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New Here, Thinking About Tapering Off Suboxone
  1. #1
    Aurabean is offline New Member
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    Default New Here, Thinking About Tapering Off Suboxone

    Hi Everyone,

    I will try to keep this relatively short right now, or at least sum things up as neatly as possible. I have been poking around on this forum for a couple of days because I really would like to get off Suboxone and I am getting the feeling I will have to be doing it largely on my own because my doctor isn't super helpful. I am paying out of pocket to see him and I have pretty much surmised that he doesn't really have a vested interested in getting his patients off Subs. It's all he does, so it doesn't make a whole lot of financial sense, I suppose.

    Anyway, like a lot of people I was hooked on pain meds I'd been prescribed for almost seven years for treatment of a herniated disc. I spent most of that time taking them in ways other than prescribed, to make a long story short. About a year ago, I failed a pill count and I was cut off, which honestly didn't bother me that much save for the fact that I didn't relish trying adjust to life without them. (Who does?) I called around to see about getting on Suboxone, which was my pain clinic's recommendation at that time. Strangely, I got an appointment for the next day, but what blows my mind now was that I was never properly inducted. I literally walked in, met with my doctor for twenty minutes, and went straight to my pharmacy to pick up my Sub prescription. It isn't really like me to not do research on this sort of thing, so I'm not sure why I didn't think it was strange at the time, but he immediately put me on 16mg a day. I know a lot of docs think that is "standard," and obviously that's the philosophy he shares. For most of the last year, I had switched to using Bunavail, which was dosed 3 x daily at 4mg each. Last month my insurance magically decided they wouldn't cover the Bunavail anymore, so I got switched back to Subs at 16mg again. I almost never see my doctor. I do telemedicine appointments most months, and on the rare occasions they ask me to come in, I only meet with his nurse. I have asked to see him at times when I have questions and he is literally never there. In a nutshell, I am on this damn drug almost completely unsupervised.

    I want to get off it because I don't want to be a slave to any opioid for the rest of my life, but also because I really feel like it is affecting my general well-being. I feel sluggish, have gained a bunch of weight (I don't buy the argument that Subs don't cause weight gain because there are a ton of studies out there on opioid-induced endocrinopathy. They know it exists). It has absolutely killed my sex drive, which goes really well with the >>>>>> self-image I have right now (I went up from about 150 lbs to 175 or so...and body image is a big, big thing for me, always has been). I don't want to take this drug anymore and I feel terrified about trying to get off of it.

    I don't typically talk a lot about this, but part of that fear is related to my life roles and responsibilities. I am starting my fourth year of working on my Ph.D. in clinical psychology and I have a fair amount of experience as a therapist in addiction medicine settings, as well as some other types of clinics. I have had to keep this issue under wraps largely because of that. I don't feel that my work with patients was ever significantly impacted by this issue, but there are ethical concerns to disclosing my diagnosis of opioid dependency to any colleague, supervisor, or faculty member. Combined with what feels like a total lack of medical supervision, it makes me feel really alone right now. Without going into a lot of detail, addiction treatment for people who work in the field is a little tricky, and it is particularly risky for me to disclose this while I am still in training.

    Along with being a full-time Ph.D. student comes a lot of stress, which is sort of what led me to post here. I haven't read the guidelines for Sub tapering, here, in any great detail yet, but one reason I wanted to reach out is that I don't know what to expect if I try this. In three weeks I have my first round of doctoral qualifying exams, which represents one of the biggest hurdles I have to complete in working toward my doctorate. In short, it's an incredibly stressful time. I am a lifelong insomniac on top of it, and even mild opioid withdrawal for me has always involved almost a complete inability to sleep AT ALL. That can go on for days. It gets so bad that my insomnia even gets triggered by the thought that I might not sleep well (go figure). So...to those of you who have stood in my place before...should I wait to start any sort of taper until these exams are over? Is the anxiety about starting to taper worse than the actual experience of it? I really could use some insight from people who know what this is like.

    I don't know how often I will be posting here because it seems I am always behind in everything I'm supposed to be getting done, but I really wanted to take the step to do this. I thought being on Subs would make me feel like myself again, and while it did in many ways, it created a lot more problems at the same time. I just want to feel and BE healthy again, not feel like I am constantly sedated and packing on weight by using a drug I don't even need.

    So much for keeping things short!! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Thanks for reading my lengthy introduction!

    Aurabean
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  2. #2
    Ming23 is offline Platinum Member
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    Hey Aurabean
    Welcome!
    I too was in academia, and concur w you on the upcoming exams. But it's hard to be at your best mentally on such a high dose. If it were me, i might drop 25% right away.
    16 mg subs is a Huge dose! The first post at the top of this sub forum page is the directions for the taper. Read it and memorize it!
    I think Randy would agree that no one needs 16 mg subs. You could easily cut it down to 12 mg right away, then drop another 25% four days later. This is the way this taper is set up. And it works!
    Let us know what u decide. I got off subs 18 months ago. Best thing i ever did.
    No better time to chip away at that habit...
    Last edited by Anonymous; 07-06-2017 at 08:18 AM.
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  3. #3
    Autumnhopes is offline Member
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    Default Welcome!! :) hi aurabean

    I'm very new here & not experienced like others who will reply. But I wholeheartedly agree w/ Ming! 16 mg is way to much.. I would be so sick on that. I've never taken more then 4 mg in a day. Even that had me flying high & not feeling good. No wonder you're gaining weight, are sluggish & have no sex drive. I'd go down to 12 mg immediately!! Then in 4 days cut another 25%... Just what Ming is saying. You will feel a little sick & anxious when you get off. But that's a bit away from now...But look how anxious & sick you are now On the subs you are sick & unhappy. You will feel a little bad getting off them but not as bad as you feel now. Think about that. You are in a bad place.. Come back to the light You will feel soooooo much better off them. It's a gradual process & slow and steady. But you can do so well & eventually fell so good. TAKE THE FIRST STEP TODAY ;-)
    Last edited by Anonymous; 07-06-2017 at 09:11 AM.
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  4. #4
    Aurabean is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ming23 View Post
    Hey Aurabean
    Welcome!
    I too was in academia, and concur w you on the upcoming exams. But it's hard to be at your best mentally on such a high dose. If it were me, i might drop 25% right away.
    16 mg subs is a Huge dose! The first post at the top of this sub forum page is the directions for the taper. Read it and memorize it!
    I think Randy would agree that no one needs 16 mg subs. You could easily cut it down to 12 mg right away, then drop another 25% four days later. This is the way this taper is set up. And it works!
    Let us know what u decide. I got off subs 18 months ago. Best thing i ever did.
    No better time to chip away at that habit...
    Thanks for the reply! Being in academia has a lot of advantages for this topic, as I'm sure you know...I have access to all major research databases, so I sat down yesterday with the intention of seeing what the literature said about the weight gain issue. There is certainly plenty of evidence for endocrine-related issues. After reading half a dozen studies I have a much clearer understanding of how high the dose is. I wish I had done this before starting treatment, but such is life.

    I woke up a bit ago finally feeling hopeful and positive about tapering. Like a lot of people I sort of figured this would be a lifelong thing, but I refuse to let that happen. I am SO grateful to have found this forum. Seriously, this is the first spark of hope I've had about this issue, probably ever.

    I will take your advice about the taper. This may be addressed in the tapering plan, so I apologize if I'm asking a redundant question, but do you have recommendations regarding which dosage should be reduced initially? I am taking 8mg in the morning and at night, and have some concerns about my insomnia popping up when I start this process.

    Thanks again!
    Autumnhopes likes this.

  5. #5
    Aurabean is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Autumnhopes View Post
    I'm very new here & not experienced like others who will reply. But I wholeheartedly agree w/ Ming! 16 mg is way to much.. I would be so sick on that. I've never taken more then 4 mg in a day. Even that had me flying high & not feeling good. No wonder you're gaining weight, are sluggish & have no sex drive. I'd go down to 12 mg immediately!! Then in 4 days cut another 25%... Just what Ming is saying. You will feel a little sick & anxious when you get off. But that's a bit away from now...But look how anxious & sick you are now On the subs you are sick & unhappy. You will feel a little bad getting off them but not as bad as you feel now. Think about that. You are in a bad place.. Come back to the light You will feel soooooo much better off them. It's a gradual process & slow and steady. But you can do so well & eventually fell so good. TAKE THE FIRST STEP TODAY ;-)
    Thanks for the support! I was really reluctant about joining a forum to address this but I am actually getting really excited about starting this process. You are certainly right about feeling sick and unhappy. I was thinking about how things have changed for me in the last year and I realized that I actually felt clearer and more "with it" when I was on the painkiller rollercoaster. THAT is saying something. It's strange how you don't really even realize that you are in a constant fog all the time. I sort of attributed it to being in graduate school, but I am changing my mind about that. I can't wait to get off this stuff.
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  6. #6
    Autumnhopes is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aurabean View Post
    Thanks for the support! I was really reluctant about joining a forum to address this but I am actually getting really excited about starting this process. You are certainly right about feeling sick and unhappy. I was thinking about how things have changed for me in the last year and I realized that I actually felt clearer and more "with it" when I was on the painkiller rollercoaster. THAT is saying something. It's strange how you don't really even realize that you are in a constant fog all the time. I sort of attributed it to being in graduate school, but I am changing my mind about that. I can't wait to get off this stuff.
    You're in a good place Aurabean!! Many others will post that are better w/ suggesting a tapering schedule. But starting w/ a 25% reduction is a good place to start. If you take 8 mg AM & 8 mg PM then instead 6 mg AM & 6 mg PM to start today or tomorrow. Whatever you choose. Or if you don't want to go down that much then you could taper to 7 mg AM & 7 mg PM (total 14 mg per day) to start. The important thing is get started in the right direction. RANDY is great & he helped me w/ my taper schedule,,, I'm sure he'll be on the site soon. But you can do it! Your attitude is wonderful & that counts for a lot

  7. #7
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aurabean View Post
    Thanks for the support! I was really reluctant about joining a forum to address this but I am actually getting really excited about starting this process. You are certainly right about feeling sick and unhappy. I was thinking about how things have changed for me in the last year and I realized that I actually felt clearer and more "with it" when I was on the painkiller rollercoaster. THAT is saying something. It's strange how you don't really even realize that you are in a constant fog all the time. I sort of attributed it to being in graduate school, but I am changing my mind about that. I can't wait to get off this stuff.


    Hello Aurabean, welcome to the forum!

    Of course by now you realize you're consuming way too much Suboxone. It happens and most of the time it's the doctor's fault. Makes me so mad that these guys/gals have no real knowledge of subs to begin with. Just an 8 hour online course is all that's required of them to prescribe Suboxone. They listen to the pharmaceutical reps and place unsuspecting patients on huge amounts of sub. And they want to keep you on it for years, even the rest of your life. It's crazy. I'm so happy you are understanding that part now.

    Let me assure you the taper plan widely used here flat ourt works! If you are committed to it 100% you can not only get off the sub in a timely manner, but you can do so with very few, if any problems. Here's the link to the Taper plan below....

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

    You can skip to the tapering section if you want. Basically you reduce your dose by 25% every 4 or so daysn't take it too close to bedtime as Suboxone just like Autumn and Ming mentioned. You don't reduce if not stable (little to no wd's). It may take you 4 days on one dose and 4 or more on another. Slow and steady always wins this race. After you reduce your dose it might take a day or two for your system to accept the lower amount, but it always will. Suboxone is a very strong drug with a very long half life.

    I am in full agreement with the others about reducing your current dose of 16mgs IMMEDIATELY! If I were you I would drop right down to 8mgs total per day beginning tomorrow. 8mgs is still a WHOPPER of a dose. Believe me when I tell you that you will not feel that dose reduction. If you think you do it's purely a mental thing with your head messing with you. Suboxone has a "ceiling" effect and once you reach that ceiling taking more sub won't do a single thing for you except to waste sub and wasting money. With the 16mg you're currently on you're way over that ceiling.

    Take my word for it now, once you begin tapering and are down to the 1-2mg range you'll discover that 1-2mgs will hold you just as the 16mgs has. It's so strong of a drug. People that get down under 1mg report the same thing.

    Again, if I were in your shoes I would reduce tomorrow to 8mgs. You can split that dose evenly taking 4mgs in the am and 4mgs about 8-10 hours later. Do not take it too close to bedtime as Suboxone has been known to keep some people awake. Remain on 8mgs for at least 4 days and if stable reduce on the 5th day to 6mgs total per day. And you're on your way to being clean and free!

    Hope this helps. I'll check back later to see if you've responded.

    Randy
    Last edited by Anonymous; 12-13-2017 at 07:39 PM.
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  8. #8
    Ricky71 is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ming23 View Post
    Hey Aurabean
    Welcome!
    I too was in academia, and concur w you on the upcoming exams. But it's hard to be at your best mentally on such a high dose. If it were me, i might drop 25% right away.
    16 mg subs is a Huge dose! The first post at the top of this sub forum page is the directions for the taper. Read it and memorize it!
    I think Randy would agree that no one needs 16 mg subs. You could easily cut it down to 12 mg right away, then drop another 25% four days later. This is the way this taper is set up. And it works!
    Let us know what u decide. I got off subs 18 months ago. Best thing i ever did.
    No better time to chip away at that habit...
    I concur with Ming, as a matter of fact you could go straight to 8mg and I'm willing to bet you won't even notice the drop? With subs, less is more! You may actually find that you feel better on the lower dose?

    The suboxone therapy/taper plan that is used here has produced thousands of success stories! Robert's plan is roughly 6-8 weeks from start to finish. You will skip the induction part of the plan because you are already taking the subs. You will follow the rest of the plan as outlined! You'll wanna keep dosing twice a day at this point, most people switch to dosing once a day once they get down to 1mg or less. Split your doses evenly and take them 8-10 hours apart! Always take your doses at the same time everyday! For example, if you are at 12mg/day then you would dose 6mg at 9am and then dose 6mg at 6pm, next day rinse and repeat.

    Here's a link to Robert's sub therapy/taper plan - https://www.drugs.com/forum/suboxone...apy-66109.html

    Do you have tabs or film? Also, as mentioned Randy who has successfully used Robert's plan will hopefully be by soon to give you his advice and support? Follow Robert's plan precisely and you'll do great! Keep us updated? Best of luck to you... God bless us all!
    Aurabean and Autumnhopes like this.

  9. #9
    Ricky71 is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy35 View Post
    Hello Aurabean, welcome to the forum!

    Of course by now you realize you're consuming way too much Suboxone. It happens and most of the time it's the doctor's fault. Makes me so mad that these guys/gals have no real knowledge of subs to begin with. Just an 8 hour online course is all that's required of them to prescribe Suboxone. They listen to the pharmaceutical reps and place unsuspecting patients on huge amounts of sub. And they want to keep you on it for years, even the rest of your life. It's crazy. I'm so happy you are understanding that part now.

    Let me assure you the taper plan widely used here flat ourt works! If you are committed to it 100% you can not only get off the sub in a timely manner, but you can do so with very few, if any problems. Here's the link to the Taper plan below....

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

    You can skip to the tapering section if you want. Basically you reduce your dose by 25% every 4 or so daysn't take it too close to bedtime as Suboxone just like Autumn and Ming mentioned. You don't reduce if not stable (little to no wd's). It may take you 4 days on one dose and 4 or more on another. Slow and steady always wins this race. After you reduce your dose it might take a day or two for your system to accept the lower amount, but it always will. Suboxone is a very strong drug with a very long half life.

    I am in full agreement with the others about reducing your current dose of 16mgs IMMEDIATELY! If I were you I would drop right down to 8mgs total per day beginning tomorrow. 8mgs is still a WHOPPER of a dose. Believe me when I tell you that you will not feel that dose reduction. If you think you do it's purely a mental thing with your head messing with you. Suboxone has a "ceiling" effect and once you reach that ceiling taking more sub won't do a single thing for you except to waste sub and wasting money. With the 16mg you're currently on you're way over that ceiling.

    Take my word for it now, once you begin tapering and are down to the 1-2mg range you'll discover that 1-2mgs will hold you just as the 16mgs has. It's so strong of a drug. People that get down under 1mg report the same thing.

    Again, if I were in your shoes I would reduce tomorrow to 8mgs. You can split that dose evenly taking 4mgs in the am and 4mgs about 8-10 hours later. Do not take it too close to bedtime as Suboxone has been known to keep some people awake. Remain on 8mgs for at least 4 days and if stable reduce on the 5th day to 6mgs total per day. And you're on your way to being clean and free!

    Hope this helps. I'll check back later to see if you've responded.

    Randy
    LOL, Randy! Posting at the same time, been a while since that has happened! It's funny how similar our posts are, I learn from the best! Be well Randy... God bless us all!
    Last edited by Anonymous; 12-13-2017 at 07:39 PM.

  10. #10
    Autumnhopes is offline Member
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    AWESOME Randy & Ricky! so well put... Aurabean you are set with these guys!

  11. #11
    Aurabean is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy35 View Post
    Hello Aurabean, welcome to the forum!

    Of course by now you realize you're consuming way too much Suboxone. It happens and most of the time it's the doctor's fault. Makes me so mad that these guys/gals have no real knowledge of subs to begin with. Just an 8 hour online course is all that's required of them to prescribe Suboxone. They listen to the pharmaceutical reps and place unsuspecting patients on huge amounts of sub. And they want to keep you on it for years, even the rest of your life. It's crazy. I'm so happy you are understanding that part now.

    Let me assure you the taper plan widely used here flat ourt works! If you are committed to it 100% you can not only get off the sub in a timely manner, but you can do so with very few, if any problems. Here's the link to the Taper plan below....

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

    You can skip to the tapering section if you want. Basically you reduce your dose by 25% every 4 or so daysn't take it too close to bedtime as Suboxone just like Autumn and Ming mentioned. You don't reduce if not stable (little to no wd's). It may take you 4 days on one dose and 4 or more on another. Slow and steady always wins this race. After you reduce your dose it might take a day or two for your system to accept the lower amount, but it always will. Suboxone is a very strong drug with a very long half life.

    I am in full agreement with the others about reducing your current dose of 16mgs IMMEDIATELY! If I were you I would drop right down to 8mgs total per day beginning tomorrow. 8mgs is still a WHOPPER of a dose. Believe me when I tell you that you will not feel that dose reduction. If you think you do it's purely a mental thing with your head messing with you. Suboxone has a "ceiling" effect and once you reach that ceiling taking more sub won't do a single thing for you except to waste sub and wasting money. With the 16mg you're currently on you're way over that ceiling.

    Take my word for it now, once you begin tapering and are down to the 1-2mg range you'll discover that 1-2mgs will hold you just as the 16mgs has. It's so strong of a drug. People that get down under 1mg report the same thing.

    Again, if I were in your shoes I would reduce tomorrow to 8mgs. You can split that dose evenly taking 4mgs in the am and 4mgs about 8-10 hours later. Do not take it too close to bedtime as Suboxone has been known to keep some people awake. Remain on 8mgs for at least 4 days and if stable reduce on the 5th day to 6mgs total per day. And you're on your way to being clean and free!

    Hope this helps. I'll check back later to see if you've responded.

    Randy
    Hi Randy,

    Thanks so much for your reply. I didn't know that sleeping problems can be related to Suboxone, I suppose I assumed that it would be similar to full agonist opioids, which usually helped a bit with my insomnia. Interestingly, a month ago, when I got switched back to 16 mg of Suboxone from the 12 mg of Bunavail, I spent a couple of weeks barely sleeping at all. I am hoping that this improves as I work toward getting off of it. Either way, the support and encouragement I've already received here made it easy for me to take the plunge and start tapering. Hearing so many people in agreement about the dose being ridiculously high makes it a no-brainer, and since I started reading more about it the last couple of days, I actually feel physically sicker, almost poisoned somehow. I wish this were a faster process than it is, but I must say that if it really is a 6-8 week process, that isn't much to complain about. I agree 100% on the idea that your head can mess with you and make it seem more painful than it is. Right now, I am going into this with the expectation that I will take a reduced dose in a couple of hours (I took my full one this morning at about 8 AM), and just forget about it after that. We will see what happens.

    Thanks again. You have no idea how much your help means.

    Aurabean
    Last edited by Anonymous; 12-13-2017 at 07:39 PM.

  12. #12
    Aurabean is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky71 View Post
    I concur with Ming, as a matter of fact you could go straight to 8mg and I'm willing to bet you won't even notice the drop? With subs, less is more! You may actually find that you feel better on the lower dose?

    The suboxone therapy/taper plan that is used here has produced thousands of success stories! Robert's plan is roughly 6-8 weeks from start to finish. You will skip the induction part of the plan because you are already taking the subs. You will follow the rest of the plan as outlined! You'll wanna keep dosing twice a day at this point, most people switch to dosing once a day once they get down to 1mg or less. Split your doses evenly and take them 8-10 hours apart! Always take your doses at the same time everyday! For example, if you are at 12mg/day then you would dose 6mg at 9am and then dose 6mg at 6pm, next day rinse and repeat.

    Here's a link to Robert's sub therapy/taper plan - https://www.drugs.com/forum/suboxone...apy-66109.html

    Do you have tabs or film? Also, as mentioned Randy who has successfully used Robert's plan will hopefully be by soon to give you his advice and support? Follow Robert's plan precisely and you'll do great! Keep us updated? Best of luck to you... God bless us all!
    Hi Ricky, your support means a lot! I have to say that hearing from everyone here has almost made me excited about tapering off Suboxone, which is not something I EVER expected to say. To answer your question, I have films. Not having to endure that horrid taste anymore is something I am very excited about.

    I will say I am a little fearful about taking this on just three weeks before my doctoral qualifying exams, but after thinking about it a bit, I realized that there will probably always be some life challenge that makes me nervous about starting a taper. So, as I said in my reply to Randy a few moments ago, I'm going to take half my evening dose tonight and then just do half again in the morning, and see what happens. I will say this, though: after reading a few studies on buprenorphine's side effects yesterday, and reading people's stories here, I am 100% committed to this. Without a doubt. I can barely afford to see my doctor and that is another big driving force. I am pretty irate with him at the moment (not just about the dosing, but not doing a proper induction, never responding to concerns I have had when I meet with his nurse for appointments and she says "he'll call you"...the list goes on and on). But there has been exactly zero discussion about what the "plan" is for me, and as others have pointed out, I don't think he has an interest in getting his patients off Suboxone. It wouldn't make financial sense for him to do that.

    On that note, I realized today that I am having some unexpected emotional reactions to this situation. One, I have worked side by side with other psychiatrists who prescribe Suboxone, and I am angry at myself for not realizing this is just another move from Big Pharma to capitalize on people's affinity for opioids. It is not the grand solution to the opioid epidemic that everyone seems to think it is, it's a trap. My opioid use, prior to starting Suboxone, was driven largely by chronic pain. When I was cut off from receiving further prescriptions, it ended up not bothering me that much, and I realized that I didn't actually have that much of an emotional attachment to the drugs. The withdrawal was obviously uncomfortable, but I just sort of assumed that this was the logical next step for me. I was off meds for something like nine days by the time I started Suboxone and I really wasn't feeling that badly. Right now I am kicking myself for buying into this idea and not putting the time in to research it on my own, the way I have over the last few days. My pain management doc suggested it after cutting me off and I thought, sure, that makes sense. I am going to have to come to terms with that over time, I think. I can't change it now, but it was a major personal and financial mistake to go this route. Hindsight is 20/20...

    Thanks again!

    Aura

  13. #13
    Ricky71 is offline Advanced Member
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  14. #14
    Aurabean is offline New Member
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    That's fantastic! I took my first 4 mg dose a couple of hours ago and was actually wondering how people turn them into such tiny portions as they taper down, so your timing was impeccable.

    So, this is already an interesting experience for me. Although I'm training to be a psychologist, my number one passion by far is art...if I could make more money doing it, I would have opted for a far more creative career...anyway, I was cleaning up my studio tonight so I could do some painting, and noticed that the typical brain fog I usually get about an hour and a half after an 8 mg dose never crept up on me...more often than not, I would be in the middle of doing something and it suddenly feels like someone pulled the plug on my mental and physical energy. I still have the drive to sit down and paint rather than take a nap. It may be a small detail, but at the moment it feels pretty good.

  15. #15
    Aurabean is offline New Member
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    Default Reduced Dose By 8 mg

    Hey everybody,

    I'd started a new thread on this, but will repost here to for the sake of continuity.

    Went down to 4 mg for my last three doses. All seems to be OK except for varying levels of apprehension...sometimes I don't even think about it, and some other times, like right now, I feel really scared and alone. I don't think there is any reason for it other than I don't know what's coming. In the past, the cycle of running out of painkillers and suffering the repercussions created a deeply ingrained fear that eventually, I would fail in carrying out some major responsibility, like I'd end up not completing a semester in my Ph.D. program or something. Nothing like that ever happened, though, and I think the fear of what MIGHT happen was basicallymore debilitating than the addiction itself. I can see now that the same fear is rising up again. Based on the stories of others, I have no reason to believe this should be a debilitating process if followed to the letter. So, I know It's an irrational fear, but it's a really strong one right now.

    I am hoping some of you could share how you felt at this point, when you made the decision to get off Suboxone and finally started reducing your dosage. I'd also like to know how you fared emotionally once you were done. When I look ahead, all I see is a big question mark. I am no less committed to doing this (actually, I feel even more committed than ever...I've already cut down by half, I'm NOT going backwards), but I am having some feelings I didn't anticipate.

    Hope you're all doing well,

    Aurabean

  16. #16
    Ricky71 is offline Advanced Member
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    Aura - everything that you are feeling right now is completley normal! I'd be willing to bet that most people that go through this process has felt scared and alone, it's the fear of the unknown? Just remember to take it slow, this is not a race! Re-read your thread and Robert's sub therapy/taper plan often? Remember to split your daily dose evenly, take your dose at the SAME time everyday 8-10 hours apart and most importantly, do not do a reduction until you are completley stable on your current dose! So you are on 8mg/day right now correct? Stay there for at least four days, if you are stable on that dose after four days then you'll do a 25% reduction, your new dose will be 6mg/day. Stay at that dose for a minimum of four days, rinse and repeat! Trust the plan and take it slow, you'll do GREAT! Keep us updated, ask as many questions as you want? Other's will be by as well to give you advice and support so keep checking back? Take care my friend... God bless us all!

    PS
    If you didn't already know you can be alerted instantly through email when someone leaves a post on your thread? Just check the box under Subscription "Subscribe to this thread and notify me of changes" (It's located underneath the section where you write your posts) then in the drop down box select "Instantly, using email"...

  17. #17
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aurabean View Post
    Hey everybody,

    I'd started a new thread on this, but will repost here to for the sake of continuity.

    Went down to 4 mg for my last three doses. All seems to be OK except for varying levels of apprehension...sometimes I don't even think about it, and some other times, like right now, I feel really scared and alone. I don't think there is any reason for it other than I don't know what's coming. In the past, the cycle of running out of painkillers and suffering the repercussions created a deeply ingrained fear that eventually, I would fail in carrying out some major responsibility, like I'd end up not completing a semester in my Ph.D. program or something. Nothing like that ever happened, though, and I think the fear of what MIGHT happen was basicallymore debilitating than the addiction itself. I can see now that the same fear is rising up again. Based on the stories of others, I have no reason to believe this should be a debilitating process if followed to the letter. So, I know It's an irrational fear, but it's a really strong one right now.

    I am hoping some of you could share how you felt at this point, when you made the decision to get off Suboxone and finally started reducing your dosage. I'd also like to know how you fared emotionally once you were done. When I look ahead, all I see is a big question mark. I am no less committed to doing this (actually, I feel even more committed than ever...I've already cut down by half, I'm NOT going backwards), but I am having some feelings I didn't anticipate.

    Hope you're all doing well,

    Aurabean


    Hi Aurabean -

    I fully realize how apprehensive you may be during this time. I was too. I had finally gotten off the methadone but now I was on suboxone. As the end of my suboxone taper approached I was apprehensive, in fact I was flat out scared. Hence the title of my thread. I'm including the link to my thread so you can see where I was, my thoughts on the matter, and how I overcame them and now truly enjoying life. Here's the link below.....

    https://www.drugs.com/forum/need-tal...ump-65786.html

    It's a very long thread, but is full of knowledge from not only me, but others that posted advice, suggestions and support. Without them I wouldn't be where I am now celebrating 3 years clean yesterday on the 7th of July.

    I assure you if I can do it so can you. Follow the taper plan closely and you'll be fine.

    Randy

    P.S. Please, as Ricky mentioned, keep everything on this thread. It does get confusing if you have more than one. All your info is here and much easier to look back at. Thanks for understanding.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 07-08-2017 at 06:56 AM.

  18. #18
    Aurabean is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky71 View Post
    Aura - everything that you are feeling right now is completley normal! I'd be willing to bet that most people that go through this process has felt scared and alone, it's the fear of the unknown? Just remember to take it slow, this is not a race! Re-read your thread and Robert's sub therapy/taper plan often? Remember to split your daily dose evenly, take your dose at the SAME time everyday 8-10 hours apart and most importantly, do not do a reduction until you are completley stable on your current dose! So you are on 8mg/day right now correct? Stay there for at least four days, if you are stable on that dose after four days then you'll do a 25% reduction, your new dose will be 6mg/day. Stay at that dose for a minimum of four days, rinse and repeat! Trust the plan and take it slow, you'll do GREAT! Keep us updated, ask as many questions as you want? Other's will be by as well to give you advice and support so keep checking back? Take care my friend... God bless us all!

    PS
    If you didn't already know you can be alerted instantly through email when someone leaves a post on your thread? Just check the box under Subscription "Subscribe to this thread and notify me of changes" (It's located underneath the section where you write your posts) then in the drop down box select "Instantly, using email"...
    Ricky,

    Thanks for the validation and the reminder to take things slowly. I don't know if this will make any sense, but in some ways I feel like I'm not sure how I'm doing. I do not have any symptoms that really jump out at me and scream w/d, but I can tell I'm feeling a little "off." Occasional tearfulness/anxiety, woke up in a puddle of sweat in the middle of the night, and it just seems like my thoughts sort of gravitate toward the negative...stupid stuff like I looked at my dog this morning and thought she looked woefully sad, but it's the same expression she always has.

    I finally put my finger on where a lot of my anxiety is coming from, though. I don't have any previous experience managing w/d from long-acting opioids like this, and am seeing now that even as you reduce your dose and think things are OK for a couple of days, it doesn't necessarily mean they will stay that way. (I knew that was the case on paper, so to speak, but the experience of it is definitely different). When that sort of dawned on me last night, it really bothered me. It goes back to that fear of potentially failing at something because I can't function well enough to carry out my responsibilities. I know, this is a carefully-managed taper and it doesn't need to be like that. I'm hoping that this feeling will subside as I move forward and have some success at it.

    Thanks again for all your help. I just wanted to say I think it is amazing, what you and Randy are doing here for people. I know what it feels like to help someone through something difficult, but that's my job, and the fact that you are taking time out of own your lives to guide people through something this hard is really wonderful. It's sad that the medical community has put people in this situation but rarely offers them a sensible way out. Thank you for creating one.

    Aurra

  19. #19
    Aurabean is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy35 View Post
    Hi Aurabean -

    I fully realize how apprehensive you may be during this time. I was too. I had finally gotten off the methadone but now I was on suboxone. As the end of my suboxone taper approached I was apprehensive, in fact I was flat out scared. Hence the title of my thread. I'm including the link to my thread so you can see where I was, my thoughts on the matter, and how I overcame them and now truly enjoying life. Here's the link below.....

    https://www.drugs.com/forum/need-tal...ump-65786.html

    It's a very long thread, but is full of knowledge from not only me, but others that posted advice, suggestions and support. Without them I wouldn't be where I am now celebrating 3 years clean yesterday on the 7th of July.

    I assure you if I can do it so can you. Follow the taper plan closely and you'll be fine.

    Randy

    P.S. Please, as Ricky mentioned, keep everything on this thread. It does get confusing if you have more than one. All your info is here and much easier to look back at. Thanks for understanding.
    Hi Randy,

    No worries about the thread, if I had thought about it for more than two seconds I probably would have realized that on my own. : First off, CONGRATULATIONS on your three years clean...that's awesome! It takes some amazing strength to make it to that point. I have begun reading your thread and understand a little more about the difficulties you faced in getting there. I really appreciate you sharing that, because you're right, there is a lot of helpful stuff there. What struck me right off the bat was the words you used to describe how you felt about certain things were almost word-for-word the ones I have used, both here and in my head...seeing that went a really long way in reducing my anxiety. But, I will say I got a little nervous after reading how you felt right at the end...I am guessing that part of the reality of doing this is that you're going to have some w/d symptoms at some point. There are two symptoms that scare the absolute s*** out of me, the insomnia and RLS, and the idea of going through that again (along with the crushing fatigue) really freaks me out. Those symptoms lasted a really long time for me even with short-acting opioids. But, in thinking about that, it just reaffirmed this is something I have to do...being on this drug is ridiculous and I cannot allow it to take up space in my life anymore.

    Before I say what I am going to say next, I want to preface it with the statement that I do not think my life is unique, compared to anyone else in this situation, or that my stressors warrant more concern than anyone else's. Getting a doctorate is hard work, but lots of things in life are hard. However, I do have a big concern right now about the timing of things. In my planner, I mapped out a schedule for my taper based on Robert's plan. As I mentioned in my first post, I have a massive exam coming in August, and though I'm trying not to look too far ahead (if you can't tell, that's something I struggle with), I am going to be getting down below 2 mg right at the time the exam begins. It's a 9 day written exam that runs from August 2-11. This thing is basically a demonstration of our knowledge of the entire curriculum, and the only reason I am stressing about it is because our faculty begin drilling it into our heads how difficult it is THREE YEARS before we even take it, and they keep reminding us of that periodically. They posted guidelines about how to complete it, what the expectations are, etc., and at the end there was this long section that said, in a nutshell, make sure you get your life in order so that when it comes time to do this, you are well-rested, eating well, have the support of your friends and family, etc. They even go out of their way to tell us that if we are prone to anxiety, we had better practice dealing with it ahead of time, because the week of the exam is "not the time to be trying out new coping skills." Ugh.

    I wanted to put that out there so others could understand what I'm worried about here...I am not looking for a reason to avoid tapering, I am way too committed to this to have second thoughts, but I am wondering what people's thoughts are on how to manage potential problems if they occur at that point. It's probably a hard question to answer, given that I don't know how I'm gong to feel in the first place. I have read that sometimes people start having some difficulties when they get between 1-2 mg, and I know everybody is different, but obviously my fear is that when the exam comes I am going to fall apart...and I can't afford to mess this up, literally or figuratively. It's an expensive exam and failure potentially means I have to extend my time in the program another year. I have yet to meet another student who has taken the exam and didn't come close to a meltdown during that week, and that's without stressing their physical and emotional health with a Suboxone taper.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!

    Aura

  20. #20
    Ricky71 is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aurabean View Post
    Hi Randy,

    No worries about the thread, if I had thought about it for more than two seconds I probably would have realized that on my own. : First off, CONGRATULATIONS on your three years clean...that's awesome! It takes some amazing strength to make it to that point. I have begun reading your thread and understand a little more about the difficulties you faced in getting there. I really appreciate you sharing that, because you're right, there is a lot of helpful stuff there. What struck me right off the bat was the words you used to describe how you felt about certain things were almost word-for-word the ones I have used, both here and in my head...seeing that went a really long way in reducing my anxiety. But, I will say I got a little nervous after reading how you felt right at the end...I am guessing that part of the reality of doing this is that you're going to have some w/d symptoms at some point. There are two symptoms that scare the absolute s*** out of me, the insomnia and RLS, and the idea of going through that again (along with the crushing fatigue) really freaks me out. Those symptoms lasted a really long time for me even with short-acting opioids. But, in thinking about that, it just reaffirmed this is something I have to do...being on this drug is ridiculous and I cannot allow it to take up space in my life anymore.

    Before I say what I am going to say next, I want to preface it with the statement that I do not think my life is unique, compared to anyone else in this situation, or that my stressors warrant more concern than anyone else's. Getting a doctorate is hard work, but lots of things in life are hard. However, I do have a big concern right now about the timing of things. In my planner, I mapped out a schedule for my taper based on Robert's plan. As I mentioned in my first post, I have a massive exam coming in August, and though I'm trying not to look too far ahead (if you can't tell, that's something I struggle with), I am going to be getting down below 2 mg right at the time the exam begins. It's a 9 day written exam that runs from August 2-11. This thing is basically a demonstration of our knowledge of the entire curriculum, and the only reason I am stressing about it is because our faculty begin drilling it into our heads how difficult it is THREE YEARS before we even take it, and they keep reminding us of that periodically. They posted guidelines about how to complete it, what the expectations are, etc., and at the end there was this long section that said, in a nutshell, make sure you get your life in order so that when it comes time to do this, you are well-rested, eating well, have the support of your friends and family, etc. They even go out of their way to tell us that if we are prone to anxiety, we had better practice dealing with it ahead of time, because the week of the exam is "not the time to be trying out new coping skills." Ugh.

    I wanted to put that out there so others could understand what I'm worried about here...I am not looking for a reason to avoid tapering, I am way too committed to this to have second thoughts, but I am wondering what people's thoughts are on how to manage potential problems if they occur at that point. It's probably a hard question to answer, given that I don't know how I'm gong to feel in the first place. I have read that sometimes people start having some difficulties when they get between 1-2 mg, and I know everybody is different, but obviously my fear is that when the exam comes I am going to fall apart...and I can't afford to mess this up, literally or figuratively. It's an expensive exam and failure potentially means I have to extend my time in the program another year. I have yet to meet another student who has taken the exam and didn't come close to a meltdown during that week, and that's without stressing their physical and emotional health with a Suboxone taper.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!

    Aura
    Aura - I understand your concerns and they are valid. Randy may have a different suggestion/suggestions than I do but I would recommend that you continue with the taper but slow it down at this point until after your exam? Instead of doing a 25% reduction every 4-5 days how about doing the 25% reduction every 10 days? Or maybe just do 10% reductions until after the exam? That way you are still going in the right direction with the taper but with less stress and anxiety. Make sure you do not do a reduction right before the exam, plan the reduction before the exam to be as far out as possible. Maybe it's best not to do a reduction within say two weeks of the exam and then resume the taper after the exam is over? These are just my personal thoughts and suggestions? I would definitely wait for Randy's suggestions before you make any adjustments for a final plan going forward through the exam? Hang in there, you'll get through this just fine I'm sure! Take care... God bless us all!

  21. #21
    Aurabean is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky71 View Post
    Aura - I understand your concerns and they are valid. Randy may have a different suggestion/suggestions than I do but I would recommend that you continue with the taper but slow it down at this point until after your exam? Instead of doing a 25% reduction every 4-5 days how about doing the 25% reduction every 10 days? Or maybe just do 10% reductions until after the exam? That way you are still going in the right direction with the taper but with less stress and anxiety. Make sure you do not do a reduction right before the exam, plan the reduction before the exam to be as far out as possible. Maybe it's best not to do a reduction within say two weeks of the exam and then resume the taper after the exam is over? These are just my personal thoughts and suggestions? I would definitely wait for Randy's suggestions before you make any adjustments for a final plan going forward through the exam? Hang in there, you'll get through this just fine I'm sure! Take care... God bless us all!
    Thanks for that input, Ricky. My anxiety has been building and building all day because of this issue, and although I will still wait to see what ideas Randy has about it, just getting some alternative suggestions to cover that time frame took a HUGE amount of that anxiety away. As much as I want to get it over with, I would much rather know that I am stable at a certain dose and stay there over the course of the exam, rather than tinker around with it and end up having to go backwards or, worse, have that nine-day period unravel into some total disaster. I think you grasped the importance of this event and I really appreciate the validation. Most people with whom I am in school are feeling really freaked out and anxious about the exam, so the last thing I want to do is add an enormous stressor on top of that. That said, once the exam is over, I will start working on my clinical dissertation this fall but that is the ONLY thing I am doing next semester. I will not be working and will not be engaged in any clinical training (right now I am at a clinic administering neuropsych evaluations but that is only for three more weeks). I have far less anxiety about finishing the taper when I only have to focus on one thing, even if it will be fairly labor intensive. That work will almost all be done from home, and I will be setting my own schedule and can focus on FINALLY getting clean.

    Thanks for making me feel a LOT better!

    Aura
    Last edited by Anonymous; 07-09-2017 at 02:12 PM.

  22. #22
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Aura -

    I am in complete agreement with Ricky on you slowing down, even stalling the taper until after your exam. Not going to hurt a thing and will at least give you something less to worry about during this stressful time. Use your own judgement, but you could take a break and stop the taper during the 9 days of the exam and remain on the dose you're currently at once the exam begins. I think that's what I might do too in this situation. After your exam you could then resume the taper and be on your way.

    Randy
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  23. #23
    margro is offline New Member
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    Question Hi all!

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy35 View Post
    Hello Aurabean, welcome to the forum!

    Of course by now you realize you're consuming way too much Suboxone. It happens and most of the time it's the doctor's fault. Makes me so mad that these guys/gals have no real knowledge of subs to begin with. Just an 8 hour online course is all that's required of them to prescribe Suboxone. They listen to the pharmaceutical reps and place unsuspecting patients on huge amounts of sub. And they want to keep you on it for years, even the rest of your life. It's crazy. I'm so happy you are understanding that part now.

    Let me assure you the taper plan widely used here flat ourt works! If you are committed to it 100% you can not only get off the sub in a timely manner, but you can do so with very few, if any problems. Here's the link to the Taper plan below....

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

    You can skip to the tapering section if you want. Basically you reduce your dose by 25% every 4 or so daysn't take it too close to bedtime as Suboxone just like Autumn and Ming mentioned. You don't reduce if not stable (little to no wd's). It may take you 4 days on one dose and 4 or more on another. Slow and steady always wins this race. After you reduce your dose it might take a day or two for your system to accept the lower amount, but it always will. Suboxone is a very strong drug with a very long half life.

    I am in full agreement with the others about reducing your current dose of 16mgs IMMEDIATELY! If I were you I would drop right down to 8mgs total per day beginning tomorrow. 8mgs is still a WHOPPER of a dose. Believe me when I tell you that you will not feel that dose reduction. If you think you do it's purely a mental thing with your head messing with you. Suboxone has a "ceiling" effect and once you reach that ceiling taking more sub won't do a single thing for you except to waste sub and wasting money. With the 16mg you're currently on you're way over that ceiling.

    Take my word for it now, once you begin tapering and are down to the 1-2mg range you'll discover that 1-2mgs will hold you just as the 16mgs has. It's so strong of a drug. People that get down under 1mg report the same thing.

    Again, if I were in your shoes I would reduce tomorrow to 8mgs. You can split that dose evenly taking 4mgs in the am and 4mgs about 8-10 hours later. Do not take it too close to bedtime as Suboxone has been known to keep some people awake. Remain on 8mgs for at least 4 days and if stable reduce on the 5th day to 6mgs total per day. And you're on your way to being clean and free!

    Hope this helps. I'll check back later to see if you've responded.

    Randy
    Sorry to step in like this but I have question for Randy. Why should anyone split daily dose in two, regarding the long half life of buprenorphine? It just doesn't make any sense. Yet I've tapered 24mgs in 3 months to 4mg similarly to your tapering plan and from my point of view you were right about all, although I haven't split doses, but skipped days. Anyway, I've jumped some 10 days ago and doing so far so good compared to H WDs. I'm just struggling with sleeping (the lack of it ) and keeping my mind occupied. Sorry again for intrusion. Best of luck to you all!
    Last edited by Anonymous; 12-13-2017 at 07:40 PM.
    Ming23 likes this.

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