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  • severe back pain

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    Old 03-12-2008, 07:30 PM   #1
    linda3170
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    severe back pain

    My husband has had severe back pain for almost 15 years from an injury and a failed surgery. After being on opiods for years, the doctors put him on methadone about 5 years ago. The methadone makes him violently ill so he's weaning off it. His doctor now wants him to take Suboxone for methadone addiction. That's fine, but what does he do about the pain? He's on medicare and they won't pay for a pain control clinic. He has to have something. He can't sit, stand or lie down for any reasonable length of time. He can't walk more than a block. The doctors are not helping.They see him as an addict and they just want him off the medication and don't seem to care that he lives with excruciating pain. does anyone have any advice?

     
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    Old 03-12-2008, 07:36 PM   #2
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    Re: severe back pain

    Linda- What a tough situation. Can you provide some more information? Why do they see him as an addict? Has something happened?

    The Sub will help his WDs...it's not a pain relief drug....I'm not that familiar with it to be honest.

    Can you be referred to another PM Doc? It sounds as if he has very legitimate pain.

    Ex

     
    Old 03-12-2008, 07:48 PM   #3
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    Re: severe back pain

    The Suboxone actually is a pain relief drug being a opiod agonist/antagonist. This means it does have pain relieving properties but only up to a certain dose. So once you go over a certain dose it no longer has any additional pain relieving properties. My counselor wanted me to try this out, ummm no thanks. I am finally getting some pain relief so I don't feel like experiencing severe withdrawal, new side effects, and possibly less pain relief. are ya freekin kiddin me??? Maybe your husband is one of those people where the opiates are actually causing more pain. I do know you have to be off any narcotic med for 24-48 hours, be in withdrawal, before starting Suboxone but then you should be ok. Let us know how this goes. They even have a Suboxone patch I believe

    Brian

     
    Old 03-12-2008, 08:04 PM   #4
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    Re: severe back pain

    Thanks so much. In all my research I was not able to find that information.

     
    Old 03-12-2008, 08:11 PM   #5
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    Re: severe back pain

    He does have legitimate pain. I've seen him when the pain meds wear off and it's brutal. He's been on pain meds for 15 years so of course he's addicted but he does not abuse them. He always takes the prescribed amount and he never asks for early refills. He has other health issues too like heart problems and diabetes so I'm not very trusting of new drugs that have just been released. The long term effects are not known. But I do know this Suboxone is addictive also and you can't just stop it once you start. So wha't the difference if he is addicted to Codeine which the doctor is giving him now to wean off the methadone or if he is addicted to Suboxone?? I just don't get it and I'm feeling very frustrated. Thanks for your reply.

     
    Old 03-12-2008, 08:21 PM   #6
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    Re: severe back pain

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by linda3170 View Post
    He's been on pain meds for 15 years so of course he's addicted but he does not abuse them. He always takes the prescribed amount and he never asks for early refills. But I do know this Suboxone is addictive also and you can't just stop it once you start.
    OK Linda I will give you the brief synopsis of the difference between dependance and addiction.

    Dependance - a condition that occurs when medications are used continually and can be seen with medications ranging from narcotic meds, anti-depressants, sleep meds, nasal decongestants.

    Addiction - a psychological/mental/emotional condition where the person is taking a drug to get "high" or for the euphoric effect. the person does not take it for a legitimate pain condition, takes more than prescribed, doctor shops, buys off the street, does illegal/immoral behavior to continue to feed their addiction

    Your husband does not sound like he is addicted to the meds. I don't know why they want to switch him to Suboxone unless he has tried every narcotic med available and they either do not help at all or help very little. I don't know your whole situation but could you give us some more info like what kind of doctor is he seeing? Why does the doc want to switch to Suboxone? Has there ever been an opiate/opiod medication that has helped?

    Also, alot of people say that Suboxone can be abused. This is not really true although if you hang out on the Addiction board you may get a different view. The Suboxone was developed so that it was nearly impossible to abuse at all. I would say give the Suboxone a chance because you never know what might work. Also, if he has nerve pain there may be other medications that can be used to help.

    Brian

     
    Old 03-12-2008, 08:42 PM   #7
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    Re: severe back pain

    Brian has provided you with some very good detailed information. Sub works off the premise that it "replaces" the current opiate on the brain receptors (this is where narcotics reside and why they are addictive in nature). They occupy the receptors that were once occupied by the previous drug. As Brian indicated, you must be in withdrawal for it work.....Otherwise it can't attach itself to the receptors.

    You are correct in that Sub is a opiate, so technically speaking, there isn't any difference in one become physically dependent on it, or something else.

    Like I posted previously, I'd ask to be referred to another PM Doc (by your family Doc).

    Good luck.

    Ex

    Last edited by Executor; 03-12-2008 at 08:44 PM. Reason: spelling

     
    Old 03-12-2008, 10:06 PM   #8
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    Re: severe back pain

    Hi Linda: I'm so sorry your husband is going through this. I just have a couple of questions, if you don't mind answering.

    Has the doctor actually refused to treat him after he is weaned off the methadone? You didn't really say if they had any plan to try something after.

    Did they actually accuse him of being an abuser? Or were they taking him off the methadone because it was making him violently ill?

    I was thinking that maybe they just feel they need to completely detox him off the methadone before they start something new. I would hope after treating him for his pain for that many years, they wouldn't just all of a sudden drop him like that. I am so sorry they have handled it this way.

    Maybe you should go in with him at his next appointment and ask the doctor just what's going on. My husband is terrible about giving the doctor ALL of the details. He was suffering from deep depression after his sister died and the first 2 times he went to our family doctor, when they asked him the depression questions, he replied "I don't think so..." He is not an uneducated man either. Sometimes men (please don't cuss me out Brian, Jon ,Steve or any of the other guys here) make terrible patients. My husband knew there was something wrong, but I guess he just expected the doctor to read his mind! I shouldn't be surprised, he does the same to me.

    I apologize for getting a little side tracked there....

    I'm sorry I can't answer any of the suboxone questions, I'm not familiar, but please know that you and your husband will be in my thoughts and prayers and I hope you can get this resolved so that your husband doesn't have to suffer through this any longer. God Bless, cmpgirl

    Last edited by cmpgirl; 03-12-2008 at 10:07 PM. Reason: sp

     
    Old 03-13-2008, 10:15 AM   #9
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    Re: severe back pain

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cmpgirl View Post
    Sometimes men (please don't cuss me out Brian, Jon ,Steve or any of the other guys here) make terrible patients.
    Dang, I can't believe you just said this, kidding I have learned after many, many years of depression and then learning I was bipolar to spot the warning signs of depression. Of course I don't always respond to them in time and sometimes like to have a pity party. I am at the point though of giving up on the anti-depressants. I don't want to try any more of them, endure any more side effects, or endure any more withdrawal after stopping them. I'm done. I am just staying on my mood stabilizer and will talk to my psychiatrist on saturday about this. Of course she won't be too happy that I stopped my Effexor but I don't really care at this point what she thinks. I guess that I am getting out some feelings right now.

    Back to the Suboxone question. When I was in rehab they gave it to one of the guys that I was in there with. That is really the only personal experience I had with it. Yes it is used to detox people of heroin just like Methadone is. However, Suboxone is not supposed to give you that "euphoric" or energy effect. You can always do a search online for Suboxone or check out their site to learn more about it. Hope that helps.

    Brian

     
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