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weaning off prescription meds after fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,008
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I see my neurosurgeon next Thursday, but I was curious as to what some of you have done when you're weaning yourselves off the prescription meds.

when I run out of oxy 40's (extended release) I won't take any more. I only take one a day now. I then won't ask for a percocet refill (I take 2-3 a day). and then I plan to just take lortab 10's as needed. what would come after that? I would assume something over the counter? what would be allowed while I'm still fusing? I think Aleve is a no?

my pain level has decreased DRAMATICALLY since I began PT 2 weeks ago. wow I am feeling the best I've felt in a decade or so. :) so... I'm thinking in a couple weeks I'll be off percocet for sure (I'll run out by then) and just on lortab 10's. and a muscle relaxer here and there and then lunesta at night til I don't need it.

I am taking a fraction of what I was like 3 weeks ago. I think my body has definitely felt the drop in meds. sometimes not in a great way. so I am definitely thinking weaning myself off is the way to go so I don't go thru funky withdrawal symptoms.

any thoughts?


  • My doc will wean me off in about 5 weeks... I dont look forward to it, but I guess its needed.

    He told me it would be very gradual and that if I followed HIS instructions, I should have no problems.

    Best wishes to you G
  • G., When it comes to weaning there are lower dose Lortab if you need to go more gradual. It comes in 7.5 mg and 5mg as well. There are also less potent narcotics such as darvocet and tylenol#3. I myself started breaking my Norco 10mg(same thing as lortab) in half so got 5mg, then when I was down to 2 a day, I got a refill of 7.5 mg and broke them in half for 3.75mg. I would throw in a plain tylenol now and then. This week I had increased pain and ended up back on 5mg every 4 hours, but am tapering down again. Yep, if you are under no NSAIDS precautions then no aleve, advil, motrin, celebrex, etc., etc. Ask your surgeon of course. He may have a weaning plan for you. Mine suggested having my pharmacist request 7.5mg instead of 10mg. Of course he didn't expect I would be breaking them in half, but hey, I am closure to being off of them that way. Good luck, so good to hear you are feeling much better, Sue
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  • for sure it's one of the better "problems" I've had in a while: learning how to wean myself off meds! good luck to you, too.
  • I never thought to break my lortab 10's in 1/2. I forgot they had them in lesser strengths, too. I have tons of lortab 10's. I'll just plan on breaking those when the time comes. thanks for the suggestion!~
  • I was on Percocet, and vicodin, naproxen after laminectomy /discectomy 8/29/07/. I had to get off percocet as I reaching for things that weren't there. Was taking vicodin till Sept of this year for the horrible leg pain. NS has put me on Darvocet. I tolerate it well. I am a 17 yr sober alcoholic , so I don't like any of this as I feel horrible. I am hoping all of the meds will go away after fusion in Oct.but I know that won't happen. Good luck and hope you get past the meds!
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  • Walgreens has an inexpensive pill spliter for about 2.00 --> works really good on everything I have split, even the really small pills

  • When I came home from rehab - so nearly 4 weeks post op- the rehab Dr gave me a script of 10mg OXycontin SR and a script for 5 mg Endone and said over the next 2 weeks wean yourself off. YIKES!
    In hospital I had been taking 10mg OCY SR am & pm and 10mg Endone every 4 hrs.
    So that was a shock and I didn't cope well. At 6 weeks my pain got worse and I went back to 10mg OXR SR and 5mg Endone every 6 hrs.
    Since then I have slowly reduces to the 5mg OCY SR and Endone as needed but have recently added Lyrica .
    I have to say that half the problem with me was that I was weaned before I was ready, since I have been doing it myself it is at a pace that suits my pain not the rehab Drs ideas.

    SO listen to your body and it will tell you when you need to let go and when you need it.

    Blessings Sara O:)
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