I understand the difference now. I'm seeing a new doctor today to sort a withdrawal plan. I just hope he doesn't want to taper for too long. I'm keen to get moving on this and suffer the discomfort associated with the withdrawal symptoms. I was hoping to drop 10mg of OxyContin every second day (total of 90mg daily at the moment ie 30mg 3 x day plus Endone 5mg PRN) I will let you know what he says. I just want it over! And forever. Thanks again for your help. It's so comforting to have people who have been thru the same ordeal.
    Cheers Gerry

  7. #7
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    I wouldn't think the doctor would mind if you taper the OxyContin as fast as you want, but if he wants you to taper for a long time, you might want to agree to it. You can always taper faster than he suggests, but you can't do it the other way around, not if he doesn't give you enough pills. And, at any point, if you get impatient, you can always jump off from whatever dose you are at. I wouldn't think you'd need the doctor's permission to reduce faster or jump off. Just don't forget to have the Immodium around. I found it helpful to prepare for the jump by putting clean sheets on the bed, having my favorite jammies, some good books, ginger ale in the fridge, lots of extra TP in the bathroom, baby wipes, made sure the john was clean, made sure the bathtub was clean, had epsom salts for soaking in the tub. I planned it almost like I was planning a vacation. And of course, I told people I was sick with flu so I didn't have to go anywhere. Somehow planning for it like that made it psychologically easy to do. Since I had PLANNED to feel rotten, then feeling rotten wasn't frightening. It was what I had chosen to do on those days. Hope that makes sense.
    JulieJune likes this.

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