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Unread 03-09-2010, 09:18 PM   #1
cardsfanjordan
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Default Nausea and Vomiting IS THIS NORMAL???

Hi everyone, I have been clean for 1 1/2 years now thanks to Suboxone. It has been a miracle. About 6 months after I started it, I began having problems with nausea and vomiting. I went to a gastro specialist today and frankly felt like I was treated like a second-class citizen as soon as I told him I was a recovering addict. He immeadiately assumed the Subs was the cause of my problems. I think there is more to it than that. Here is the list of symptoms I gave to him:

Intermittent bouts of headache, nausea, vomiting and weight-loss, as little as a week apart and sometimes as long as 1-2 months apart.

It ALWAYS starts with a dull headache.

It ONLY happens on the weekend.

It always progresses from a dull headache, then to nausea, then extreme sweating, then eventually into vomiting. When it's at its worst, I will vomit several times per hour for 1-3 days. I will also go 3-4 days with NO FOOD OR WATER, usually losing about 10 pounds in the process.

In-between vomiting, there is an AWFUL pain in my stomach, that comes and goes in 10-15 SECOND INTERVALS. It will be extremely painful for a few seconds and then it will go away for a few seconds, repeating for hours or days on end. The best way to describe the pain is that it's like a "charlie-horse" in my stomach. The pain is so bad it makes it impossible to sleep.

The first few times it happened, I had ingested alcohol in the hours beforehand, so I thought it was triggered by something in the alcoholic beverage. Lately, it has happened even without any alcohol consumption. I have never been a heavy drinker. In the past several months, I haven't had any alcohol at all because I am afraid I will become sick again.

Sometimes it stops at just a headache, other times it progresses into a 4 or 5 day ordeal. I never really know how bad it is going to be from one occurence to the next, but I can always feel it "coming on" in the hours beforehand.

There are no symptoms and I have no pain or discomfort when I am inbetween these episodes.

This has been going on for about a year now.

----------------------END OF SYMPTOMS-----------------------------------------------------------------

So yeah, the doc saw Suboxone was one of my medications and basically automatically assumed that it was the reason. The problem is, I know what nausea and vomiting from taking opiates feels like, and this is not what these episodes are. Also, why was I just fine for the first six months on Sub???? ESPECIALLY since my dosage was the highest when I first started taking it?!!!! Also, my dosage has never changed drastically from one day or one week to the next. I would think that if it was the subs it would either be worse at higher dosages, or consistently bad until I lowered my dosage. Right now, I take between 4 and 8mg a day.

The other thing that is really weird is that it ONLY happens on the weekend. Here's the deal: during the work week, I am up at 5:00 in the morning and in bed by 10pm. On the weekend, I sometimes sleep till noon and stay up till 3 or 4 in the morning. Also, my eating habits are obviously a little different on the weekend too. Yes, I do eat later in the day since I sleep in, but then again, I also eat at night when I would normally be in bed on the weekdays. And here's the deal, I have ALWAYS been a night person. Ever since I was a little kid I've been a night person. And also, my schedule had been like this for TWO YEARS previous to me getting these episodes, so it's not like there was a sudden and drastic change in my lifestyle.

The fact that I had already been on Subs for at least SIX MONTHS, combined with the fact that I had already been on the same sleeping schedule for TWO YEARS tells me that it is not Suboxone related.

But that's what I think...............can I please get some second opinions??? Has anyone heard of nausea and vomiting this bad before being on Suboxone???

THANK YOU!!!

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Unread 03-09-2010, 11:03 PM   #2
OhioMike
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I would find a doctor who is not going to assume, but, investigate!

I sure hope you feel better soon.

Mike
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Unread 03-09-2010, 11:05 PM   #3
OhioMike
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By the way, you can try spitting out the residue, that could help and it could be a sign that your dose is a little too high. Nevertheless, I would still find another doctor and get checked out really well. Don't take any chances!

Mike
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Unread 03-10-2010, 06:37 AM   #4
NancyB
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Hi cardsfanjordan, I agree with Mike, find a different doctor and get a second opinion. It's just strange that it started 6 months after you started Suboxone and that it's so intermittent. That in itself would make me think that it's not Suboxone-related.

I've heard of nausea and headaches when someone's dose is too high, but it's usually consistent every day until the dose is reduced. Or if someone is hypersensitive to the naloxone - but, again, that's consistent every day.

It's perplexing that it only happens on weekends and that there's no rhyme or reason to when it happens.

Again, really think about getting a second opinion from a good doctor who isn't going to stereotype you because of addiction. That's just unprofessional and shows ignorance on that doctor's part.

Let us know how you're doing.

Nancy
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Unread 03-10-2010, 11:46 AM   #5
Mica
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Default migraine?

I agree with Mike and Nancy.....time to see a real doctor who doesn't make stupid assumptions.

Just wondering.....have you ever had or been diagnosed with migraine headaches? I know a couple people that suffer from really sever migraines that last for days. They also tend to get them after a stressful event or when they finally relax (like on a weekend). Obviously I'm not a doctor.....and know even less than the quack you saw who thinks the suboxone is the problem.

Please post again and let us know what is going on with you.

M
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Unread 03-10-2010, 12:24 PM   #6
JDK613
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I was wondering the same as Mica: possible migraines? Migraines can cause severe nausea & vomiting & stomach issues like you described (bad cramping, no appetite, can't hold anything down). Sometimes the migraine, the actual pain in your head may not be so severe but all your other symptoms are, ex: stomach cramping, etc. I know all about migraines, unfortunately, I suffer from them & the meds prescribes to help me w/the pain are what got me started on my road to addiction. Sometimes the migraines would leave me unable to function for days, mostly because of the horrendous pain in my stomach which I believed to be so bad from all the vomiting a migraine makes you do. But there are meds out there now that can abort a migraine, and all it's symptoms/side effects within an hr and there are meds that can help control the side effects (for nausea there's phenergan, etc.) There's also meds to help prevent migraines, topimax is 1 of them. Maybe you should see a neurologists, they know the most about migraines, more then a family dr does. And Micas right about the timing of some migraines: stressful situations can trigger a migraine. And like you had mentioned, you can feel a migraine coming on some time before it actually happens. But please do your self a favor and go to another dr because migraines are horrible & prevent you from living your life while you have an attack but there are meds out there to help.
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Unread 03-10-2010, 02:40 PM   #7
monticello18
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Hi cardsfanjordan. That doctor really pisses me off. It is totally unfair how he handled your situation and that he didnt order any tests or remedy for you.

I work in the medical field, nursing, radiology and surgery. There have been many times that patients have reported to their anesthesiologist before their procedure that they are in recovery....I've always found this admirable for these patients to be taking their recovery seriously, as I was still struggling with my adiction. The anesthesiologists would always be kind to their patients and get a thorough history so they would receive proper sedation and pain relief WITHOUT JUDGEMENT. So kuddos for you for being honest with this doctor and trying to do the right thing, and please know that this is one "bad apple" of a doctor.

I would definately say get a second opinion, because what you are experiencing sounds miserable and scary. Things that you may want to ask the next gastro doctor you see is for an h. pylori blood test. This measures a level of bacteria that causes ulcers. Also, an upper GI would be beneficial because it studies your esophagus and stomach while you are drinking liquid barium to see if everything is functioning properly. A CT scan of your abdomen with our without contrast is also common to be ordered. Or it could be something as simple as you needing Nexium or Prilosec for acid reflux. If it is not a stomach issue, rather a migraine issue, I think a visit to a Neurologist would be a good thing. There are lots of treatment options for migraines that do not involve narcotics. A friend of mine was experiencing migraines for a couple of years and they were very debilitating for her. They found out that it was her impacted wisdom teeth that were the cause! She got them out and has not suffered a migraine since! So your symptoms can really be anything, but it is important to find a medical professional that will help you find the root cause and not judge you for being in recovery. Don't give up, you deserve to feel better!!

Please keep us updated and I hope you feel better soon!!
Scarlet
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Unread 03-10-2010, 02:41 PM   #8
con_fused
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i agree about the migraines -- are you light sensitive as well? or see spots?
sometimes that comes with the nausea.

a dr will try to find your trigger most likely -- it could be food or you might need to keep a strict sleep schedule -- it could be something that you're smelling like perfume or room freshener -- or it could be the suboxone or any number of other things. not that i've read anything about suboxone giving people migraines, but i was on birth control pills for years before they started giving me migraines. when i quit them, i was having them every other day and within a week i stopped having them completely.

since then, i still get a very minor version of them when the weather changes drastically cold to hot (hot to cold doesn't bother me) or when i'm really stressed out.

i really hope it's not the suboxone -- that would suck.
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Unread 03-10-2010, 06:34 PM   #9
cardsfanjordan
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Wow, thank you everyone for your responses. I actually have been thinking that it might be migraines, but the thing is, the headache part of it is the LEAST painful part of the experience. But then again, when the nausea starts, it can be triggered by the smell of perfume or hot food for example.

I should've mentioned in my previous post:

They've taken my blood several times and it's always NORMAL.

They did an ultrasound and it was all NORMAL.

I'm scheduled for a gastro-intestinal scope on March 25, where they will stick a camera down my throat and into my stomach to look around.

I will say this, if the scope appears to be all normal, the next thing I might do is go to a neurologist and look to see if it is migraines. My sister had migraines when she was my age and I asked her what her symptoms were. She said she usually saw spots beforehand, and I DON'T, so it kind of made me dismiss migraines as the cause. But maybe I need to give that a second look.

THANKS EVERYBODY!!! I WILL KEEP YOU POSTED!!!
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Unread 03-10-2010, 09:34 PM   #10
cardsfanjordan
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Ok so I was doing some online research tonight, and I found this:

http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/cvs/

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT MY SYMPTOMS ARE LIKE!!!!

Gotta go to the doc on Monday, so I will definitly print this out and show it to her. Anyone else heard of CVS???
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Unread 03-15-2010, 07:39 PM   #11
cardsfanjordan
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Hi everyone, thank you so much for your support!!! It really helps when there are other people out there who have gone through this to remind me that I'm not crazy!!

So, I went to my family doc, and told her about the bad experience with the other doctor. Needless to say, I won't be back.

My doctor agrees with me, that it is probably Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome, a fairly rare disorder. She gave me a few different meds to help combat it. The good news is, it is similar to migraines in that if I catch it in time, I can "abort" an episode. By the way, THANK YOU to those of you who suggested I look into the possibility of it being migraines. Even though that's not what it is, you guys pointed me in the right direction!!! Doctors believe that Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome is related to migraines. I have a sister who had migraines when she was my age (27), so it is all starting to make sense now.

The tricky thing for me now is, if (and probably WHEN) I have another episode of this, how am I going to manage the pain?? The normal recommendation for someone having an episode of CVS is Dilaudid....NOT an option for me. My family doc said that Buprinex might work for me??? How is extreme pain managed for someone who has Suboxone in their system???

THANKS EVERYONE!!! You guys are the best!!!

Info on Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/cvs/
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Unread 03-16-2010, 07:07 AM   #12
NancyB
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Hi cardsfanjordan, that's really great that you finally got a diagnosis for what is going on with you. Buprenex is intramuscular injection buprenorphine, but I'm wondering if smaller doses of Suboxone would help when you had an episode. For those of whom Suboxone helps with their pain, they take in smaller doses @2mg every 4 to 6 hours because that's generally how long the analgesic properties last. That might be something to think about trying first?

Extreme pain, if managed by full agonists, can be tricky. A patient would have to be monitored very closely and the full agonist titrated up carefully as the Suboxone levels lowered. This link explains more about it:
http://www.naabt.org/faq_answers.cfm?ID=51

Let us know how you're doing.

Nancy
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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider. Any information contained on AddictionSurvivors.org should only serve to inspire further investigation with credible, verifiable references sources such as your physician or therapist.
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Unread 03-17-2010, 06:43 PM   #13
cardsfanjordan
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Thanks, Nancy!!! That's some very helpful info!!!
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Unread 05-05-2010, 02:09 AM   #14
soldier173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioMike View Post
By the way, you can try spitting out the residue, that could help and it could be a sign that your dose is a little too high. Nevertheless, I would still find another doctor and get checked out really well. Don't take any chances!

Mike
Spitting the residue helped me. I was vomiting when I started the subs three weeks ago (my dose has not changed) but since I started spitting the residue instead of swallowing I have not been sick.
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Unread 05-10-2010, 11:18 AM   #15
stina1979
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Hi! The symptoms relating to your stomach sounds to me like possible ulcers. I used to vomit constantly and couldn't get the nausea under control. I was scoped (EGD) and that's what they discovered. Now taking prevacid and it's been much better since. You other side effects are odd - only on the weekends ?? It's not very fair that your weekends are being ruined by feeling yucky. Good Luck!
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