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  • Medications for side effects of tapering off hydrocodone?

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    Old 08-21-2008, 04:40 PM   #1
    wrenegade
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    Question Medications for side effects of tapering off hydrocodone?

    I've been taking 10 mg of hydrocodone 3 X a day for nearly a year (have taken other pain meds in the past) I would like to cut this back to the point where I don't have to take it so much. I've tried tapering off in the past, but can't stand that icky withdrawal feeling. Do you know of anything a doctor can prescribe for side effects?

    Also, is it possible to take hydrocodone in the evening only without becoming physcially dependant on it? I don't always have pain in the morning or early afternoon, but have significant pain in the evening after being on my feet all day.

    I am considering something like neurontin or Lyrica or even Cymbalta as most of my pain is nerve-related.

    Thanks for any help or advice.

    wren
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    Old 08-21-2008, 07:26 PM   #2
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    Re: Medications for side effects of tapering off hydrocodone?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wrenegade View Post
    I've been taking 10 mg of hydrocodone 3 X a day for nearly a year (have taken other pain meds in the past) I would like to cut this back to the point where I don't have to take it so much. I've tried tapering off in the past, but can't stand that icky withdrawal feeling. Do you know of anything a doctor can prescribe for side effects?
    The best way to taper is very, very slowly. Most taper too fast. In your case, I would taper by a half pill @ a time. For even a more gradual effect, you could taper by 1/4. The slower you taper, the less your body will feel it. Also, each time you taper, try to stay @ that level for 2 weeks or so. This will give your body plenty of time to slowly adjust. If you go very slowly and in small increments, you won't feel much @ all.

    Quote:
    Also, is it possible to take hydrocodone in the evening only without becoming physcially dependant on it? I don't always have pain in the morning or early afternoon, but have significant pain in the evening after being on my feet all day.
    It doesn't matter when you take the med....It will still cause physical dependance. Sorry. However, the less you take, and the less often you take it, the less dependent you will become.

    As for helping with the tapering, you might try some type of anxiety med from your Doc...This will help address the physical stress on your body. The anxiety and stress results from your body's reluctance to give up the med. Many have reported that it helps a lot....Especially @ night to help you sleep. It's not unusual for tapering to effect your sleep a bit. However, if go slow like I described above, it may not effect you @ all.

    Good luck to you and I hope some of this helps.

    Regards,

    Ex

     
    Old 08-22-2008, 09:40 AM   #3
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    Re: Medications for side effects of tapering off hydrocodone?

    There is a medication that some doctors can prescribe...they have to go through specific training before they can administer the medication. It is called Suboxone.

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    Last edited by M08; 08-22-2008 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Per posting rules - do not give directed website search instructions.

     
    Old 08-22-2008, 11:57 AM   #4
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    Re: Medications for side effects of tapering off hydrocodone?

    I totally agree that a very slow taper will do the trick. Since the medication you are taking is a short acting med, it can be split, even into 8ths, if necessary. There are pill splitters available in most pharmacies. I really think that the slower you go, the less chance you will need anything to help with any w/d side effects. And if you plan to still take one or even 1/2 a pill at night, it won't be a complete discontinuation of the med.

    Best of luck with your taper. Since your pain is primarily nerve pain, I think asking your doc for one of the many meds geared toward nerve pain would be a great idea. Keep in mind that there are plenty of older meds still on the market, that work quite well. Many docs tend to "push" the newer meds like Lyrica. And while they may work well for many people, the older, tried and true meds are usually far less expensive and just as effective.

    Take care and let us know how it goes. CMP/MM

     
    Old 08-22-2008, 02:58 PM   #5
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    Re: Medications for side effects of tapering off hydrocodone?

    Thank you to all three of you for your advice. I will talk to my PM doc about the suboxone. I do have a rx for low-dose Xanax which I only take 1/2 tablet once or twice a week at the very most. I'll talk to him about using it more while trying to reduce the hydrocodone though I don't want to get dependant on it either and it makes me sleepy. I've tried to cut the hydrocodone back by 1/2 pill a day, but apparently that is too fast for me, so I'll try 1/4 or an 1/8 as y'all suggested. I think a real slow taper is going to be the best for me. As for the nerve pain, I've heard of people having success with neurontin, too. I'm hoping that I'll be able to get off of these meds (I also take Ambien at night) but I guess I have to be realistic and know that may not be possible. I had 3 back surgeries this past summer, but I can't tell how much they helped or not while I am on the pain medication. I do know I have some pain still, but not sure how much is being masked. . .A couple of years ago, I was taking a lot more pain medication and Klonopin for sleep. I went off of all of that cold, but since then I learned that was a big risk and could have damaged my heart (so said a nurse). . . . Also suffer with chronic fatigue and hoping getting off the meds will increase my energy. . Thank you for letting me ramble on. .

    wren

     
    Old 08-22-2008, 04:01 PM   #6
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    Re: Medications for side effects of tapering off hydrocodone?

    If your PM doc is open to it, you might consider going even slower with the taper.

    Some consider this ridiculous, but you can taper even more slowly. Say by 1/8 or 1/4 of a tablet every other day or every third day, and stay on that for up to 4 weeks. Then move on accordingly.

    So long as there is no push then there is no reason to suffer. Opioid dependency is very tough for the body to break with. And the psychological element is just as much a factor as the physical part. The slower the taper the less anxiety there is. This is critical to success. If the doc will allow such an approach that would be wonderful.

    steve

     
    Old 08-24-2008, 04:02 PM   #7
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    Re: Medications for side effects of tapering off hydrocodone?

    Thank you Steve, and thanks again to you others, for the words of advice and encouragement. I tried cutting out 1/4 of one dose yesterday and it wasn't too bad at all. Today, I took my regular dose. Thinking that I can take it real slow and easy really helps me believe that I can do this. I am still trying to reschedule my appointment with my pm doctor and will let y'all know what he says. . .
    Best wishes,
    wren

     
    Old 08-25-2008, 11:13 AM   #8
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    Re: Medications for side effects of tapering off hydrocodone?

    Wren,

    You are more than welcome.

    Please let us know how it goes, OK?

    This is a great site and you would make a great contribution. Please keep coming back.

    steve

     
    Old 09-06-2008, 01:46 PM   #9
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    Re: Medications for side effects of tapering off hydrocodone?

    Hi y'all,

    I am going forward with taking the 1/4 less of the Norco 10/325 every other day. I also took my first dose of Lyrica (trial sample) last night. My PM doc said it is not habit forming, but I question this after reading some posts and the literature that came with it.

    However, I have pretty much decided not to stop the PM altogether. If I need it, I need it. I am tired of letting other people control how I feel about myself (not you guys. . DH, MIL,and mother).

    I am not the drug addict I was 27 years ago. I am in pain and if I need to get relief so be it. I am getting some counseling as well. I need to make some major changes in my life and if you are a praying person, please say one for me.

    Thank you,
    wren

    Last edited by wrenegade; 09-06-2008 at 01:49 PM. Reason: content

     
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