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? From Pain Management Person about withdrawal

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Old 10-09-2008, 11:22 AM   #1
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? From Pain Management Person about withdrawal

I have been prescribed vicodin for my chronic back pain for the past four years. Through surgeries and different treatments, I've only used the pills here and there. Well, I've hit a rough patch with my pain and have been using the pills every day for the past 4 months. I was only using 1-2 5mg a day, then just last week have increased my dosage (per my doctors orders) to 3-4 7.5/325mg per day. I have never craved the pills and never have abused them. I know the difference btw addiction and dependence. I don't think I have a problem now, but that is always at the front of my mind and very scared I will become addicted.

I am about to undergo some testing and procedures that may reduce my pain level. I am hoping I can reduce my vicodin intake or reduce it all together. My question is this. Do you think I will experience horrible withdrawal effects from being on the vicodin every day for the past few months at my dosage? I know everyone is different, but I am just trying to prepare as I have a 2 and 3 yr old at home to care for and no family to help. I have tried to test and see what happens if I don't take one, but unfortunately my pain level gets too high and I must take one to control that. I did take a pill last night at 6pm and did not take another until 10am the next day. I felt no ill effects besides pain.


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Old 10-09-2008, 11:35 AM   #2
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Re: ? From Pain Management Person about withdrawal

Hi Sox

I think that with the amount you are taking, there will be some withdrawal symptoms. When the time comes that you are ready to reduce the daily intake, make it a slow and easy reduction. Cut back a 1/2 pill at a time at first and always let the body and brain level out after a cut. For me, each cut as I tapered took 1-2 weeks to level out. As I got closer to the end of the taper, I made smaller and smaller cuts... really tiny bones at the very end.
As long as you progress in taking less each day and staying firm in not upping a dose once cut, it will be tolerable. May notice headache and some anxiety.

Talk it out with your prescibing doctor and work together with him on a plan that will work for you. I wish you well with the upcoming surgery and hope it is the answer to your pain.

Be well and best wishes

Old 10-09-2008, 06:02 PM   #3
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Re: ? From Pain Management Person about withdrawal

Hey Sox

I have been in PM for about 8 years I guess for chronic back issues. Had many procedures surgery although it was recommended...just didn't want to go there. I would say that for the first 6-7 years, I hovered around the 3 hydrocodone doseage a day, sometimes less sometimes more. Hit a couple of rough patches and the doseage went up to a high of 6 per day, then back down to 5.

One thing that I observed in myself at least, is that the pain pills themselves seem to beget pain. The more you take and the more regularly, the more noticeable pain seems to become. At some point I would feel a twinge of pain and determine that I must need to take another pill. They may lower tolerance overall to pain.

I recently decided to just get off of them and learn to live with whatever pain I am going to have. I don't believe there is a future in taking pills indeterminably into the future and I believe there is a mental dampering even though you don't realize it at the time.

At my dose, I have to say that the withdrawals haven't been all that horrible. I am down to 1/2 pill a day...probably could have made it without that half dose today. Had a headache and some dizziness. The worse aspect is the skin crawling at night which leads to sleeplessness, which I believe might be mitigated with a temporary stint on taking klonipin at night. My dr gave me a weeks worth, hope that does it. I tapered really quick too, going from like 5 per day to 3 to 1.5 to .5 in about a week's time.

Old 10-09-2008, 09:10 PM   #4
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Re: ? From Pain Management Person about withdrawal


I really wouldn't worry about it, when it comes time to get off the meds, your PM doc or Surgeon whichever prescribes for you will work out a plan to wean you off the meds. They won't just cut you off cold turkey and throw you out to dry.

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