Going from Norco to Subutex starting Monday and I'm a little scared!

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
32 posts in this thread.
Viewing Page :
 1  2 
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

teri12345
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2018
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/18/2018 6:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm 67 and no previous history of addictions. Almost 6 years ago, my back exploded and I was given Norco. Since then, I've had injections, RFAs, and a vertiflex spacer installed. As happens, the amount of Norco needed to put a dent in the pain levels steadily increased until recently I became truly frightened and went to a new pain management doc who is going to start me on Subutex this Monday. I currently take 6-8 10mg tabs of Norco a day and am so nervous about the upcoming transition. I am a working professional and I can't take the week off (am I being utterl foolish?).

Does anyone have this story? Can you tell me about your experience?

Thank you.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16804
   Posted 8/18/2018 8:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Teri & welcome to the forum. Subutex has not been discussed here in several years. I searched the archives & found some old posts dated back to 2008. The general consensus some had no issues with transition while others did, it was a mixed bag.

You do know you will have to take this medication exactly as directed by your dr. Did your dr instruct you not to take any Norco for so many hours before starting Sub? I would have probably taken some time off to see how I handle the transition. If you by chance run into trouble, remember you can't take a Norco with the Sub. How long does the dr intend on having you take Subutex?

I wish I could be of more help to you. You may want to go to Drugs.com & read up on Subutex. Let us know how you get along. Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

(Seashell)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 893
   Posted 8/18/2018 10:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Teri:
I would keep a positive outlook as you approach the transition.

Your dosing of Norco has lead to an expected physiological dependence of opiates. That is, your body has physiologically become accustomed to a certain level of opiate in your system, without which symptoms of withdrawal will ensue.

Physiological dependency is not unique to opiates. Regular use of anti-depressants (Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor) will contribute to a state of physiological dependency, as will use of anti-anxiety medications (Ativan, Xanax) and proton pump inhibitors for GERD. Given a deficit of an acquired level of medication, the body will complain - and complain loudly with a broad array of withdrawal symptoms (profuse sweating, goosebump chills alternating with hot flashes, diarrhea, itchy and watery eyes, muscle cramping and restlessness, insomnia).

Addiction describes a psychological manifestation of drug seeking behavior that is maladaptive. Stealing from others in order to purchase illicit drugs, lying, manipulating, deceiving others.

I have been on prescription opiates for about 3 years. I recognize that I have acquired a physiological dependency. But it does not reflect on my character of person. I am not addicted. I do not seek excessive opiate dosing as a sauve for emotional distress. I do not take opiates seeking a euphoric state. I take opiates to dampen deep, pervasive bone pain so that I can retain the ability to walk and functionS.

Bottom Line: Do not be self-critical. You are to be commended for recognizing a potential problem with increased opiate dosing, an upward graph, and heeding to your inner voice/wisdoms. You have an acquired physiological dependency but not an addiction.

Subutex is a well-established pharmaceutical that is used to treat both pain and physiological dependency and/or addiction. My own opinion is that your pain lagagrnt physician has chosen Subutex wisely for you.

Subutex is a agonist-antagonist to opiates. It is also know as buphenorphine. It bonds to the same receptor sites as do opiates.

In using Subutex, your pain management physician is providing for a measure of pain relief (vis-a-vis replacement for your current Norco) and providing for minimization of distressing withdrawal symptoms
(Subutex will bond to opiate receptors in lue of the Norco you are currently taking). A win-win for you.

Buphenorphine is routinely used for pain control in veterinary medicine. My little 8 month old tea-cup Maltipoo was given Buphenorphine as a take home medicine after a spay procedure and dental extractions of vestigial baby/temporary teeth.

Be attentive to Susie’s comments on the timing of your last dose of Norco and the timing of your first dose of Subutex. Distressing withdrawal symptoms will emerge if a dose of prescription opiate is taken within 4 hours of taking Subutex. Your pain management should provide you with his/her transition protocol to optimize the transition for you. Take his/her directions to heart.

Best case scenario as you discontinue Norco and begin Subutex: You feel good. Your back pain is tolerable. You experience a few or no withdrawal symptoms.

For anyone who has been on pescription opiates either for long period of time or at a moderate/high daily dosing, Subutex can be ever so helpful in transitioning off of prescription opiates.

Best wishes to you this coming Monday. I will send positive karma and goodwill your direction.
Karen
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)

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42612
   Posted 8/20/2018 10:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Good luck with the Subutex. I took zubsolv (like suboxine) (sp)… for six months to get off of pain medication.

Best wishes...

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

teri12345
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2018
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/20/2018 2:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Karen, did it address the pain??? I'm on my way to the doc's office right after I send this. Making the switch from 60 mg of Norco daily to Subutex. SO ANXIOUS!!!!!!

Darla
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2018
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 8/21/2018 6:20 AM (GMT -6)   
I am following this conversation. Teri12345, how did it go? Good wishes are with you! Can you discuss your experience with the change?

teri12345
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2018
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/21/2018 8:37 AM (GMT -6)   
I’d be glad to! I took my last Norco yesterday at noon, and my first subutex (4 mg) and lyrica (25 mg) at 7:30. Within one hour I felt heavily sedated. I am really hoping this is the Lyrica, because the good news is: My pain level dropped to a level I haven’t experienced in quite a while! My husband reminded me that I took lyrica for something many years ago and didn’t like it because of the sedating effect. I’m going to see my new doctor this morning at 10, so I’m going to try taking the Subutex without the Lyrica to see if it makes a difference in the sedation. Meanwhile I’m experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Sweating, diarrhea, a fierce headache, nausea, and general weakness. I had Scheduled myself to see six clients today, but if the sedation continues I won’t be able to do that, of course.

Thank you for asking about my journey. This is a first for me.

Darla
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2018
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 8/21/2018 9:01 AM (GMT -6)   
I think we all have found that things hit harder when we start taking them. You have the effects of the new med along with the withdrawal...that is a lot. And working makes it hard but it also helps the time pass where we can not think about it while our body adjusts. I am sorry you are miserable...I hope that passes quickly. I am really interested and wishing you well. I am a little (lot) surprised they did not wean you off the Norco.

(Seashell)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 893
   Posted 8/21/2018 9:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Terri:
Are your withdrawal symptoms minor irritations or on the scale of severe with full-body misery?

Subutex is beuphenorphine, a low level opiate. It is both an opiate agonist-antagonist. It will bind to the same receptors as did your Norco, staving off the miseries of withdrawal.

It may be that you need a higher starting dose of Subutex.

Or it may be that you still had Norco systemically in your system. That is, not all of the Norco has yet metabolically cleared your system. Residual Norco in your system (circulating levels of Norco in your bloodstream) would also account for wildly emerging withdrawal symptoms. If residual Norco is in your system, opiate receptors are blocked and the Subutex cannot bind as intended.

When a true addict in the throws of withdrawal is provided with Subutex, withdrawal systems are markedly reduced - often within 30 minutes. One hospital ER in San Francisco is now providing Subutex to any addict who comes to the ER in withdrawal. They are providing dosing to hold them over for 24 hours until the next day where a social worker can link them up to an outpatient addiction treatment center.
Karen
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)

Post Edited ((Seashell)) : 8/21/2018 8:17:58 AM (GMT-6)


Darla
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2018
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 8/21/2018 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Teri12345...Thinking of you today and hoping it got a bit easier. You are brave!

teri12345
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2018
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/21/2018 5:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Darla, thank you for your good thoughts in my direction! That is actually quite touching. I am nauseated (I even threw up once), weak, shaky and hot, but it seems to be getting a little better. I cancelled my day. BUT!!!!!!!!!!!!! My pain level is WAY down!!!!!!!!! I'm scared to death to say that out loud for fear of jinxing the deal!!!!!!!!!!

Seashell, I'd put my symptoms somewhere in between "minor irritations" and "full-body misery". But I'm so euphoric about the reduced pain level that my heart is singing with hope, so the transient "transition" stuff is peanuts by comparison!

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16804
   Posted 8/21/2018 6:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Teri, did your dr by chance give you anything for the nausea such as Zofran? Depending on how bad it is, you may want to consider calling his office & inquiring about it. For the diarrhea, take imodium, it is important that you stay hydrated.

Its great to read your pain level is down. Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

teri12345
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2018
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/22/2018 8:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I have Zofran and Imodium. I’m just taking the 25 mg of Lyrica at night because I feel utterly sedated on it. The Subutex also makes me feel stoned for the first hour, which doesn’t feel good (I never felt ANY alteration on Norco), but the overall pain level is down significantly, so I’m doing a happy Dnoopy dance over here!!

Darla
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2018
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 8/22/2018 8:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Teri! Well at least one day has passed and I am sure that is progress even if you don't feel well. I applaud you taking on this challenge. It is interesting that you have noticed such a decrease in pain when stopping the pain medication! I am not really familiar (at all, to be honest) with Subutex but I know how hard it is to make the change you have made. I do applaud your courage! And I was out getting a cortisone shot this morning but wanted to check in and see how you were doing. I am sure it will be a few days before you feel better but I am surprised at the change in pain! That is good!

(Seashell)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 893
   Posted 8/22/2018 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Terrie:
That’s GREAT that the initial rough patch of symptoms has eased.

It may be that you had chemical traces of Norco still in your bloodstream and brain chemistry when you took the first dose of Subutex. Any chemical trace of Norco would block the Subutex from attaching to the intended opiate receptors. Withdrawal symptoms result.

Subutex is beuphenorphine. It is a low-level opiate. It is also an opiate agonist-antagonist, thus its value in treating opiate physiological tolerance and substance abuse.

We are each biochemically unique in how we process and metabolize medications. Perhaps beuphenorphine is a better biochemical fit you in terms of pain control than is Norco. This could certainly be true.

Subutex is a valuable tool in easing people off of prescription opiates and easing the turmoil of opiate addiction. A body in the throws of full withdrawal symptoms is a miserable experience, and can create its own unintended consequences. Subutex eases the process of discontinuing opiates and makes it manageable.
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)

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42612
   Posted 8/22/2018 10:04 AM (GMT -6)   
I am just getting back to this thread. The zubsolv helped some with the pain. But it was a feeling I never had with pain medication. I felt pretty good for going off of pain meds. I think I was actually high. I stayed on it for six months. The last couple of months was for weaning off.

I still have pain but I have a medical marijuana card. I make a salve out of the marijuana and coconut oil. It helps tremendously with pain. And it does not take much at all. So it lasts a long time. Maybe you could try hemp oil or cbd oil if the pain is still there. Though the Subutex can help some with that too. Please do let us know how it goes. We are all praying for your success.

Hugs, Karen...

Again, sorry I was late getting back to you.
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

teri12345
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2018
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/22/2018 11:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Darla, Seashell and Karen: Thanks, once again, for your compassion in checking in with a total stranger. I am such a private person, and it touches me greatly that you spend the energy reaching out to me.

The pain level remains significantly reduced. After almost 6 years of pain, this is almost miraculous. I will figure out whatever I have to do as workarounds for the negatives. And the main negative right now is how stoned I feel after taking the subutex. It's been 3 hours since this morning's dose, and the "stoned" feeling is just now receding. I am a morning person--I'm very alert and productive in the morning--so this is not very satisfying for me to feel impotent for 3 hours! And it's NOT a "pleasant buzz"! Both today and yesterday morning I threw up about an hour after taking the dose. I'm really hoping it's just the detox process from the Norco.

Upward and onward!!!

Teri

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42612
   Posted 8/22/2018 3:02 PM (GMT -6)   
When I started the Zubsolv, I didn't get sick the first day but the second day I vomited on and off for nine hours. They said it was because I still had oxycodone in my system. But after that I was okay.

The stoned feeling goes away after a day or two. It did for me anyway. After that it only kept me from have the withdrawal symptoms. No high, nothing else except for some pain relief. I am so happy that your pain is reduced. Did they say you would continue to take it for pain management? Or is it just to get off of the hydrocodone?

Keep hanging in there. I think I can speak for everybody to say we are really proud of you for this accomplishment. Long term pain management with medication kind of stinks. But I guess we all need something at one time or another. Wishing you the best.

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

(Seashell)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 893
   Posted 8/22/2018 4:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Terri:
Sadly, there is misplaced stigma and faulty assumptions about the use of Subutex for treating pain as well as for treating physiological tolerance and maladaptive addiction.

Subutex is an effective and valuable medication in and of its own right.

Some people will (incorrectly) say that treating with Subutex has no place, as it is trading one opiate for another.

You would not take a person with type 1 diabetes off of life-saving insulin. Physiological tolerance is a biochemical recalibration of the brain’s chemistry and reward centers/receptors. It has little to nothing to do with how strongly a person is behaviorally motivated to discontinue use of prescription opiates. The body has become acclimated to a certain level of systemic opiate and it will complain - loudly - if opiates are withdrawn. Subutex addresses real physiological tolerance that develops over time. Subutex will bond to opiate receptors, staving off the immense discomforts of withdrawal, without providing a “high.”

I applaud you for being willing to share your experience with Subutex and enhancing awareness of its use.

When I was new to prescription opiates, I did not understand the importance of keeping track of refill dates. I was taking what I was prescribed, not aware of equivalency dosing or the relative amount that I was prescribed. I did not fill a prescription on the day due. I saw no harm in missing a dose or two. Wrong. I was whalloped by severe withdrawal symptoms within a few hours of my last dose which became more complicated by my underlying Addison’s disease. It was a steep and rapid decline, necessitating an ER visit and inpatient admission for stabilization.

The experience was a wake-up call for me. It shook me to my core. I quickly immersed myself into better understanding opiates and their immediate and latent effects. I also made a conscious choice to reduce the level of prescription opiate that I am offered by my medical team. A voluntary reduction. I do want to be at that level of opiate dependency again.

Withdrawal is not merely discomforting. Withdrawal can be life-threatening. Withdrawal needs to be respected for its seriousness and possible repercussions. Subutex is a valuable low-level opiate for pain
management. It is also a valuable tool for easing people off of prescription opiates with physiological dependency and for long-term stabilization of individuals with maladaptive behavior-based addiction.

The sharing of your experience with Subutex is a valuable addition to this pain forum.

I hope for you continued success with Subutex,
Karen
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)

Post Edited ((Seashell)) : 8/22/2018 4:01:24 PM (GMT-6)


teri12345
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2018
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/22/2018 5:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Karen, I assume zubsolv is another name for subutex?

My doc (addiction specialist for decades) said I was to start 8 hours after my last Not I, so I’m not sure what to say. I’m HOPING what I’m experiencing is transitory, because DANG it’s been really hard to work today!!! I keep wanting to nod off. And I’m so shaky. I should probably reschedule all my clients tomorrow! Lol

Thanks for “riding in my car” for this (hopefully short) trip!

Teri

Darla
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2018
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 8/23/2018 6:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Teri! How was your night? How do you feel today? I do feel like we are riding in your car with this. I think I feel 'connected' because I have faced similar things in my past (quitting smoking was a biggie) and I know if you can ride (!) it out you will be fine. I admire your bravery in deciding for yourself that the Norco should be stopped and doing it sensibly. I love when somebody recognizes change needs to be made and addresses it full on. And, I hate to admit it but at some point all of us on pain meds may have to detox and find another path.

I am really encouraged that your pain level has decreased so much. What is that the result of? The subutex? That is temporary, correct? So what happens to the pain when that is not given any longer?

Thanks for letting us ride along. Best to you for a better day today!

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42612
   Posted 8/23/2018 8:45 AM (GMT -6)   
With Zubsolv, I had to go 24 hours between medications, and not sure but it seems I went two days before going on it. I will have to look the two up and see how they are different. I think I went on it instead of suboxen because it was cheaper. But it was stronger so you took less. I took halves and then quarters later on.

I hope that today is better. I am sorry you are nodding. I hate that. Maybe a day off would be wise.

Best wishes Teri...

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

teri12345
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2018
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/23/2018 8:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Darla, The doctor I’m going to, who is an addictions specialist, has said from the beginning that he keeps his chronic pain patients on Subutex or Suboxone long-term! He said most doctors only see these drugs is something to help someone detox with, but he claims they should be considered as ongoing pain meds from the beginning, and can’t understand why docs keep prescribing opioids

Yesterday was rough in terms of what I guess would be called withdrawal symptoms. Shakiness, headache, nausea, weakness, feeling hot. I saw four clients. I probably shouldn’t have charged them! LOL

I just got up, and I continue to feel hot headachy and nauseated. I hope this is all normal. I saw a therapist last night who specializes in addictions, and she thinks I’m experiencing withdrawal still. Sure hope she’s right, because I really want this drug to work out, because of the way it is addressing my pain so effectively! I did get up this morning with some facet joint pain shooting down my leg, but the new me is learning to make friends with my pain rather than being terrorized by it. LOL

My next goal is to find a 12 step group for people who have to take something for ongoing pain.

Once again, into the fray!

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42612
   Posted 8/23/2018 8:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Looks like they are really similar. The Zubsolv dissolved under my tongue. I think that is where it got it's name.
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

teri12345
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2018
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/23/2018 8:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Karen, I was thinking about asking my doctor if it would be possible to take one time release those once a day, so that I only have to deal with the symptoms once a day instead of twice! LOL
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
32 posts in this thread.
Viewing Page :
 1  2 
Forum Information
Currently it is Tuesday, September 25, 2018 3:47 PM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 3,006,573 posts in 329,351 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 161838 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, jstew.
276 Guest(s), 13 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
George_, TruthSeekerSam, 81GyGuy, mattamx, AZdiane, jberda1, Girlie, Zimica, InTheShop, UCinGV, MK1965, jwebb, iPoop