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Old 02-24-2010, 10:52 AM   #1
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Has anyone weaned off Long Acting Medications?

As I have written earlier this month, my pain seems to be getting much better!!! I really think the removal of my ovary did something, because ever since that surgery, my nerve pain in back (actually down my right leg) has almost gone away!!!!!

Anyway, I weaned off OpanaER last year but was only on it for about 2 or 3 months and I was also taking my breakthrough meds, vicodin. WHen I stopped the Opana, I remember feeling kinda crappy for about 2 days (just twitchy) but took a few extra vicodins for a few days. This is what the nurse told me to do.

Well, I am going to start weaning off Kadian soon, but I am no longer taking any breakthrough meds. I stopped all my Oxycodones a couple weeks ago (I was taking 6-8 15mg pills each day).

Is it possible to taper off a long acting narcotic without the help of short acting narcotics?

I want off this med as quickly as possible. I saw my psychologist this week and he told me that coming off this med is not going to be as bad as I am thinking. He told me if I wanted to go cold turkey I could. He said I would feel like i had the flu for about 3 days, then another few days of feeling very weak. Then he said the worst would be over in less than a week. He said it wil take anywhere from 6-12 months for my body to be fully back to itself, but it won't be something that is horrible. He said I would one day realize that i feel better than I did the previous month, but i probably wouldn't have realized it at the time.

I am just so ready to be off these meds and see what my pain is really at.

Thanks
Jdsun

 
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:12 PM   #2
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Re: Has anyone weaned off Long Acting Medications?

Hello. I haven't gotten to where u are yet, but good for you for doing this!! I just want to offer you my prayers and support. I have only started long-acting pain meds a couple months ago and one day, I will wean myself off so I am not one of those people who stay on them ten yrs or so. Many people HAVE to stay on them so I'm NOT knocking them. I just think many people can eventually get things taken care of and just r afraid to go thru the withdrawal. Its horrible. But it CAN be done! For you, I am here for you like that song, "Lean On Me" cuz one day I too will need somebody to lean on. Sincerely, Marla.

 
Old 02-27-2010, 01:24 PM   #3
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Re: Has anyone weaned off Long Acting Medications?

Dear Jdsun,
I'm one of the lucky ones where medical technology has brought a solution to my problem. I had bilateral TMJ joint replacements done about five months ago. As a result, I've been able to go off of most of my meds.
I was on a Fentanyl patch for several months. I was also on Baclofen, Motrin, Lyrica, Percocet and some Cymbalta for good measure. I was afraid of going off of the heavy hitting patches. I was pleasantly surprised to tell you that I did not have any side effects. I was anticipating being uncomfortable, but I was fine. I stopped taking Baclofen, Motrin and the Fentanyl patches all about the same time. I now take Cymbalta, Lyrica and sometimes Percocet for breakthrough pain.
The good new is... I feel better than I have in years. My emotions are back, I can feel things. I drive now without worrying about falling asleep at the wheel. I'm a better teacher, wife, mother and friend. Life is much better than it was when I was on these meds. Granted, I needed them for pain management, but I'm happy to be off of them.
Good luck with the next step on your journey.
Let me know what I can do to help.
Peggy

 
Old 02-27-2010, 09:48 PM   #4
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Re: Has anyone weaned off Long Acting Medications?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsun View Post
Is it possible to taper off a long acting narcotic without the help of short acting narcotics?
Yes, it is, but at this point, given all that you have accomplished & etc., I don't think I'd go down that road. SA meds will spike your BPL and cause some ups and downs. I'd either ween or go CT. I think I'd ween. I"m not sure it would be quite as easy and straight forward as the psychologist.

The biggest issue with any type of ween, and especially CT, is the anxiety, or stress it causes. Thus, some type of anti-axiety med would be good. Then, you can ween from it, which will be very easy since you won't be on it very long.

Also, once you get past the physical part and get the med out of your system, you'll bounce back pretty quick. It won't take anywhere near the year that was quoted to you. A couple of months tops since you've not been on the meds that long.

Best of luck to you.

Regards,

Ex

 
Old 02-28-2010, 06:00 AM   #5
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Re: Has anyone weaned off Long Acting Medications?

Thanks guys!
I am at a point now where I just want OFF of them. I know I need to take it slow for several reasons though. I am not even sure where my true pain level is at and I don;t want to suffer any more than I have to.

Along with my pain meds, I also take a daily zoloft and a nightly trazadone. Do you guys think that will be enough to help me when I finally do come off of the narcotics? Is there anything else you might suggest that I can gently bring up to my pain doctor. I see him on Tuesday to start discussing things. I am very excited and scared at the same time. I don't want to get too excited because I may in fact still be in enough pain to need the Kadian.

Jdsun

 
Old 02-28-2010, 06:02 PM   #6
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Re: Has anyone weaned off Long Acting Medications?

JDsun.... I wanted to wish you luck tomorrow when you talk to your doctor about your options for coming off your meds. I'm excited for you. I had to come off lortab a few years back and I didn't not have allot of problems. The one thing that bothered me most was.... not being able to sleep. That was by far the hardest part of the withdrawl I had to deal with. I don't know if your doctor would allow you any help or assistance with that, or if it will even be a problem for you, but you might want to see if he/she has any suggestions for dealing with the lack of sleep.

I will say that the sleepy time tea just didn't get the job done!!

Let us know how things go tomorrow.

Bullymom

Sorry, I thought it was Monday night. Good luck on Tues!!

Last edited by bullymom; 02-28-2010 at 06:04 PM.

 
Old 02-28-2010, 07:43 PM   #7
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Re: Has anyone weaned off Long Acting Medications?

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I had to come off lortab a few years back and I didn't not have allot of problems. The one thing that bothered me most was.... not being able to sleep. That was by far the hardest part of the withdrawl I had to deal with.
I would agree.

For example, for those who have big time problems and / or are on a lot of meds, the big advantage of detoxing at a facility is that the Drs there can keep the patient comfortable....i.e lots of anti-anxiety meds...Valium, ativan & etc....Also helps with sleep.

I would talk to the Doc about the anxiety part and see if he would prescribe you something for ST relief. The anxiety comes from the stress caused by withdrawing. You may get elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure & etc. It isn't a super big problem, but enough of one to where it causes some mild issues. Getting a little bit of help in this area will make things easier and most of all, ensure you get some sleep.

Best of luck at your appointment.

Regards,

Ex

 
Old 03-01-2010, 10:03 AM   #8
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Re: Has anyone weaned off Long Acting Medications?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bullymom View Post

Sorry, I thought it was Monday night. Good luck on Tues!!
My doctor just moved my apt to this afternoon! So, you were correct about it being today..ha!!!

I am leaving shortly and will ask about the sleep and anxiety issues. My husband also wants me to ask about natural supplements that are suppose to help with nerve healing. I have a print out of those to take with me. I just want to make sure they will not interfere with any of my current meds.

Today my back is actually in a lot of pain!!! Go figure. My pain is generated from my back ,but that never really bothers me. It is my sciatic pain that is my problem. I woke up today and my lower back is aching and soar. I have a feeling I am over-doing it due to my lack of sciatic pain!!!!

I will let you all know what the doctor says. Thanks again sooooooooo much for all your help and support!!!

Jdsun

 
Old 03-01-2010, 02:51 PM   #9
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Re: Has anyone weaned off Long Acting Medications?

A quick update:
Went to my pain dr apt today with my two kids in tow (ages 3 and 5), so I was only able to briefly speak with him. Basically, he shook his head and said he has no idea how the ovary could be connected with my reduction of pain, but to go with it

This is his plan: I was taking 80mg of Kadian 2x a day. He wrote me a script for 30mg pills. He told me to take 4 of those for 5 days, then decrease by one pill every five days. He wanted me to start this tonight, but unfortunately 45 minutes at two pharmacies with 2 cranky preschoolers did not produce the pills I need. They have to order them and it could take up to a week to get. I was so excited to start my taper.

He also prescribed Klonopin (sp) in case i start to get that jittery feeling. He told me to call him right away if I have any questions with the taper.

Jdsun

 
Old 03-01-2010, 08:13 PM   #10
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Re: Has anyone weaned off Long Acting Medications?

Oh JD.... I am so excited for you!! I can imagine how excited you are to get started, I would be too. It sounds like a pretty good taper plan, I am anxious to see what others think of it. Be kind to yourself and go easy with this. It sounds like you have a great doctor who is willing to walk you through this. A week will be here before you know it, and maybe by then your back will have settled down a bit. Might be a better idea to start when you don't have a new pain issue to deal with.

Please keep us posted on your progress, you are an inspiration. I hope this goes well for you. Best of luck. Those little ones are going to keep you so busy you won't have time to notice any wd's. Once can always hope.

Sleep well

Bullymom

 
Old 03-01-2010, 08:25 PM   #11
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Re: Has anyone weaned off Long Acting Medications?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bullymom View Post
Oh JD.... I am so excited for you!! I can imagine how excited you are to get started, I would be too. It sounds like a pretty good taper plan, I am anxious to see what others think of it. Be kind to yourself and go easy with this. It sounds like you have a great doctor who is willing to walk you through this.
Yes, I too am excited for you. Hopefully, this will work well. I would agree that it seems like a good plan...However, it may be a bit aggressive...i.e the taper is a little fast. Your body will let you know if it is. You may need to go a a bit slower.

The Klonopin is a very good med to help with any WDs you may get. However, it may not help you sleep per se. If you have trouble, be sure to let your Doc know.

Best of luck with this.

Regards,

Ex

 
Old 03-08-2010, 02:18 AM   #12
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Re: Has anyone weaned off Long Acting Medications?

yes you will have flu like symptoms for about 3 days-if can ask your dr if he will give you klonadine to help you thr-you will also need immodium d- hang in there

 
Old 03-08-2010, 05:19 AM   #13
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Re: Has anyone weaned off Long Acting Medications?

Hi JD:
I guess I'm one of the lucky ones...I have taken a variety of LA medicines...from Fentynal, to Kadian, to Avinza, to MS Contin ER. I have never had to wean from anything. Just stop one and go on to the other. Right now I am on Percocet 10/325, and did not have to wean off of the Avinza.

The only thing I have ever weaned off of is Paxil, and I did 50 % cuts two weeks in a row and I was done. I've never had any flu like symptoms or those that others speak of. I realize my situation is probably VERY different.

I do wish you much luck. I may have to be going back to LA MS Contin again, because something has happend to my right rod, and I was in agony until I had an epidural last Friday. The N/S is talking about removing the rods and hardware since I am already fused, and they are causing more trouble than they are worth. I guess we shall see how long this epidural lasts...I haven't had more than two to three weeks freedom of pain with them...but right now I'll take it. I was in bed for an entire week, and it surely was no fun.

Once again, good luck to you, and I hope your journey is nowhere near as bad as you anticipate.


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Old 03-08-2010, 11:26 AM   #14
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Re: Has anyone weaned off Long Acting Medications?

Thanks everyone for your replies.

I need some more help though (sorry )

It took a week for my meds to come in from the pharmacy because they had to order the new strength. Anyway, like I said, I completely stopped the 90+mg of oxycodone about a month ago and felt no side effects at all. Well, Saturday I started my weaning off the 160mg of Kadian.

Saturday I took 60mg (2 30mg pills) in the am and again, 60mg at night, for a total of 120mg. Well, Sunday I felt warn down ALL day. No energy. I was out very late the previous evening so I contributed it to that. Well today, Monday, I again took my 60mg and have been feeling pretty crappy ALL day. I feel like I have morning sickness!!! For those who never had this, it feels like I have a mild case of the flu. I go from having no appetite, to feeling naseaus, I have no energy and feel BLAHHHHHH.

I am SCARED!!!!!!! If I am already feeling this cruddy, how on earth am I going to make it to the end? The good news is my pain seems to be ok. Can anyone tell me if this feeling will go away in a day or so? I am suppose to wean down every five days. So on Thursday, I am suppose to take 60mg in the morning, and 30mg at night, totaling 90mg.

I really hate to take the Klonopin because I don't want to have to then wean off that too. I do have some Zofran that my doctor presribed to me due to my very weak stomach. I might call the nurse and ask her if it is ok to try and take that to settle my stomach.

Also, I thought you were suppose to have a bathroom issue when you weaned off narcotics. Well I am having an issue, but the opposite way! I am VERY uncomfortable and I am sure it is not helping my belly issues.

Thanks!
Jdsun

 
Old 03-08-2010, 02:27 PM   #15
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Re: Has anyone weaned off Long Acting Medications?

Dear JD,
Hang in there. As they say, this too shall pass, and the discomfort will soon be gone. Please know that I'm in your court rooting for you, as are the others on this board.
Please keep us posted.
Peggy

 
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