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Suboxone Effective Treatment for IBS Symptoms


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Old 10-20-2012, 01:06 PM   #1
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Suboxone Effective Treatment for IBS Symptoms

I want to share my situation just in case my experience with diarrhea and Suboxone can help anyone else who may be needlessly suffering. I have had daily/chronic diarrhea for almost 2 years. I have been through all kinds of tests and seen several specialists. After ruling out everything from Celiac to Microscopic Colitis, including repeat colonoscopies and endoscopies, I have recently been told that I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome and chronic gastritis. For the first year and a half I awoke every morning between 3 and 4 am with cramps, nausea and a horrible "whirling" sensation in my stomach that felt like anxiety mixed with butterflies. Shortly thereafter the diarrhea would start and last anywhere from an hour to all day long. Since I was unable to go back to sleep after 3 am, I also had to go to bed at 5 pm in the afternoon. I had eliminated almost every suspect food from my diet and had tried all kinds of medications. I was on a steady diet of rice milk [the only "food" that made my stomach feel better], Pepto Bismal, Gastrolyte, GasX, Gaviscon, Gravol and Tecta to name a few. I was spending a fortune on prescription and OTC medications with no relief of the most devastating symptoms. I also began having chronic migraine headaches and started throwing up numerous times a day. My doctor prescribed Tylenol 4's for my migraines when I could no longer afford the much more effective, but very expensive Maxalt. The Tylenol 4's caused constipation, which was, in a way, a relief, but I quickly built up a tolerance to the codeine which meant I continually needed to take more of it to effectively deal with the pain. I knew I was in danger of becoming hopelessly addicted to it. Plus, it was causing me additional stomach discomfort. I knew that Suboxone was used to treat opiate withdrawal symptoms and asked my doctor [GP] to prescribe it so I could comfortably stop taking the Tylenol 4. Long story short, the Suboxone took away almost all of my chronic diarrhea symptoms [recently diagnosed as IBS]. No more waking up at 3 am. No more stomach whirling and all day diarrhea. I still had no relief from the nausea, however my doctor finally suggested Domperidone and it immediately stopped the nausea. I have been on 4 mg. of Suboxone for the past six months. The migraines are no longer "chronic" and I am on one Tecta and two Domperidone to control the gastritis and nausea. I am now slightly constipated but I am still able to have a bowel movement once every couple of days. If I take less than 3 mg. the cramping and diarrhea will re-appear. Taking the Suboxone, for me, has been nothing short of a miracle. At one point I honestly thought I was going to have a mental breakdown and end up in the psychiatric ward. When I told the gastroenterologist about the Suboxone he commented that "it was good that I had found something that works for me". No kidding! It's not a cure, but then there isn't one for IBS. While I do have additional medical issues to contend with, the Suboxone has restored my quality of life, and that, my friends, is priceless.

 
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:57 PM   #2
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Re: Suboxone Effective Treatment for IBS Symptoms

Hello friend,

I will be re-reading your post carefully. This is my issue. I have (Had) Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease. My search was for a pain med that slowed my bowel, eased the spasms and just made it tolerable to wake up each day. I tried Codeine, Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Morphine, Hydromorphone, and finally when I got to Oxymorphone I started to feel I was getting somewhere. I will comment more, need to run some errands for now. Thanks for the topic! Maybe we can share notes and feel better!

Iso~

 
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Old 10-20-2012, 03:06 PM   #3
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Re: Suboxone Effective Treatment for IBS Symptoms

Hi there... I guess we were meant to meet because I was prompted to share my story after reading an older post from you. I could not reply to your post because the thread was closed so I joined up and started my own. I also have issues with pain, fatigue and the resulting depression I have had after being chronically ill for the better part of 10 years. Suboxone has helped me with many of the issues I am dealing with simultaneously.

 
Old 10-20-2012, 03:10 PM   #4
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Re: Suboxone Effective Treatment for IBS Symptoms

Orange-

Oh goody! Can't wait to dig into this -but I need food and to get off this computer for a while... and of course, I really need to go to the BATHROOM! LOL

Iso~

 
Old 10-20-2012, 03:13 PM   #5
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Re: Suboxone Effective Treatment for IBS Symptoms

Okay Topey... more later.

 
Old 10-20-2012, 09:37 PM   #6
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Re: Suboxone Effective Treatment for IBS Symptoms

Great outcome, I too am so glad you found relief! Awesome.

I will start doing some serious research. The first glitch that Buprenorphine presents is that it is hideously expensive if one is paying cash -which I will be in just about 11 days (Suboxone is even more spendy). The countdown, how many scripts can I have filled and how much more patience does my amazing PCP have for my 'case'? I feel bad that I monopolize so much of his time with my saga. And it is a saga for me. To see me on the street you would think that I'm in pretty good shape, and in many ways I am, but lift the shirt and gaze at the 18" long scar from pubis to sternum and you know something was going on in there. After removing my entire large colon in 1992, now I've got Crohn's Disease chewing away at my remaining small bowel! Am I doomed to be gutless? Don't answer that, lol. So, I do know a thing or two about constant discomfort and 15+ bathroom runs a day for 20 years now... I'm a bit sore back there if you get my idea. Two of the coldest and most Opiate adverse health specialists are Colo-rectal Surgeons and Gastroenterologists. They truly believe we (patients) are whiners who need to buck up and get with the program. Not a one of them is running to the bathroom in front of their staff for the tenth time that day to have another bout of explosive, loud -and very odd smelling diarrhea. The lack of a colon makes the stool smell like raw toxic bile. It also feels like DRANO as it comes out in its very high PH (Base) state, and it burns and tears away at the tender mucous membranes as it exits. It's just crazy that some people think they could even make it through a single day of my life when my Pouchitis or Crohn's is in full swing. They would be on the floor screaming their head off while trying to dial 911...!

So, over the years what pain meds have the GI Docs prescribed. NONE. ZERO. I was sent home after my first surgery in 1992 with nothing in hand, zero. IV Morphine to nothing, thanks! For 13 or so years I had NONE. ZERO. Then I hurt my hand and was sent home with some Vicodin.... What is that feeling, I don't understand this feeling, it's almost like my guts fell asleep for a few hours so I tip-toed around the house saying 'Thank You' to every mirror I passed.... A seed was planted.

So sorry to bore you with this crap. Bottom line is that a great many people out there are in a world of hurt. I don't give a rats you-know-what about if I am addicted or not addicted to Opiates. I'm obviously dependent on them, I care not a bit about that either, not at this stage of life. I've just gotta make it through that's it. I was certainly in the grips of pain, that I know for sure, and I don't want that anymore, I just can't go back to that again. Nope. I've played trickle down games with the pain meds and that is a good thing every once in a while, to get the tolerance back and gauge how things are with no relief. Alka Seltzer used to be my go-to helper in the old days. It was just about all I had...


Iso~

Last edited by Isotope; 10-20-2012 at 09:44 PM. Reason: correction

 
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:29 AM   #7
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Ibs, ibd

Orange-

I think that the naming of these disorders is unfortunate. IBS, IBD, irritable, inflammatory. People just end up getting confused. The general populace who have never had any bowel issues probably consider it all nonsense and maybe even just the hysterical imaginings of nervous types. In the late 80's when my Grandfather was still alive I told him I had Ulcerative Colitis the first thing he did was laugh. Then he said "That's that nervous thing, what are you nervous about?" Seems funny now. I'm nervous now because I'm seeing a lot of blood in the toilet! I didn't say that, I think I just changed the subject. So, right out of the box my first bit of mis-information was that Ulcerative Colitis was caused by being nervous....




Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS, or spastic colon) is a symptom-based diagnosis characterized by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and alteration of bowel habits. As a functional bowel disorder, IBS has no known organic cause (idiopathic).


inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of serious inflammatory conditions of the Colon and small bowel. Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis are the two most common.


Iso~

 
Old 10-21-2012, 02:12 PM   #8
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Re: Suboxone Effective Treatment for IBS Symptoms

Hi Iso... sounds like you've been to hell and back... I know what you mean about your life being a "saga". Mine too. I also have "well meaning" friends and family who have told me that I shouldn't be taking this or that. Trying to be helpful by making suggestions and comments like "maybe it was all that ice cream you ate", "maybe you just need more exercise", "drink more coffee", "drink less coffee"...blah, blah, blah. The truth is that they [and especially the doctors] don't have walk a day in my shoes. What I feel like I am doing right now is just making it through the day the best that I can. I seem to be constantly building up tolerances to all kinds of meds. I started taking Concerta a few months ago because I have been suffering from Chronic Fatigue for the past 10 years. I had been on Ritalin and Dexedrine prior to that but it was always like riding a roller coaster that stopped all too soon. At first I thought it was a miracle, kind of like you do when you find something to relieve pain. I even signed up for a night school course. But then over the next few months it's effectiveness started to dwindle. Now nothing. I'm back to being in bed all day long. I think the gastroenterologist finally just gave up and told me that I have IBS because he really didn't know what else to say. The tests showed nothing but the gastritis. After two years of testing with zero results I must say that I don't mind taking a break from trying to find out what it is. What does it matter, most of the possibilities are not curable anyways. I was actually surprised when my doctor agreed to give me the Suboxone. Sometimes he's like that and other times [most of the time] it's like pulling teeth. I think by now "I" know what my body needs. But no, I have to go through months and months of suffering before he will agree to increase a medication. I also went through years of back pain and begging for medication.The Suboxone is very expensive and I am very fortunate to have private insurance. I think it runs out at some point. I have been unable to work for the past 10 year. I am a graphic designer and am so frustrated that I cannot do my work. It is so frustrating at times that I feel like crying, but I don't because my adorable dog, Owen gets all concerned. Besides doing the graphic design thing, getting Owen is the best thing I've ever done. It's good for me to have someone else to take care of.

 
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:30 AM   #9
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Re: Suboxone Effective Treatment for IBS Symptoms

Orange and ISO, i so know how you both feel. I had the EXACT same problems ever since getting my gall-bladder out and i suffered for YEARS. I didn't get any relief until my back problems got so bad i had to seek out help and now that I'm on medication for that, my IBS is much better. It still "flairs up" a couple times a week but i no longer live in the rest room. Best of luck to both of you.

 
Old 10-22-2012, 09:18 AM   #10
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Re: Suboxone Effective Treatment for IBS Symptoms

I too suffered with bad IBS symptoms for years. Was told by one dr it was Crohns, then another said it wasn't, and so I just basically suffered with bad symptoms for years. Then my pain started from my rare spinal cord disease. I started a pain management program and am currently on methadone for my pain. It works great, and my IBS symptoms are about 95% GONE! My GP is amazed and shocked as she has been seeing me suffer for years! It's so weird that one medicine can help both conditions. I'm so thankful!! And methadone is SOOO cheap so it really helps me out in that aspect. Iso, with you losing your insurance soon (I think that's what you said?) it may be something worth trying???

 
Old 10-22-2012, 09:34 AM   #11
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Re: Suboxone Effective Treatment for IBS Symptoms

Hello Friends-

I'm curious about something Orange. Suboxone is a very powerful drug for any Physician to prescribe for IBS. Way overkill. It's borderline bad medicine. Are you also a recovering addict or is there some other issue going on? Suboxone is a variant of the basic Buprenorphine with an added compound called Naloxone which makes Suboxone difficult to abuse.

Pain and Why-

I'm reading up on Methadone and Buprenorphine. ********* actually has a very comprehensive comparison of both. I was a good Chemistry student and I still get lost in some of the minutia of these drugs. So, from my reading Buprenorphine is the clear winner of that battle. However, as you say, Methadone is cheaper than dirt and Buprenorphine is moderately expensive (cash pay). I don't understand the world of drug prices.... Is it class warfare? Addicts and the low end of society get cheap Methadone? The wealthy get Exalgo, Opana, Butrans, Duragesic etc...?


Iso~

 
Old 10-25-2012, 03:07 PM   #12
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Re: Suboxone Effective Treatment for IBS Symptoms

I have to concur with you Orangecat. I have suffered from IBS for about 20 years, very similar symptoms you describe, and have had every test, tried every med, experimented with foods, and everything, nothing ever really worked. I can't tell you the number of days I've missed work and other life events during that time.

I started Suboxone about two years ago and the IBS is effectively gone, or under control. I have not missed any work nor any of my kids school events during this time, nor have I had an attack and the excruciating pain we IBS patients suffer is also gone. During this time I have not had an increase in tolerance, in fact I've voluntarily have reduced my daily dose over time.

Each morning, at the same time, I have a regular, well formed, bowel movement, and I'm fine the rest of the day. Prior to this, bowel movements came unscheduled, uncontrolled, and painfully anytime day or night, ranging anywhere from straining constipation to brown water. This maybe a funny topic for those who've never experienced this but I can say I've lost out on much of what life had to offer over the past 20 years, up until the past couple of years, and its not funny to those of use who've lived with it.

I will gladly trade the misery and torture I've endure for the past 20 years for the quality of life I now have, and I am well aware of what this drug is, what its FDA approval is for, and what it can be used for off-label. And I am further aware that this is a lifelong maintenance thing and that I will necessarily be physically dependent upon it.

For those who detract and say we need to live with IBS rather than become physically dependent upon an partial opioid, I would ask that you do more in depth research, have a little more compassion, and consider others' points of view before condemning your fellow humans, and I would ask that you present some other viable option for us if you can discover it or invent it, because with 20 years of front line experience with the pain and misery I am quite qualified to say what I'm saying here. And, if anyone says I'm just an abuser or a drug addict, or seeking a buzz or to get high, well I can say if this were true, I would be advocating some full opioid that does give a buzz because Suboxone does not get you high, nor gives you a buzz, in fact I can't tell I've dosed other than the fact that pain levels subside.

Best wishes.

 
Old 10-25-2012, 03:20 PM   #13
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Re: Suboxone Effective Treatment for IBS Symptoms

Isotope,

I respectfully must say that I don't know how you can say Suboxone is way overkill if you haven't personally experienced IBS, Crohn's Disease, inflammatory bowel disease etc. as well as Suboxone itself vs. the other pain treatments. Are you referring to any dose of Suboxone? Can you recommend an alternate treatment?

Suboxone is approved for recovering addicts, but it is used off label and is also being researched, for a several types of diseases, including pain management, depression etc. It is much safer than the other full opioid pain meds because of its ceiling effect, lack of tolerance building etc. In addition to IBS I have AS, severe arthritis and four herniated discs. There is no cure for ankylosing spondylitis nor arthritis.

Also you state its borderline bad medicine. What do you mean by this? I think all medicines are generally bad, they all seem to have negative side effects. But for me, and the conditions I'm being treated for, bupenorphine has vastly improved my quality of life, and my doc and myself both agree that this vastly outweighs the negatives.

Sincerely,
TerryX

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isotope View Post
Hello Friends-

I'm curious about something Orange. Suboxone is a very powerful drug for any Physician to prescribe for IBS. Way overkill. It's borderline bad medicine. Are you also a recovering addict or is there some other issue going on? Suboxone is a variant of the basic Buprenorphine with an added compound called Naloxone which makes Suboxone difficult to abuse.

Pain and Why-

I'm reading up on Methadone and Buprenorphine. ********* actually has a very comprehensive comparison of both. I was a good Chemistry student and I still get lost in some of the minutia of these drugs. So, from my reading Buprenorphine is the clear winner of that battle. However, as you say, Methadone is cheaper than dirt and Buprenorphine is moderately expensive (cash pay). I don't understand the world of drug prices.... Is it class warfare? Addicts and the low end of society get cheap Methadone? The wealthy get Exalgo, Opana, Butrans, Duragesic etc...?


Iso~

 
Old 10-25-2012, 03:27 PM   #14
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Re: Suboxone Effective Treatment for IBS Symptoms

Isotope,

I posted my last message to you before I saw this post. I must apologize to you, I see that you are a fellow sufferer of the bowel diseases. I am very sorry.

I had also tried most of the opioids/opiates that you've indicated. While they worked for me to a significant degree, they were tended to have too many side effects elsewhere, as well as tolerance issues, I continued to need more to get the same relief. This has not been the case with Suboxone, and also with Suboxone I never get that buzz or warm fuzzy feeling I often got with these others along with the up and down emotional swings.

So, at least in my case, and in Orange's case, Suboxone seems to be a godsend. I highly recommend you consider it. Perhaps it will help you too.

Best Wishes, and again, I am sorry if my earlier posted appeared rude.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Isotope View Post
Hello friend,

I will be re-reading your post carefully. This is my issue. I have (Had) Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease. My search was for a pain med that slowed my bowel, eased the spasms and just made it tolerable to wake up each day. I tried Codeine, Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Morphine, Hydromorphone, and finally when I got to Oxymorphone I started to feel I was getting somewhere. I will comment more, need to run some errands for now. Thanks for the topic! Maybe we can share notes and feel better!

Iso~

 
Old 10-25-2012, 03:40 PM   #15
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Re: Suboxone Effective Treatment for IBS Symptoms

Isotope,

After reading this, I must again profusely apologize for my earlier post. I had no idea you were a suffer of these bowel problems.

About Suboxone being expensive, it seems that Subutex (without the Naxolone) generic: bupenorphine, is about half the price of Suboxone; however, docs are leary to prescribe it. My doc does, because I'm not an addict or abuser.

I have read that Sub is about 18 times as powerful as morphine, I don't really understand that but it works for my pain, better than morphine, but I can still work and think and function, whereas with morphine I would be more usually sitting in a daze staring at the wall.

Also, there is a Suboxone implant forthcoming, in final trials with FDA, which is supposed to deliver a level amount of bupenorphine 24/7 over a 6 month dosing period. Hopefully it will be approved sometime next year.

Best wishes,
Terry




Quote:
Originally Posted by Isotope View Post
Great outcome, I too am so glad you found relief! Awesome.

I will start doing some serious research. The first glitch that Buprenorphine presents is that it is hideously expensive if one is paying cash -which I will be in just about 11 days (Suboxone is even more spendy). The countdown, how many scripts can I have filled and how much more patience does my amazing PCP have for my 'case'? I feel bad that I monopolize so much of his time with my saga. And it is a saga for me. To see me on the street you would think that I'm in pretty good shape, and in many ways I am, but lift the shirt and gaze at the 18" long scar from pubis to sternum and you know something was going on in there. After removing my entire large colon in 1992, now I've got Crohn's Disease chewing away at my remaining small bowel! Am I doomed to be gutless? Don't answer that, lol. So, I do know a thing or two about constant discomfort and 15+ bathroom runs a day for 20 years now... I'm a bit sore back there if you get my idea. Two of the coldest and most Opiate adverse health specialists are Colo-rectal Surgeons and Gastroenterologists. They truly believe we (patients) are whiners who need to buck up and get with the program. Not a one of them is running to the bathroom in front of their staff for the tenth time that day to have another bout of explosive, loud -and very odd smelling diarrhea. The lack of a colon makes the stool smell like raw toxic bile. It also feels like DRANO as it comes out in its very high PH (Base) state, and it burns and tears away at the tender mucous membranes as it exits. It's just crazy that some people think they could even make it through a single day of my life when my Pouchitis or Crohn's is in full swing. They would be on the floor screaming their head off while trying to dial 911...!

So, over the years what pain meds have the GI Docs prescribed. NONE. ZERO. I was sent home after my first surgery in 1992 with nothing in hand, zero. IV Morphine to nothing, thanks! For 13 or so years I had NONE. ZERO. Then I hurt my hand and was sent home with some Vicodin.... What is that feeling, I don't understand this feeling, it's almost like my guts fell asleep for a few hours so I tip-toed around the house saying 'Thank You' to every mirror I passed.... A seed was planted.

So sorry to bore you with this crap. Bottom line is that a great many people out there are in a world of hurt. I don't give a rats you-know-what about if I am addicted or not addicted to Opiates. I'm obviously dependent on them, I care not a bit about that either, not at this stage of life. I've just gotta make it through that's it. I was certainly in the grips of pain, that I know for sure, and I don't want that anymore, I just can't go back to that again. Nope. I've played trickle down games with the pain meds and that is a good thing every once in a while, to get the tolerance back and gauge how things are with no relief. Alka Seltzer used to be my go-to helper in the old days. It was just about all I had...


Iso~

 
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