weaning off oxycodone

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soundslide
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/2/2009 4:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, this is my first forum entry & I hope I'm doing this right. I went to a doctor for severe pain in my back & legs & was given oxycodone for the pain. This was about 3 months ago & the first visit he gave me 50 30mg oxycodone . The next visit to the dr. he gave me 70 30mg pills which I continued to take as the pain was really intense. I realized I wasn't feeling right when I got up in the morning until I took the oxycodone. I told the dr. that I was going to be out of town for at least 5 or 6 weeks & he gave me 170 of the 30 mg oxycodone until i could see him again in July. I wanted to know the best way to taper down from them(hopefully, I have enough to do this )& from reading different posts I could see alot of people going through the same problem with this drug. If anyone out there has any info regarding the best way to bring myself down without having to go through extreme physical & emotional trauma( I realize that I'm not going to be feeling really well for a while after I'm out of the medication.) I'd really appreciate the input. I have klonopin for the restless leg & sleeping issues but, any other info on this would be of great help. Thanks & I hope if anyone else is going through this same problem that it passes quickly for them.

Morgoth
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 177
   Posted 6/2/2009 5:04 PM (GMT -6)   
You'll suffer from withdrawal effects of course but since you haven't taken them for a long period, the withdrawal shouldn't be too much of a problem. You might feel uncomfortable physically, but I never suffered any emotional problems while going into withdrawal from opium derivatives (and I had to go through those an awful lot, medical necessity).

Apart fromincreased pain, which is quite normal, you might experience diarrhea, vomiting and spasms. IF you lose a lot of fluids, drink a lot of water (or as much as your stomach can hold without additional vomiting) to rehydrate (pure fresh water is best, with some ice if your stomach doesn't object). Try to limit the amount of physical labour and try not to do stressful things, both physically and mental. Rest as much as you can; even if you can't sleep, just lying on your bed rests your body as well (nice ceiling). The effects from withdrawal might last days, weeks or months, depending on the daily dosage, the period you took the drugs and the way your body reacts which is different for all of us. You shouldn't worry too much, it sounds far worse than it actually is. Don't go Cold Turkey if you can avoid it, just reduce the dosage over an extended period of time.

As you reduce the pain meds, your body will also slowly frow accustomed to the pain itself. You'd be surprised how much you can take.

Take care and keep us posted please.
To stand and be still at the Birkenhead Drill is a mighty bullet to shew.


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 6/2/2009 5:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Soundslide,
Welcome to the chronic pain forum of Healing Well. This is a great place for support, but we aren't doctors and can't give medical advice.

I know this may sound a bit harsh, but personally I can never support withdrawing from medications without some type of medical supervision. Your doctor was good enough to precribe you medication for while you were away; not a lot of doctors do that. I have to wonder why you're not calling his/her office to ask for advice about withdrawal. That would be my advice to you.

If you have any kind of a pain contract, you're likely violating it by discontinuing medications on your own, and that will make it very difficult for you to get pain medication in the future and you well may need it.

Please give your doctor a call and explain your situation. It sounds like you started to be afraid of addiction? Is this why you're discontinuing the medication? We all will become physically dependent on opiods, but that is different from addiction. However, if you have any concerns about addiction for other reasons then it would be wise to discuss that with your doctor and see what other options are available to you. It sounds like you may need pain medication of some sort in the future. Also, if this doctor wasn't a pain management specialist, when you return home asking for a referral to one might help give you more options.

Take care,

PaLady

Post Edited (PAlady) : 6/2/2009 4:42:12 PM (GMT-6)


soundslide
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/2/2009 10:06 PM (GMT -6)   
PAlady, Thanks for replying to my post & I understand your concern regarding my choice to withdraw myself from the medication without medical supervision. I don't have a pain contract with this dr. so that is a moot point. I've tried to reach the dr but he's on vacation til the middle of July & has no dr covering for him. Also, I'll be 3000 miles away visiting my father who is very ill with cancer. That's why I've decided to discontinue the oxycodone. I do understand & appreciate your concern on that point. And yes, I am afraid of becoming addicted to this medication but I believe I already am addicted to it. I most likely will try & consult with a dr when I arrive at my destination. But until I get there I thought I'd try & get a bit of advice from others going through the same problem. Thanks for your time & I really do understand where you're coming from on this. Sincerely, Soundslide

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 6/2/2009 10:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Soundslide,
I'm so sorry to hear about your father. I hope you can find a doctor there to help you because if it were me (and I've been there with both parents already) I wouldn't want to have my quality time interrupted by withdrawal symptoms and pain.

There is so much stigma and misinformation about pain medications, that unfortunately even someone in pain, like yourself, may forego relief because of fears of addiction. Dependence and addiction are different, and as long as you follow your doctor's prescribing orders you will not be considered (by anyone who knows what they're talking about) as being an addict.

I don't know what type(s) of pain you have, and whether there are other non-narcotic options, but a good pain mangement doctor could help you assess that. If you explain to the doctor there about your father - and the fact your doctor is on vacation (he really should have someone on call!) - I hope someone will help you. Sounds like you'll have enough emotional pain; you don't need the physical on top of it.

Thanks for understanding my post, and now I can understand your situation.

Take care,

PaLady

soundslide
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/2/2009 10:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Morgoth, Thanks so much for the input & I will heed your advice. I've been through it before although I was alot younger then than I am now & it was really unpleasant & not something I wanted to go through again but with the pain being as bad as it was I needed something to make it at the least, tolerable. Pain sometimes makes you make some really bad decisions but the damage is already done & nothing left to do but make it as painless as I can possibly make it. Again, thanks so much for your time & concern regarding my dilemna. It really made me feel like it won.t be as bad as I'm thinking it will be. You're very kind & you take care too. Sincerely, Soundslide

mrsm123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1116
   Posted 6/2/2009 11:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Sound,
I may not be reading correctly or misunderstanding something but were you /are you following the dosing directions of the doctor? I get the feeling that you aren't, and forgive me if I am incorrect, but you seem to hint at it, but not directly say it, so I wanted to ask before going further....
Sandi
PLIF/TLIF Fusion w/Instrumentation L4-5 Spondololysthesis L4-5.Laminectomies L4-5, foraminal stenosis L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, herniations L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, central canal stenosis L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1
POST OP CES 3/30-06
Neurogenic Bladder and Bowel, bilateral numbness legs and feet
Revision for failed Back surgery, pseudoarthrosis L4-5, hemilaminectomies L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, bmp added to revision fusion, replaced two bent screws that were reversing out of vertebrae - August 2, 2007
On going back pain and neuropathic pain, failed back surgery, consult for scs, decided not to do that at this point.
Adhesive Arachnoiditis also......just what I didn't need..9/08- adding bilateral ulnar neuropathy with severe compression to the mix. They want me to see a surgeon for ulnar nerve surgery, but I'm not biting.
I've seen enough surgeons over the last few years.


soundslide
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/3/2009 12:32 AM (GMT -6)   
mrsm123, To answer your question as to whether or not I'm following the drs dosing directions I take the oxycodone as he told me to take it. But, I kept waking up in the middle of the night & didn"t feel right after about a month after seeing him. He prescribed me more pills & told me that if it kept happening not to hesitate to take a 30mg pill when it did. And that's what I did. But, with the full understanding that at some point I would eventually need to increase the dosage. I understand fully how addictive oxycodone is & the subtle way it can sneak up on you. I hope this answers your question. Soundslide

L5-S1 Radiculopathy
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 6/3/2009 8:57 AM (GMT -6)   
I hate to disagree with some in the post, but people react differently to pain medication. The only person who really cares about you in the realm of pain management is you. My prescription is for 7.5 mg oxycodone 3 times a day IF NEEDED. I've never taken more than 2 a day.

My advice is to take less than the prescribed dose if it helps you, and you can stand it from the outset. You do this my cutting pills in half. When you feel like you want to reduce the medicine, taper off the doses by cutting pills. It may be a no-no to some, but it worked for me over the past 3 years. I have a standing order for nerve blocks and epidurals. I don't need the pills as much for 8-10 weeks after a shot. I know what the midnight withdrawal feeling is, so when I'm tapering off, I get a small dose of a cut pill at bed-time. Instead of 2 a day, I go down to 1.5 a day for a week. Then, 1 per day for a week (2 halfs). If you're going to travel alot, using less meds allows you to keep a stock for when you need it and can't get it.


1988 - L4-5 herniation
2006 - Partial Laminectomy with Components of Cauda Equina Syndrome L4-5] (left side)
2007 - Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion L4-5
2008 - Right-side radiculopathy L5-S1
Standing order for epidural/nerve blocks & monthly Percocet refills

Post Edited (L5-S1 Radiculopathy) : 6/3/2009 8:00:10 AM (GMT-6)


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 6/3/2009 1:14 PM (GMT -6)   
L5-S1,
Cutting pills in half can be dangerous and/or eliminate the effectiveness. It depends on the pill. It should never be done without the consent of a physician or at the very least, a pharmacist.

PaLady

Sam Roberson Jr
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 6/3/2009 11:34 PM (GMT -6)   
soundslide;
                 the best way is to start tapering down slowly, so if you take 4 a day go to 3 for several days and then to 2 for the same time until you are off of the meds. the worst thing you can do is to just stop cold turkey, the withdrawal symptoms are horrible and you will not like it at all, so do it right and taper off slowly. Wishing you luck, Sam
tying to make it one day at a time....corney right


Hello~Kitty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 6/4/2009 12:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Soundslide. Most doctors recommend when tapering to cut back 25% off of your dose every 2 weeks, so you give your body time to adjust to the dose reduction, and you wont feel terrible the whole time, but this is just what I've been told, but a doctor who specializes in this would of course be better at telling you. Withdrawals wont usually kill you unless you have other severe health issues, but it will defiently make you wish you where dying. But please be aware that most doctors (atleast it seems like most) dont have alot of knoledge in withdrawals from narcotics, and all they know is that it wont kill you, so they tell you to take it easy and suffer, which to me is the wrong answer. This is why I recommend in seeing a doctor like a addiction specialist, which is a doctor that would know alot on tapering, whether it be you have an addiction or dependence. I have NEVER abused my pain meds but yet I see an addiction specialist that is helping me to get off of pain meds with the help of suboxone, and since he knows I have no history of abuse, he never drug tests me like he does to the ones with addiction. But most GPs and family doctors dont know squat about tapering and withdrawals, and sometimes they may give you a script for clonidine and a referal to counceling, these doctors just dont feel like they need to waste their time with this cause its not their specialty. So please dont let yourself suffer cause of some doctor that doesnt know anything about what your going through.

-hellokitty


 

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modelmaker
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 168
   Posted 6/4/2009 1:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Soundslide,

I have been on the oxy roller coaster for a number of years. My doc recommends a taper off rate of 20% per week. Perhaps a little less in the first few weeks. Like 15% per week and then creep up to 20%-25% per week as you can tolerate it. It really isn't too bad that way. That's 20% reductions from the last resduced dosage.

As for splitting, Oxycodone IR is scored for cutting and it is OK to cut per my pharmacist. No coatings involved there. If it is Oxycodone ER or Oxycontin, NO cutting is allowed. Again, from the pharmacist.

In general, any tablet that is already scored at the factory can be cut but check with your Dr. or pharm. just to be certain.

Modelmaker
Degenerative disc disease since 1985, 4 back surgeries, fused from L2-S1, instrumentation. Being treated for chronic pain. Oxycodone 30 mg. IR. Candidate for SCS in the future.


Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 6/4/2009 2:11 AM (GMT -6)   
soundslide said...
PAlady, Thanks for replying to my post & I understand your concern regarding my choice to withdraw myself from the medication without medical supervision. I don't have a pain contract with this dr. so that is a moot point. I've tried to reach the dr but he's on vacation til the middle of July & has no dr covering for him. Also, I'll be 3000 miles away visiting my father who is very ill with cancer. That's why I've decided to discontinue the oxycodone. I do understand & appreciate your concern on that point. And yes, I am afraid of becoming addicted to this medication but I believe I already am addicted to it. I most likely will try & consult with a dr when I arrive at my destination. But until I get there I thought I'd try & get a bit of advice from others going through the same problem. Thanks for your time & I really do understand where you're coming from on this. Sincerely, Soundslide
    Hi Soundslide,
     Im new here, but oh my goodness! Bless your heart. Oh I wish so much you didnt have to face that alone. You must be very stong indeed.
     But I was thinking (always get me into trouble!) I go to a pain management clinic. I dont want you  to think its just a bunch of duel-weilding pain killin docotrs either. it isnt. In fact mine was able to tailor a plan to suit my lifestyle without the use of perscription narcotics. No kidding! And you know? I have two little girls , no kidding, age 8 and 5. I dont have a family, mom to call or some nanny in toe to take care of household. Just me and I have to be on the ball and ready to go! 24/7. (i remember it clearly, somewhere in fine print it said CHILDREN = NO HOLIDAYS OR VACATIONS FOR 20yrs!). So just thought maybe pain management might be a differant route to take once things settle down (gosh im so sorry to hear of your loss) and you find yourself with a day to spare. I got some cool info here some place lemme look..
 
Here we go, this kinda jist of things..
*************************************
 
And again, just a thought. I mean shoot i ve even heard of a process in which folks get their nerves "singed" with a radio wave of some sort..
 
*huggs*
dani
 
 Edit : Sprry did realize not allowed to post links, sorry.
 
 


TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,  
And sorry I could not travel both  
And be one traveler, long I stood

Post Edited (Dani Henson) : 6/7/2009 12:04:00 AM (GMT-6)


anice
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 536
   Posted 6/4/2009 2:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Soundslide, I want to welcome you to the forum. I don't know what type of pain you are in, but I am sorry to hear that you are in pain,regardless. This is a great place for support and encouragement. If you stick around, I am sure you will soon agree.

I am very sorry to hear about your father being ill with cancer. I have not personally gone through that,but I am certain it must be very hard on you. I am glad that you are going to be with him. I am sure it will mean alot to him and it will be something you won't regret doing,although it will be very emotionally hard on you. My father passed away when I was 6. My mother is still living but she has COPD and her health isn't very good right now. I do hope you have a good support system for yourself to help you deal with this.

I understand you wanting to get off the oxycodone. It is a choice that you have to make for yourself and be comfortable with. But I do strongly recommend that you only do this with a doctor's supervision. If you are going out of town, and your doctor is on vacation( I have never heard of a doctor going on vacation without someone to take his call),your best bet is to find a doctor available where you will be. This is very important in many ways. This is your health and your well being we're talking about. Are you planning on getting on another medication? Are you planning on just "dealing" with the pain? If you are a chronic pain patient, you should be on some sort of medication to help you be as comfortable as possible. If you are not getting relief from what you are taking, there are many other options available to you. As far as addiction is concerned, if your medication was given to you by your doctor and you are taking it for a medical necessity, I just don't feel you are addicted. Medications are used to treat your symptoms. You take them for this reason. It isn't the same as being an "addict".

It isn't any of my business. And I am sorry if I crossed the line. I am just concerned for you being left untreated and dealing with withdrawling from a medication that may have been helping you. I am concerned about you feeling like an "addict" for taking it.

Good luck to you with everything. I do wish you the best. Take care of yourself. And I do hope everything works out well for you.
Anice

soundslide
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/4/2009 11:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Sam Roberson Jr. Thanks for your info. I'm currently taking 5 30mg oxycodone. Wanted to ask you how long before I drop down to 4 30mg pills. You kind of explained it in your post but I wondered how many days do I stay on 5 30mg before I drop to 4? Or 4 and a half? I'd really appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks, Soundslide
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