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  • Opana to Suboxone - advice?

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    Old 01-26-2014, 07:16 PM   #1
    LadyBassPlayer
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    Question Opana to Suboxone - advice?

    HI everyone,

    I hope that some of you out there in message board land can help me....I am currently on Opana and considering a switch to Suboxone. Let me give you the background info and ask my questions.

    I have severe fibromyalgia and have been in pain management for almost 10 years. I also have ankylosing spondylitis (a genetically-linked arthritis that affects mainly my lower back, spine and heels), osteoarthritis, and let's throw in sleep apnea (on CPAP) and a bad mood disorder of recurrent depressions. I was on Fentanyl patches (got up to 75 mcg/hr every 48 hrs) with oxycodone 10mg 4xday for 7 years, and then 1 1/2 years ago, switched to Opana: Opana ER 20mg 2x day and Opana IR 10mg 5x day. I also take Tramadol 4xday and Celebrex.

    The plan when I went on the Opana was that it would be a bridge med to Suboxone, for it's pain relief and alleged "easier" to get off of properties, but I didn't tolerate the induction well. However, I am not sure the doc knew exactly what he was doing about the timing (anyone on Suboxone will know about the importance of timing the start) so I am considering trying it again, with a very experienced PM doc. My questions are: If you are on Suboxone, is it a good, strong pain med? Do you get good relief from it? Any problems during the switch/induction?

    If you used to be on Suboxone, I am interested to know how hard it was to taper and get off of it. I may in the future be looking to try to get off all opiates for at least a trial, another reason Suboxone was recommended. But, I have read a lot on various message boards about all of this, and the opinions/experiences are very mixed...everything from "suboxone is the greatest med ever!" to "Suboxone is horrible, don't take it!! You can't get off of it!" Well, most of the other boards are for a - shall we say - crowd more prone to misuse pain meds. So I thought I'd ask here, where you all seem to be geared mainly to a chronic pain/management crowd. I've read a lot about it, as I mentioned, so I am looking more for your personal experiences rather than info from the written sources.

    Thank you in advance for your replies,
    ~~~LadyBassPlayer~~~trisha~~~

     
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    Old 01-27-2014, 02:04 PM   #2
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    Re: Opana to Suboxone - advice?

    Hi-

    I personally know some folks on suboxone-they tell me (3 people) does nothing for their pain-just keeps WD/crappy feeling from coming off narcotics. I hould mention these folks are not on suboxone because they want to=they broke PM rule(s)

    I for one would not do suboxone, because- 1) I suffer too much pain and it interferes with sleep.

    2) the narcotic meds help me to function, and with less pain my spirits are better, I dont like to have to take them, but who does? It is the lesser of 2 evils, relentless pain or take suboxone to avoid WD. I have no reason or use for suboxone-some doctors tell you it will help pain(the folks I know said it did help a little with pain at fiirst-now not at all-and it is just as addictive as narcotic pain medicine.

    So thats what I know and think.

    good luck
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    Old 01-27-2014, 03:52 PM   #3
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    Re: Opana to Suboxone - advice?

    Dear BB,
    Thank you for your response and this is what I'm looking for...personal experience or the experience of people you know. You addressed one of my main concerns - actually both - about the pain relief qualities ( if any!) of the Suboxone. I hear or read so many conflicting stories, I just don't know what to think. So thank you again!
    Anyone else who can chime in?

     
    Old 01-27-2014, 08:03 PM   #4
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    Re: Opana to Suboxone - advice?

    I too have read many conflicting stories. My pain doctor wants me to try it, and sent me to a pain doctor with more experience it it. The consulting doctor puts patients like me on higher opiates doses in the hospital for about a week to manage withdrawal and start the suboxone. They claim to have numerous patients doing well on it, and to have a high percent stay on it after starting.

    I didn't ask what percent were addiction + chronic pain vs. only chronic pain patients though. I imagine if Suboxone is your only choice, that is quite different than having all the pain meds to choose from.

    Definitely see a doctor who has a lot of experience with it. Although I'd like to be at home if I have to have withdrawal, being in the hospital so they can better manage and monitor symptoms, and get the suboxone dose right, sounds like a good idea.

    I do plan to try it so I'd at least have an answer on if it is a good med for me (and we want to try to rule out hyperalgesia), but need to save up some time off work first. I trust my pain doctor so its tough to read online that few with chronic pain have got relief from it? I have been promised that I could go back to the methadone (or another pain med) if the Suboxone doesn't work.

    Most case studies are in patients with both addiction and chronic pain. The doctor I consulted with thinks its a great med even for patients without addiction, especially those who have got up to the higher opiate doses. I'm currently on Methadone and its the best treatment for my pain that I've tried, but the side effects really add up. I'm ending up having to take several medications just for side effects.

    Not sure that Suboxone would be any better than any other pain med as far as tapering off. I think if you do it slow enough it wouldn't matter? If you haven't tried methadone, I'd try that before suboxone. It seems to have more reports of being good for chronic pain, as well as it is easier to switch to. Cheaper too.

    It does have a higher side effect rate though; it would probably be safest to do a repeat sleep study (it can contribute to central sleep apnea) and an ECG (it can cause QT prolongation) after starting it.

    Side note-my pain doctor said Suboxone (or some form of buprenorphine) is now FDA approved for chronic pain, so it should make things easier as far as the monthly prescription & insurance. However, I can only find info on the Butrans patch being FDA approved. Anyone have any info? Best wishes.
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