Suboxone for chronic pain

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 1/29/2009 1:58 AM (GMT -6)   
My doc told me the other day on our visit that I am defiantly a "Chronic pain" patient (which we always knew, but somehow was more confirmed to him now) and that my body is addicted to, and really in need of, pain medicine, but  that I am NOT an addict. I didn't understand how that was possible, so he explained that we all have "opioid sencors" in our brains, and mine are like way out of control to the point where when I don't take something for pain that I am experiencing, it responds by sending signals to my body for MORE pain and more and more! He says it also has to do with my Crohns/IBD. There is no cure for it according to him except by actually giving me opioids (which I was never on before) and he thinks it would help me tremendously with my anxiety, pain,and even my GI! The name of the opioid is "Suboxone" and is generally used for addicts but he explained that that is not what they are using it for on me. It is, afterall, a pain medicine.
I'm so confused and scared. I told him I would do research and get back to him, and that also I wanted to maybe wait and get off the prednisone before starting it - should I choose to. I always thought that the flu-like pain and symptoms I experience were/are from the Pred, and that once I'm off of it it'll go away. He disagrees with that. I mean do I really want to be on opioids the ret of my life and then get addicted to that and never be able to come off??
Then there is the other side of day to day life of torture and not being able to do a thing because of the amount of pain and discomfort I am in until I take my Ultracet (Tylenol/Tramdol). If I don't take them every 6-8 hours I can't function from the pain! Its to the poinht where I find myself saying "If someone is giving me a medicine that takes my pain away, makes me happy and calm, doesn't have sideffects, will not effect my liver (like taking too much of Tylenol eventually will), AND possibly make my crohns/IBD better, THEN JUST GIVE IT TO ME I'LL TAKE IT!!!" The doc says he can hardly believe all the AMAZING results hes seen on chrinic pain patients on this med in all those aspects!
I need some insight guys. Have any of you heard of all this before? How about of Suboxone? What do you think?? Please help!

Dx w/ UC 2000
J-pouch surgeries in 2002 - colon removed except for last tiny part of sigmoid & rectum which keep inflaming;
Currently in remission from August hospitalization and tappering off Pred. (now 2mg);
Currently battleing: Auto-immune disorders: Crohns-Colitis/IBD & Crohns-related arthritis; anxiety disorder; mild asthma (chronic bronch); & sideffects from Pred :(
Remicade once ever 4 weeks
Prednisone, Cymbalta, Klonapin, Famotadine, QVAR, Ultram/Tramadol


Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 1/29/2009 2:11 AM (GMT -6)   

There IS a difference between addiction and dependence. It is wrong for your doctor to say your body is "addicted" to this medication if you have just built up a tolerance to it and/or a medical dependence on it. PaLady found a great article on this a few months ago and posted it. I'll see if I can find it to bump it up for you, but you should also do a site search for dependence and see what comes up. I know there are several threads on this topic.

I am not familiar with Suboxone, but I do know that several of the HW members take it for the treatment of Chronic Pain, so I'm sure someone else will be along soon enough to give you some input on that. But you are right about the fact that we are in the position of having to make some difficult decisions when dealing with chronic illnesses and injuries. Often times it really is the lesser of evils. For me, I have to take a cocktail of medications in order to maintain the mobility and function I have left. If I were to stop, I would be bedridden. It's not pleasant to have to take medications every day. But it's necessary. You have to weigh all the options too and make the best decision for you. Don't let your doctor bully you into something you don't feel comfortable with.


Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 1/29/2009 6:02 AM (GMT -6)   
I take Methadone. I believe it may be a little like Suboxone.
I think Chronic Pain is a very serious illness. It takes away the joy of living.
It wrecks families, ruins marriages, confuses the kids. It can make one so
one-minded that all they can think about is PAIN.
And of course, when pain is too bad the sufferer must find a solution. Sometimes
the solution they pick is so drastic I can't even mention it here.
Do not worry. Just beginning a thing has power. Start now to take the steps
towad wellness.
I have IBS but don't know what Chrohns is. A lot of people talk about it here
on the forum. I've got to find out what it is.
I'm rummy dummy from sleepy medicine. I should shut my eyes now. night night.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 1/29/2009 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I take Suboxone and it works wonderfully for me. Unlike other opiods it's becoming a favorite of doctor's because you cant build a tolerence to it, it works within 15 minutes cause you take it under your tongue instead of swallowing it. And it's very easy to taper with if you decide later to not want to be on pain medication anymore. It's mixed with Naloxone but it has absoutly no effect when taken right, the Naloxone only comes into effect when one tried to crush it and inject or snort it, thats why they give it to opoid addicts, but Bupernorphine, which is the main ingredient, is a strong opiod pain killer thats been used for like 30 years in other countries, and right now they're in the clinical trials in the US to make it into a patch for chronic pain patients only. But if your not opiod tolerent they'll probably start you out on a very very small dose, like maybe half of a milligram because it's 30-50 times stronger then morphine. I'm suppose take 24 mgs but I have a very high tolerence to opiods, but actually right now I have been getting away with taking maybe one and half pills a day. When taken for chronic pain it's usually taken in less milligrams every 4-6 hours, but it does have a half life of 37 hours, so one could go several days without taking any. Since you cant build a tolerence to it, which is wonderful, other companies are also in clincal trials of making morphine and oxycodone (Oxytrex) with Naltrexone to help with tolerence and abuse, but it maybe several years before we see it on the pharmacy shelves. Also you cant ake other opiods with suboxone including Ultram cause Subooxone blocks other opiods. Naabt websight has some wonderful information on Suboxone, I beleive they even have information for it when it's taken for pain, I would look into their websight. If you have any other questions feel free to ask me.

I have Migraines, Pancreatic Divisum, Severe lower back pain (possibly turned to arthiritis from lack of treatment), Fibromyalgia, Asthma, Depression w/Anxiety/panic, and Asthma
Meds: Suboxone 8mg 3xday for pain, Cymbalta 60mg @ night for depression & Fibro,
Lyrica @ night for Migraines and Fibro, Treximet as needed for Migraines,
Ventolin Albuterol Inhaler as needed for Asthma Attacks.
Been on Diability since I was 22 for Migraines and chronic Pancreatitas but going to college Spring '09 to be a nurse
"Some days I just wish I was a missing person!"
"I'm not spoiled, I deserve all my stuff"  -Happybunny

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 1/29/2009 10:04 PM (GMT -6)   
You have no idea how much this information has helped me..i want to thank you all! I got a remicade infususion today (take it for my joints and Crohns/IBD) and of course the pain has doubled today. I asked for the opinion for all of this of my rhuomotologist, and she had not heard of suboxone, but she was sure of one thing, that my pain was not from the Prednisone. She said I was on too low a dose for that..only 1mg. I had hoped that once I was off the Pred that this certain pain would dissapear. She highly disagreed with that - like th other docs.
So, so far I am deafiantly leaning more towords just taking the suboxone. I might just wait this week though till I'm completely off the Pred just incase, or not..haven't decided that yet...still not 100%...
Dx w/ UC 2000
J-pouch surgeries in 2002 - colon removed except for last tiny part of sigmoid & rectum which keep inflaming;
Currently in remission from August hospitalization and tappering off Pred. (now 2mg);
Currently battleing: Auto-immune disorders: Crohns-Colitis/IBD & Crohns-related arthritis; anxiety disorder; mild asthma (chronic bronch); & sideffects from Pred :(
Remicade once ever 4 weeks
Prednisone, Cymbalta, Klonapin, Famotadine, QVAR, Ultram/Tramadol


New Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/13/2009 3:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Jessi, I don't usualy post replies, but I felt maybe I could offer some advice.... First of all, I understand what it's like to have chronic pain, I have fibromyalgia and lupus. I know how hard it is to just get through a day sometimes, when the pain is so severe. I feel like you need to ask yourself ONE question to decide if suboxone is right for you... Will your quality of life be better with out the pain? When you get an infection your doc gives you antibiotics to treat it. Pain is a disease all in it's self. For years, I stayed on pain killers, prednisone, methotrexate and a million other things and got very little relief. The daily pain was so horrible that I began to "self medicate" myself. I take suboxone now for both chronic pain and addiction. I will tell you, that I have never had pain relief so well as with this drug. Yes, I do now have an addiction to the medicin, but the trade off is that, I can enjoy life a heck of a lot more not being in pain. Not tryng to be a downer, but we never know how much longer we'll be around, so may as well, have the best quality of life possible. I wish you the very best and let me know if I can offer any other advice/opinions. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 141
   Posted 3/13/2009 8:23 AM (GMT -6)   
I have read that Ultram (or any Tramadol derivative) can give you withdrawal symptoms and is addictive. I have had doctors will throw it at you like candy and will tell you that it is safe because you cannot become dependent on it. I have read a lot about Ultram and I was given this medication by three different doctors for four different reasons (all pain related). I was given Tramadol for pain associated with a large amount of dental work, broken ribs and a 3 week long sinus infection as well as my chronic back pain. It never helped me with any pain (this is highly individualistic though, it could help you greatly even if it didn't help me at all) and I got very nauseous when taking it...

The way they are treating Tramadol at the moment reminds me a lot of when doctors were told by pharmaceutical companies that Oxycontin was not addictive and had a low risk of dependence. This turned out to be a disaster! Doctors would throw the stuff at any patient with pain and guess what??? A lot of them became addicted or dependent and the drug company was sued multiple times!

Please, please read up on the Tramadol you have been taking. I have also read that the flu like symptoms you are experiencing are very similar to withdrawal from Tramadol, which I have read can be very similar to (if not worse than) withdrawal from opiates.

I am in no way a doctor but I have read a lot of things about this medication that are not at all what doctors have told me about it. I do hope I have helped. This is not a usual post for me but I am concerned that Tramadol is not what a lot of people claim it to be.

Please remember that my experience with this medication may not be what you experience at all. I never took it long enough to become dependent on it at any rate and the only effect it had on me was to make me sick to my stomach. I am not claiming to be an expert on Tramadol but I found it an interesting thing to research. It may be very well worth you time to read up on it. To anyone else, please let me know if this post is out of line in any way.

Fentanyl Patch - 100mcgs x 72 hours
Baclofen - 10mg x 8 hours

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