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Old 09-10-2004, 09:51 AM   #1
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koffree HB User
To All New Suboxone Users

I have been on this board for a couple of weeks now, and realized one important note for new sub users that I hadn't seen discussed before - something I really wish I would have known before making the switch:

When I first started using suboxone, I was 'toying' with the drug, and using it like a 'commercial' in my normal narcotic use, hence I had made the switch to subs several times before getting serious and doing it permanently and for the right reasons.

Anyway, my point is, EVERY single time I switched over to the suboxone, regardless of how far into wd I was, I experienced SEVERE temporary depression app. 30-45 minutes after taking the first dose. I'm talking about the most serious downer I have ever felt...uncontrollable crying, sobbing, almost feeling psychotic.

My advice to anyone about to make the switch...please make sure you have given yourself a day in a safe, quiet place either alone or with someone who knows what you're doing, and EXPECT this temporary feeling. It will only last a short time, like less than an hour, and will subside as quickly as it came on. But just be prepared. Nobody told me this would happen, and it was a very bad scene. After the first time it was no huge deal because I expected it and could mentally prepare for it.

I really hope I am the anomoly here, and that maybe this isn't usual, but either way, the subs can and will push you temporarily into further wd, so make sure you're in a safe environment while you make the transition.
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Old 09-10-2004, 03:46 PM   #2
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sammi HB User
Re: To All New Suboxone Users

Koffree, how weird...Thank God I did not experience that side effect. I know for my first appointment with my Dr I had to stay in his office for four hours after taking two subs to make sure I was not going to have any horrible side effect. He's in a hospital setting so I guess I was in the best place if something did happen.

Thanks for the information.
Sammi

 
Old 09-10-2004, 06:55 PM   #3
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koffree HB User
Re: To All New Suboxone Users

That makes sense. I wish my doc had done the same thing. I'm sure there are many variables - not the least of which is which opiate one is addicted to, how much one is taking, and how far into wd one is. I'm glad to hear you did not experience this! Thank you for the feedback.
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Old 09-11-2004, 08:43 AM   #4
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Brenda1231 HB User
Re: To All New Suboxone Users

Koffree,

That is odd.
I think the first time I switched I had the opposite. In fact for several days I had a very optimsitic, energetic, healthy feeling. Not high, but a great sense of wellbeing.
Unfortunatley, that did not last.
I slipped after 2 weeks on the sub, going back to my hydro for about 4-5 days. When I went back to the sub, I never regained that feeling, and have been in a sever depression with EXTREME fatigue ever since.

 
Old 09-11-2004, 11:02 AM   #5
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koffree HB User
Re: To All New Suboxone Users

Hi Brenda,
There is definitely, in my experience as well, a 'honeymoon' period with suboxone for the first week or two. And have also experienced the depression phase, and have also 'slipped' in the past and gone back on the hydro ironically because the subs were making me feel so good and self-confident...what a ridiculous and pitiful logic THAT was, eh?

Anyway, when you say 'ever since', how long do you mean? These opies can certainly mess with depression, especially when switching to and fro, but if you stay on the subs, and try...try with every ounce of inspiration you can muster...to EXERCISE every day or so on the subs, I think it will really help.

Like I said, I went through a depression phase on the subs [Actually got a script for welbutrin, but never took it], but it DID subside...and exercise now brings back that lost 'euphoria' almost every day.

Seriously, if you have had severe depression for a while, I guarantee you have a chemical inbalance antagonized, if not caused by the opiate abuse. I took some comfort in knowing my depression was artificially stimulated, and it did eventually get better.

But if you're feeling that bad, and it has been a while, you should be taking action.
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Old 09-11-2004, 01:19 PM   #6
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Brenda1231 HB User
Re: To All New Suboxone Users

Hi Koffree,

Well, 'ever since' has been almost 3 months.

I have tried a couple times to 'come out of it'. I have tried taking ritalin, which works for a few days and then just like the hydro, I get a hungover feeling in the am and have to dose up on it to function.
I have also tried going backt o hyrdo for a week, then switching back to the sub.

I don't know if the above unconventional 'remedies' were a product of my addictional thinking, but I can say at the time, I felt they were desperate attempts to regain 'normalcy'.

At his point I have stopped teh ritalin and attempts at usig hyrdo to combat the severe fatigue.

I am also on Wellbutrin. When I went to the Doc with complaints of severe fatigue ( I do mean absolutely debilitating fatigue), she just either upped the sub ( although I haven't taken her advice on that...she wants me at 24 mgs a day), or the wellbutrin.

Currently I am on 450 mg wellbutrin and an avg of 6-10 mg of sub.

Right now I think my game plan is to try an take 4 mg of sub, 300 wellbutrin, and nothing else for a few days and see if that helps. I have been in this hell for months now, I don't suppose another few days will hurt.

Someone on another board pointed out that my fluctuating the doses of sub may be causing the fatigue, kinda putting me in a constant state of mild w/d. He suggested I stick to one dosage of 4 mg a day, instead of taking more trying to feel better, or less, for fear of the sub w/d later. I think that sounds like a good plan for now, unless anyone has another idea. I am really crossing my fingers that this works!

As for exercising, I am not exagerating on the fatigue. It is so bad that there is no way I could even do yoga or pilates. I use every ounce of energy I have to care for my boys, 17 months and 3 Years.

 
Old 09-11-2004, 02:17 PM   #7
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sammi HB User
Re: To All New Suboxone Users

Hi Brenda, I can't imagine trying to take care of two little one's and being so tired all of the time. I would definitely try to stay with just the sub and of course your antidepressant . I think switching back and fourth to the hydro's and sub can really mess you up. There was also someone else on this board that quit the sub after being on it for a few months and went back to hydro's and then like a month later tried the sub again and she said even after three months she still is not feeling as good as she was when she first started sub.

I have been on Sub since March and THANK GOD I feel great. I take 3 2mg tablets all at once in the morning and that way I don't have to keep time of when I need to take it again. My addictionologist said it's best this way so when I completely stop the sub my brain will only have to get out of the habit of taking meds only once a day. Does this make sense? Also I started my taper on Thursday and I am decreasing by a half of a 2mg tablet every three weeks. It will take a while to completely taper but he said his patients tend to have mild w/d's by doing this way.

I hope this information will help you.

Good luck...
Sammi

 
Old 09-11-2004, 04:52 PM   #8
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Brenda1231 HB User
Re: To All New Suboxone Users

Actually Sammi,

The way your Doc has you taking it is how my Doc originally wanted me to take mine and said basically the same thing. She wanted to get me out of the 'I feel bad, pop a pill' thinking. So she wanted me to take them all in the am and that changed somewhere down the line. I think when she upped me to 24 mg.

Since you say there was someone else with similar complaints (I read frequently, but havent really posted, I must have missed it) now I am thinking that may very well be why I feel so bad. Although I can't imagine why that makes such a huge diffference.
At any rate. I think I am going to go for 4 or 6 mg for the next week, along with my antidepressants.
The next week I have a doc appt. If I am not feeling better by then I may ask for the AD to be changed, or go to my Family Practictioner to investigate and underlying cause.

For the record, I did have depression before my hydro use. In fact I found hydro (at first, and at low dosages) to be the best AD I had ever used.
I had been on paxil and wellbutrin in the past, but the way I understand it, AD that work at one point in life, may not work later as our body chemistry changes.

 
Old 09-12-2004, 10:01 PM   #9
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octomon HB User
Re: To All New Suboxone Users

Hi Brenda,
This is koff's alter ego here...had a little problem with the board. But it's me. I just wanted to say, keeping in mind I don't know exactly what your schedule has been...that you want to be sure to give yourself enough time to experience the results of any changes in meds or dosage quantities. A few days is definitely not enough time to feel the 'real' result of taking more or less of the subs or wellbutrin. I guess you probably know this, but I know it takes SO MUCH patience, especially when you're extremely fatigued or feeling WD pains.

In my experience, 24 mgs per day of suboxone would make me groggy. It was interesting to read Sammi's take on the benefit of taking all the day's sub dose at once. I remember my first day on the subs, my doc said I could take all 3 at once or throughout the day, and I thought that was odd, but now I understand based on how long it stays in the system. I never did need all 24mgs per day, but about half that.

Lastly, please be careful switching between subs & hydro. I've done it, and found that either way, all I can do for the first few days is sleep sleep sleep. It's got to wreak havoc on the brain & body chem balance, at least temporarily. Also I know others taking ADs and know that they can make some folks so tired they just want to sleep all the time.

I'm in awe of you feeling this way and taking care of two kids. Wow. I've had to be so selfish with my time at some points during the recovery. Keep in mind though, when you find yourself faced with the choice of taking care of the family or taking an important step in your recovery, do WHATEVER it takes to make that step as long as you can arrange responsible care for the kids. They and you will be so much better off with no mom for a temporary period [And a healthier mom later], then half a mom throughout their childhood.
I know this is easy for me to say, and I am not in any way suggesting you're not being a great parent, but I know in my own recovery I've had to make sacrifices I NEVER thought I could or would make, in order to keep my focus on the BIG picture.

I'm definitely not out of the woods yet, but hope to be soon. And I really hope & pray the same for you!

 
Old 09-13-2004, 05:38 AM   #10
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goddessgrl65 HB User
Re: To All New Suboxone Users

Hi-
I really think the sub works best at the lower doses-it did for me-i stuck at 8mgs for a long time..now im at 4-going to 3mgs-i took an 8 mg-one time last month-and felt really hyped up-its odd-the adjustment going down isn't that tough-i think these are strong lil suckers-
Especially based on my previous history..w/ opiates i was on high doses..
Id try a lower dose-try an 8mg-see if it holds you-drink some coffee-i got a feeling you won't be as groggy-24 mgs-is WAY up there...
peace..
ggrl65

 
Old 09-13-2004, 08:49 PM   #11
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sammi HB User
Re: To All New Suboxone Users

I totally agree with GGRL65!! I think 24mgs is a lot. I am by no means putting anyone down or anyone's dr down, but I sometimes wonder why some of you are automatically started out on such a high dose. My dr started me out on 4mgs a day and then I started getting major hot flashes in the afternoon and especially during "that time of the month" and so he increased me to 6mg during those two weeks and at that point I realized I really needed to be at 6mg so that's why I stayed at that dosage.

How are you doing ggrl65? I feel bad that I don't post to you more it's just my husband has been out of town so much that I don't get as much time on the computer. I do think of you often!! You are such a sweet person and it seems no matter how bad of a day you're having, you are always willing to help out someone else with GREAT advice and encouragement. All I can say is it is definitely your parents lose for not being in your life!!

Take care,
Sammi

 
Old 09-14-2004, 06:14 AM   #12
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goddessgrl65 HB User
Re: To All New Suboxone Users

Sammi-
Thank you so much for being concerned-its hard being removed from the family-but its so toxic for me..i saw my Mom the other day-doesn't even ask how her grandson is-so wrapped up in her own schtick..i don't know-we just can't connect.
But-i had a great day-w/ my son-he took the day off-for a physical/bloodwork,etc..we went out to lunch-i bought him some fall clothing/record shopping-etc..we have alot of fun together..at least i broke that chain-of bull....!!!
I totally understand you being busy,etc..young kids etc..
Im happy that you are doing well w/ the sub-basically we will be going down in dosage together-so its buddy-up time detox..lol..
Oh.im so looking forward to that..HA!!! See im jumping w/ joy!!!
I gotta get off the sub at some point-maybe that will help w/ the sweet cravings.
Well-gotta get going!Puggie walk/work-appts-w/ psychopharm AND therapy-dinner w/ cousin..its always a full schedule here too.
peace..
GGrl65

 
Old 09-15-2004, 04:38 AM   #13
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Banker HB User
Re: To All New Suboxone Users

Mornin' guys! I think the reason why docs start us out so high is that they would rather us have too much than too little and us relapse... Like w/my doc, he wanted me at 16 mgs and I tried to get that high but it just made me feel horribly, blurry vision, etc. So I dropped down to 8 mgs and did well for about a month and then started craving so I upped it to 12 mgs...

The last week or so, I've been fluctuating between 10 and 8 mgs and I feel o.k. I can tell a difference, just because I'm starting to get sleepier while driving again, like I used to. It's odd... you would think the more you take, the sleepier I would get. But that's not working that way for me.

Also, I used to split my dose 3 x a day but now it's just 2. I'm worried that I DO need to switch to once a day to obtain that mindset of not reaching for a pill, because I definitely do that... well, I take my second dose when I'm in a situation where I can't talk... and I try to wait as late in the day as possible since I'm trying to taper... So far, it's been o.k.

Now, sis... you dropped your dose by half... over what period of time and do you have the same amount of side effects or I should say the same severity of side effects now that you did on 8 mgs? Remember, the more info you can give me, the better off I will be. I'm really, really ready to get down to nothing but I know it's just going to take time.

Someone asked me the other day if I was going to be able to stay 'clean' once I got off and I responded 'I don't know'. They were in shock! 'What do you mean you don't know after everything you've been through with these drugs'.... But I can't make any promises... I'm going to try to do what the AA/NA mindset is and basically take it one day at a time. I can't say that I will never take a lortab... because that's too long in the future and it seems like too much for me to say I will stay clean forever. I can just try and decrease my dosage to get off of sub.... then, just promise to stay clean that one day, then the next... That's all I can promise. If I try to say forever, I think I will end up feeling overwhelmed, depressed, etc.

What do you guys think? And sis, pls give me as much info as you possibly can. Koffree... how are you doing? And Sammi - you sound really good! However, I'm a little surprised at your doc taking you off of it so soon... it seems like you just got on it. Y'all take care today and watch out for IVAN the Terrible...

 
Old 09-15-2004, 05:03 AM   #14
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Twinlynn HB User
Re: To All New Suboxone Users

Good morning, Haven't been on 'cause this foot's really been hurting since surgery and am getting obsessive about whether this slightly infected area will heal or not. The doctor told me to watch out for the area getting too red...so of course, I am now imagining the whole color spectrum for red sweeping across my foot. LOL!

But I am following all your sub stories with great interest. Banker, I have a question for you. And I am really wanting to understand your philosophy on this:

I accept that once you are off the Sub, you cannot guarantee that you will never reach for another opiate. That is honest and understandable. But...then....WHY are you so desperate to get off a drug that has reduced your cravings for opiates? Is it that you prefer to take the chance that you might "slip"--rather than stay on a strong drug like Sub?

If you don't mind, I would love to get your thinking on this. I always trust you to give the most honest answer you can. And I can't figure out your thinking on this one.

By the way, did you see the note I wrote you on the thread wishing me the best on my surgery? The note agreed with your sixth sense that you and Theo had met in another lifelife! And I elaborated on how it happened! LOL! Anyway, it's back somewhere on that thread from a few days ago.

Love to you and Godess and Sammi, et al! xxx Lynn

 
Old 09-15-2004, 05:04 AM   #15
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Twinlynn HB User
Re: To All New Suboxone Users

PS You guys in trouble from Ivan?? Even up here in NY, we're getting rain today.

 
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