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Unread 12-25-2009, 11:38 PM   #1
SkipDivided
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Unhappy Swollen Feet & Ankles! Please Help!

Hi, this is my 1st post here, hope I put it in the right place. So here's my story:
6 months ago I was prescribed Subutex, after a 13 year addiction to shooting H. I had a HORRIBLE 1st 3 days trying to transition to Subutex & called my Dr. He called in a scrip of 10mg Vallium 4 me to take; 1 pill twice a day. I then felt better, but still had a hard time sleeping. During my next Dr visit I told him about my sleeping issues & he prescribed me Lunesta to take 1 - 2mg tab @ night. So once I was more stable, I was taking about 16 mgs of Subutex a day under my tongue, 20 mgs of Vallium, 2 mgs of Lunesta, & 50mgs of an OTC Tylenol-Free Sleep Aid (Diphenhydrmine), along w/ some wine & cigarettes.
So this is what I had been doing for the 1st 4 months & it was working for me.
Then a couple months ago my GF decides to go on Subutex also, so she went to the same Dr, but had qualified for a free monthly supply of Suboxone for up to a year, by filling out an application she found on line here, by the Drug Company. So she gets 90-8mg tablets of Suboxone free every month. So because of how expensive the Subutex is, we decided to share.
So for the last couple months I've been taking both. I'm wondering if that could be the cause of my feet & ankles being totally swollen? The only other time this has happened to me in my life, was B4 I even started Subutex. It was about 7 months ago & I was going through a lot of stressful stuff! I thought it was because I was muscling H. in my thighs back then, but now I don't know...
So now it happened again! I am going through some really stressfull stuff right now W/ my GF & I've been upset & deppressed. So I don't know if it's the stress or if it's from mixing the Subutex & the Suboxone?
Oh & if anyone wants to know why I'm mixing them now, it's because a couple months I started snorting the Subutex. It's the original Subutex BTW, Not the new generic brand that's cut w/ talc. I found that by crushing up the Subutex super fine & snorting it, you acctually Feel it & need 1/2 as much. (& by doing this I've managed to taper myself from 16mgs a day to 6-10mgs a day-depending on my mood...)
So I snort it when I'm at home after work or on my days off & then when I'm out or at work, I take the Suboxone Sublingually. So maybe it's the NALOXONE that's causing my feet & ankles to swell up???
I really don't know if it's a weird drug interaction or if it's the heavy stress I'm under for the 2nd time now.
I know I've gone on about this for a while now, so I'll stop.
But I would REALLY APPRECIATE any help, advise, or insight anyone can give.
Thank you & Happy Holidays!
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Unread 12-26-2009, 02:50 PM   #2
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By abusing your treatment medication you could be doing all kinds of destructive things to your body, in addition to intentionally continuing the addictive behavior, the reason you are taking it in the first place.

Inhaling sublingual medication can be extremely hazardous as the cornstarch and other fillers can become lodged in the sinus cavities and become a food source for fungi or mold spores. Sometimes it can become so infected that it has to be removed by surgery. Your sinus cavities are located behind your face. Google sinus surgery and see why inhaling your medication isn’t smart.

The purpose of the medication is to stop cravings and withdrawal which then allows you to more easily stop the addictive behaviors that ruin lives. You are continuing the addictive behavior and not allowing yourself to develop new and healthy patterns of behavior, thus rendering the treatment useless. You are not getting better while doing this, you are reinforcing abnormal and addictive behaviors making them harder to change later on.

As far as the swelling, you should see a doctor about that ASAP. It could be something minor or it can be very serious especially with a history of heroin injecting. Injecting can cause heart valve infections which could lead to swelling in the extremities.

First, change the things in your control, start taking the medication s prescribed. Second, get a professional assessment of the swelling, third find a counselor that can help you create and maintain strategies for new healthy patterns of behavior, so you can someday reach a point where you no longer need medication to keep the addiction in remission. You can find doctors and counselors at www.naabt.org/local

Tim
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Unread 12-27-2009, 12:18 PM   #3
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TIM SAID: As far as the swelling, you should see a doctor about that ASAP. It could be something minor or it can be very serious especially with a history of heroin injecting. Injecting can cause heart valve infections which could lead to swelling in the extremities.
This happened to me as well, I wasn't abusing anything else, just following doctor's orders, my PCP prescribed a lasix (sp), to take with my blood pressure pills. I would get medical attention from your priamary care doctor as Tim advised and fast. The lasix is a water pill, so anything you drink, comes out, and it gets fluids out of your system makeing the swelling go down. PLEASE DON'T TAKE MY ADIVCE EXCEPT THE ONE ABOUT GETTING MEDICAL ATTENTION. Let your pcp decide what is best for your swelling. Tim is so right..
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Unread 12-27-2009, 02:47 PM   #4
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OK, I will make an apnt to see my DR. on Monday, but the REAL question I came here for is if anyone thinks that it is NOT a good idea to use both Subutex & Subosone at the same time.
( I did decide to stick to just the Subutex for the next few days to see if that could be the cause) And the swelling wen't down a lot yesterday & today.....
I would appreciate any opinions.
Thank you so much!
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Unread 12-27-2009, 10:48 PM   #5
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When I switched from Suboxone to Subutex my doctor sad to make sure that you don't take them together because something about they cancel each out and do some other weird things. Who knows, definitely go to the doctor but that just what he told me.
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Unread 12-27-2009, 11:14 PM   #6
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Hi Lily, your doctor gave you incorrect information (go figure, right?). They don't cancel each other out. The main, active ingredient in both is buprenorphine. They generally work the same for people unless someone is hypersensitive to the naloxone or some coloring/flavoring/filler that is one but not the other. Otherwise, for most people, the naloxone is 'clinically insignificant'.
http://www.naabt.org/faq_answers.cfm?ID=64

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Unread 12-28-2009, 12:27 AM   #7
SkipDivided
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Red face Mixing Subutex & Suboxone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lily29 View Post
When I switched from Suboxone to Subutex my doctor sad to make sure that you don't take them together because something about they cancel each out and do some other weird things. Who knows, definitely go to the doctor but that just what he told me.
Hi & thank u 4 ur reply. I don't think people here liked me being completely honest w/ my post, oh well, lesson learned.
My DR. is pretty new at this & I'm the 1st H addict that he's treated w/ Sub. Everyone else he said is there for Vicodin, Oxy, etc. So that's why I came here for advice...
I'm currious as to why your DR. would start you out on Soboxone 1st then switch you over to Subutex? Did you ask for that? Because most DR's do it the other way around to make sure that any side effects you may have are not being caused by the Buprenorphine, but the Naloxone AKA Narcan.
I think mixing them may be the problem for me, it was a money saving decision, but now that they have generic Bup available I may switch to that.
Thanks again!
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Unread 12-28-2009, 12:40 AM   #8
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Red face Thanks Nancy

Quote:
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Hi Lily, your doctor gave you incorrect information (go figure, right?). They don't cancel each other out. The main, active ingredient in both is buprenorphine. They generally work the same for people unless someone is hypersensitive to the naloxone or some coloring/flavoring/filler that is one but not the other. Otherwise, for most people, the naloxone is 'clinically insignificant'.
http://www.naabt.org/faq_answers.cfm?ID=64

Nancy
Hi Nancy,
I do happen to be on the more sensitive side when it comes to reactions to certain things & my body reacts differently than other people I know. That's why I thought maybe it was the Naloxone/Narcan that was causing my feet to swell. And my DR. doesn't have a lot of Sub patients, so I thought I would come here for advise. But maybe I supplied too many details...
I will call my DR. tomorrow & try to get an appointment soon.
By the way I did stop taking the Suboxone 5 days ago & have only been using the Subutex. The swelling of my feet has gone down a lot, so maybe that was it? I'm not sure.
Well thanks for being here! Take care.
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Unread 12-28-2009, 12:50 AM   #9
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For me it was the rare but serious side effects I had from the Naloxone. I switched and everything was fine.
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Unread 12-28-2009, 01:09 AM   #10
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For me it was the rare but serious side effects I had from the Naloxone. I switched and everything was fine.
Hey,
Just curiuos what kind of reactions you were having to the Naloxone, there's a whole list of possible side affects.
Really appreciate your help & insight!
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Unread 12-28-2009, 01:14 AM   #11
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The worst were the headaches, I get Migraines and if I didn't take an imitrex i'd be out all day. Horrible anxiety, and I couldn't sleep without taking something heavy duty like seroquel. Really bad hot flashes. If I remember more i'lll write them i'm headiing offf ot sleep now...
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Unread 12-28-2009, 08:07 AM   #12
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Hi SkipDivided, you may have had a reaction to the naloxone – people who are hypersensitive have reported edema, headaches, rashes, hives – but with the snorting of the medication thrown into the mix, that leaves another set of possible complications. So, the best thing would be to be on the safe side and rule out anything else, as swelling can be connected with heart problems, and heart problems can come from snorting the med.

So, please be safe and get checked out, just in case.

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Unread 12-28-2009, 02:26 PM   #13
SkipDivided
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Thanks. Doubt my DR will know anything & I'm not going to tell him I was snorting the Subutex. And this did happen to me once B4, way B4 I even started the Sub. I though it was stress, but who knows...
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Unread 12-28-2009, 03:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkipDivided View Post
Hi & thank u 4 ur reply. I don't think people here liked me being completely honest w/ my post, oh well, lesson learned.
My DR. is pretty new at this & I'm the 1st H addict that he's treated w/ Sub. Everyone else he said is there for Vicodin, Oxy, etc. So that's why I came here for advice...
I'm currious as to why your DR. would start you out on Soboxone 1st then switch you over to Subutex? Did you ask for that? Because most DR's do it the other way around to make sure that any side effects you may have are not being caused by the Buprenorphine, but the Naloxone AKA Narcan.
I think mixing them may be the problem for me, it was a money saving decision, but now that they have generic Bup available I may switch to that.
Thanks again!
I can't speak for everyone but I for one know that I want you to be completely honest with your post, it's the only way anyone can help you or give you advice.

As far as why the doctor would start you out on Suboxone, I believe the Naloxone in it makes it harder to shoot up or snort, and I think (not positive) that it makes you sick if you try to take any opiates. My doctor is incorrect a lot of the time (lol Nancy) but that is what I've gotten from doing internet research and from my peers on this site.

I understand not telling your doctor you were snorting because he would probably take you off immediately, but you need to stop this addictive behavior. I'm only saying this because I care. The whold point of suboxone is using it as a tool to stop your cravings while you figure out how to live an addiction free healthy life. Snorting them is just continuing the addictive behavior. I know because I tried it too, then I realized I was using Sub just like I used to use my DOC, so I stopped.

I don't know how you feel about 12 step groups or therapy, but they are both great tools for recovery. Of it the 12 step deal isn't your thing, there are a lot of groups that focus on behavior rather than using a higher power.

Believe me, I know that some people can come off wrong but we all really do have your best interest at heart. Make sure you get that swelling out and keep us posted.

Your friend,
Lily
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Unread 12-29-2009, 05:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkipDivided View Post
I'm not going to tell him I was snorting the Subutex. ...
Here's what can happen to people who snort their medication
http://www.njmoldinspection.com/aspergillus/sinus2.jpg

Sub
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Unread 12-29-2009, 05:56 PM   #16
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One word-DISGUSTING!
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Unread 12-29-2009, 06:54 PM   #17
SkipDivided
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Default going to the DR. tomorrow

OK everyone, got the point. I'm goint to the doctor tomorrow.
My feet have gone down a lot & I think maybe it was cuz I was standing so much, not getting enough sleep, stressed out & work & home, & depressed. I don't think it's from snorting the Subutex, cuz this happened once b4 I even started on the Sub.
I'm having a really hard time with this & like I said B4 it is not my choice!
Does anyone actually know of someone that had to get surgery or did anyone here personally have the same problem? Or are you guys just trying to scare me??? I came here for advise, but maybe this is not where I should be right now......
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Unread 12-29-2009, 07:23 PM   #18
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Skip,

This is in no way a substitute for medical advice but my brother was also severely depressed and he got ECT treatments. They were the only thing that worked for him. You can google them, but I just thought I would make you aware of them in case you didn't know. My brother has had sever depression since 16, he is now 32 and they are the only thing that has ever worked. He says it's like a cloud has lifted.

-Lily
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Unread 12-29-2009, 11:47 PM   #19
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Default ECT treatment?

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Skip,

This is in no way a substitute for medical advice but my brother was also severely depressed and he got ECT treatments. They were the only thing that worked for him. You can google them, but I just thought I would make you aware of them in case you didn't know. My brother has had sever depression since 16, he is now 32 and they are the only thing that has ever worked. He says it's like a cloud has lifted.

-Lily
Hi Lily,
thank 4 the responce, but FYI I've never had problems w/ deppression B4, in my life. I've just been going through some stressfull stuff w/ in the past couple months. That's why I've been sad & starting 2 snort my Sub.
My Sig Other & I have been going through some tough shit w/ our relationship latley, & after living together 4 so many years neither of us know what to do about it...
I started on sub cuz I HAD to due 2 an unfortunant situation, but they r not on Sub themselves, & the Sub deff helps me w/ cravings but w/ all this BS in my life right now I'm having a hard time w/ my addictive behavior/habbits.
I've been doing drugs since I've been 15 years old & I was Always a well finctioning addict, in school, work, etc.
This is all new to me, that's why I came here 4 advise. It's all I've known...
But back to the ECT treatment, I don't think that's nessesary 4 me, but thanks.
Take care!
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Unread 12-29-2009, 11:50 PM   #20
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Is the only thing you're trying to get advice on your swollen feet? Then yes, this is probably not the right website for you. You should probably just go see a doctor, or perhaps try more of a webMD site, not a ADDICTION survivors site.
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Unread 12-29-2009, 11:57 PM   #21
SkipDivided
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How about if anyone has any suggestions on how I can help myself to stop snorting my SUB? NA meetings just don't work for me, I've tried... Maybe someone else here has had the same problem & can give me some advise?
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Unread 12-30-2009, 12:00 AM   #22
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Anyone know of another site out there for addicts that are still struggling with their addictions? For people that are not totally "ADDICTION SURVIVORS" yet?
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Unread 12-30-2009, 12:34 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TIM View Post
By abusing your treatment medication you could be doing all kinds of destructive things to your body, in addition to intentionally continuing the addictive behavior, the reason you are taking it in the first place.

Inhaling sublingual medication can be extremely hazardous as the cornstarch and other fillers can become lodged in the sinus cavities and become a food source for fungi or mold spores. Sometimes it can become so infected that it has to be removed by surgery. Your sinus cavities are located behind your face. Google sinus surgery and see why inhaling your medication isnÂ’t smart.

The purpose of the medication is to stop cravings and withdrawal which then allows you to more easily stop the addictive behaviors that ruin lives. You are continuing the addictive behavior and not allowing yourself to develop new and healthy patterns of behavior, thus rendering the treatment useless. You are not getting better while doing this, you are reinforcing abnormal and addictive behaviors making them harder to change later on.

As far as the swelling, you should see a doctor about that ASAP. It could be something minor or it can be very serious especially with a history of heroin injecting. Injecting can cause heart valve infections which could lead to swelling in the extremities.

First, change the things in your control, start taking the medication s prescribed. Second, get a professional assessment of the swelling, third find a counselor that can help you create and maintain strategies for new healthy patterns of behavior, so you can someday reach a point where you no longer need medication to keep the addiction in remission. You can find doctors and counselors at www.naabt.org/local

Tim
I think Tim gave you some pretty good advise on how to handle your situation. Maybe try AA meetings, they tend to be a little different than NA. Or maybe therapy like he said. The point is, is this medicine is supposed to help you to stop your addictive behavior and give you the time to learn a new way of life. Saying this is all you have ever known is common, for a lot of us. But to choose another path instead is a whole different story, you could make for yourself.I wish you luck.
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Unread 12-30-2009, 12:44 AM   #24
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thanks...
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Unread 12-30-2009, 08:25 AM   #25
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Hi SkipDivided, the big question is 'are you ready to give up the addictive behavior of snorting your meds'? If you're not, then nothing anyone can say will help.

If you are ready, you might then look into finding a therapist who is well versed in CBT (Cognitive Behavioral therapy). I know that has helped some people in learning how to change their addictive, compulsive behavior with the needle. What happened is that they became addicted to the ritual of injecting drugs, and even though they entered recovery and were no longer chasing drugs, they were still addicted to the process of taking the drugs. Some go as far as shooting water because they just cannot stop the behavior. This seems similar to what you're going through. You, IMO, seem to be addicted to the ritual of snorting, and it has carried on from your former drug of choice to Suboxone/Subutex. Does that make sense?

This is a thread that someone posted about some online tools for CBT if you're interested.
http://www.addictionsurvivors.org/vb...ad.php?t=22482

As for your relationship, is this something that the two of you can sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk about it? I know that can sometimes cause discomfort for either or both parties, but until you two get it out and are able to talk about it, it will continue to eat away at both of you. If you're leery of starting that conversation, how about writing a letter and stating what is bothersome and offering to sit down and talk? Just a couple of things I thought about, not sure if you've done that, but wanted to throw it out there.

I hope that helps, and please don't feel as though you need to leave here because you're still struggling. We'll help you the best we can.

Good luck at the doctor today, let us know what happens.

Nancy
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Unread 12-31-2009, 12:54 AM   #26
SkipDivided
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Ok so I went to my DR today & he doesn't think the swelling is anything to worry about. He said that if it was heart issues or I was diabetic, it would be a chronic problem; not something that's happened 3 times in the past 7 months. He thinks it's from standing too much, too much salt in my diet, & stress.
So hopefully he's right. The swelling went down completely today, so that's good.
Just thought I would let everyone know. Thanks for your advise & concerns.
Happy New Year!
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Unread 12-31-2009, 07:51 AM   #27
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Hi SkipDivided, thanks for the update. I'm glad that it's nothing serious.

Hopefully you'll be able to make some changes so it happens even less.

Happy, healthy New Year to you also!

Nancy
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Unread 05-05-2010, 03:24 AM   #28
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I had swollen feet the first couple of days and went to WebMD they told me to see my DR. ASAP. as this can be a sign of heart problems. Luckily it wasn't: I am sensitive to the Naloxone and was swallowing the residue when I stared spitting it out the swelling (and vomiting) went away.
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Unread 05-05-2010, 08:49 AM   #29
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My feet feel like they have bb's in them in the am when i first walk on them. After a few minutes it goes away, but still is agravating every morning. Look at it this way- it beats the heck out of withdrawals!
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Unread 05-06-2010, 04:32 PM   #30
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Yeah, I just decided 2 tell my Dr that I didn't want the suboxone & only want to take the subutex. So ever since then I've been good. Thanks 4 everyones help!
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Unread 05-06-2010, 04:48 PM   #31
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Hi SkipDivided, do you have insurance to cover the Subutex? If not, then ask for the generic, it will save you a ton of money.

I'm glad the swelling is gone now. How are you doing otherwise?

Thanks for the update!

Nancy
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Unread 05-06-2010, 04:49 PM   #32
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I've had issues with swollen ankles and feet on and off since starting on Sub on 2/21/10 (about 2 1/2 months ago), and never had it before. After doing a lot of research and having tests, I am pretty sure I am sensitive to the Naloxone. I will try spitting out the residue and see if that helps ... I've also been walking (a lot) every day up and down hills, etc. with the dog, and am about 40 lbs overweight, so it may also be a result of too much impact. My knees are killing me. At least my back doesn't hurt any more! Which is why I started taking Norco to begin with, and then started abusing it ... and then started Suboxone. Whew! Life is very circular like that. Ugh. Well, I have to go take an Aleve now ...
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Unread 05-10-2010, 06:37 PM   #33
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Question Generic vrs Brand for Subutex

Quote:
Originally Posted by NancyB View Post
Hi SkipDivided, do you have insurance to cover the Subutex? If not, then ask for the generic, it will save you a ton of money.

I'm glad the swelling is gone now. How are you doing otherwise?

Thanks for the update!

Nancy
Hi Nancy,
No I don't have insurance & SO much of my $ is going toward Dr. Visits & my scrips. It was very difficult 4 me 2 find the generic Subutex, but finally did.
I'm wondering if anyone else out there has had the same experience w/ the generic as I have had.
I really feel like they aren't as strong or something is off w/ them. When I take the generic Sub, I feel w/d syptoms a lot faster & if I go 4 a longer period of time between doses, I don't feel like the generic kicks in as fast or as much as the brand does.
Is there anyone else that you've heard this happening w/?
I know that if u can find the generic, it is cheaper, but not if u need twice as much 4 it to work...
Appreciate any help.
Thanks.
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Unread 05-10-2010, 07:13 PM   #34
Sunny Rae
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Hello there. You may have gotten your answer, but my feet & ankles did the same thing. I started spitting out the meds after they disolved, and it went away. It just means that your body doesn't like one of the ingrediants (totally not spelled right, sorry)
So ya, just spit it out, and you will be good. Good luck!
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Unread 05-11-2010, 07:40 AM   #35
NancyB
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Hi SkipDivided, I've only read of a couple of people saying that they felt they needed more of the generic than they did with the brand name. Have you tried the no smoking or caffeine for at least 30 minutes before taking it and rinsing your mouth out with as hot water as you can stand right before to see if that will help with absorption?

You're right, if you need twice as much, there's not much of a point. Yikes!

Keep us posted on if you can get more absorption from it.

Nancy
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Unread 06-27-2010, 05:00 PM   #36
ironman
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I just started generic 'Text after years on Suboxone. Swollen ankles were history the very first day ! And I was really well practiced on the 'spitting', not swallowing toutine - it did't help. But I'm also finding I need more of the 'Tex. I could get by on 6mg of Suboxone TID. I find myself reaching for the bottle of 'Tex pretty darned quick these days for an additional dose and a half. I also feel the urge to dose much quicker so to speak - I used to spread the 2mg suboxone out over the course of the day (TID). Now I wake up, take 2mg 'Tex. Within an hour or so I'm looking to take another 2mg and once again an hour later (I really am trying not to) and then the 'extra' in the evening. I'm trying to stick with the TID regimine (8am, 2pm, 8pm) but it ain't happenin' here. I'll be running a bit short this month so I'm going to have to take the matter up with my MD. I'm always do damn self conscious though because of the 'stigma' thing. I had a hard time broaching the question of Suboxone vs 'Text as I feared that once I showed her how I suffered with the swollen ankle issue etc., she might tell me I had to D/C the Suboxone and then 'No, I don't prescribe 'Tex". I waited this long (4 years) because I wanted to have the 'track record' of having ZERO dirty urines to alleviate any concerns about switching me over to the 'Tex. Crazy I know but this is how many in the med. field react to addicts. Guess I cant blame 'em as they've seen many a patient 'drug seeking' over the years. Hard not to classify us all in one bunch (but they really need to). No different than racial prejudice though, they owe it to their patients to get over this. I was terrified that once I asked for the 'Text that I'd not only be told 'NO' but that a little red check mark would be put next to my name in the docs tickler file. With so many people now getting busted for street sale of the Sub., its not just a matter of the MD having to be concerned with the patient abusing the med. One can be as 'clean' as hell but seekig the 'Tex for its 'street' value. Something I pray doesn't become a large concern. I do think it will be less of an issue than the street dealing in Methadone though as what real benefit can someone get from scoring Sub ? At least they won't be wasted (unless OD from trying to get a 'high') and they will render their bodies immune from other illegal opiates for a day or so. Or, they will throw themselves into w/d which is likely to stem a reoccurrance of that little trick - if they have any control at least. Imagine walking into that experience blind ? No where near the downside though of the street trade in (deadly) Methadone IMHO.
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