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Unread 10-05-2015, 01:19 AM   #1
down2nothing
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Smile On Suboxone For 6 Years

I would like to know what other members think about the fact that I am taking 5 mgs of suboxone daily (2mg 8am, 2mg noon and 1mg 4pm)? I have been on this dosing schedule for about 3 yrs. Ive been on suboxone since May 2009 (seems like just yesterday). I get relief from depression, anxiety and pain not to mention that Im no longer chasing after illegal drugs like oxycodone, methadone, roxys etc. I will turn 56 in 2016 and have no plans to taper much lower than 4mgs (seems to be threshold or support level). After 6 years I would like to be switched to subutex because there are real drawbacks to naloxone (they are numerous including risk of severe pain if suffering an accident, reduced production of natural endorphins, headaches, toothaches, tooth decay and much more). Anyway, just curious if there are other stories out there from people on suboxone for 6 years or more and how they are doing. Is the drug still working, is it keeping you sober, how long and how many mgs are you taking? Those who have tapered down or off completely, Could I hear from you too?
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Unread 10-05-2015, 06:46 AM   #2
NancyB
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Hi down2nothing, I'd just like to clear up a couple of things about the naloxone. It has very poor bioavailability sublingually and in the GI tract and for those reasons, it's considered clinically insignificant in the Suboxone formulation. The only reason it is there is to deter IV injection. If it is injected it could cause precipitated withdrawals.
http://www.naabt.org/faq_answers.cfm?ID=64

Some of the other things you mentioned can be related to opiates not naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. The agonist properties of bupe stop the cravings and withdrawals and for some people, help with pain and even depression. It's the bupe that render full agonist opioids useless if taken. This link explains it well:
http://www.naabt.org/collateral/How_Bupe_Works.pdf

Here's a link for bupe patients who need pain medication:
http://www.naabt.org/faq_answers.cfm?ID=51

This link is about side effects that might be useful for you:
http://www.naabt.org/faq_answers.cfm?ID=3

The last thing is endorphin production. The decrease in natural endorphin production may happen with any opioid taken over time. Because there are opioids coming into the brain from the outside, the mu (opioid) receptors are filled that way, and the natural endorphin production may slow down because there's no signal to the brain to produce them.

I hope that helps in clearing up some of the properties of both bupe and naloxone. Let us know.

Nancy
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Unread 10-06-2015, 12:39 AM   #3
down2nothing
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Yes on some of your responses, but not quite convinced on the naloxone vs endorphin argument. If you search the website, you will find information about it. There is information out there (on the web) that credits subutex with people tapering and quitting buprenorphine because of this relationship. I will admit that the following statement was not completely accurate,” I would like to be switched to subutex because there are real drawbacks to naloxone (they are numerous including risk of severe pain if suffering an accident, reduced production of natural endorphins, headaches, toothaches, tooth decay and much more).” I would reword that as follows:” I would like to be switched to subutex because there are real drawbacks to naloxone (they are numerous including reduced production of natural endorphins, headaches and if you google it, documented side effects. I really was more interested in just hearing from other members if you read my entire thread.
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Unread 10-07-2015, 11:26 AM   #4
GirlGettingOffSubs
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Hi down2nothing,

I was on suboxone off and on (mostly on though) for what seemed like a lot of years. At least 4 maybe more. I tapered off this past year. I had surgeries while on it and yes I had pain but it wasn't unbearable. I know this is not suggested but I took Percocet with the sub (I had tapered down to less than 2mg, maybe 1mg at that point) and I was fine.

I chose to stop because I didn't feel like myself. I feel better off of it and if you want you can read about it on my thread. I always felt better on less as opposed to more. My max dose was 8mg but I usually took less than 4mg, mostly 2mgs was fine for me.

I can understand your concerns, Nancy is the mastermind behind the facts here, I am an RN but am better telling you my experience. I never heard about the naloxone being responsibe for all that, I just think our bodies get used to the opiate part of it and that causes all the side effects and problems. I know it's highly prescribed alone now (the naloxone) for alcohol and opiate addictions.

Whatever you decide to do, we are here to listen and support. Do you have side effects you are experiencing causing you to want to change? I know exercise is the best endorphin producer. .

I don't think too many doctors are willing to change patients off subs to bupe alone, unless you are pregnant or have a documented allergy. At least the 3 docs in my life I have seen felt that way. Anyhow, welcome to the best forum on the planet!

Angie

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Unread 10-10-2015, 01:15 AM   #5
down2nothing
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Hello Angie,

Yep Nancy is the mastermind, without her this site would be lost (well not quite), but a lot of threads and posts would go unanswered. Thanks for the attention that is all I was really looking for. I am however; truly interested in hearing things about other member’s experiences with buprenorphine, exactly the way you replied (you read my mind). I have read some of your stuff and will read more about your journey on and off buprenorphine. Yeah I brought up being switched to subutex about 3 years ago and my doctor acted like he never heard of that and just brushed me off. I have had the same doctor for about 5 years, he is really nice. I see him at 12 week intervals. I got as low as 4mg about 1.5 years ago. I stayed at 4mg for about 1 year. It reduced headaches and constipation.

Well it nice hearing from you GirlGettingOffSubs.
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Unread 10-10-2015, 11:42 AM   #6
GirlGettingOffSubs
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Hey down2nothing,

I am glad your doctor is nice, that makes such a difference. So many doctors tend to treat people like numbers and shuffle them through, getting themselves rich in the process. Wow, 12 week intervals, that's pretty awesome. What state are you in? The lowest my main doctor ever went with people was 1 month, occasionally 2 in rare occasions, but of course you still had to pay double price like you went once a month. Then when it came to tapering he had a moneymaking scam (maybe I don't know i bought the thing and my bf broke it bc he said it was a waste of money) to get this brainwave machine thing, like a tens machine for your brain to help increase certain neuons/pathways etc to help with tapering. But he never wanted to taper folks without it. I tapered down and didn't tell him. Then we moved.

Are you still on 4mgs? For me I got to 2 easily, even 1mg pretty breezily, after that it got a little more complicated but nothing massive. I knew my brain and body were so used to being on it for what felt like eons, and i was ready to get my own endorphins going again. But that's just me. Whatever you decide to do, we are here for you! And thanks for the compliments, haha, I wish i was a mind reader, wait, maybe I don't . But thanks for responding back and keep me posted on your journey here! You are right this place would probably be like a ghost town without Nancy.

Okay, enjoy your weekend! Hopefully the weather is nice where you are.
Angie
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Unread 10-11-2015, 08:23 AM   #7
deanna
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Hi I have been in recovery for 7 years, and am currently taking .25mg buprenorphine a day. I am trying to taper off the medication for good, real soon.
I have been on both subutex and suboxone, and I personally couldnt tell a difference. But, as we all know, everyone is different.
I have 2 questions for you. I am wondering why you take the medication 3 times a day, and also wondering if you have any sort of support system because you asked if anyone taking the medication 6 yrs or longer is still staying sober and if the medication still works.
I would be happy to answer any questions you have for me as well.
Deanna
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Unread 10-12-2015, 10:54 PM   #8
down2nothing
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Hi GirlGettingOffSubs,
Yeah the doctor is super nice; he specializes in treating aids (I do not have aids) and also treats suboxone patients. The doctor really enjoys helping addicted opiate users and feels suboxone is to expensive and is not being made available to the poor and those who need it most (I agree totally). I’m in Wisconsin, and I’m taking 5 mg/day but I split the doses 3x because it helps me keep going throughout the day (I have pain, anxiety and depression). 1 dose/day just does not work for me, I lose productivity. The brainwave machine Huh! Sounds a little fishy.
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Unread 10-13-2015, 09:00 PM   #9
down2nothing
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Hello Deanna,
Question 1 was answered in the previous post to Angie. Question 2, I am interested in hearing about the long term relationship to suboxone intake and if the medication can sustain its effect 6, 8, 10 or more years. In other words has anybody for example not stayed sober (gone back to drug of choice) DOC because the buprenorphine is not maintaining its effect. I am just interested in hearing from other members, does not have to be specific. I do not regularly take part in counseling (support system) although I do attend NA meetings at times.
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Unread 10-15-2015, 02:15 PM   #10
GirlGettingOffSubs
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Hi down!

It's funny how new medications come out and there aren't any long term studies. . Kinda learn we go I guess. Bupe has been around for a long time in Europe I think but only used for pain not addiction treatment. I think though that the mechanism of action is different than other opiates and therefore works differently than other opiates where you need more and more. So I am pretty confident that it will continue to work, I don't often hear of folks needing more and more.

I could be wrong here, but my bf takes it, and his insurance recently changed so it won't cover 3 films a day, only 2. He used to take 3 but is fine on 2 8mg films. Maybe the insurance is cheap but I bet there's a study somewhere to back that up.

Hope that helps and you are doing well!! Our minds are our worst enemy.
Angie
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Unread 05-24-2016, 12:32 PM   #11
cnmt
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I have been on suboxone for at least 4 years and works well forme, just found doctor more recently in my area about 7 months now. searched for one for years with out success. Either no openings or had to enter intense inpatient drug program. I work full time job had for 16 years so coucouldn't do that. Thought would never get real help unless wanted give up my job life etc. was a pain pill user for years and subs are a god send. Now that iI finally found good program and dDr I love gonna try to start tapering slowly. Subs kept me clean from anything else for a long time even before found my program and Dr. Think they are a great tool for people. Let you live life work etc why dealing w your addiction. Reading lots of great stuff on this sight glad iI found it. Reading everyone's taper stories and experience s gives me hope I can do it too.
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