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  • help...my dr wants me 2 take suboxone for back pain!

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    Old 12-31-2004, 07:31 PM   #1
    lisamariaweiss
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    Question help...my dr wants me 2 take suboxone for back pain!

    Does anybody with chronic back pain have experience with suboxone? I have had chronic back pain for 8 yrs and have 'failed back surgery syndrome' after injury thoracic spine T11-12 & undergoing reconstruction. I take a lot of muscle relaxers & neurontin for nerve pain & I still have excruciating pain & spasms. My doctor thinks it is time I try suboxone to get the pain under control because I have a poor quality of life & am depressed but cannot tolerate antidepressants. I am considering taking the medication but am afraid as I have never taken addictive medication before. The only pain medication I have tried is soma which made me feel drugged out and darvocet which made me sick. An alternative would be a spinal stimulator or even a pump which would put pain medication in my spine like morphine with a muscle relaxer at a dose smaller than the amount I ingest...but I don't know which to try first... the medication which is addictive & dangerous, or the pump or stimulator which would mean a procedure entailing something being permanently implanted in my spinal canal with possible longterm complications. Every doctor I talk to recommends something different and I don't know which one to trust...since they all want me to do the service that they perform. I know one thing, I can't handle living in this pain so I have to go to the next level, I just don't know what that level is. If anyone has been through this please give me input. Thank you. PS I am 40 years old...so whatever I do will probably be longterm since I don't think a chance of recovery is possible anymore.

    Last edited by lisamariaweiss; 12-31-2004 at 07:38 PM.

     
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    Old 12-31-2004, 10:06 PM   #2
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    Re: help...my dr wants me 2 take suboxone for back pain!

    I can't answer your question for you but I know someone else with more knowledge on that than I will be along shortly. I can say that I have never heard of anyone taking suboxone for pain relief though hmm, interesting. Just wanted to do up a quick note to welcome you to the boards.
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    Old 01-02-2005, 06:36 PM   #3
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    Re: help...my dr wants me 2 take suboxone for back pain!

    Hi Lisa Marie.
    I have never heard of anyone being treated for pain with Suboxone. I can tell you that I was given the choice, even encouraged, to have a spinal cord stimulator implanted. Instead I have found a combination of things, including narcotic pain relievers, that allow me to have a decent quality of life. My goal is 50% reduction in pain and after years of sometimes uncomfortable trial and error I am almost there. There is a big difference between addiction and dependence. Chronic pain patients brains use the drugs differently than non-pain patients. Addiction is not an issue for me. Oral meds are far preferable than invasive procedures. I consider the SCS a last resort. That's how it is for me. Hope that helps. Good Luck!
    Kevin

     
    Old 01-03-2005, 07:09 AM   #4
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    Re: help...my dr wants me 2 take suboxone for back pain!

    Hi Lisa, You really need to understand the difference between addiction and simple physical dependnece. If you stop taking antidepressants cold turkey, you experience abstinence syndrome, syou can experience serritonin syndrome and end up in the ER . Are you addiicted to antidepressants simpl because you can't abruptly discontinue them whenever you want?

    I'm not sure where the big difference is between taking a pill and being dependnet and having a pump imlanted and being dependent. If tha pump runs out and you don't refl in time or ytour doc leaves the area without setting you up with someone to manage the pump, you experience the exact same withdrawal you would with oral meds. I had my pump refill scheduled on an alarm date and the 16 hours prior to going to the doc I spent driving the procelean bus, and that was simply from the pump sl;owing down, not stopping and running out completely. Yes there are advantages to IT therapy, but to go from no pain meds to a pump and IT pan meds is one giant leap to the moon.
    Without any way to justify doing so. Why can't you take oral meds, ? the dependnece factor or incorectly the "addiction" factor are two entirely diferent things.

    dependence is just a consequence, addciction is a combination of destructive behavior . If meds restore qulaity of ife themnn that doesn't quite mnmake it over to he destructive list. But when it comes to dependence, your will be just as dependent on maintainng your relationship with your pump doc, just as dependent on having it refilled before it runs out, just as dependnet o the staff ordering your meds on time, and just as dependent when it comes to withdrawal if the pump runs out or low. The pump is a lifetime commitment, when you have reached the end of the line, there are no other options and you can't tolerate the side effects of LA oral meds, they aren't used for people that are having it done simply because they fear addiction to pills or opiate pain meds. That's why they have you do a psych eval prior to either procedure to ensure your having this done for the right reasons with reasonable expectations.
    Start with these two articles and ask some questions. PLEASE

    < edited >

    Good luck, Dave

    Last edited by hb-mod; 04-22-2011 at 03:11 AM. Reason: Please don't post unapproved website links, or copy and paste from another site, per Posting Policy. Thanks.

     
    Old 01-03-2005, 12:08 PM   #5
    barteel
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    Re: help...my dr wants me 2 take suboxone for back pain!

    This post has been deleted.

    Last edited by barteel; 12-28-2008 at 11:12 AM.

     
    Old 01-03-2005, 01:03 PM   #6
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    Re: help...my dr wants me 2 take suboxone for back pain!

    ok...I think I have basically the same answer from several different people so maybe I need to educate myself on addiction vs dependence. Although both of those words seem like a nightmare to me. I have avoided highly addictive pain medication for 8 years because I was terrified of addiction and dependence and did consider them one in the same or at least close to it.
    Does anyone know the differences between vicodin and oxycontin and say suboxone? It just seems like suboxone is a really scary pain medication to put me on when I have avoided the others. I have tried soma and darvocet and neither one works they just make me tired or sick. I am currently taking neurontin for pain (800mg a day) and baclofen and zanaflex for pain at large doses but I still get horrible muscle spasms. I was taking bextra but quit because of all the stuff that has come out on it...but I may try taking Mobic which is a new class of cox 2 that I have heard help other people. I don't think the bextra helped that much anyway because I didn't notice much difference when I went off of it.
    Someone asked me if why I quit taking antidepressent but they gave me horrible nightmares and didn't help my depression. The only one that helped me was serazone which is for severe depression but after a year I started having complications with it. Until I injured my back I never even took an aspirin because I considered all this stuff 'poison'. But I am not functioning like this and my depression cannot get any worse. So I have to take the next step. Thank you all for you your advice and sharing your experience and knowledge with me. Lisa

     
    Old 01-03-2005, 01:11 PM   #7
    lisamariaweiss
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    Re: help...my dr wants me 2 take suboxone for back pain!

    Also, I have read on the websites that the withdrawals from suboxone are horrid and that if you even take a pill a little late or your meds are off just a little it can be painful and very dangerous. Does anyone have experience being on and then going off of suboxone? I think it is normally used for opiate withdrawals or something like that. My doctor says I have to sign a form before he puts me on it but I don't think I have to sign one for the other addictive pain meds like vicodin...does that mean suboxone is that much more dangerous or addictive? If I go on this stuff, it will probably be long term since my back is not getting better at this point...so it is not like I am going thru withdrawals from another medication and I will only be on suboxone for 2 weeks. It seems the longterm complications should be different than the short term ones. I also think it is a fairly new medication so I don't know if too many people have been on this for a long time...anybody know? I looked up the website on it and it said their were 'heroin like' withdrawals from it. I have no clue what that means but it sounds SCARY! It also said muscle spasms...which I already have really bad and to be honest if they got any worse I really think I would do myself in...I barely function as it is. Pls let me know if anybody has been on and then off of this stuff..especially someone with spinal cord injury. Thx. Lisa

     
    Old 01-04-2005, 12:44 PM   #8
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    Re: help...my dr wants me 2 take suboxone for back pain!

    You might be able to find better info from people who have and are using it on the addictions & recovery board. I want to make this clear, I am NOT saying you are an addict just that there may be good info on that board. Good luck and if you do decide to take it please keep in touch so we know how you are coping with it.
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    Old 01-05-2005, 07:06 PM   #9
    lisamariaweiss
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    Re: help...my dr wants me 2 take suboxone for back pain!

    John, Ok I know you are so right and I just needed to hear that to help get over my fear of taking this medication, and my fear of being dependent on it. You are right, it has been a long hard road. I have tried most of the things you mentioned already except the ablation because I am not a candidate for that because of the site of my injury, but none of those things have resolved my pain enough so that I can function like a normal person. I guess it's just a matter of what medication I should try next or if I should have the implant put in instead. I will let you all know what the pain managment doctor says when I see him, and what my experience is with suboxone if I go on it. Apparently, it is just STARTING to be used for chronic pain so it has been hard to find people with experience on it. I have talked to some people that have taken it to detox off of but it is hard to differientiate between their withdrawals of the suboxone vs the heroin. I just had these visions of being some drug addict having the shakes all of the time craving some medication and not being able to get enough of it. I really am barely coping as it is I can't imagine having more stress and holding it together. So I thought I might be compounding my problems instead of helping them but I know I have to try something. I will let you all know how it goes when I get it. Thanks EVERYBODY for sharing your experiences and for offering advice. It really helped me put things in perspective.
    Lisa

     
    Old 12-28-2005, 01:28 AM   #10
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    Re: help...my dr wants me 2 take suboxone for back pain!

    hi there will tramadol help in withdrawel off of hydro

     
    Old 12-28-2005, 01:30 AM   #11
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    Re: help...my dr wants me 2 take suboxone for back pain!

    tring to find in about weather tramadol is a good alternative to hydro - will it help w/withdrawel symptoms

     
    Old 12-28-2005, 01:57 AM   #12
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    Re: help...my dr wants me 2 take suboxone for back pain!

    Listen to Shoreline. He is the person who combines commonsense with an amazing wisdom. I have lurked and been a contributor to this board for over 3 years and I can tell you that he is the #1 person to listen to.

    As he says, you are only hurting yourself by not taking your meds. You need to really understand the difference between addiction and dependence.

    Chronic Pain patients rarely become addicted. We do become dependent which only means that if opiate therapy stops, we suffer withdrawal. But pain docs usually know this so when opiate therapy is stopped, they taper you down. Usually.

    An addict is someone who abuses the meds, looking for a high. You are not looking for a high. You are looking for pain relief. You plan on following doc's instructions. Addcits don't.

    And here is a main difference. Addicts find that taking the meds makes their life worse. Chronic Pain patients find taking the meds improves the quality of their life.

    TAKE YOUR MEDS. WHY SUFFER? LISTEN TO SHORELINE!

     
    Old 12-28-2005, 07:55 AM   #13
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    Re: help...my dr wants me 2 take suboxone for back pain!

    Lisa what everyone is telling you is truely priceless advice from the people who are living in the same world as you.we all are who post here.you have found THE place to be,really.you will find more knowledge,experience and compassion here than from any other place,even your own docs.

    I just wanted to mention to you,regarding your depression?my son had an absolutely hidious reaction from any and ALL SSRIs he tried for his depression and was in the same boat you are with regard to actual treatment for the depression.his doc placed him on depakote.it is a mood stabilizer and it is really doing wonders for his depression.much better than doing nothing.it can be a bit hard on the liver though in some people so you need to have labs done once a month to check the liver enzymes.but believe it or not,my son is also living with a transplanted liver and this was totally approved by his GI doc and his Tx surgeon.since he has to have monthly labs done anyway,this was not a huge issue for him.but it does work very well for him.and his liver function is just fine.Just a thought. welcome to the boards.marcia
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    Old 12-28-2005, 08:59 AM   #14
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    Re: help...my dr wants me 2 take suboxone for back pain!

    Hi Lisa, THis post started a year ago, I'm sure many of us would like to here where you are now and what progress and decisions you have made. It is interesting that the doc choose suboxone rather than subutex, The active ingrediant, Buprenex is a combination opiate agonist/antagonist. It blocks the kappa opiate receptor which is responsable for the high that opiate abusers seek. Subuxone also contains naltrexone which is the generic name for the drug Narcan, a potent apiate antagonist wich is used to block and purge opiate receptors and reverse opiate over dose, BY adding Naltrexone it'st like giving an alcoholic antibuse, With the naltrexone in your system, no other opiate is really going to be effective or able to create a high, where Subutex doesn't have the naltrexone in it and would be the better choice for managing chronic pain without the euphoria. I hope you are able to check in and let us know how your doing.
    Take care, Dave

     
    Old 12-30-2005, 11:52 AM   #15
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    Re: help...my dr wants me 2 take suboxone for back pain!

    Thanks So Much For The Info On Addiction And Dependance I Have Had 2 Back Surgeries And The Doctor Has Diagnosed Me With Having Failed Back Syndrome I Have Been In Pain For Over 2 Years I Take 8 10-325 Precocet A Day And Never Have Had Any Pain Relief Doctor Has Just Refered Me To A Pain Managment Doctor I Hope He Will Be Able To Help Me Its Just Not Fair My Own Mother Has Said Im Addicted And Will Need Drug Rehab When This Is All Done She Dont Understand About Being In Pain 24hrs Aday It Takes A Tool On Not Only Myself But My Wife And Kids But It Was Great To Read The Differance Between Addiction And Dependance I Have Never Even Thought About It Thanks Again


    Mike

     
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