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Day 6 Off Suboxone No Major Withdrawals???

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  • Day 6 Off Suboxone No Major Withdrawals???

    I wanted to find out if anyone could share their experience jumping off suboxone, because after reading lots of threads to get ready to jump off, I had read lots of horror stories. I've experienced w/ds from oxys and I know it's no cake walk.

    My main concern was the length of time I'd been on subs-I've heard WD is a lot worse the longer you are on them. To get off pain killers, I went to a Dr, and like many I've read about, he prescribed me a high dose of Subutex almost 6 years ago, then sometime after we switched to Suboxone strips. I honestly can't remember what my highest dosage was, but I had originally been on those 8mg strips I want to say I started on something like 16mg/day. I really couldn't stand my Dr, because I felt like he was robbing me, plus when I told him I was trying to taper, he discouraged it, saying I needed it to manage pain!! About a year ago, I started cutting the 8mg strips, but I can't remember the exact time table. I think I'd skip a day if I felt ok, and start cutting into smaller pieces, little by little. but the next office visit, I met a different Dr in the same office and got the 2mg strips sometime over the summer. I went back at the end of October, about 3 months ago, and lied to my original Dr (the other one had left the practice) and told him I needed 4mg/day- so I got 60 strips, but I'm pretty sure I was at 1-2mg/day at that point. I really wish now I had kept track so I could pass advice to others, but it wasn't scientific with the timing, it was mostly just listening to how I felt, and taking just enough so I wouldn't get a buzz. If I got a buzz, I knew it was time to take it down a notch.

    I decided that was my last visit, and I started an aggressive taper, I think at the beginning of last month (January) I was somewhere between .5mg-.75mg. Then about 2-3 weeks ago, I was able to get to .25mg. I did experience a severe panic attack at the end of December, didn't sleep for 40hrs that night, and had been suffering terrible night sweats. For some reason, I didn't equate that with the taper, I had probably done it too fast, but since I'm already an anxious person, I was able to get a small Rx for 1mg Klonopin and also zoloft. I also take Ambien for sleep since I've always had trouble sleeping.

    When we had a 3 day weekend for MLK day, I tried to jump at .25mg but on the 3rd day I was unable to take it, and I dosed again, and the .25mg gave me a buzz! So I tried to skip a day here and there, and then when I researched, I found the advice from the former list member Robert 325 who advised stabilizing and then the 1-2-3-4- skip, reduce 25%. I figured I'd give it a shot. I wanted to jump at .125mg b/c I was a wuss and afraid of feeling terrible since I can't miss work.

    I told this to my therapist last Thursday (today is Weds AM), and he asked me when I had last dosed. It had been that same day around lunch time. He told me to just jump now instead of doing the other method, because the dose was so low, and I was taking infrequently enough (I had been trying to skip on weekends), that the WDs would be minor to none. I was like, yeah right, that's what all medical professionals say, because they've never experienced it. He told me there is a cross-tolerance with the benzos and Subs, and his advice was that if I started feeling bad, wait an hour. Then wait a 2nd hour and see if I feel better or worse. If worse, take .5mg Klonopin.

    Because I had run out of my Ambien Rx, I was actually using the Klonopin to help me get to sleep over the weekend. I have since refilled my Ambien, and I do have a stash of 10mg of Valium for when I really can't get to sleep, but I'm a little confused, because I was expecting to feel like trash after using for so long. I've read of people having a hard time jumping even at .25mg, which was why I wanted to go lower.

    Mainly had the runs for a bit, and at day 6, I still feel a little cold, sneeze a lot, and generally a bit fatigued. But I've been able to sleep at night and haven't missed work, and I've found this tolerable (and I HATE pain). I was expecting my peak to be days 3-5 due to the long half life, which would have been the last 3 days.

    Do you think my therapist was right? Is the reason I haven't felt so terrible because I had been using the benzos to help me sleep at night? Or am I in for a rude awakening? Sometimes I feel an urge to take some, but it's more a mental thing out of habit, it's like I crave it, not because I'm miserable, so I haven't dosed at all, even though I think I have a ton of strips left. I don't even have RLS or major muscle pains. I just thought it would be a lot more painful, if anyone who has tapered/quit can chime in, I'd appreciate it. I thought it took weeks to feel normal again. I still have minor sweats sometimes at night, but nothing that soaks the bed like it was happening last month. It was bad, I would be soaked and freezing!

    Maybe my worse symptoms were when I tapered aggressively from the 1mg dose? Sorry for the long post, but I didn't expect it to happen this way. Maybe this will help encourage people who are scared to jump at low doses. I'm not even doing the recommended exercises and hot baths everyone says to do, but I'm wondering if the low dose of zoloft is also helping me with the serotonin in my brain.

    Again, sorry for being so long winded- I don't really have any support because I've kept my suboxone Rx secret for so long, I feel ashamed to be on it, and ashamed I had the addiction to pain killers.

  • #2
    Ok, maybe I spoke too soon. Since it has already been 6 days, I feel like I should stick to my guns and stay strong. I felt and still feel pretty fatigued, as in too tired to jump in the bath, and lots of sneezing . I felt pretty cold today with mild chills, but was able to get through work. I guess best way to describe is "the lazies", maybe malaise? I don't have the energy to put as much effort into my work as before, but not so bad I'm missing deadlines. Just feel like laying on couch all day. It's still not terrible, but looking forward to restabilizing my body, I used to be the type of person who was a star employee, and I find my motivation has gone down considerably.


    • #3
      Hi, and welcome!

      Yes, since it's been 6 days and you jumped from .25 mg, you should be just fine. What you're experiencing with the mild symptoms is common. The malaise will eventually pass. Exercise will make it a lot better, along with lots of water, vitamins and a good diet. Try L-Tyrosine with B6 for extra energy.

      Good for you for getting off subs after 6 years!! I'm currently tapering after 7 years of subs and can't wait to be done.

      Good luck to you. Oh ...if you're still experiencing lots of sweats & chills, clonidine is good for that.
      Last edited by Anonymous; 02-05-2014, 07:11 PM.


      • #4

        Thanks for your reply, and congratulations on your taper! What dose are you on? More I think about it, I feel the vicious night sweats were from aggressively tapering from 1mg, bc I hadn't done my homework on stabilizing. I do feel depressed, today I was pretty exhausted and couldn't go into work- however, I have narcolepsy, I'm sure all these chemical changes may of aggravated it, but I'm not a Dr so who knows. Maybe coincidental

        Can you or anyone tell me about PAWS? I see it mentioned here, but not sure I understand it or the duration. I'm sure depression is a chemical response to quitting, but hopefully the Zoloft will kick in and help a bit. I'm on a low dose of 25mg.


        • #5
          I'm at 2 mg right now. I'm taking my taper very slow since I was on subs for so long.

          PAWS stands for post acute withdrawal symptoms. Actually, it's not as common as people think. If it happens, it usually starts months after quitting. The initial depression and anxiety that hits once we quit opiates or subs (or during a taper) is because our brain isn't making endorphins naturally yet. This is different from PAWS. These emotional symptoms will dissipate once you have more clean time. I know it sucks. I'm going through that too.

          The Zoloft will help with the depression, but you just need to be patient and rack up some solid clean time. Everyone says it gets better with time, so we have to keep the faith.



          • #6

            I've read through your thread and I'm really proud of you. I can relate as a long time user myself. The fear of jumping comes from the nasty WDs we've experienced in the past. I got hooked bc I had a pill addict boyfriend 9 years ago. Started lortab, percs, then roxy 15s and then 30.. Kicker was I managed to get clean, then got hooked again thinking I could handle 1 lortab. So much money wasted.

            I would beat myself up when I tapered, then took a sliver to feel better after skip days and get a buzz. I think hardest is getting lower than 1 mg- I've heard this from others too, that's when I was soaking my bed every day.
            Be gentle with yourself, don't beat yourself up, but stay disciplined with taper. I think milder withdrawals make it easier not to relapse. Here's to Day 7- still have the runs though. Can't wait for that to quit.


            • #7

              I'm on Day 11 now off subs and I've still managed to get to work, but I find it harder and harder to wake up in the morning. Maybe this is the mental part of quitting that I hear so much of. I still find myself going to the bathroom a lot, but I have an appetite now, so that's encouraging. Sneezing has subsided a bit, but comes and goes in waves.

              I'm cold, but I'm always cold while I'm at work, so it's hard to tell if it's part of withdrawing, or because it's cold as you know what outside and I have a window office. Sounds nice, and it is for the most part, except I don't think it's well insulated.

              I have to say that maybe I'm experiencing this PAWS I hear of: I just feel really depressed, demotivated, and I guess lazy. It's such an effort for me to even drag myself at night to take my shower before bed. I'm currently on 25mg of zoloft, and was wondering if anyone else had experience with antidepressants after quitting the suboxone? I understand everyone is different and reacts differently to antidepressants, but I think I've heard other people mentioning zoloft. I think it's probably a good medication because it's also prescribed for general anxiety disorder. Anyone on this med (or others) can give feedback on how long it took to kick in, or what worked for them? Maybe I should just wait it out a few weeks and see how I feel then.


              • #8
                Day 11 ...that's great!! You should be proud.

                Yeah, wait a bit longer to see if the Zoloft helps. I replied to you on my thread as well.

                Stay strong. The coldness and night sweats will ease up soon. Are you involved with NA?


                • #9
                  no, I haven't attended any meetings at all, just go to therapy.

                  I need to post on a thread with a senior member who's stopped, because I'm finding myself having to still go to the bathroom several times a day, and I thought for sure this part would be done the first week or so, and we're going into 2 wks on Friday!! Thanks so much, Kat, I am proud. It's great to have a forum for people to help each other out.

                  I find it ironic that the suboxone users seem to be more effective helping others weaning off than the Drs who prescribe it? I'm sure not all of them are like that, but I'm starting to get that impression.


                  • #10
                    Right?! It's sad when us patients know way more about weaning off than the docs. My sub doc is in it for the money, period. He has no interest in me tapering. What a piece of work. I would call him something more "colorful" but I'm not allowed to

                    I wanted to say thanks for offering to help me with clonidine, strips, etc. That was nice of you.

                    I know what you mean about having set goals to "quit" by a certain age or time. I remember 4 years ago promising to be done by Christmas 2009. Clearly I missed that deadline. I just turned 38 and am kicking myself for letting this go on so long.

                    Happy day 12!!

                    PS: there have been other members who have dealt with the bathroom issue for weeks after jumping. Don't worry, it will clear up!
                    Last edited by Anonymous; 02-11-2014, 07:42 PM.


                    • #11

                      Just wanted to see how you've been doing. Has the bathroom issue cleared up?

                      It's so wonderful that you're now 16 days free of sub!! It's so difficult to break free from opiates/sub and you did it! Hope you had a great weekend.