Those who have been taking it for a long time have to go through hell in order to quit especially if they are doing it cold turkey.
If your husband has been taking these drugs for pain, his dosages should have been decreseed gradually and he shouldn’t have gone cold turkey because it is much harder.
Methadone and Percocet are physically and psychologically addictive and he may use it again just to stop these awful withdrawal symptoms.
Many people who try to get off the drugs experience the worse problems for 1-2 weeks but could go on with additional withdrawal symptoms for a month or so.
Any drug withdrawal should be supervised by a doctor.
As I said in the beggining, Iwent through hell for about three and a half weeks until the Doctor at the pain management center I sough out prescribed the Chlonodine Patch. Still unable to sleep she prescribed a new sleeping aide called Lunesta. My episodes of hard withdrawls began to subside to a tollerable level within twenty four hours. The time it took for the trans-dermal patch to become fully active. My last methadone was on August 29,2006. Sooooo-that means it's been thirty eight days without methadone. The vomiting now gone I can begin to build up my body with good nutrition, some exercise-when tolerated.Though I still have bouts of weakness, it doesn't compare to the violent systemic reaction from the first three weeks of withdrawal. Additionally, and most important is the support of my family.I build confidence daily feeding off the support of my family. Also, I sought out the power of an outside source-God as I percieve Him- to empower me to continue on to the road to get my life back. Don't be mis-informed-IT'S DIFFICULT-GET MEDICAL HELP.WITH IT, WITHDRAWALS ARE TOLLERABLE. DON'T LET YOUR INVESTMENT OF AGONY GO FOR NAUGHT! HANG IN THERE-IT WONT LAST FOREVER-SEE A PAIN DOCTOR FOR NON OPIATE MEDS THAT WILL HELP. I have been through the valley of the shadoW of methadone and without a doubt I can ASSURE you there IS a light at the end of the tunnel. I CAN WITHOUT A DOUBT,ASSURE YOU OR YOUR LOVED ONE THAT,YOU, HE, OR SHE CAN DO IT! DIG IN YOUR HEELS AND GO FOR IT. Good Luck
I have been on methadone for almost 4 years. prior to that i was addicted to loratabs oxcycotins. I have slowly been becreasing my dose over the past year or so. I was down to 20mgs and monday October 23, 2006 I took my last dose. It is now Tuesday October 31, 2006 and I am still having some pretty tough withdrawl symptons. How long will they last? Can you help me understand this?[/quoh hte]
I am sick now since sunday I stopped cold turkey it is now wednesday.
I been taking ambian for sleep at night and I have not been eating much.
My tongue has small little bumps my throat feels swallon not sore just swallon.
I have headaches but tylenol seems to take a little of the edge off.
I have cold sweats flu like simptoms
I am sick
I was struck by a drunk driver back in college more than seven years ago. I have also been diagnosed with several deadly and debilitating diseases (not from the auto accident), which exacerbate my withdrawal symptoms, as well as the pain I experience as a normal part of life. Simply—I have significant spinal cord damage—and I have had many outpatient surgeries to alleviate the pain, and one inpatient surgery that nearly killed me (literally!); and finally, they want to operate again!
I have taken almost everything, including amphetamines for the pain, but this was easy to come off, compared to the narcotics. I have detoxed on three things in my short life: amphetamines (legal), Methadone (legal), and Oxycodone (legal). The most difficult was Methadone and it was done with the support of my pain management doctor(s), despite the fact that they didn’t want me to get off of the narcotics, because they knew I would be back on the narcotics. Well, they were correct, but it was worth it! I was off of them for about eight months, which was just awesome. Now, in the mean time, I would take low-dose Oxycodone for breakthrough pain, but I did not experience withdrawal (at all), because it was occasional dosing.
Unfortunately, the doctors were correct, and within eight months, I was back on to chronic narcotic dosing, which has been the case now for more than two and half years. In the last three months, I have been able to slowly get back in shape (before the accident I was running five miles in just under 25 minutes, and my muscles were in tip-top shape) by losing 45 pounds, to the point that I can run two miles in less than 18 minutes, I have gained more than 20 pounds of muscle, and I have dropped my body fat by more than 20 points! As a result, I am not in as much pain—don’t get me wrong, there are days (each week) that I cannot walk without assistance, but I believe that I can come back off the chronic dosing, at least for another eight months.
At this point in time, I have moved from a high dose of Morphine (ER), which I cut in half (cold turkey), to Oxycodone, BUT I had family with me to ensure that I was okay—in that, I was breathing. From there, I have slowly moved down 5mg every two days on Oxycodone. I am at 25 mg of Oxycodone per day, but I am to the point where I will need to go cold turkey from here on out. READ the Oxycodone section below to see why this is the case. However, I will sit at 25mg per day for 10 days before going cold turkey on the remaining 25 mg, to ensure that my body’s serum levels are at a constant plateau. IMPORTANT: It can take up to six months for your body’s serum level of 25 mg per day to sit at 25 mg per day, but after day 10, it is close enough for government work.
So, why the hell am I spending the time, energy and discomfort (okay, pain) to come off of the medication, just to go back on it? Well, I want to work again, and being that I have been on disability three times, my career gets going (moving to mid-level management within Fortune 100 companies, and I am very young) and then bam! I lose everything, and the medications prevent me from being successful. So, you’re damn right—it is very worth it, and I would do it several times a year, just to be SANE for two months! Why else are you reading this? Because you feel similarly, for whatever reason(s) you may have.
Methadone is considered more difficult to get off, because the withdrawal symptoms are more difficult than even heroin. The reason for this is because of the synthetic opiates' storage in your tissue--and more importantly, the half-life of Methadone is (on average) 25 hours (13-47 hours), with peak absorption in 4 hours. However, Methadone lasts for approximately 25 hours for the average patient, BUT there are a few of us who have taken it every 8 hours to reduce the amount of Methadone needed (for pain management), by reducing the zig-zag effect of depleting and replenishment of Methadone within our tissues.
As a result, Methadone patients may not experience many withdrawal symptoms for 24-48 hours after their last dose. [Everyone is different]. After 48 hours, the symptoms of withdrawal will peak within 7-10 days and begin to lessen over the next 7-14 days; however, it depends on a number of variables: how long the patient was taking Methadone; the amount the patient was taking; how quickly the patient has chosen (or been forced) to detox; what the last amount—with respect to the patient’s peak dosage—was; a person’s weight (especially if the patient has experienced quick weight gain, because more Methadone will be stored in your tissues with less blood absorption); age; etc.
The symptoms of withdrawal, and the severity of the symptoms, depend on the variables above; but, and most importantly, it depends on the patients state-of-mind and preparation for detoxification. Most patients do not realize that there are two types of cravings—mental addiction and physical dependency. If a patient is on the Methadone for medicinal reasons, it will be easier for the patient to recover from the withdrawal symptoms, but if the patient has a mental addiction, the patient will be faced with craving to withdraw and take the Methadone as an out. Fortunately, Methadone does not have the same level of euphoria as do other chemical compounds, but nonetheless, it is still significant enough in the patient’s mind that it may not matter the chemical side.
Before covering the symptoms of withdrawal, it is important to point out one last key component of Methadone—in that, it mimics the level of peptides—such as, Endorphins, Enkephalines, and Dynorphins, which causes the brain to assume that your ARTIFICIAL level of good feeling is required for normal life functioning. As a result, the most difficult withdrawal is a MENTAL withdrawal that your brain feels you need in order to survive. This is affectionately referred to as “cravings.” These cravings WILL FORCE most patients into taking Methadone, because the cravings are too intense; hence, most professionals recommend that you seek professional help (detoxification center), so that they may monitor you for your health and to give you the support needed to NOT GIVE IN to the CRAVINGS! (IMPORTANT NOTE: I almost died coming off of my Methadone too quickly, because I wanted to show myself that I could do it as long as I WANTED to. I was wrong! I seized, and I was VERY lucky that my family was with me at the time, because the doctors had to resuscitate me and push Methadone into me to prevent an immanent heart attack. Don’t be foolish, we know you are mentally strong, why else would you be interested in reading this? Be alive to live your life after this necessary evil—PLEASE!!!)
So, what are the symptoms? Here you go! Sneezing, yawning, tearing of eyes, runny nose, excessive perspiration (cold sweats and hot sweats, especially at night), fever, dilated pupils, abdominal cramps, nausea, body aches, tremors, irritability, not to be morbid, but even death in extreme cases. Finally, sleep is your best friend during withdrawals, BUT you will find it next to impossible to sleep. I recommend taking 25-50 mg of Dyphenhydramine (Benadryl), but NOTHING ELSE! You don’t want to exchange one craving today with another craving in two months, once you are beginning to see the other side of the tunnel. (IMPORTANT: Benadryl SHOULD NEVER BE ingested in amounts greater than 50 mg every 4-6 hours, and no more than 8 pills per 24 hours, because of severe respiratory concerns. Muscle relaxants can assist (for many reasons), but again—be reasonable; DRINK lots of WATER; ensure that you get your electrolytes (banana a day, Gatorade); Ensure or Boost are excellent meal replacements, because you will lose your appetite; and make certain that you take care of your hygiene (shower, brush your teeth, put on comfortable, but NOT bedtime clothes for mental effectiveness). Lastly, there are medications (Clonidine, for example) that MAY significantly assist you while you detoxify, but reports of significant exhaustion and tiredness may make it worse, not to mention the fact that it will lower your blood pressure. I have chosen not to go this route, because the ‘cravings’ are psychological and I can beat it in my mind—‘mind over matter.’
Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, Endocet, Percodin, etc.) is easier and more difficult to detox off of, because of one major simple reason—it is a short-acting chemical compound. Methadone is longer acting (as discussed above), but the good thing behind Methadone is that you may titrate down at any milligram increment fairly easily, especially in liquid or IV (intravenous), SC (subcutaneous) form (full disclosure, mine has either been IV or pill form, however), but the Methadone is a compound that creates a MUCH STRONGER craving. The Oxycodone, especially in capsule form is more difficult at the end, in the sense, that 25 mg per day is the lowest amount the patient may titrate to before going cold turkey. (Yes—you may break the capsule open and try to figure out what half is, but at that point, and if you are really concerned, then you will need to work with your doctor(s) to use a different narcotic or delivery method.)
The reason is that Oxycodone has a half-life of 4-6 hours, which means that if you take 25 mg divided by 5 mg (each capsule) it equals 5 doses. There are 24 hours per day, so divide the 24 hours (in a day) by 5 (doses of 5 mg per dose) and you get 5 mg of Oxycodone every 5 hours, which is the median of 4 and 6 hours. Some of you smart-ones are reading this going, well, if it is 6 hours for me then I can drop to 20 mg per day before going cold turkey. You are correct, but the point is that if you spread your doses out more than 6 hours, you will certainly begin detoxing; and hence, you would start the withdrawals, especially since Oxycodone is a short-acting chemical compound.
The good side of the coin is that the withdrawal symptoms, ceteris paribus (all things remaining equal), for Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms are less intense. The withdrawal symptoms begin 4-6 hours after your last dose of Oxycodone and peak between 36 and 72 hours. You will likely notice moderate to severe symptoms for up to 7 days, moderate symptoms for up to another 7 days (14 days so far), mild symptoms for another 2 weeks after this (28 days), and various very mild symptoms for up to 5 months after the first month (if you even notice them).
Does it suck? Yes! BUT it is worth it, and I commend all of you for making the decision to go through the detoxification, REGARDLESS of the reason that you are on the medication. DON’T be ashamed that you are dependent (even if you are addicted). If, and only if, your doctor (I recommend receiving at least one more opinion, because there are non-narcotic medications that may help either reduce the level of narcotics or eliminate the narcotics altogether) recommends that you go back on narcotics, and you feel that it is the last resort, then DON’T be ashamed, either. Think of the trade-offs and which trade-off will give you the best QUALITY OF LIFE!
Be sure that you prepare your closest friends and family for what will come…ask them to read this; and understand that the vast majority of the withdrawals are the cravings, which is good, because it is mental, BUT don’t be stupid like I was—they want you alive. Read everything that you can, don’t abuse sleeping medication, or you will then need to detox off of the sleeping medication after the narcotics. Tell yourself that you can do it, and think about how proud you will be once you have completed it, and how appreciative you will feel, and how proud your family and friends will be. LIFE IS GRAND!!! I have been shot at, I have had a knife to my throat, I have broken more than 30 bones, I have worked 40-60 hours per week while taking 18 credits in school (to pay for school), etc., you get the point. I AM JUST LIKE YOU!!! We worked so damn hard to get where we are, this is a small fourteener, NOT Mt. EVEREST! You PREPARE hard for this, and when the time comes, you stick it out, and I assure you that you will be prouder than the time you worked for 265 straight days, just to get your diploma! I know I was!!! TRIUMPH and SUCCEED!!!
BEST OF LUCK TO YOU, YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR FRIENDS, because all of you are in this journey together!!!
**edited by moderator**emails not allowed**
January, 14th was my last dose. Of course the first 3 days seem to be tolerable. By the 5th day I was ready to go back to the clinic. On that day I got on this website and read a lot about what and why I was going through this. I think it was a quote by "ifeelyourpain" that helped the most. Why should I waist this banked "Pain Time"
It's now day 14, I'm sleeping 8 hours a night, eating fine with just a little nausea, my feet "tickle" a little, but I feel great. Not 100% yet, But Damn Close.
Here is how I got to day 14:
1. Before I even started lowering my dose I started taking a prescription of Requip. This is for restless legs syndrome. My doctor said that it should help me sleep, so I may not need any sleeping pills.
2. Then came day 5, my legs seemed fine but the sleep switch was imposable to turn on. Called my doctor and she said to start going up on the dose of requip. I argued, but she was worried about giving an addict any sleeping pills. She told me to give it 3 days. I got Very pissed. I've been through this before and I know I'm not going to sleep. So, I had my very supportive wife buy Season 6 - 8 Of Stargate SG1. I figured if I wasn't going to sleep, I better make the best of it.
3. Three days after that, Of Course I didn’t sleep, I did get caught up on Stargate. I called my doctor again and she prescribed Lunesta... That night and ever since that night I slept like a baby. Even had some good dreams.
Some other things I have been doing that may or may not make a difference are as follows:
b. Cut way down on caffeine
c. Drinking lots of water
d. Exercise, however I did over do it a few days ago. Methadone masks the pain from ripping your muscles with exercise. Without Methadone, the day after a workout can be painful.
That's about it, I defiantly DO NOT crave Methadone, Or Pills. For 3 Years my life has been muted, and I love the fact that I've been given a second chance. Thank you for the posts from Jamie and ifeelyourpain. I guess from this point in this post I'll ramble about the good things of being free of Methadone, THAT I HAD COMPLETLY FORGOT ABOUT:
Remember Sex? Oh My God!! Methadone pushes the pause button on that.
Music, I haven’t cared to listen to music for years, it’s like a whole new thing.
The taste of food, Filet Mignon, Cheesecake, Rice Crispi’s. Sounds stupid but its true. (Yes, I feel a little nauseous after I eat but it's worth it.)
I have the advantage of living in Orlando, so I would have to include the feeling of blue skies on a bright sunny day (I sound like a girl but its true) I’ve forgotten what it was like to live...
....Not just exist