I have been seriously addicted to hydrocodone for over a year, taking not only my whole prescription, but buying them on the streets when I ran out. My pain management doc wants to substitute Ultram for the hydros. At first I was willing because I'm tired of this vicious circle I've been living, but now that I've read such scary things about Ultram being harder to kick than hydros, I'm very hesitant to try it. Has anyone ever switched over from hydrocodone to Ultram? My first thought when my doc mentioned this was that I could wean off the Vicodin by using Ultram, but now I'm afraid of getting hooked to yet another drug. Can someone offer advice or share an experience? Thank you.
I wouldn't do it tt your doc and tell them your affraid of exchanging 1 drug for another I did. I liked the ultram so much that's what I did. then of course went back to my Drug of Choice. see if there is something else yoga anything. sorry I wish I could help.
Before deciding what drug to take, I think you've got to go back to square one and evaluate your individual situation. Taking pain meds is a "cost / benefit ratio." Does the "cost" of taking them outweigh the "benefit"? Or, does the "benefit" outweigh the "cost"? Only you can answer this question....Depending on what type of pain you have & etc.
If the answer is that the cost outweighs the benefits, then you need to come up with some type of non drug alternative. You don't provide any details about your situation, so I can't offer any help.
If the benefit outweighs the cost, then you'll need to sit down with your Doc and decide what type of drug you'll need to take and the LT implications. Ultimately, most PM patients are on drugs for life, so picking one over the other will be a necessary evil. Also, if you sub one for the other, you'll still need to take something (assuming you take this route) so I wouldn't get caught up in the fact of the matter.
The one thing you don't mention is whether the Doc is recommending the short acting Ultram or the long acting? He may want to put you on the LA med in order to level you out and stop the "ups and downs" of the hyrdros. After awhile on hyrdros, they don't work as well (or as long) so you need to take more (qty) and more often, for them to work. If this is the case, then the Ultram LA would probably work well.
Hope this helps and good luck.
Last edited by Executor; 03-02-2008 at 08:15 AM.
Honestly, my pain isn't bad enough to justify all of the Vicodin I was taking. I just plain liked the way it made me feel. I do have degenerative disk disease, but can control the pain with over the counter meds. My thought was that I could use the Ultram to wean off the Vics, but as I read more on the forum, I am thinking now that I'd just be falling into a different addiction...possibly even a worse one. I just want to feel normal without all of these pills, and am desperatly searching for an easy way to stop. I can't afford to miss work in order to detox, and I can't imagine working while doing so. I just want to stop this crazy thing that my life has become. I sometimes look at the people around me...the normal ones...and wonder how they can be happy...just plain happy about little things...when I can't even feel normal without drugs in my system. I must have been like them at one time or another. I guess the Ultram would be an easy out for me, as my doc told me that it would lessen w/ds, but is it really an out? I'm guessing no. Thank you for the quick responses. I really feel desperate for any kind of input on my situation. I appreciate your help.
From personal experience, Ultram is a lot harder to get off of than Vicodin. I took Ultram for over 7 years and when I decided to go off of it, I ended up in the ER from being severly dehydrated. I felt like I had the worst case of the flu that I have ever had. I also had withdrawls from the Vicodin, but nothing like the Ultram withdrawls. If you do decide to take it, please, please be very careful. I didn't abuse the Ultram at all, but my body was so used to it, that I think it went into complete shock when I didn't have it anymore.
I think it's a good thing you have realized there is a problem that needs to be taken care of. It takes a lot of courage to admit there is a problem, so you have the first step taken care of.
I have to totally agree with the others as to not switching to the Ultram. When it first came out, it was touted as being a wonderful pain medication that was not addictive, however, time has told us otherwise. It was recently classified as a narcotic/opiate medication because it does have the same effects as opaite meds and is also addictive.
The bad thing with taking Ultram other than the stuff already mentioned is the risk of seizures if Ultram is stopped abruptly.
I can't tell you what to do, but if your doctor is aware of the situation, then maybe he can work with you to wean you off the Vicodin. A slow taper schedule will certainly lessen the withrdawl symptoms and allow you to continue to work and function. It will take a great deal of control and determination on your part and a good amount of discipline to stick to the schedule, but sweetie, it can be done.
There are people here who have gone this route who can help you and give some great advice about sticking to a taper. Maybe you can give the meds to someone you know you can trust and have them dispense the meds as scheduled.
It's not an easy thing to do, but honestly, anything worth having is worth fighting for, and this is your health and your life, so the rewards will be great. Take care, be strong and know you are not alone!!