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    Old 01-08-2005, 03:38 PM   #1
    lisamariaweiss
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    Anyone take suboxone longterm for pain?

    Pls help. My doctor wants me to take suboxone for relief of chronic back pain. I am concerned about taking it after reading some of the threads which have been posted about trying to get off of it. One of the girls that was highly addicted to it named Stacy is no longer posting at all...does anyone know what happened to her? If I go on it, it will be longterm so I am concerned that I will be hooked for life...since some of the postings revealed it was hard to wein off of it after taking it only a few weeks to a month. I could try to put in a spinal cord stimulator or baclofen pump instead of going on a narcotic pain medication...but that has other scary side effects. I don't know what is the lessor of two evils and every doctor tells me something different and I don't know who to trust. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Lisa

     
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    Old 01-09-2005, 05:48 AM   #2
    carolkinch
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    Re: Anyone take suboxone longterm for pain?

    Dear Lisa,

    I am very sorry for your chronic pain...and can relate. It's agonizing to hurt all the time and you are sick of it and want relief. I just detoxed after four years on Oxys (and Suboxone) and much of the original low back pain is still there. I was masking it for four years! Taking anything like this will give you relief, but it's not a permanant fix. It's like being "between the devil and the deep blue sea."

    I have questions for you: What is the source of your back pain? What type of doctor are you seeing who wants to put you on Suboxone for pain? Is this an internist? Psychiatrist? Orthopedist? Most importantly, I have not yet heard of Suboxone being used for pain relief exclusively, although I was told when put on it that it does have some analgesic effect (but not the narcotic "high"). I'm suprised that this is his or her first recommendation, passing over the hydro/oxys. NOT that I'm recommending them. How much experience does this doctor have dosing Suboxone for pain relief? If he or she can dose it, I'm sure they took the "Suboxone course" required by the drug company, which is really four hours of information about the drug. Has your doctor dosed this to anyone else for pain and has he had experience with people trying to stop? He or she will tell you that Suboxone is supposed to be easier to detox off off than opiates; this is how it is marketed by the drug company according to their clinical trials. But ask some people here who have stopped using it what their experience was like. Most doctors (psychiatrists) prescribing it only know what the drug company has provided; they don't have experience prescribing it; i.e. patients taking it over the long term and how they react to it. They do know people can go on it from big doses of narcotic, but they don't know really how people go off it, which is really to me the main goal. Before deciding to take it, please made a list and ask your doctor these questions. Also, have you tried physical therapy, exercise, a chiropractor, stretching therapy, etc.?

    It's a conundrum; the pain you have sucks and you want relief. Taking narcotics helps, but taking it long term and regularly will make you dependant. I don't say this to scare you or be a jerk. But read some of the posts here. So many people begin narcotics for pain and end up.....addicted. I know too, that many people can take them only when they need them. As far as the Suboxone for pain.......I just don't know. I know that some here might think me anti-Suboxone but I just finished taking it for six months after four years on Oxycontin, and when I tried to stop had terrible withdrawls. I know for many people, the Suboxone has gotten them off of heroin and other strong narcotics. And it does do that. I went from 100mgs of Oxys a day to one 5 mg pill of Suboxone. But I'm coming to believe that it does it's job a little too well. I don't believe it is meant to be taken long term and is just as addicting as the rest.

    C.

     
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    Old 01-09-2005, 04:45 PM   #3
    lisamariaweiss
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    Re: Anyone take suboxone longterm for pain?

    Carol, Thank you for your insight. My back pain is from an injury to my thoracic spine where I herniated a disk and had to undergo a fusion with hardware and screws. I also have Scheurmann's disease which is an abnormal curvature of the spine that puts pressure on the disks and muscles attached to it which may be aggravating everything else. I haven't been able to find one person on suboxone for longterm pain management, which worries me. The doctor who wants to put me on the suboxone is a psychiatrist and I use him to manage my pain medication because my back doctor is only in the office part time and he is not up to date or available as easily. The psychiatrist is authorized to prescribe suboxone and he runs addiction centers so I am relatively sure he treats people with suboxone but I would assume they are on it more short term to get off other drugs. I would be on it longterm and I doubt he has a lot of experience in that in fact I think it is a new medication for the treatment of chronic pain. I have decided to see a pain management doctor and get another opinion about suboxone vs one of the other procedures or medications. I will post my finding for all.
    Thank you so much. Lisa

     
    Old 01-09-2005, 06:07 PM   #4
    PryncessBee
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    Re: Anyone take suboxone longterm for pain?

    hi,
    I am on suboxone right now for w/d, and i also have chronic back pain- However, my doctor that put me on suboxone told me that it would not help the pain at all, only with the wd symptoms- and i find that to be true. I have been in constant pain since i went off the pain meds (11 days), so I would continue to find out about that and get a second opinion. Pryncess

     
    Old 01-09-2005, 09:31 PM   #5
    lisamariaweiss
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    Re: Anyone take suboxone longterm for pain?

    May I ask what pain medication you were taking for your back pain and why you decided to go off of it and on the suboxone? It sounds from most people you just go from one addiction to another and since the suboxone doesn't help the pain...maybe you were better off with the other medication. What are you going to do to manage your pain now?

     
    Old 01-09-2005, 09:52 PM   #6
    Sarandipity
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    Re: Anyone take suboxone longterm for pain?

    Lisa,
    Hi, Im Sara and I was on opiates for 3 years. I had a herniated disc, L5S1, and surgery, and still have a degenerative disc, and SI joint disfuction. The opiates I became addicted to. I went to rehab to safely get off of them.

    My doctor at the rehab gave me Sub for 10 days only. It was only for helping the withdrawl symtoms, and not for pain. Ive been off everything for almost 4 months now, but see a physical therapist 3 times a week, take Robaxin, tylenol, and ibphrofen for pain.

    When I took Sub, it made me "perk up" right away. But when I got off of Sub by tapering... I was exhausted and went through the usual w/d, I guess just not as bad as if I had never taken the sub.

    Have you seen a Pain Mgt doc?

    Hope this helps!

    Have a good night,

    Sara
    __________________
    "I believe that friends lift us up when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly."
    -Sara

     
    Old 01-10-2005, 05:36 AM   #7
    PryncessBee
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    Re: Anyone take suboxone longterm for pain?

    lisa,
    I am sorry it took me so long to reply, could not remeber which thread this was...I was on Narco 1000mg for over a year. Narco worked great except my tolerance built up and I started taking more than what was prescribed. My doctor once told me that you cannot be addicted if you are in true pain, but I disagree. At the end, I was taking it every couple of hours whether I had pain or not, and then one week, I ran out early. I went through horrible w/d. I was up to 10 pills a day and knew I was hooked, and all my cf doctor wanted to do was increase me to morphine or oxy. It was very hard to admit because I had never been addicted to anything in my life (35 years old and a Lic prof counselor), but I knew I had to get this under control fast or it was going to physically hurt me. I researched hours and hours on the internet and found that suboxone was the best choice for me to help get me off the narco without having severe withdrawals. One of my main concerns was my pain- it was/is real and very intense. Finally, I decided that I would rather be in pain then on the path I was going down to fast. My doctor told me that suboxone only helps with opiate withdrawals and does not minimize the pain- and i found this to be true. However, it may do something because I have not been in constant pain, but I definitely have the pain way more often. If you are not addicted to opiates, I would think about using them if you have severe pain (my opinion, i am not a doctor of medicine)- just have a check system and someone else to help you with it because i wish i would have done something like that and maybe I would not have abused them. If only I knew then what I know now- I would have been much more cautious and fearful about taking these pills, and educated myself more on the effects of taking them. Talk to your doctor about it and get a second opinion, but as far as suboxone treating pain better than other pain meds- I dont see it or feel it. I hope i answered some of you question and please post any other ones you have. Currently, I am only taking doctor RX ibuprofen for my pain- it does not help that well. Once I have been clean for a long period of time, I will look into my options and if some low type of opiate is the best in order for me to have a quality life- then I would consider it with all check systems in place. I never want to go back to that darkness of pain pill addiction becuase hands down, it was the worst thing that i have ever experienced in my life- you lose yourself!!!
    Good luck, Pryncess

     
    Old 01-10-2005, 05:11 PM   #8
    lisamariaweiss
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    Re: Anyone take suboxone longterm for pain?

    Pryncess, thanks for the advice. I don't understand though but I am not savy when it comes to medication because like you I had never taken anything before I injured my back. But you say that if I have never been addicted to opiates to try it and you might in the future as well...but I thought suboxone WAS an opiate! I tried Ibuprofen & it did nothing too. I have made an appt. to see a pain management doctor so I will repost what he recommends for other people suffering from back related problems. Thank you and I wish you a lot of luck. I think I understand about you feeling bad because you became addicted and are in the profession you are in. I was also in the medical profession and it is awful to admit I had to resort to taking medication and now I have to take medication that may make me dependent...a tough pill to swallow. I always considered people taking medication for just back pain were weak and people taking addictive medication were just in it for the high which disgusted me. Now, I know what it is like and although I don't like feeling high I can relate to just wanting to be away from yourself or your pain so I guess there's not much difference. Having gone through this with no end in sight and losing my independence has been a humbling experience. I don't know that if I did become addicted like you I would be able to get off so be proud of yourself that you recognized the problem and were able to pull yourself out of it. Maybe you went through this so you could help other people and something wonderful will come out of the experience. I hope you get your back pain controlled and feel better. Lisa

     
    Old 01-10-2005, 07:04 PM   #9
    scout80
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    Re: Anyone take suboxone longterm for pain?

    hi i made the change from vicodin/ oxy/ soma and sometimes valium to suboxone about 4mnths ago. I had built up such a tolerance to vicodin i had to take at least 15 and more per day of the 10/325mg.s just to keep my back pain and anxiety manageable. I of course had to go to great lenghts to get that much meds and considerable cost. I have been taking a hefty dose of vicodin for 13 yrs as it was easiest to get. I have a L5-S1 HNP and immobilized facet which made me so stiff i could hardly get out of bed, despite therapy. I was killing myself with meds. I cannot say enough about how suboxone has given me a new outlook, i am also pain free for the most part, some dull back pain when i overdo it but what i imagine to be "normal" backache type pain.nothing like the pain and "rebound" pain associated with opiates though suboxone is an opiate. My anxiety level is almost non-existent
    Ive been on suboxone for 4mnths and have broken that viscious cycle i was on, which i didnt think possible, and I'm able to step away and see what life is like NOT thinking about my pills running low etc, etc,,,I have more energy and really feel good about the future, Suboxone is working great for me and I feel like I can step down the dose gradually and have done so. So good luck

     
    Old 01-10-2005, 07:27 PM   #10
    scout80
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    Re: Anyone take suboxone longterm for pain?

    p.s. My doctor that prescribes the suboxone told me i may have to be on it for 1 or 2 yrs as i had been on the vicodin for so many years.
    I took 16mgs per day 1st month, then 8mgs, now i take 6mgs/day and feel normal, thank God. Someone not as addicted as i was of course may not need as much suboxone, just breaking the vicodin spell changing my behavior has helped me so much not to even think about pills. It excites me to tell someone else about my good experience with sub. Once in the morning-
    i remember when i would take 3 10/325's pills in am and be a little nauseated, when i quit vicodin i was taking 6 as soon as i woke up, w/o nausea anything less was a waste of med. I havent visited this site in a long time but thought it important to tell my experience-maybe i'll pop back on when i have my dose down to 1/2mg per day,which i feel confident i'll be able to do...baby steps...lolsee ya, john

     
    Old 01-11-2005, 03:53 AM   #11
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    Re: Anyone take suboxone longterm for pain?

    Methadone can be used for pain, but i didn't think suboxone was used for pain management......i know Chef is a wonderful poster on this board that has been thru both, and i think now he is on the meth. and doing a lot better. The sub. was too expensive and didn't do anything for the pain....
    Suboxone is more for getting off of pain meds....i didn't believe it was used for pain management, but then again, it is still a relatively new drug and as more of us get on and off of it, we are finding what works for some and what works for others. Good luck whatever you decide.....i wish you luck
    luv,
    LISA

     
    Old 09-15-2005, 08:11 AM   #12
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    Re: Anyone take suboxone longterm for pain?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lisamariaweiss
    Pls help. My doctor wants me to take suboxone for relief of chronic back pain. I am concerned about taking it after reading some of the threads which have been posted about trying to get off of it. One of the girls that was highly addicted to it named Stacy is no longer posting at all...does anyone know what happened to her? If I go on it, it will be longterm so I am concerned that I will be hooked for life...since some of the postings revealed it was hard to wein off of it after taking it only a few weeks to a month. I could try to put in a spinal cord stimulator or baclofen pump instead of going on a narcotic pain medication...but that has other scary side effects. I don't know what is the lessor of two evils and every doctor tells me something different and I don't know who to trust. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Lisa

     
    Old 09-17-2005, 12:44 AM   #13
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    Re: Anyone take suboxone longterm for pain?

    HI Lisa - I think you are misunderstanding what Suboxone is used because your Doctor doesn't have a clue what he's doing - I'm sorry, that's how I feel!

    Suboxone should not be prescribed for pain. It is prescribed when someone has become addicted to pain pills/methadone/heroin (basically - Opiates) and wants to stop taking the drugs they have become addicted to. The Doctor then instructs the patient to stop taking their drug of choice for 24 hours, then he gives them Subutex. Subutex is straight Buprenorphine. Suboxone is Subutex with an added ingrediant (Naxolone) that if someone tried to take a drug using an iv - that person would then go into immediate withdrawals.

    Sub/Bup = VERY POWERFUL DRUG!!! My husband was taking 320 mg of Oxycontin daily for 5 years and the five years before a very high dose of Vicodin - he went on sub for 47 days and the sub worked really well for him. He started at 24 mg a day and tapered down to .12 mg and then stopped. It wasn't easy to taper once he got down to 3 mg but he did it. He's been off the sub for over a month and is drug-free and doing great....but the sub is so powerful that is knocks out any opiates that are currently on your brain receptors - it should never be prescribed to someone who is looking for pain relief!!!!!

    I have read many, many horror stories from people who went on Sub to get off their DOC and stayed on sub too long, and went thru months of withdrawals - it is very very powerful. It is an opiate, but it's an opiate antagonist and an opiate agonist - which means that even though sub is an opiate you won't feel 'high' and if you took any opiates while on sub you wouldn't get high then either. That is why the sub is so effective in helping people get off opiates - it also really helps with cravings and it gives the person time away from their DOC in order to get over the mental addiction of taking the pain pills for the high. It mainly helps the person get off their DOC w/o the awful w/d's of cold turkey.

    In your situation I agree with the other posts - you should be prescribed vicodin or something like that (try and stay AWAY from the Oxycontin - it takes control of you like no other pain pill!!!!) and as long as you take it as prescribed - don't 'up' your dosage you should be fine.

    I hope I haven't come off too strong, but I can't believe your Doctor is prescribing you Suboxone for pain relief when you aren't even on any opiates for pain currently - it doesn't even really help much, if any, for pain-relief. I wish you the best and pray that you find a Doctor that is caring and really listens to you and knows what is best for you. RoyalSecret

     
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