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Getting off Opiate pain meds ...

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Old 11-25-2017, 10:19 AM   #1
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Getting off Opiate pain meds ...

So I have been on pain meds since 2008 under the care of a pain mgmt Dr. I am aware that a slow taper is required and that clonidine is a good med when experiencing withdrawal symptoms. With my Job I can't feel the fatigue and weakness that can come along with withdrawal. A month ago I was on 200mg zohydro per day. Now Iam on 30mg MS Contin , 4 max per day. I would really appreciate anyone's suggestions on how to get off the opiates. Thank you..

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Old 11-25-2017, 12:50 PM   #2
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Re: Getting off Opiate pain meds...

Hi there! Sorry you are struggling. Is your doctor requiring this? If so, are they requiring you be off opioids in a certain period of time? I see a few options:

- Continue a very slow taper over many months, slow enough where you barely feel any withdrawal symptoms. It will get more difficult once you get to a very low dose, and especially when you try to go from something to nothing, so you may want to take a short break from work then.

- Do a very quick taper or even cold turkey. This may require medical support, even hospitalization.

- Get switched to Suboxone/Buprenorphine , and semi quickly taper down from that. It is often used as an opioid replacement. Some folks stay on it indefinitely, others use it to taper, but especially when tapered off of right away, it is known to be easier. However, it has to be started under moderate withdrawal, and you still have to eventually go from something to nothing, so it still isn't painless.

Especially for the second or third option or if your doctor is pushing you to need to be off the opioids very quickly, you may want to seek an addiction specialist. That doesn't mean you are psychologically addicted, but like everyone, are physically dependent, and will have withdrawal if you stop them abruptly.

They have experience in getting patients off opioids, and may have the resources to admit you to the hospital if needed and/or prescribe Suboxone (a doctor needs a special certification to prescribe it as far as I know), or at least know a doctor who would. They do however have a form of Buprenorphine FDA approved for chronic pain instead of dependency, called Belbuca, but I imagine all pain docs aren't familiar with it.

Hang in there! I've been sort of in your shoes. My doctor was getting pressure to get his high dose patient's doses down, and required me to try Suboxone, and although I was allowed to return to Methadone, it was only at 1/3 of my prior dose. Lots of withdrawal and pain, no fun. Best wishes.
constant headache since 2006

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