withdrawing from oxycodone please help

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norris1975
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/9/2009 8:12 AM (GMT -7)   
about a year ago my doctor placed me on oxycodone for sciatica, l5 disc rupture, and endodemetriosis. I started with 60 pills a month which gradually increased to 120. This last month was the first time I misused the medicine and started taking 6 a day instead of the 4 prescribed. I ran out early (which I have done before and ben a little depressed but ok). This month when I ran out early by the secnd day I was severely depressed, having seizures, diaarhea, no appetite,and shaking violently. I have suddenly become aware that I have a serious addiction. I was able to obtain a prescription from my family doctor to help me until I see my pain management doctor. I need to know how much of a dose i should take daily to taper off. I got my medicine last night and took 2 every 4 hours. My last dose was at 630 last night and when I woke up this morning at 9 I started shaking violently. I tried to hold off until 10. I had another seizure. So I took 2 at 1030. I am so saddened that I have allowed myself to become this way. I feel utterly pathetic. To top it all off, I have been in AA for 11 years. I thought because it was a prescrition I was OK. I am soo embarassed and ashamed of myself. Can anyone tell me how to taper off this drug?  Also I still have chronic pain. Can anyone help me 

bsjaguar
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Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 9/9/2009 9:00 AM (GMT -7)   
I have no idea about the tapering off that you are requesting. Sounds like you need to contact your PM and explain to them what is going on. If you signed a contract it probably states that you are to contact their office anytime another doctor prescribes any pain medication. Your doctor is the one you need to get information or help from to deal with this problem. Good luck and I hope you get the help you need.
---Jag---
 
DDD, osteoarthritis, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3


PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 9/9/2009 11:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Norris,
Welcome to the chronic pain forum of Healing Well. The recommendation Jag gave you is the best - you need to contact your PM doctor and ASAP. Having seizures, withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening. If necessary go to the E.R., but you can't keep trying to withdraw on your own. That's the addictive thinking that you already know about.

Now there is a difference between addiction and becoming physically dependent on a medicaiton. Most all of us become physically dependent on our pain medications, but that doesn't mean someone is addicted. However, because of your history with alcohol, you may have become addicted to the pain medications simply because of the way the body works. Regardless, you first need some help with the medications, and deciding with your PM whether you're going to stay on them or try another avenue for pain management. Taking more than prescribed is one red flag of addictive behavior. But you will still need help with your pain.

An Addictionologist, who is a doctor who specializes in treating addictions, may be helpful, but it depends on how skilled your pain management doctor is.

But please, please get some medical help immediately for what you're going through. We're not doctors here, and can't offer medical advice, but can support you as you follow your doctor's instructions.

PaLady

MusicalLvr
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/9/2009 12:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I am new but I wanted to agree with the other posters. If I hadn't been in a hospital when I was cold turkey'd after two years of oxycodone for a combo of fibromyalgia and a brain tumor, well...I dont want to think what might have happened. It was still horrific. I am so sorry....in your shoes I would get up and either go straight to your pain management doctor's office (don't call and wait, just SHOW UP, this is serious) OR go to the ER. If you can do it physically, open the phone book and see what hospital has an addiction recovery program. I am so sorry, truly I am. I know exactly how you feel.

mrsm123
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1228
   Posted 9/10/2009 5:05 AM (GMT -7)   

Post Edited (mrsm123) : 9/17/2009 9:01:09 PM (GMT-6)


Jim1969
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 9/10/2009 5:47 AM (GMT -7)   
I can tell you exactly what you need to do.

You need to, in this order:

1. Start taking the medication as prescribed.
2. As soon as possible get in to see your PM doctor or if it is going to be a long time then go see you family doctor and have a very open and honest talk with him/her about what is going on.

They will be able to develop a plan of action tailored to your specific needs which may include tapering you off the oxy and also prescribing other medications to help with withdrawal as well as any pain you may actually be having.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.


Mrs. Dani
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Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 9/10/2009 8:13 AM (GMT -7)   

 

   Dear Norris 1975,

     Good morning :-)   My name is Dani. It is very nice to meet you. I know you are going through a ruff time, but!!! You are seeking support and help and , that, is a great first step! It must be very hard to type out what is going on with you. I truly appreciate your honesty! Someone, sometime, will be going through the same thing. They will appreciate and relate to all your going through. So, thank you for joining us. I do hope you decide to stay and let us get to know you better.

     I do not know about "self withdrawl". I do have medicines that case physical dependence, but my doctors take care of upping / lowering my dose. It isnt anything I have to "worry" about becuase, well, they k now what they are doing and I trust them whole heartedly. One thing I think folks tend to forget when dealing with withdrawl is that their doctors are trained to handle just this sort of thing. Even if your current doctors cannot help you, there are other who will. It is okay to be frightened and worried... BUT!! If you were to tell your doctor what is going on, in the same way you told us here. They can help. As others have said.. Physically, it is dangerous to withdrawl without doctors assistance. Very serious issues can occur within the heart and many other organs.

     I should probably stop here or I will chat your eyes off! Anga, it really was very nice to meet you. I hope you give us a chance to get to know you better.

*warm huggs*

dani


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


norris1975
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/10/2009 8:21 AM (GMT -7)   
I thank you all soo much for your help. The reason I have not called my pain management doctor is because he was fired this month and they are getting in an interim doctor but do not have one yet. So the reason I ran out and was able to obtain medicine from my family physician is because my normal monthly appointment was put back a week, so not just me but everyone else going to see this doctor will see him a week later. When I ran out before it was only a day or two and my prescpription was 90 pills at 2-4 a day. So if you do the math and i take 4 a day then yes I am going to run out. However the way i abused the pills this last month by slowly increasing my dose. I have called a few treatment centers and they have recommended suboxene and methadone. My only fear is that I dont want to be on the pils the rest of my life. My friend that lives with me has been in AA for 13 years. I gave him the pills and he is rationing them out. I am now down to 3 pills a day. I am taking one every 6 hours. I am shaky and my last bp was 193/101. I am an athlete and normally I am in pretty good physical shape. I am not eating well so he pushes me to drink water and within 30 minutes after my pill I have enough of an appetite to eat a small bowl of soup.

I called a treatment center yestaurday and they didnt have a bed for me. I have a seizure history. 11 years ago when I detoxed from alchohol I had seizures. I have been going to AA meetings and I picked up a white chip last night. I know I am not drug free, but it is a step for me. I also have a celebrate recovery sponser. This is very hard but after being sober for the perios of time I was, I know that there is great joy that comes from being drug free. Please pray for me and I will pray for whomever needs it.

My doctors apt is on the 16th, however if they get an interim doctor in before that I plan on going in and explaining the situation.

Any more advice you have to give I will humbly take...

thanks,
valerie

mrsm123
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1228
   Posted 9/10/2009 11:40 AM (GMT -7)   

Post Edited (mrsm123) : 9/17/2009 9:00:44 PM (GMT-6)


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 9/10/2009 12:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Valerie,
I'm glad you're being honest about it all and willing to get support. I am concerned about the seizure issue, though. I have a seizure disorder, and you said you have a seizure history. I don't know if that's only from when you detoxed from the alcohol, but as was pointed out, you could have other medical conditions involved - or even developing. That BP reading is extremely high, and disconcerting. I really think you need to get some medical attention ASAP, although I know you're trying. If your BP stays that high, and/or the seizures continue, I really think the E.R. is in order if you can't get into a detox center.

Good luck!

PaLady

norris1975
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/11/2009 7:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Well.
I checked my bp yestuarday and it was 169/98. That sounds high but it is a big improvement for me. All the treatment centers that have called me back want to put me on methadone or suboxone and I dont want that. Yestuarday I lowered my dose again to a half a pill every 4 hours. I have really tried to push the envelope, however this morning I woke up in an incredible amount of sciatica and RA(I also have rheumatoid arthritis) pain. My doctor always told me to take 1 percocet 1 ibuprophen and 1 muscle relaxer before my whole body inflames. I am starting to feel better but my friend and I realize we are not physicians.I plan on sticking to the 1/2 pill every 4 hours and spreading it out more tomorrow. At this point I dont know what to do, which is why God gives us doctors and friends like you guys. I feel soo much better today soo far as the withdrawal and depression symptoms go. Honestly though I do not truest myself with my own pain meds. Its been almost a year and a half and I thought I was "ok" My disease of perception is kicking my but... I have been doing some step work in the celebrate recovery workbooks. I have always done it through AA so this is exciting for me. It keeps my focus on what is truly important in my life.

Thanks soo much.
Valerie

PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 9/11/2009 11:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Valerie,
I know you're trying but just as you say you and your friend aren't doctors, you continue the withdrawal along your own lines. Methadone is used more and more frequently for pain - not just with people who have addictions either. It has to be titrated very slowly, but it can be a huge help.

One of the reasons you can't trust yourself with your pain medications is that they activate the same physiological pathways that alcohol does, so the medications themselves active the addiction again. Sadly, that may always be the case with you. Dealing with Chronic Pain and Addiction together is a challenge, but it can be done - but only under the guidance of a physician who understands both.

I really encourage you to seek one out, and not discount methadone or suboxone as potential treatments. You may detox from the oxocodone, but you will still have the pain. And that will lead you into even more temptation regarding your addiction.

Please, seek out a doctor to help with all this.

PaLady

mrsm123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1228
   Posted 9/11/2009 7:47 PM (GMT -7)   

Post Edited (mrsm123) : 9/17/2009 8:59:59 PM (GMT-6)


Tirzah
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2283
   Posted 9/12/2009 7:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Valerie,
I want to applaud you for recognizing that your addiction was kicking back in & that this medication was not a good match for you. I am glad to hear that your PCP is working with you. If I might, perhaps you could talk to your PCP about the withdrawals. There are meds to help with that. My PM prescribes me Catapres patches (generic = clonidine). Even though clonidine is often prescribed for narcotic withdrawal symptoms, it is on-label for high blood pressure, so it might help get your bp down in the normal range (it does for me), plus they help me with the other symptoms of withdrawal: runny nose, watery eyes, nausea -- pretty much everything except the creepy crawly feelings on my arms & legs.

I really don't know, but if my bp were that high, I would definitely be calling my doctor. I just really want to encourage you to get help. I'm not sure what options you in particular might have, but there are short-term medications to help with withdrawal.

Be safe. :)
Frances

3cats and a multipoo
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 9/13/2009 7:28 AM (GMT -7)   
eyes   VALERIE, I KNOW YOU ARE TRYING TO DO THIS ON YOUR OWN, BUT SOMETIMES YOU NEED HELP, I HAVE BEEN THERE AND IT'S A TERRIBLE FEELING..
IF YOU ARE NOT GETTING BETTER, I SUGGEST, (THE HOSPITAL). A.S.A.P..THEY WILL HELP YOU, TILL YOU CAN SEE YOUR DR.. CLONIDINE IS VERY GOOD FOR DETOXING...WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS??? JUST WANT TO KNOW....IT IS VERY HARD TO DO THIS..AND IT'S ALSO DANGEROUS......I WOULD CALL 911, IF YOU ARE STILL NOT DOING WELL....YOU CAN REALLY HURT YOUR SELF BY DOING THIS..I KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE TO DETOX ON YOUR OWN OR RUN OUT OF MEDS....IT'S SCARRY..I RAN OUT OF ALPRAZOLAM, (ZANAX), I HAD TO DETOX FOR A WEEK, BEFORE THEY WOULD FILL IT...SICK SO SICK.....THAT I WENT TO THE HOSPITAL FOR HELP.I.WALKED THE WALLS FOR DAYS...BEFORE I WENT IN..
LET ME KNOW HOW YOU ARE DOING???? VICKIE, PANHEADVIC.....
 
R.S.D. ( COMPLEX REGIONAL PAIN SYNDROME,) OVER 6 YEARS, JUST RECIEVED THE PAIN PUMP 2 WEEKS AGO...BEEN THROUGH EVERY THING....I AM STILL RECUPERATING, NOW MY NEROSURGEON SAYS I NEED A PACEMAKER, THEY ALMOST LOST ME DURING THE FIRST SURGERY.......IT WAS ROUGH...PLEASE GET BACK TO ME AND LET ME KNOW HOW YOU ARE DOING!!! THIS IS DANGEROUS...

3cats and a multipoo
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 9/13/2009 7:48 AM (GMT -7)   
VALERIE, THIS IS PANHEADVIC, TWO CATS AND A MULTIPOO...

GET BACK TOOOOO ME , I AM WORRIED about YOU!!!!!

Post Edited (3cats and a multipoo) : 9/13/2009 8:54:00 AM (GMT-6)


3cats and a multipoo
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 9/13/2009 9:32 AM (GMT -7)   
nono  to whom ever, sorry about the caps being on...noonononoon,  panheadvic

uniquelyme
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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 9/13/2009 10:54 AM (GMT -7)   
 
 
Norris,
First let me say that I am so sorry that you are going through this...I have been there as well.  People are telling you to go to your PM Dr. and ask for help...they won't give it to you.  They have rules and they won't break them under any situation. I know, I have been there.  I hate to say it but unless you decide that you have a serious addiction and go to treatment, you are going to have to tuff it out.  the seizures are a diff. story.  do you take Xanax?  If you abruptly stop Xanax you will have seizures...I had a friend that abused them, she would take 15 bars at a time... crazy?  Then when she ran out she would have serious seizures...enough to put her in the hospital...but she would never tell her dr. about it....so she did the same thing every month....she is still doing it from what I hear....
 
Pain Meds. can cause a visious cycle if you let them.... So, taking them the way you are supposed to is KEY... You may go through some rough times until you go back to the Dr., but maybe you won't let this happen again...I know I didn't.
 
I hope you get through this...hang in there....go to the Er if needed...
 
Me.

I have been a spectator for so long..Now it's time to participate.......
 
Post Lamenectomy Syndrome, Spinal Stenosis, DDD....
1999 Hemi Lamenectomy/2005 Spinal Fusion(L4-S1)
Methadone 120 mg. a day/  30 mg. Oxycodone as needed(up to 4 x a day)
High Blood Pressure: Lisinopril HCTZ 10 mg. daily
Type 2 Diabetes: (March 16, 2009)
Metformin HCL ER 1000 mg. at night..Glipizide 10mg. 2X in the morning
Lantus 35 units at bedtime with Solostar Pen                                                                   

 


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2283
   Posted 9/13/2009 11:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Rhonda,
I am so sorry about what you went through with your PM, but that really is the exception rather than the norm. Especially since Norris is just looking to stop them on her own. You were given clonidine at the ER & that is what I recommended to Norris. Often PM's will refuse to give out additional pain pills, but it is very, very unusual for them to refuse requests for medications just to help with the withdrawal symptoms. I know that for some reason even when you told your PM you didn't want more pain meds, he still refused to see you, but that is not common -- which is why so many of us recommend talking to one's doctor as the first option when seeking treatment. The ER should always be a last resort -- good when there aren't any other options & someone is in a crisis, but especially since Norris' doctor has been providing medications up to this point, it does not at all seem unreasonable to me to ask the doc for non-narcotic withdrawal meds.

Yes, there are a few doctors out there who are just complete jerks & will not even help their patients even when the patient is not asking for more narcotics, but rather simple blood pressure medication, but that is the rare exception. Treating physicians have a patient's entire history. They have access to records, tests & additional complicating factors that can help them select the very best medication for a patient.

Norris,
I have re-read your posts & would have to agree that perhaps the best option for you may be to contact your PM & let him know what's going on. Your PM should be able to either meet with you to determine a safe way to get off the meds (whether that's a long taper, a quick taper, or cold turkey) OR he should be able to refer you to an addictions specialist who can help. From my own experience, it is very hard to taper off meds on my own & I am only dealing with dependence, not addiction. It is a brutal experience without any meds to help me. With the clonidine, it is still very hard b/c I don't sleep & feel shaky inside, but with a huge amount of willpower, I can struggle through it. With an addiction, you have an added obstacle to success. All the more reason to get whatever help you can -- withdrawal meds, a safe & healthy treatment plan, help from specialists & maybe attending AA/NA meetings for added support. It is so tough, but it is without a doubt do-able. Ask for help. Connect with others. Remember the goal.
By being honest with your PM, you can get the help you need for today & possibly even open up options for the future. Yes, there is a slim chance that you could have one of those horrible doctors who doesn't want to help anyone, but if that's the case I would encourage you to look for someone else. Having a doctor who is contributing to your addiction is worse than having no doctor at all (and I don't say that lightly). There are doctors out there who will help legitimate pain patients struggling with addiction. There are new treatments and technologies available -- pain pumps, special patches that can't be tampered with, new meds that combine opioid agonists & antagonists to prevent that "high" feeling caused by many narcotics, alternative therapies, etc., etc. You do not have to choose between living with your addiction or living with pain.
While I have not suffered from substance addiction, I have had my own struggles with compulsive thoughts & so I know how wonderful it feels to be free of that. But the first step is coming out of isolation & being honest with yourself and others about what is going on. I hope you will take that step. Know that there will always be people here who will support you. :)
I hope it doesn't seem too presumptuous of me, but I know even when I was struggling with dependence, the NA website really had a lot of wonderful materials that helped me stick with the plan my PM & I came up with for getting off my pain meds. If you're interested, the site is http://na.org/

Take care of yourself & keep us posted about how you're doing & how we can help.

peace & prayers,
Frances

wolftrades
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 301
   Posted 9/17/2009 8:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Ah, here we go again. Withdrawal has nothing to do with addiction. Withdrawal will happen to all cp'ers who become dependant on pain mess and abruptly stop.

Addiction is psychological...it times from chasing an elusive high and shows by not following Docs instructions or doctor shopping or buying meds on the street. Just because you suffer withdrawal when you stop the mess does NOT make you an addict!

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2283
   Posted 9/17/2009 9:12 PM (GMT -7)   
That's true. However, just because withdrawal doesn't necessarily equal addiction doesn't mean that there aren't some people who do actually suffer from addiction. In this case, Valerie wrote that she had a history of addiction to alcohol & in this case she used up her supply of pain meds early due to taking 50% more than was prescribed to her.

I think we need to be careful that while we don't want to be forcing every pain patient into the addiction category, neither do we want to deny that actual addictions do exist. Addiction is partly psychological, but it is physical and social as well. It is a tough thing to conquer & anyone who can deal with that on top of chronic pain is certainly to be applauded.

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 9/17/2009 9:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Good post, Francis. Those clarificaitons are important. And it is a challenge for people with CP who also have addiction histories or genetic predispositions. It can be done, but needs some expert guidance.

PaLady

uniquelyme
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 9/18/2009 2:06 PM (GMT -7)   
 
 
Francis,
It has nothing to do with Dr.'s being jerks....it has to do with the Pain contract most of us sign.  They just can't give anything like narcotics to help...and I didn't get anything from the ER...I don't know why you think I did...especially Clonodine.
 
I only wanted to make sure that they didn't do anything to ruin the relationship they have with the PM...and stopping the pills on her own is worse.  I wish that none of us had to take any pain meds...I wish that we never had to take more then we are supposed to...I wish that Withdrawls didn't exist....I wish, I wish, I wish...
 
I hope that everything turns out for the best..
 
Me.

I have been a spectator for so long..Now it's time to participate.......
 
Post Lamenectomy Syndrome, Spinal Stenosis, DDD....
1999 Hemi Lamenectomy/2005 Spinal Fusion(L4-S1)
Methadone 120 mg. a day/  30 mg. Oxycodone as needed(up to 4 x a day)
High Blood Pressure: Lisinopril HCTZ 10 mg. daily
Type 2 Diabetes: (March 16, 2009)
Metformin HCL ER 1000 mg. at night..Glipizide 10mg. 2X in the morning
Lantus 35 units at bedtime with Solostar Pen                                                                   

 


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2283
   Posted 9/18/2009 5:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Sorry, Rhonda. I somehow combined part of your story with catlady's. I went back through the old posts & saw that you just went without any meds at all. Uggh! I can't even imagine how you could have possibly gotten through that. :(

I stand by my statement about some docs being jerks. Yes, it is perfectly reasonable that PM's won't prescribe additional narcotics before the 30 days are up. That is understandable. Perhaps even admirable as one reason for doing that is to help make sure that PM's don't get dragged down by people trying to cheat the system, which could mean that the rest of us wouldn't have a doctor. So I don't ever fault doctors for doing that. It seems like a good policy to me (though I've also know PM's who will, on an exceptional basis, provide a slightly early fill for narcotics).

However, in those rare cases when doctors won't even give non-narcotic medications to manage the vomiting, blood pressure, heart rate & other potentially life threatening side effects of withdrawal, I think that is just cruel. Those were the ones I referred to a "jerks" b/c there isn't a law or a valid reason out there to not take care of patients going through withdrawal, regardless of the reason why they are going through withdrawal. Even addicts who don't even suffer from pain ought to be treated humanely. Clonidine is non-narcotic, non-habit-forming & not able to be abused. It does nothing at all to manage pain, but it helps a lot with physical withdrawal symptoms (though it doesn't help with psychological addictive cravings). It is generally helpful to many people when going through withdrawal but can be life saving to those of us who have heart conditions or other serious health risks that can be worsened by complications of withdrawing from narcotics. Fortunately, most PM's will write for clonidine to help people out with withdrawal symptoms if they've run out of narcotic pain meds; I just don't understand why any doctor would not at least provide this as a treatment when patients are in such misery. but that's jmvho.
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