My husband Ed was prescribed by his doctor Oxycontin and for the last five years he had been taking 320+ Oxycontin daily. Before that he had been taking vicodin for five years for pain. He had a neck fusion and four knee operations, and back problems. The Oxycontin started making him physically sick so he decided he needed to get off them - plus the fact that he was sick and tired of wishing his life away so he could take his next oxycontin. The Subutex REALLY did it's job - won't call it a 'miracle drug' because it isn't a miracle quick fix - you have to really want to get off your DOC and you have to be prepared to go thru what seems like an endless taper process - but it is SOOO much easier then stopping cold turkey AND Ed could never taper off his oxy - it has such a hold on him - but because he wasn't getting any kind of high off the sub- it was much easier for him to taper off the sub. Taking Sub is so much different than other opiates that you really can't compare it to just changing one drug for another. For one thing, you don't get 'high' off Sub - you feel normal on it - so you can mentally and physically start healing from your habit of getting high everyday. It also really helps with the cravings. It works EXTREMELY well in helping people get off their DOC.
Here is Ed's Subutex taper schedule. It has worked very well for him. Please keep in mind that while he was tapering he was off work so he was able to go thru a 'bad day' while he was tapering without having to worry about working. If he had to be at work during the taper process, he would have done it more slowly.
We believe that the key to a successful sub taper is to taper down very low, and take the time to stabilize at each dose before tapering again. Sub is extremely POWERFUL and to be respected. Also, be prepared to feel each taper a day or two, and just remember that once you stabilize you will feel better again, until the next taper.
Ed said the worst he felt when he was 'feeling' the taper was depression, anxiety, and a restless feeling where he couldn't get comfortable in his own skin.
Just remember that it's normal to feel this way for a day or two when you are tapering - Ed usually felt this way on day 2 or day 3 of each taper. We feel it is so important to give yourself time to stabilize each time you taper, then a day or two to enjoy feeling 'stabilized' before you taper down again. If you don't, and you taper too fast, you can find yourself feeling depressed, anxious, etc., the entire time you are on sub - which can lead to a *** attitude, which can lead to relapsing.
Ed feels that it definitely got harder for him once he got down to 1 mg - that is why he stayed at the 1 mg dose for 10 days.
Ed was on Subutex for 47 days. He was coming off a 320+ mg a day Oxycontin habit for five years, and before that 5 years of daily hydrocodone use. If it was up to his sub doc he'd still be taking 16 mg of Subutex a day.
2 days at 24 mg
5 days at 16 mg
5 days at 12 mg
4 days at 8 mg
5 days at 6 mg
4 days at 4 mg
3 days at 3 mg
10 days at 1 mg
3 days at .50 mg
3 days at .25mg
3 days at .12
Ed's last day of Subutex was on August 9th so it's been a little over a month and he's doing great! He tried to stop the sub when he was day 1 at .25 but when he got to the 30 hour mark of no sub, he started having bad w/d's - nothing like the oxycontin w/d's, but bad enough that he said he wanted to taper down even more.
He tapered for another week and when he stopped at .12 we thought for sure that he would go thru 4-5 days of w/d's...but he didn't! He slept that first night just fine and that awful depressed restless feeling filled with anxiety and heebie jeebies never came! He must have had already gone thru that during his previous tapers.
Ed doesn't have any cravings for the oxycontin at all - yes of course he 'misses' the feeling that they gave him - but he doesn't have the urgent need/desire to take them any longer - and I truely believe that is very similiar to quitting smoking - for the first few weeks it's a physical thing - then it turns into a mental thing - the sub really helps distance you from those urges and by the time you are done tapering off the sub - hey it's HARD work - Ed just didn't have any desire to put himself and me thru that - EVER AGAIN! (God willing!)
Anyhow, I wanted to share because I know EXACTLY how important it is when you are going thru it yourself to find as many successful sub taper stories as you can! RoyalSecret