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Thread: Getting Off...?!

  1. #1
    Senior Member SurfCat's Avatar
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    Getting Off...?!

    I've been on increasing doses of vicodin and then oxy contin for about 7 yrs. now attempting to make my neuropathic pain in my butt and legs livable. I'm now taking around 160 mg of OC / day (4x40).

    I've finally decided I want my mind (my life!)back in the sharp condition it was in pre-injury.

    My fierce 3-month debate: What is the best way to detox my mind/body from the vice-grip of oxy contin? The two options: 1. Rapid Detox 2. Slow weaning.
    (If you haven't heard, Rapid detox is a cutting edge but tested procedure of pumping all of the medication out of the body and off the receptors. You are put asleep and go through all withdrawals over next 4 hours while unaware.)

    Can anyone help provide insight into this life decision? Though the meds do provide some pain relief I don't believe the side effects of vhorrible stomach problems, slowing of intellect and mood swings justify staying n any longer. I don't believe I'm addicted but obviusly my body is totally dependent on the chems after all this time. I've gone without for just hours before vand DO NOT want to have to experience that withdrawal crazy-feeling ever again!

    I await your collective wisdom...Thank you!

    PS -- To anyone who has done this before...
    Was your pain much worse afterwards...ouch?

  2. #2
    Surf
    Tonight I had the most perfect burn. It was so perfect I didn't even think it was bizarre. It was exactly like I had just been burned. Of course, I don't remember what normal pain feels like any more. Why didn't it devastate me? I don't know.

    There are others here better about going off meds, but I do have a perspective. Enduring pain is about psychological strength. If you can find a way to have strength, you can endure pain and if you cannot it certainly threatens your survival. I hate withdrawal, the what the heck is goihg on with me feeling, creepy, and the memory of it is still intimidating after several years. However, I was able to get off not by a method but by having certain things in my life show me a little mercy so I could tough it out. I think either way can work and either can fail because I believe the psychological context is the most important element of success. I don't mean to wait until life is great, it won't be, but I mean wait until you don't care about the losses you can do nothing about. Wait for the mental numbness to set in. I don't know if I believe someone in severe pain should even attempt to get off meds if the psychological context is not there. CP is brutal and until you get in the right environment, I don't think any method will work for long. Good luck and best wishes. When it is over you realize:
    1 how bad the pain is, as you rerecognize it and
    2) how useless the medicine really is.

    Again, I think doing what it takes to keep away life stress is the most important element of survival. Short of general anesthesia I dont' think anything dents bad CP burning very much.

    I am very interested in comments of those on ziconotide since it really actually does stop pain WEIRD. I can't tell if anyone with CP dysesthesia has used ziconotide (prialt) but I am very curious. Too expensive to think about right now, but very interesting. I kind of doubt side effects will be enough not to use it. The side effects of pain are themselves too great. Antivirals cost 20-30 thousand per year for HIV positives/AIDS. However, I don't think medicare will provide the same medication for patients with pain, who will probably have about the same costs for ziconotide. I really wonder if it helps nerve injury pain.

    [This message was edited by dejerine on 01-07-05 at 04:47 AM.]

  3. #3
    Senior Member solarscar69's Avatar
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    I recently came off of vicodin and it was pure hell.

    Had intense anxiety, eye's bugging out all the time, cold as hell all the time, severe depression, nerve pain and spasms increased, felt remorse including other things, doc put me on clonodine to help, it kinda helped sedate me, but i found nothing but time really works for a detox. I tried to do the wean thing, but it really never worked, i had to straight cold turkey it as i knew it would be the worst way as far as symptoms go, but i know how i am, you may be different as you may be able to stick with the taper plan better than i. I wasn't addicted in the sense where i was abusing the vicodin, but i clearly knew i was taking them to avoid withdrawal's and that alone pissed me off, even if i am in pain. All of this finally subsided after 3 weeks and though i am in pain still, i found that Motrin works well enough, though there are risks with that too, no free lunch's. Take it hour by hour day by day, even one minute to the next and tell yourself congratulations for each hour that passes without taking the pain meds.

    Having said that, after i quit taking vicodin, i realized the pain was much harder to deal with mentally, but remarkably after taking some Motrin and the pain subdued, i felt the anxiety/depression lift with it. Pain can be mentally disturbing, i believe more so then the physical part of it by far.

    Good luck and if want to talk to someone, i am here. I know how bad it sucks.

    When the insomnia hits you, if it does, i like to take some of the melatonin sleeping aid, its natural, OTC, safe and works well.

    faster than a speeding ticket

  4. #4
    Senior Member BeeBee's Avatar
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    Have you considered Neurotin?

  5. #5
    Senior Member SurfCat's Avatar
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    Thanks dej and solar for your thoughtful responses. I know that whatever path I choose it will be a long one but with God's grace, a manageable one. It is good to know there are those who have gone there before me.

    Where do you two find your strength when the pain threatens to steamroll your will?

    Also, anyone else who has detoxed pls. help w/ my dilemna (original post).

  6. #6
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    Surfcat---My husband Greg was on Oxycontin 30mg three times a day. We gradually detoxed...it took 6 months. He wasn't on as much as you, nor for as long (probably 3 years). We decreased by 5mg every 10 days.(We switched from long acting to instant release so we could decrease only 5mg at a time). This made it tolerable with no side effects because we took it real slow. We worked with a pain management doctor. Does Greg feel more pain now than he did? No, his pain is still very bad, but the oxy didn't make it any better. He takes Neurontin too and Lorcet for breakthrough pain relief. But he's very happy to be off the oxy, too many bad experiences. It totally messed with his heart and respiration when a foolish doctor failed to give it to him during a hospitalization for a bladder infection. He had to go on a respirator. Whatever you do, DON'T rapid detox. That stuff is nasty. And your central nervous system is already compromised because you have a SCI. I think that coming off the drug effects people with spinal injuries worse than people without. Go at it slow... we've got nothing but time. God bless...

    [This message was edited by sworrel on 01-09-05 at 10:09 AM.]

  7. #7
    surf cat , you should be in a good pain management program when you do this, what happens if the pain incapacitates you? maybe discuss with your pain doctor what meds he will try on you first , with drugs like neurontin, i think it takes a couple weeks at least , to safely ramp up to probably at least a 2400 mg a day dose for pain,
    you need some good docs with probably weekly contacts

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