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Should I be prescribed Suboxone?


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Old 12-17-2017, 06:17 PM   #1
eagles202020
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Should I be prescribed Suboxone?

Hi All

New on here, but I have read several posts and have gained a lot of knowledge through here (I think). So heres a quick rundown of my situation:

I suffer from bulging discs and terrible TMJ; my jaw dislocates when its closed. So over the past year Ive been in a ton of pain. I have done everything my PCP has asked of me; mris, x rays, tests, etc... After a few weeks, we found the Percocet 10mg 325 were the best fit for my pain and thats what we did. I was on this for about 1 year total. I was never "addicted" to the percs but by about the 9th month I started having urges of that I needed it and would panic when I was close to running out. So then I knew I was on slippery slope, so was very honest with my DR and he knew everything. We decided that by the end of the year (this year) we would start to ween me off by the new year. Naturally, my balance was getting out of control with the practice and I only needed 1 more refill, possibly 2, to ween me off as we had discussed, however when I called to make an appointment the receptionists were incredibly rude to me and refused to schedule an appointment for me. I called my Dr over that weekend, and he couldnt do anything and was now going to refer me to a Dr he knows that specializes in Suboxone. So that Monday, I saw the new doctor and I was prescribed Suboxone 8mg/2mg strips once a day.

Now, Ive tried reading as much as possible on Suboxone, and from what I gathered its a very potent and last resort medicine for serious pill and heroin etc addicts. My question is, should I have been prescribed Suboxone? I was taking 12-14 Perc 10s a day, only for the 2-3 months leading up to it. Before that, a 120 script would last me 3 weeks - month. I have never had a problem with pain medicine, Ive never done hard drugs ever. Suddenly I find myself wrapped up in medicine and programs for serious addicts - and the withdrawal and dangers are insane that go with it. Any advice? Thank you!

 
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Old 12-18-2017, 08:42 PM   #2
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Re: Should I be prescribed Suboxone?

Welcome! Sorry you are going through this. Unfortunately you are not alone in being cut off from pain meds. Its becoming pretty common, even for folks who have been problem free patients, stable on a low dose for years, and have failed numerous other treatments. I'm shocked you were able to get a high quantity Percocet script out of your primary doctor for this long, as most folks have been referred to pain management and/or cut off in the past few years. That is a heck of a lot of Tylenol to have been taking too. If it were me, I'd fill the Suboxone prescription, but first try a slow taper of the Percocet, as long as there was enough left to do so.

If not, or if that proves too difficult, then you can try the Suboxone. There really isn't any shortcut to stopping opioids though, and you will still likely be left with the chronic pain afterwards. Due to that, I'd also look into getting into a pain management clinic. It is unlikely you would get opioids, but hopefully they would at least offer you some other methods of managing the pain.

Hopefully the Suboxone doctor gave you clear instructions. Be sure to read up thoroughly on it, but in short, it must be started when in at least moderate withdrawal (beyond just feeling mildly uncomfortable), or else it will precipitate a much worse withdrawal. Often doctors forget to tell you about that very important part and/or overprescribe it. You may very well be able to get away with taking only a fraction of one strip, so give that a try before taking the whole thing.

Not having a history with hard drugs doesn't have any impact on someone being able to easily taper off opioids vs. having issues, and neither does tolerance. Taking Suboxone doesn't mean you are addicted, but like everyone who takes opioids long term, are physically dependent. Is the Suboxone doctor wanting you to stay on it for awhile, or quickly taper dose using it? Both methods are common. Best wishes.
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Old 12-19-2017, 04:53 AM   #3
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Re: Should I be prescribed Suboxone?

I did start the suboxone and took it for 5 days, then over the weekend I stopped taking it. Then yesterday I took a half strip bc I was afraid id feel a w/d while I was at work.

I know I was taking too much percocet; it was an accidental addiction that formed unfortunately, and mentally I was ready to stop and I had already seen pain management, however the MRI was the only thing I needed and it was $250 that I did not have. My dr was kind enough to get me to the new year, but my balance was adding up and they pretty much cut me off bc of that. He referred me to a suboxone DR and the only reason I did it was because I just got a new job and I was starting that Monday (I ran out of percocet on Friday) and I panicked, so I think that panic gave the sense that I was desperate/had a strong addiction.

The suboxone DR initially said it could be 6 months (avg I guess) but the 2nd time I saw him he said it depends on how I feel/if Im ready and could taper down the next time I see him. Will I go into withdrawl from suboxone after taking it 8/10 days? I felt totally fine when I didnt take it for 2 1/2 days. I dont want to be on anything and I feel trapped that I just substituted one for the other. Thanks for the response, much appreciated.

 
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Old 12-19-2017, 08:33 PM   #4
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Re: Should I be prescribed Suboxone?

Ah, I wasn't aware from your first post that you had already ran out of Percocet, seen the Suboxone doctor more than once, and started to take the Suboxone. Good to know. So glad that you made the transition to Suboxone ok.

I actually tried Suboxone a few years ago and had a really tough time switching to it, with prolonged withdrawal. However, my case was different as I was on high dose Methadone, which like Suboxone is very long acting, and I had to switch to something else in between the Methadone and Suboxone with a shorter half life, and I had just barely gotten over the withdrawal from that when I started the Suboxone.

Its a toss up as to whether you would have withdrawal from being on it that short time (and since you switched from the Percocet to it and was presumably dependent on it). Being fine not taking it for 2.5 days doesn't necessarily mean you won't still get withdrawal symptoms down the road some hours or days, as it has a very long half life.

I'd guess more likely than not you won't have an issue. However, you should definitely keep a Suboxone strip with you and take a fraction of one if you start to get any significant withdrawal symptoms, and if so, then taper down from there. Also be sure to keep your new doctor informed if you are taking a different dose than prescribed, even if it is less or none, as you want to stay in their good graces, especially since your primary doc records will now be red flagged. Best wishes.
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