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Cutting back on Vicodin need help

newhouse17nnewhouse17 Posts: 133
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Pain Medications
Hello Everyone,

I am almost 6 weeks out of ADR L4-L5 and ALIF of L5-S1. I have been taking Vicodin 5mg/500 three times a day. I would like to get off of the vicodin and try to control my pain with over the counter meds. I take them at 7,2,8. Can I start by cutting out the 2 o'clock dose, and how long do I do this? A week, two weeks, then move on to the 7 am dose?
I would like to get to the point where I only need it when the pain is unbarable. Anyone out there have any suggestions?


  • Try breaking them in half most have a seam right down the middle . Start with taking half at a time then cut out the middle dose and so on.Good luck I know it can suck.
  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,303
    That is great that you are feeling better so that you can start to dwindle the amount of pain medication that you need.
    I think you can take two approaches to this.

    1- As you suggested eliminate the 2:00 pill. As long as that does not cause any problems, continue to do this for about 5 to 7 days. You do not want to get into a situation where the pain level creeps up too much that the 8:00 pill does not address the pain levels. If this continues to work, I would like at eliminating the 7:00 pill, again assuming no additional problems, do this for 5 to 7 days and then you can look at eliminating the 8:00 pill.
    During this entire time, drink lots of water, lots of it. It will help your body go through this weaning process.

    2- As mentioned in the previous post, another method would be to cut some of the Vicodin's in half. You could again start by taking your normal pill at 7:00 and 8:00, but the 2:00 pill could be the one in half. Then continue as above.

    It is very important to make sure you never let the pain build up too high. There will always be good days and bad days. I have tried to 'average' my pain medications so both my doctor and I know my monthly intake. There will be days when 2 pills is all I need, while other days 5 to 6 pills is what I need. And this is not due to any flare ups, just the nature of chronic pain.

    I also need to stress, that the above suggestions are that only, personal suggestions. I recommend that you contact your doctor to discuss this. Make sure they are in agreement with your plan. Some doctors might even suggest writing a new prescription with a lower dosage of Vicodins. That is why it is always so important to get the approval of your doctor before you try to make any alterations to your pain management plans.
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  • hey there,
    if you are thinking about cutting back on your meds...make sure that you inform the doctor that prescribed it to you as he/she needs to know what's going on...

    i'm a 48 female...i have a 17 yr old daughter. lumbar operations... '84, '85, '87 and '99... cervical operation...2 titanium plates and 6 screws...'98 ...right shoulder inpingemet and acromioclavicular arthritis...'99... repair of left knee...'96... torn maniscus...left knee...'96... torn maniscus/right knee...'93...

    i hope this helps you out.
    blessed be
  • Thanks for the info. Cant get ahold of the doc, in surgery and doesnt have a nurse. Pharm said to cut out afternoon pill for one week and move on to the next. Decide what you need more, morning or night pill. Then cut pills in half and so on and so on.Any withdrawls you cant handle, call the doc but said to drink lots of water as you suggested. Said I could get headhaches and stomach upset but should be successful if I do it gradually.Doc did say in hospital to try to ween yourself off when you think your ready. I'll give it a try, wish me luck!!
  • Don't be afraid to go down to 1/4 tabs if you feel they help. I know it sounds silly but I have done the taper and stop several times in the last 3 years.

    I hate the flu like symptoms and was determined to not go that route this time. I actually cut halves in half!

    Doing it this way and taking my time I stopped completely without issues.
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  • You can do it with a knife and cutting board, but even better, there are pill cutters at the pharmacy that will cut as small as a quarter tablet and are probably more accurate. That is the route I have gone, when I need less pain meds I cut them in half and see how I do that way, and eventually cut them completely out if I don't need them. And, yes, I did notify my doc when doing this, it's always a good idea to let your doc know what is going on and get their advice.
  • I also am not sure about pain med, when to cut back, when to stay. I worry that iI will become too dependent, some times I am not sure if it is pain or just that i think it migh be starting to become pain. I am not sure how much sencs this makes but my dr just refilled the Vicodin for 90 pills. I am 7 weeks out L4L5
  • Yeah Scared Mom, I wonder too. I think I'm going to stop taking my pain meds soon since I'm finally getting some relief from PT and Chiro.
  • I cut out the 2o'clock dose on Friday (3 days now)and I didn't feel any different. Im going to start with the morning pill next((Tuesday). I am stiff when I first get up but once I start moving around Im pretty good. If I cant go without, I'll take half.I'll keep you updated on my progress.Thanks everyone.

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