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Posted By : Thoreau - 5/18/2017 10:29 AM
Hey all -- I'm an infrequent poster here (for now) -- but have a couple questions.

Questions:
1) Is it normal to have pains as you taper from Tramadol -- that are withdrawal related?
2) If I am experiencing medium strong withdrawal symptoms does that mean I'm tapering too fast?

I have self-termed "Mystery Pains" -- that came about after taking a strong infusion medicine for Ulcerative Colitis. Been to Mayo and local places with very thorough work-ups (and nothing bad shows up). Been off the infusion med for 2.5 years now, so wanting to see if body is feeling better. However, I have pains that come about in between doses of tramadol, and now as I taper. Wondering if this is somewhat a phantom-type pain related to drug withdrawal?

**Signature needs updated. Have taken tramadol for 4.5 years -- and at 300mg for past 2-3 years. I'm 32 years old. Pains started in 2012.
31/Male Dx UC 2003. Was moderate to severe at worst.
Present: GF diet, no UC meds, take lomotil daily and tramadol sometimes.
Have been on: 5-ASA's, 6mp, Remicade.
Stopped Remicade after linking it to development of chronic pain.
Now trying to heal chronic pain issues I've had since Jul 2012. Off Remicade since Nov '14.

Post Edited (Thoreau) : 5/18/2017 10:50:44 AM (GMT-6)


Posted By : straydog - 5/18/2017 11:01 AM
Hi Thor, good to hear from you again. So sorry to read that you are still battling trying to get off of Tramadol. Yes, it is very much normal to have a lot of pain when tapering off of a medication they have been on for quite some time. A fast taper can throw a person into a tailspin. Drs tend to wean people too fast & it wreaks pure agony for some. If you have weaned yourself off completely for quite some time you should not be experiencing any withdrawal symptoms. The same would hold true if you went off of it completely for some time & are only taking it PRN I wouldn't think withdrawal symptoms should be happening.

I was dx'd in 2002 after an emergency resection with crohns. Then I got even sicker in 2005 & knew it was something different not the typical crohns symptoms. I was right, UC got added to the mix along with crohns. My gi said the additional joint pain was crohns arthritis. That reared its head in 2003.

What type of pain are you having, I cannot remember. Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Posted By : Thoreau - 5/18/2017 2:11 PM
Thanks Straydog.

The pains are a diffuse ache that has felt like a mix between being poisoned and growing pains. One pain doctor said these pains do happen to some people taking meds like Remicade, and they do tend to go away over time.

Pains are worst in core, neck, head. Must be improving some, as I used to struggle to even lean over to my night stand from bed to take my pain meds and go back to sleep until they kicked in in the mornings. Things are improving some, but by how much I'm not sure (hence trying to taper).
31/Male Dx UC 2003. Was moderate to severe at worst.
Present: GF diet, no UC meds, take lomotil daily and tramadol sometimes.
Have been on: 5-ASA's, 6mp, Remicade.
Stopped Remicade after linking it to development of chronic pain.
Now trying to heal chronic pain issues I've had since Jul 2012. Off Remicade since Nov '14.

Posted By : Thoreau - 5/18/2017 2:12 PM
I should mention that I also get very sharp pain in some joints -- like elbows/knees if used heavily in strenuous activity. Otherwise the only joint issue is a "washing-over" pain that may show up and leave within a half minute.

Thanks for sharing your story/history, too.
31/Male Dx UC 2003. Was moderate to severe at worst.
Present: GF diet, no UC meds, take lomotil daily and tramadol sometimes.
Have been on: 5-ASA's, 6mp, Remicade.
Stopped Remicade after linking it to development of chronic pain.
Now trying to heal chronic pain issues I've had since Jul 2012. Off Remicade since Nov '14.

Posted By : straydog - 5/18/2017 5:31 PM
How much Tramadol are you on daily?
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Posted By : Thoreau - 5/18/2017 7:13 PM
300mg daily -- (2) 50mg tablets three times daily along with tylenol at same time.
31/Male Dx UC 2003. Was moderate to severe at worst.
Present: GF diet, no UC meds, take lomotil daily and tramadol sometimes.
Have been on: 5-ASA's, 6mp, Remicade.
Stopped Remicade after linking it to development of chronic pain.
Now trying to heal chronic pain issues I've had since Jul 2012. Off Remicade since Nov '14.

Posted By : straydog - 5/19/2017 6:39 AM
Thor, considering your dose & length of time you have been on it I suggest a slow taper. You many want to try dropping one tablet & see how you do. If that is too much, then cut a pill in half. If you do ok on either of these see how you do for one week. If you have to do this for two weeks then do so. It may take you a couple of months to get there.

Out of curisity, why are you wanting off of it?

Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Posted By : Thoreau - 5/19/2017 9:47 PM
Thanks, Stray.

Tramadol causes a lot of highs and lows for me in the 6 hours between doses, and if the pains I'm now experiencing are more related to withdrawing in-between doses then I'd like to see if I can get rid of that.

I just completed running a load of tests at a local hospital to check again if we could find a cause of the pains, and we can't. Mayo couldn't find a cause either, two years ago.

So, it may fall in the category of mystery pains that develop after certain patients go on drugs such as the Remicade that I was on. A pain doctor I've seen over the past few years said that if the pains are similar to those patients that they will eventually go away.

Mayo told me that the pain meds themselves can create a pain syndrome by changing the wiring in your body, and you have to go off them for a couple months at least before you know if that was the issue.

It's been two years since I tried this washout period, and I want to see where I'm at before July when I take on a new venture I'm tentatively buying. If I wait I won't want to try this for months until I get the hang of the new routine.

I dropped from 2 pills 3x daily to 1.5 pills 3x daily this time for my first move down. It's been pretty bad; everything from upset digestion to insomnia, nausea, flu-like symptoms, etc. Going to have to cut only .5 pill total next drop, and give it 4+ days there before I drop another .5.
31/Male Dx UC 2003. Was moderate to severe at worst.
Present: GF diet, no UC meds, take lomotil daily and tramadol sometimes.
Have been on: 5-ASA's, 6mp, Remicade.
Stopped Remicade after linking it to development of chronic pain.
Now trying to heal chronic pain issues I've had since Jul 2012. Off Remicade since Nov '14.

Posted By : straydog - 5/20/2017 7:10 AM
Thor, the symptoms you described above are typical withdrawal symptoms. Stay well hydrated, if diarrhea hits, get some Imodium. Perhaps some Melatonin for sleep if it becomes a problem.

Keep us posted on how you are doing. After a lengthy time on meds tapering can be hard especially when done fast. Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Posted By : Thoreau - 5/25/2017 11:34 AM
Down to 3.5 Tramadol pills a day (from 6).

Don't notice significantly more pain -- which is great news.

Having more senses of feelings -- not sure that I'm depressed -- more that the things not right in my life are more clear to me. Also sense more ambition to make changes -- but know better than to make decisions in the midst of such medicine changes. Going to talk to counselor tomorrow to keep even-keel mindset here.

Will drop to 3 pills a day tomorrow -- body tolerating the 1/2 pill drops pretty well over 2-4 days at each drop.

Posted By : straydog - 5/25/2017 12:07 PM
Good to hear that things are going good so far. Just remember if you get in trouble you can always go up a little bit to even things back out. Sometimes going too fast this can happen. Everyone is different with this, you have your mind set that you want to go off & that does go a long ways too. Keep up the good work.

Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Posted By : (Seashell) - 5/25/2017 5:24 PM
Thioreau:
You are making fantastic headway on your tapering.

Faster than I could ever tolerate, that's for sure. I have not typically done well at tapering from medications - I typically get the whole gambit of uncomfortable side effects.

Be sure to pace the taper at a rate that you can tolerate and at a rate that your body can physiologically adapt to.

That's interesting that you are as attuned as you are to your emotional state and desire for life changes. Such self-introspection can be a life enhancing skill. And it sounds as though you have a counselor that has your confidence to be able to explore new life possibilities. That's great.

Honestly, it sounds as thought the worst of the tapering process is behind you. Continued best wishes.
- K -
Pituitary failure, wide-spread endocrine dysfunction
Addison's disease
Mixed connective tissue disorder
Extensive intestinal perforation with sepsis, permanent ileostomy
Avascular necrosis of both hips and jaw
Receiving Palliative Care (care and comfort)

Posted By : Thoreau - 5/25/2017 10:16 PM
Thanks to both of you for the responses.

Dropping 1.5 tablets (a day) was way rougher than anything I'm experiencing with these .5 tablet drops, for sure. I think 3 tablets a day will be good, then the true test will begin as I go below that.

Thanks for the support -- it's much appreciated.
31/Male Dx UC 2003. Was moderate to severe at worst.
Present: GF diet, no UC meds, take lomotil daily and tramadol sometimes.
Have been on: 5-ASA's, 6mp, Remicade.
Stopped Remicade after linking it to development of chronic pain.
Now trying to heal chronic pain issues I've had since Jul 2012. Off Remicade since Nov '14.

Posted By : Thoreau - 6/18/2017 9:13 PM
Update here:

Stopped my tramadol taper once I got down to 3 pills per day (50mg 3x daily). Was able to hold steady, but noticed significant sluggishness that didn't seem to go away, related to being in pain.

Hard to tell if that pain was withdrawal related or not, but I had to stop this taper for now. I'm in the "due diligence" stage of buying a company and the pain issues were too much for this stressful time period.

I held steady at 3 pills per day for a couple weeks, but have added in some extra now in order to keep handling everything coming at me.

I'll try this taper again in the next 6-12 months when I'm can promise myself a more calming day-to-day environment.

If things had continued to progress at 3 pills as they were from 6 going down I would have kept at it, but as I suspected things got more difficult once I started to take only one pill at a time.

Thanks for the support on here as I tried this.
31/Male Dx UC 2003. Was moderate to severe at worst.
Present: GF diet, no UC meds, take lomotil daily and tramadol sometimes.
Have been on: 5-ASA's, 6mp, Remicade.
Stopped Remicade after linking it to development of chronic pain.
Now trying to heal chronic pain issues I've had since Jul 2012. Off Remicade since Nov '14.

Posted By : straydog - 6/19/2017 9:08 AM
Thor, congrats on tapering down as you have so far. As far as I am concerned this is something to be very proud of. With your new endeavors of buying this business you need to be at the top of your game not struggling with health issues. I feel quite certain once things settle down you will be able to proceed with your tapering schedule. Congrats again!!

Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Posted By : (Seashell) - 6/19/2017 7:51 PM
Thoreau:
You are to be commended for the tapering that you have accomplished.
Give your self credit where credit is due. And that is with you. You accomplished a tapering that is to be commended.

Once the body is on a narcotic, it becomes physiologically depended on a certain degree of medication. Tapering from a narcotic is difficult because the body has become accustomed to the presence of the drug in the body.

Tapering from many of the anti-depressants that physicians so routinely prescribe can be a grueling task. Tapering is not always so easily accomplished.

All to say . . . You have done really, really well in achieving the level of toper that you have. Job well done.
- K -
Pituitary failure, wide-spread endocrine dysfunction
Addison's disease
Mixed connective tissue disorder
Extensive intestinal perforation with sepsis, permanent ileostomy
Avascular necrosis of both hips and jaw
Receiving Palliative Care (care and comfort)

Posted By : Wendellsue66 - 8/11/2017 10:24 PM
Are any of you taking Tramadol for sleep (insomnia)? I was prescribed it for just that reason but I researched it and I am seeing that it is generally used for depression. I would like to know if it is beneficial for a decent sleep aid?
Wendy

Posted By : straydog - 8/12/2017 7:40 AM
Hello & welcome to the chronic pain forum. I am confused by your questions. Tramadol is prescribed to treat chronic pain. It is not a sleep aid, nor is it for treatment of depression. Go to Drugs.com & read about it, or ask your pharmacist. I would question my dr as to why I was given this as a sleep aid.

Perhaps you are confusing this with Trazadone which is often used as a sleep aid. If the Trazadone does not work, often a low antidepressant is added.

Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

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