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Suboxone to help get off of Norco



  • RosevilleTJ said:
    Their experience is that it greatly decreased the symptoms of withdrawal that would have normally been seen, w/out the Suboxone. This is backed up by statements all over the web. There are hundreds of positive reviews from first hand users. So, it is probably safe to assume, that for some, it works great, and for others, it doesn't. Isn't that how all drugs or meds are?
    You need to pay very close attention to the context of those reviews. Until recently, Suboxone use was limited to people who were on literally hundreds of milligrams of very powerful drugs like oxycontin, morphine, fentanyl, and a whole host of illegal drug cocktails at dosages that make pain management look meager in comparison.

    For people tapering off of very high doses of potent drugs or people with substance abuse/addiction issues, I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to recommend speaking with their doctors about using Suboxone to help them through that process. I'm especially not averse to recommending Suboxone to help people with substance abuse issues become more successful in their overall treatment programs.

    I'm not minimizing the withdrawal symptoms you experienced when I refer to using Suboxone in this situation as killing a fly with a flamethrower. What I'm referring to is proportional response. In my opinion, Suboxone for 18 months of Norco is like using IV morphine for a "had a lousy day at work" kind of headache. In the end, the headache will be gone, but it probably would have been gone after 2 Tylenol and a few hours rest, too.

    I just have to wonder if your doctor carefully considered what a 21-day taper off of the Norco would actually look like. From your original dose of Norco, using a 21-day taper, you would have to reducing your dose by an average of 3.8mgs of hydrocodone each day, which is less than a half a tablet a day reduction. To accomplish the same taper over 30 days, you'd have to reduce an average of 1/4 of a tablet per day.

  • I'm now at 9 weeks following my L5-S1 PLIF. I'm taking zero prescribed meds, have an occasional level 1 pain, kinda just a nuisance ache, and I take a couple of Tylenol to fix it. I am absolutely thrilled to be DONE with back pain. I'm certainly so empathetic to the others on this forum who haven't been so lucky, I wish everyone could be "Fixed", for me, I couldn't be any happier. (I'm also aware, for those who are already thinking it, that I may not be "Fixed" forever, but I'm choosing to think I am.
    I took my boat out today for 5 hours on the lake with the wife and kids, the kids and my wife all wake boarded for the first time since before my surgery. I really wanted to, but I didn't even think of mentioning it as my wife would have snapped! I took it easy and went slow over the waves, but it was a great day on the lake.
    Getting off the meds was horrible for me too, I went the very controversial "Suboxone" route. Anyway, I don't know if I would recommend it, in fact, I probably wouldn't, BUT, for me, I think it worked out fine. I only had one really cruddy day, and that was the third evening after stopping Suboxone, full blown flu like symptoms. I had 3 or 4 sleep deprived nights but from then on, I've been fine. Today's day 7 with no meds, other than an occasional two tylenol. I'm up and ready to go on my 1+mile walk.
    Have a great day!
    TJ = 39YO Male L5/S1 Fusion 6/24/09
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  • Thanks Sandi, I appreciate the note. I'm fighting a cold now, the sneezes kill me, not really that bad but, ouch, they don't feel good. I'm assuming it's just a cold and treating it as such.
    Take care and I sincerely appreciate your feedback,
  • RosevilleTJ said:
    First of all, love the Spine-Health Website and all the member contributions - Thank you to all. I wanted to share what I thought might be encouraging news to some. Summary of my story is "life happened" which led to herniated L5-S1. I am a happy dad, two kids and a wife, very busy all the time. Treated with Norco 10/325 4x/day. After 2 epidurals, had diskectomy/laminectomy in 3/08. That day, switched to 8 Norco/day. Pain never really went away, stayed on 8 Norco/day as well as 6 ~ 9 Neurontin. On ice 3 or 4 times / day. Joined Gym and did cardio (Eliptical) most days. Met with two different surgeons, both said surgery would be through front and back, that it would be a three day surgery, 10 days in hospital, and off work 8 months to a year. They both basically strongly discouraged surgery. The fact that I was relatively happy, and still functioning, (with meds help), made them decide not to risk surgery.
    L5-S1 Disk herniated again in July '09. I saw another new surgeon (with Kaiser), he looked at MRI and said, yep, let's fix this. So, I had surgery on 6/24. It was PLIF - through the back, fused L5-S1. While in hospital I was absolutely miserable - do doubt about it - it was horrible. BUT, now 5 weeks post-op, I feel pretty darn good. I've been wanting to get off the meds but couldn't (or chose not to) deal with the withdrawls. So, finally, to get to the point of my story (|: . I met with Dr. last week and he explained Suboxone's roll in helping me. Today, I went in there with moderate withdrawals and he gave me my first dose of Suboxone. Within 20 minutes I was back to feeling okay, he gave me two more, he monitored me for an hour, and I was good to go. So now, after 18 months of 8/Norco / day, I have gone 24 hrs with zero. I will be weening off the Suboxone for the next three weeks, at which point, I'll be med free. Obviously it's not going to be completely easy, but I wanted to share this story with others as I am very excited and optimistic about the future. Take care and feel free to ask if you have any questions. =D>
  • I've wanted to try Suboxone but only 2 Doctors in my are that prescribe it accept insurance. The Doctors that don't accept insurance are very expensive and want to see you like every 2 weeks, its a money making scam. Basically its way less expensive to just stay on my pain meds. The government puts so many restrictions on Doctors that prescribe Suboxone that they would rather just stay away from it. It makes me wonder where the priorities of our government are. Do they really want people to get off of narcotics or prescribed pain medications? I personally don't think so or a helpful drug like Suboxone would be easier to obtain than its narcotic counterparts. JMO
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  • Thank you for the update. I think it's great you had such a positive outcome. I want to take this opportunity to wish you much luck and success on the road ahead. I hope you will be able to keep that pain at bay, or at least keep it tolerable.

    I love to hear success stories. Thank you for sharing yours!
  • @Rose - glad you are feeling well. I too have been on some meds and changed/stopped them. I dont recommend my method, but for me -it worked. I am glad you are painfree. Keep up all of the good things that keep you moving!

    @rheology - There are many reasons for reducing the time between Dr visits. The meds themselves lend a hand in determining what interval is appropriate. Low dose Morphine is much different, than low dose Fent - which requires a minimum of 60mg Morph in order to start on the drug.

    As well - patients that are trying to alter thier meds, need that constant check to ensure that they are doing fine, while the meds are reduced. This are powerful drugs and have effects on the brain in ways that only come to light, as you reduce them and then watch the changes in behavior and actions.

    For this reason and many more - they [Dr's] need to keep a close check on you, until they are certain that you are going to be fine. It is thier license, not yours that is on the line.
  • Trent, I want to say that many here are not at the healing stage you are at. And are taking the meds you want to get off.
    I understand where you are at! I would like to suggest and do a sub search on there forum. There you will find the support and hundreds of people that are taking the same med. They can tell you the correct way to take and correct way to reduce. After you read many of those posts you will soon see why Sandi made her point.

    I'm not saying you went the right path or wrong path. But there you will find all the support you will need regarding this type of med.
    Good luck and stay strong!
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