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Unread 04-30-2008, 09:06 PM   #1
phenom804
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Default Side Effects? depression, no sex drive, unhappy...

my name is michael i am 28 years old, and have been on suboxone from a doctor since november 2006. i Currently am prescribed 4 mg once daily. in my 18+ months i have noticed somethings that differed from my opiate addiction, and from when i was sober.
well let me give you some backround. i was prescribed 180 hydrocodone 10/500 pain killers a month for 3 years starting when i was 18 years old from there you could guess that path i took, up to and including heroin experimentation and fentynal (smoking). this lasted up until someone from this site loctaed me a suboxone doctor. At that time i thought iw as saved....and i guess i have been to a point, i am not using and have never cheated and i have tapered from 24 mg a day to 4 mg a day, but i have never been more depressed, lifeless, miserable, unhappy and stressed w/ no libido! i am at that crossroad. For the first 6 months i started doing really well at work, showing up on time and getting in all of my hours, now i am on the verge of being fired, dropped to p/t and have no medical insurance, lost my car and really broke. I cannot get out of bed somedays and when i do i have no desire to do anything. Whne i eventually make it to work i just go through the motions take long breaks and leave early. My friends have noticed my behaviour too. My best friend goes nuts when i even show my face somewhere, but she will make comments to me, like your not as fun as u used to be, or as out going, and i dont know why. Before my addiction or even when i was using i had way more energy and still did the things i enjoyed, and had a girlfriend.
so anyways this is my dilemma. i have tried to stop taking the suboxone and i make it about 5 days everytime and crack. The withdrawls are not nearly as bad as before but i still get the butterfly's in my stomach, nausea and slight diarrea, and no desire to do anything but curl up in my bed. definatly wouldnt make it through a day of work. I am a bill collector and have to be sharp and beable to sit in one place 4 hours at a time.
Problem 2 my lack of energy has led me to use cocaine but only if i am on suboxone. Then i will go to work and be productive, but that is not the answer by any means. I have aquired a taste so to say for the symbiotic effects of the cocaine and suboxone together. Just like when i was using i liked opiates and cocaine together always, never teh cocaine by itself. So now i havr to fight that craving everytime i take my suboxone and i have no energy. I admit i am sometimes weak and do not make all of the right choices. but i dont know how much longer i can do this. I JUST WANT MY LIFE BACK! Without having to take 10 pills to feel normal, 1 sub, 1 for deopression, 1 to sleep, 1 to get an erection etc etc.... what can i do.
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Unread 04-30-2008, 09:09 PM   #2
phenom804
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I am not saying the suboxone is notaq great thing, because it is! I am not a junkie looking to find my next fix, but i am not normal either.
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Unread 04-30-2008, 09:36 PM   #3
Mr. T
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You sound like you are depressed, and it seems it is from the cocaine and not the sub. Cocaine hijacks the reward system like a freight train smashing into something. You sound like you need an anti depressant and to go see a psychiatrist. Cocaine destroy's erections. Good luck with all that.
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Unread 04-30-2008, 09:49 PM   #4
defeatedone
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sounds like an antidepressant like wellbutrin, or effexor or cymbalta would be something to look into. ssri's would decrease your sex drive further. do you have a psychiatrist? i recommend it. be very honest. TELL him sex drive is important to you, even if its hard to say, and that you are on sub etc.

i hear u on the tiredness>cocaine craving. i find the next few days though, after a coke binge (which it always turns into for me, at this point), i am SUPER depressed and tired, and i think its from the dopamine depletion; takes longer for that to recover even after the drug has left the body.
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Unread 04-30-2008, 09:54 PM   #5
TMONEY
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Micheal,
Thanks for your post, your honesty was refreshing. You say that you were kicking some ass the first six months, was there a big difference for you after six months or was it more gradual? Maybe your Sub dose is too high? Do you feel better when you don't take as much, for example when your trying to c/t do you feel better when you haven't taken any for a while(before withdrawals kick in)? I feel for ya, brother . . . when you don't have any energy everything sucks! I'm sure the coke won't help in the long run, but IMO you gotta do what you gotta do. You can do it!

-TMon
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Unread 04-30-2008, 10:43 PM   #6
Mike
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phenom804,
It sounds to me that life was much better while at high doses of sub. Why did you decide to taper? Tapering too fast or too soon or stopping treatment completely can lead to the problems you are having. It sounds like you also under a lot of stress right now and that makes it a bad time to taper. You may not be able to get your life back without medication, and that shouldn't be all that important to you. The main thing is to get back your quality of life. Talking medication doesn't prevent that and may be the only way. Cancer patients just want their lives back and would rather not take chemotherapy, but realize they need to and are happy it is available to them. Sometimes some support groups will demonize people for taking medications and make them feel guilty or that they are doing something wrong. This is an outdated and impractical view. Duplicate as many of the conditions that existed when you were last happy and go from there.

Depression can be completely debilitating, more than pain, or many other conditions. Finding the right treatment for you may be hard but it is worth it. A therapist can help teach you how to break connections to triggers and avoid cravings.
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Unread 05-01-2008, 01:33 AM   #7
lynnj726
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This has been my findings lately also. I started on Sub. in Jan., so Its been 5 months now. Initially, I thought wow, this is a miracle, no cravings, and felt great, full of energy. Lately, I am finding the opposite! I can hardly get out of bed, I am so moody...ups and downs and just dont feel happy lately, I don't get joy out of very much. I go to work, just to go through the motions and come home to feel overwhelmed and never return friends phonecalls. I tried Lexapro, which was a complete nightmare....never again! I haven't changed my dose, I am on 8mg./day. I don't take any other drugs, except occasionally ambien to sleep or ativan for some anxiety at night.
I don't know if this is due to the suboxone...dose too high or low? I don't want to think oh this must be depression, and try another pill, with possible Side effects. Could this be due to my body getting used to the suboxone and I need less or more?
Any input or advice would help greatly!
Thank you!
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Unread 05-01-2008, 04:24 AM   #8
kashka
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Hi there. These sound like absolutely typical symptoms of moderate depression and should be treated. I do not think it is a side effect of the sub. You may have been on an initial "high" as you became free of opiate use but now life has become mundane etc.
I use lexapro ( a small dose of 10mg per day) and for me it's a life saver. I still have my "down days" just like anybody but around 4-6 weeks after I started on it I felt like a dark cloud had lifted and I actually wanted to get out of bed in the morning.
When I was suffering badly from depression I could simply stay in bed all day - usually sleeping as much as possible to avoid the horrible feelings of being so "down".
Please talk to your doctor because I believe you need help with this,. I also see a counsellor for cognitive behavioural therapy that is used as an adunct to the anti depressant.
The very reason that you have tried cocaine lately indicates to me you are looking or seeking something in your life that feels like it's "missing"?
Do you have good frieds or are in a close relationship? Confide in those that you can trust and don't be afraid of depression. It can be beaten - and well!!
Cheers from Susan in Oz.
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Unread 05-01-2008, 11:37 AM   #9
NancyB
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Hi phenom804 and lynnj726, At the right dose bupe is should alleviate cravings and withdrawals. That's it. Some people get pain relief, some get anti-depressant effects, but they are considered bonuses from bupe.

Oftentimes there are underlying problems that may have been masked by misuse of the former DOC and come out after starting bupe. Are either one of you seeing a therapist? Are you doing anything else in addition to taking bupe?

lynnj726, lethargy is one sign of too high a dose. Maybe talk with your doctor about seeing if a lower does will help. If you do reduce, just remember that you may not feel anything for a couple/three days because of the half life. There's also the option of trying an anti-depressant that is not an SSRI as Lexapro is. Wellbutrin works on the dopamine system, so that could be something to think about if the dose reduction doesn't work.

I hope this is of some help.
Nancy
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Unread 05-01-2008, 11:42 AM   #10
kashka
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Hi Nancy - just a ?? Why would you recommend a non SSRI anti depressant over an SSRI one? I know both "technically" are not meant to be taken with sub however many people combine both with good success.
Just curious why you would chose an NRSI over an SSRI??
Cheers from Susan.
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Unread 05-01-2008, 04:48 PM   #11
staticx79
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I am just guessing, but I think nancy recommended a non SSRI to lynn because she had stated she tried lexapro which she described as a nightmare, so it is probably better for her not to try another SSRI, especially when there are a lot of other options for antidepressants out there.

Also , wellbutrin is not and NSRI. It has no effect on serotonin, only dopamine and norepinephrine. I have never heard that SSRIs or NSRIs should not be used with sub. I don't see why there would be a problem using them together.
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Unread 05-01-2008, 04:55 PM   #12
NancyB
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Hi Susan, staticx79 is right, thanks! I just saw this one. lol

I think that if the SSRI (Lexapro) didn't work, then maybe a different one like Wellbutrin - which works on the dopamine instead of serotonin - might be worth trying.

Also, there's no contraindication with taking anti-depressants with bupe. It's just the benzo family that people become cautious about.

Nancy
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Unread 05-01-2008, 08:30 PM   #13
CathSmith
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Is Cymbalta an SSRI? I've found a great deal of relief with that medication, personally.
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Unread 05-07-2008, 03:44 PM   #14
theswan
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Hi Michael

I am back on Serzone for depression. Serzone is a rare antidepressant as it does NOT cause sexual side effects (or at least,not pronounced side effects)

The "downside" is Serzone is hard to come by because the maker of the drug pulled it from the market. In rare case's it can cause a fatal liver injury. The drug is still made in Israel and pharmacy's can get it. I went off the Serzone in 2002 because I felt great but sadly the depression came back. By then it was "Blackboxed" in the PDR and the clinic would not write for it anymore. This caused a horror show of trying every "anti" in the book. They all caused loss of libido.

Since I started Suboxone in March, I decided to try Serzone again if only my family doctor would prescribe it; Well he did! yea for me.

It seems to me that it is just starting to kick in as my sadness,crying and dysphoria have lifted a bit.

Please ask your doctor about if this is a good medication for you. Loss of libido is awful at my age (55) If I lost it in my younger days, I may have taken drastic measures to improve things.

God bless

Theswan
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Unread 05-07-2008, 03:56 PM   #15
theswan
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oh yeah,

One other "anti" has a little sexual side effects-Wellbutrin!

I could not take the "speedy-ness" I felt on Welbutrin and I even tried it two times. The second time I gave it a few weeks but it did not get better. Maybe it will work for you.

Also, know that years of addiction cause a lot of damage. Taking medication to help repair the damage is not a cowardly thing. Yes,in time the brain may repair the damage itself but there is also a chance you could use a "boost"

As I understand it the antidepressant does not really boost the feel-good chemicals, it allows more to accumulate at the nerve ends or "synapes" before the "sending" nerve "sucks" up its own supply. The reason it takes long for antidepressants to work is the thought that the recieving nerve end starts to build more "receptors" to suck up what is floating there. (kinda a rough sketch of the process)

Good luck

TheSwan
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Unread 05-20-2008, 11:46 PM   #16
phenom804
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Thank you everyone for the stories and advice i will definatly be following up. I have gone recently to a few NA meetings and it is good to hear other people stories, so i dont feel like i am the only one in my situation. I really would prefer not to take another drug, i have laid off the cocaine and just have been going to bed earlier. I had a wake up call at work. First off i am a senior parter in the company and i was almost fired! I was only working half the time i was supposed to and was given an ultimatum, and i dont blame them (my company), they have every reason. they have been really patient with me. So this past week and a half i have been on time fior work, been a lil antsy sometimes, and when i get tired they have been cool with letting me take a nap in my car or make up the hours on the weekend. i have recently lowered my dose of suboxone myself to 2 mg a day when i go to bed. I still have trouble getting up, but i have found if i just start moving around get the blood flowing and the heart rate up its not too bad. I do wake up in tyhe morning kinda s**tty feeling. Not withdrawling but nauseous, and heavy breathing. I know part of that is me being a pack a day smoker. When i get back my health insurance i will talk to my family doctor about the depression and sex drive. I dont want to get into it right now about my suboxone doctor i dont have that much time to type, but i will soon. Thank you everyone. ~~~~~~michael "phenom804"
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Unread 05-21-2008, 03:58 PM   #17
Fight4Life
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phenom it is all from the sub. I've been on it for 2 and a half years and it was great at first but now I cant get myself motivated to do anything. I use to be a great athlete, energetic, but thats all gone and made a 180 degree turn for the worse. I am 30 years old. I am at my wits end about this lack of energy, no sex drive, man boobs that started growing right after I started sub. It has really messed me up. I am unemployed of course. I couldn't hold down a job now if my life depended on it.
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Unread 05-21-2008, 04:26 PM   #18
TMONEY
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Please correct me if I'm wrong on this: After reading this thread it seems like it would be best, if there is ANY way possible, to be off Suboxone within about 6 months? Obviously this isn't in the realm of possibilities for many, staying on Sub longer(even with the negative side-effects) would be better than relapse. BUT, if someone could taper down to a really low dose, or be completely off by 6+ months, it seems one could avoid this profound change that occurs. Any thoughts on this?

-Tmon
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Unread 05-21-2008, 04:35 PM   #19
Sub-Zero
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Fight4Life

phenom it is all from the sub. I've been on it for 2 and a half years and it was great at first but now I cant get myself motivated to do anything. I use to be a great athlete, energetic, but thats all gone and made a 180 degree turn for the worse. I am 30 years old. I am at my wits end about this lack of energy, no sex drive, man boobs that started growing right after I started sub. It has really messed me up. I am unemployed of course. I couldn't hold down a job now if my life depended on it.
This is the kind of stuff I can't stand. Blaming sub for everything wrong in your life. You need to get to counseling and work through your motivation problems, it's not the sub. I've been on it for 6 years an I am in the best shape of my life, not because of the sub because of me. This is how rumors get started.
Sub




Quote:
quote:Originally posted by TMONEY

BUT, if someone could taper down to a really low dose, or be completely off by 6+ months, it seems one could avoid this profound change that occurs. Any thoughts on this?

-Tmon
IMO-Yes, nobody should be on it any longer than they need to. However there is NO profound change that occurs because of the sub. Except that you are alive because sub helped you survived addiction.
Sub
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Unread 05-21-2008, 04:53 PM   #20
Sunny1
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Fight4Life

phenom it is all from the sub. I've been on it for 2 and a half years and it was great at first but now I cant get myself motivated to do anything. I use to be a great athlete, energetic, but thats all gone and made a 180 degree turn for the worse. I am 30 years old. I am at my wits end about this lack of energy, no sex drive, man boobs that started growing right after I started sub. It has really messed me up. I am unemployed of course. I couldn't hold down a job now if my life depended on it.
Hi Life,
Sorry to hear you are feeling bad. I just started and I'm looking for as much info. as possible. Can you tell me how the lack of motivation now compares to before you started Sub when you were using ur DOC? At what point on the Sub did you start feeling so poorly? What dose did you start at, taper to? How fast did u taper? Have you tried anything for the depression-meds, exercise, etc? What were your expectations of Sub? Did you go to counseling and do things to change?
I know I tend to have motivation problems since before any pills. I think I can tell when I feel unmotivated b/c of my previous feelings vs. a drug. I felt horribly unmotivated when I was on norcos and no matter what I did it wasn't something I could overcome. So far on Sub I have to push myself to do things, but I feel better so i feel like I'm able to work on pushing myself. I'm not clear if ur motivation is due to the Sub or due to the inherint difficulty some of us have in getting motivated.
Hope you are ok. What are you planning to do, sounds like a bad situation.
~Take care~
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Unread 05-21-2008, 06:04 PM   #21
TMONEY
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SUB-ZERO: Thanks for correcting me. This is exactly why having smart and experienced veterans around on this board is so helpful to people like me who don't know crap. Thanks for your input, SUB-Z.
-TMon
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Unread 05-22-2008, 11:59 AM   #22
So.Cal.
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Micheal,

I have been on sub 4yrs and can relate to what you posted.,,It's not uncommon and i have read many people who seem to hit a point in thier sub treatment where it seems they go from having lots of energy in the begining to having none.,,When i started feeling that way i tried changing my dose up and down to no avail.,,Nothing worked and deppression set in and presently i absolutely no energy!
I'm not going to say that i blame it all on sub,,cause there are things that i could do to help myself,,such as forcing myself to exercise, and eating right,,counsuling and stuff like that.,,,but at the same time i believe sub plays a big part in why im feeling like i do.
I dont agree with subzero,,and when someone states how they are feeling and suspect it to be a side effect from a medication i dont know why someone feels they need to say that person is wrong!
And as for the coke,,man dont go that route!,,I know it may help for a minute but its gonna take you down hard and you know it!,,I think its probably safe to say that if you continue with it you will eventually end up back where you started on your DOC.
Tattoo Tommy
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