I'm new, chronic pain, oxycodone withdrawal and suboxone induction

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/9/2009 2:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone. This seems the best place for me right now. In 2004 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I even went to three separate doctors to be positive; my mother has fibro and growing up it affected...a lot. I managed okay, seeing a pain specialist for years, until 2007. In 2007 I was simply feeling ill constantly (in differetent ways than fibro) and my GP ordered a brain MRI. Suprise surprise, brain tumor. It's been two years of testing and treatment, and my oxycodone is all I've ever had for the pain. Looking back I wonder how smart that was of my team of doctors. For two years my dose has gone higher and jhigher and higher, the only reason it didn't become a crazy thing was steel will, the past ten months my dose has gone unchanged even though it no longer stops the pain level. Stop is the wrong word, it never has done that. But between my fibro and the massive daily head pain from the tumor......and as luck would have it, I was hit by a man in a truck running a light, which burst three of my discs and destroyed two vertebrae (doctor says the damaged bones cannot be helped but I need back surgery, however, my brain tumor has been front and center for two years!). WELL after two years without being remotely cured, I went looking for a new neurosurgeon. He wanted a few things done before he evaluated my head pain, one was, he said, to switch me from oxycodone to oxycontin. He said that the possibilities of rebound headache with shorter-acting ocycodone needed to be dealt with, so to switch to oxycontin. He sent me to a specialist who was supposed to help me transition slowly, my new neuro said it may take awhile. WELL. The specialist instead took me cold turkey off my oxycodone (huge, huge, huge daily doses), and put me on suboxone. I guess I was smart enough to check into a brief Detox because he told me he'd be there to closely monitor me, that they'd find a way to control the pain level.. Not. I am home today after the past five days being in Detox. Because I was a patient who only ever had the one doctor writing and following my meds,    I was only pushed through fast detox. I say only because for the street drug users and alcoholics there, THEY got sent to suport groups. I didn't. Nothingfor me, which is insane. Mentally, I feel very, very fragile. I'm scared. Last night I was up till five am (this after having been jarred awake at the hospital at four am Tuesday by a heroin addict going crazy, and the male nurses barring my room since I was the only female on the ward, it scared me to death. I had no idea I was such a bad fit there and it was the ONLY place the so called specialist would send me.  Frankly, anxiety and pain are my biggest issues. Last night my head pain, which has been daily for over two years, was so bad, I just sat in bed and cried. What else can I do??? The supposed specialist is also an arrogant chauvinist, and even though Ive never in my life touched street drugs, and only ever had these meds now from one doctor, always so, so careful, and now I am in hell. I also cannot afford it, I do have good insurance but they won't touch the Suboxone!! I cannot afford six hundred a month and more, I can't! I only had enough money for one week of suboxone, and that won't change, at its cost I can only afford one week a month. I don't know what to do. The "specialist" clearly believes fibromyalgia isn't real (darn it I am tired of that, though granted I myself was wary in the past, before I GOT it) and though my tumors show on MRI, and I have a slew of health problems from the tumor............the specialist told me two dayI' s ago that he didn't care about my head pain. All he wanted was to take me off narcotics. I said, well, what do I do, and he said pain wasn't his concern. Well, great. Howwill the neurosurgeon believe me?? Also I'm dizzy and my bp is very low. They put a Capacin (spelling?) aptch on in Detox, the nurse said to leave it on ten days......then the "specialist" took it off me Monday, only four days on it. I'm almost shocked I'm not rocking back and forth in a corner wailing. Inside, I am.
I need people to talk to, very badly. Im sorry this is huge. I hope that is okay this first post. I wanted to be sure my situation was clear.
Thank you guys. Just reading the old posts is encouraging.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 9/9/2009 3:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, MusicLvr,
I want to welcome you to the chronic pain forum of Healing Well, although I am so sorry for all you have on your plate, and how you are being treated. If what you're looking for is people to talk to, you couldn't have found a better site, IMHO. It's been a godsend for me coming here, and I hope we can help support you and offer you a "shoulder' to lean and cry on, as needed!

As far as your medical treatment, we're not doctors and can't give medical advice (I have a hunch you know this if you've been reading posts) but something seems very wrong here in the way you're being treated. What kind of choices in doctors do you have around you? It sure seems like the arrogant chauvinist who took you abruptly off your pain meds, threw you on suboxone, took off your patch prematurely, among other things, isn't acting in your best interest (have I read all these things correctly?). And the issue of being tossed into detox, and placed in such a scarey situation as a female....I have no words for that. Well, I do, but I can't post them here. I would have been terrified - and rightly so.

Do you have one doctor that you trust who you can go to and ask to help you find the right "team" of doctors who will treat you with respect, and who have the knowledge needed to treat your pain adequately? Another suggestion would be to find a good pain therapist (psychlogist, clinical social worker, etc.) to help you with this, although even a good therapist who can help with everything you're going through would be better than nothing, if there's not a therapist in your area who specializes in pain.

I see from another post you're on your way to becoming a vet? We have another member who has that career goal, and lots of us are animal lovers, so you could start a thriving practice just with us, if only we were in one area!

Don't know if any of this helps, but I did want to welcome you!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 9/9/2009 5:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Musicallvr,

I think I'm probably one of the only person o here that takes Suboxone for pain . It is a VERY expensive medication. BUT...it is SUPPOSE to go generic next month, but of course thats a wait and see thing. Their is also a program where the doctor is allowed to have 2 people on the Suboxone for free, it's through needymeds I beleive, I hear it's alot of paper work, but if you get approved, they send the medication to your doctor and you get it from them at no charge.

I started taking Suboxone cause like you, my doses of pain meds (methadone at the time) was getting higher and higher and my pain was just getting worse (I wasnt abusing my pain meds but I did go to an addiction specalist cause they specialize in getting people off of pain meds whether your abusing or not). So I decided to taper off of pain meds all together to see what exactly how bad my pain is without any narcotics. But I found suboxone to be a wonderful pain releiver for me. So me and my doctor decided to let me stay on it for pain releif instead of tapering for the time being. But my insurance only palns on paying for hte suboxone til January so after that it has to be out of pocket, and it is way too much for me, thats why I'm prayingi t does go generic like it's suppose and the prices go way down. I also plan on tapering to a low dose so hopefully it wont cost me too much out of pocket.

Suboxone is a wonder medication in itself. It's 25-50 times more potent then morphine, and I take 16 mgs daily so that equals between 400mg to 800mg of morphine daily. And you cant build a tolerence to it, it has a ceailing effect of 32mg but some doctor's/specialists beleive it's actually about 16mg for the ceiling effect. And Less is more with suboxone, alot of suboxone takers will tell you this, and it is true. ALot of people find that hard to beleive but Suboxone is a very weird opioid in how it works. They're doing clinical trails right now on patches of the main ingredient in Suboxone (buprenorphine) but it'll only be approved for chronic pain.

Suboxone is also used off label for depression in people that havent gotten help from anti-deppresants, and it's used off label for chronic pain. Alot of people dont like it for pain, but like any other narcotic pain meds, some work for some people and some dont work for others. But their is a couple options in getting Suboxone paid for. If you have a AARP card, that'll give you a discount. Needymeds have a program if your doctor has an available spot for you, or you could keep fighting your insurance like I did.

I always recommend people on Suboxone or thinking about getting on suboxone to check out the NAABT websight, they have information on EVERYTHING about suboxone if you have any questions. And they also have a list of ways to get help for paying for it.


Carmen~*~*~Chronic Pain Moderator

DX-Chronic Pain due to two freak car accidents, Pancreatic Divisum,Fibromyalgia, Asthma, Depression w/anxiety, Migraines

Meds- Suboxone 16mg for pain, Cymbalta 60mg, Lyrica 50mg, Imitrex 100mg PRN,Ibprofen 800mg PRN, Ventolin Inhaler PRN, Visteril PRN


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9289
   Posted 9/9/2009 5:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi and welcome to the family!!

I fully agree with PaLady, you are not getting appropriate and respectful treatment and if it were me I would be getting some help fast to get out of that situation. They have put you in a potentially situation more than once and that alone is grounds for losing a license. This type of treatment just burns me up and sad to say you are not the only person who's had treatment this awful.

Like said above, if you do have one doctor you trust then get with him/her immediately! If not then get yourself to your closest university/teaching hospital and get some good treatment. These folks are not about to let you suffer with poor treatment and they are always on the cutting edge of the latest in medical care. Even if it's a long drive for you please start making some phone calls to get proper care. You do not have to live this way. Unfortunately we often have new members who come in with nightmare stories similar to yours and they can be fixed....just hang on(extending hand) to us and we'll be here for you on the ride to getting great care.

Please feel free to email any time...
Play fair. Don't hit people. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
~Robert Fulghum

(\o/)Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1235
   Posted 9/10/2009 6:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Your doctor may have taken you off the Catapress patch since your blood pressure is so low. Catapress is a blood pressure medication that is sometimes used to ease the symptoms of withdrawal. It works pretty well at doing that, however one of the main purposes of it is as a blood pressure medication and it can cause your bp to drop extremely low. In that case, your doctor did the right thing in removing it.
I'm truly sorry for everything that you are going through. I wish that there was some way to ease your suffering.
As far as the suboxone goes, now that you are through detox, suboxone is also used to treat pain, although there are some serious debates on how effective it is. I don't know what your dosage is, but my understanding of suboxone in pain management is that less is more.........meaning that suboxone in treating pain is only supposed to be used at extremely low doses, in other words dosages of .02 or .04 mg , that is considerably less than what is used in treating withdrawal.
Suboxone also has naltraxone in it, which is to prevent abuse of other pain medications. I would strongly suggest that you find another pain management doctor and discuss options with him since this neurosurgeon is not interested in treating any pain that you have, and I'm sure that you have far more than we can imagine.
Please find another PM, one who is empathetic to what you are going through.
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.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 9/10/2009 8:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like to me you need to fire that idiot of a "specialist" who was suppose to help you go from Oxycodone to another medication. If you haven't done so you should talk to both your primary care doctor and the neurosurgeon about what happened how that specialist made you feel and so on.

It really is sad, the hardest part of this "journey" we make dealing with chronic pain and all that goes with it is not the symptoms but finding the right doctor or doctors who try to understand and help instead of just making us out to be some kind of drug seeking freak.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 9/10/2009 10:26 AM (GMT -6)   



   Dear MusicalLvr,

     Good morning! I do not know if I introduced myself yet, but my name is Dani. It is very nice to meet you! I do not know about the medicine  you mentioned  confused but I ceritnaly think you deserve to be treated with respect. Our lives are hard enough. Literally. You!!Have been forced to survive on little to no help and that isnt okay. shakehead I know you have SO MUCH!!! going on, but, when things settled down, hopefully, it would be a good idea to seek a new doctor.

~~>The supposed specialist is also an arrogant chauvinist

     Well, apparently he thinks he is "special" that his #2 doesnt stink. Which is fine, he can go bill someone else to smell his roses!

     Take care

*warm huggs*


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

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