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I've been on morphine for 12 years due to chronic pain managed through a pain clinic. I was taking 30 mg x 2 a day of extended release tabs and 15 mg. immediate release up to three times a day. I never abused my pills or became psychologically addicted (thank god) but of course the physical addiction is clearly present. I decided to go off and try to deal with my pain in another way. The pain specialist idea of "weaning" me off is 15 mg extended release 2 x a day for 7 days then take them once a day for 14 days then nothing! He said come back to see me in a month when you are off the meds totally for a week. I'm starting to think I made a deal with the devil 12 years ago and I didn't realize it because he was wearing a white coat and stethescope. I'm already experiencing the horrible leg and back pain along with rapid heart rate. The anxiety isn't horrible yet. Here is my question. I've cut the 15 mg. pills in half to taper even more slowly. Am I just prolonging the agony? Will I spare myself the worst of the withdrawal symptoms by continuing to taper to the smallest of doses or am I just fooling myself. I'm starting to think maybe I should just white knuckle it and go cold turkey and get this over with. Anybody out there who has guidance I would really appreciate it.

For those of you out there in pain, really think long and hard before going the opiate route. I understood physical dependence but I always assumed when the time came my doctors would manage my withdrawal from the drug in a safe and humane way. Instead, I was sent on my way with no information on what to expect, how to manage the symptoms or any drugs to manage the withdrawal process.

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Do not, I repeat, do NOT cut the morphine ext rel pills of ANY dosage! When you do this, it negates the extended release abilities....basicallly, it just throws the dosage right at you, without giving you a little at a time. I can't believe your doctor and/or pharmacist did not explain this to you.

I take morphine ext rel as well, and have for about 7-8 years. I am now trying to wean off of them, with the help of my doctor. I was taking 3 pills (15 mg each) per day.....now I take two pills a day. I finally found something that explains the intense muscle spasms I have been having with my feet. I could be a side effect of the withdrawal.

Do NOT cut the morphine....instead, take a smaller amount each day....if you take 3 ext rel tablets per day, cut it down to two for a longer period - about a month, not a week. I've been down to the two for a little over a month, and still get violently awakened by these muscle spasms. Once my body gets used to the smaller level of morphine, I can wait a week or two, then try to work my way down to one pill a day.

DOn't try to rush the withdrawal. In my case, I've been on morphine for over 7 years....it's not going to take a week or two to get off it. If you try to rush the withdrawal, you will end up with more (and more violent) side effects.
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Hi,
Both posts really caught my eye. I've been on morphine slow release for 12 years and am trying to decrease with the helplessness of my doctor. I also did not know I was making a deal with the devil in a white coat.
The doctor also told me never to cut the tablets or try to melt them because of the reasons you described. She told me to decrease 15 % every 2 weeks. I was on 120 mg. both night and morning. Right now I'm down to 105 mg. in the AM and 90 mg. in the PM. I'm also really sick. Aside from many symptoms I haven't had a decent sleep in ages. I'm so jittery, my nerves feel raw, my legs and arms hurt, nausea, etc. Every two weeks is too much. I was reading online that the decrease symptoms can last for a month. Aside from feeling so sick, what do I do when I get to a lower level. A decrease of 15% is not possible. The lowest dosage is 15 mg.
Does anyone know of any way to ease this withdrawal.
Good luck to anyone else doing this same thing.
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Wow!!! I thought I was all by myself and that it was my fault that I somehow ended up in such a bad situation. I suffer from knee pain and have gone through two knee surgeries starting about eleven years ago. I found that I had to make a deal with the devil in the white jacket, also, for the pain that I was in after my surgery. I thought that I was much better off before the surgeries and would rather have not done them at all but, oh well, what's done is done. Now I have chronic pain in my right knee. My doctor decided to manage my pain by prescribing me 180 tablets of 60 mg morphine sulfate per month. I thought to myself, well, you're the doctor... whatever you say... if you think that's what I need... you're the professional. This seemed to work okay for the first couple of years. I drive a tow truck for a living which is very hard on my knees. I've been driving a tow truck for 28 years now and it's been 11 years since they started putting me on this pain medication. After 8 or 9 years I noticed it becoming a problem in my life, my job, my family, my way of living. I found that I couldn't function, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, couldn't get out of bed, couldn't go on a vacation with my family without having my morphine pills. It was obvious that something was going wrong. The last two years I slowly began to go out of control and started abusing my tablets. I started taking more and more because I had built up a tolerance and they weren't helping the pain anymore and I realized that I finally had to face my addiction and get off of this horrible drug. For the past year and a half I have been telling my doctor I need to get off this medication. She suggested that we maybe wean off of it but that never came to be. I found myself reaching out for help but nobody was there and nobody had any answers for me. So, let's fast forward to the end. I found myself at the urgent care center sick and in pain, basically going through hell, because I had run out of my pain medication. To my astonishment, my doctor who had been taking care of me for the past several years, was on duty that day. My first thought was, oh sh*t, I don't want her to see me. She'll find out I have run out of my pills again. I found myself backing up out the door and suddenly I stopped and said to myself I have to end this, I can't do it anymore, I'm going to confront this. So I went forward and signed in to see the doctor. You can imagine when my doctor saw me sitting in the waiting room she was quite surprised to see me and probably already had figured out why I was there. When I got into the room with my doctor I put my heart and soul out to her and begged her to help me get off of this morphine. I told her I was out of control and that it was ruining my life. To my astonishment, she told me that she was no longer going to supply me with my pain medication from here on out, though she would be happy to take care of any of my other medical needs. She told me I should have my wife lock me in a room for three days and get off of it. WHAT??? You've got to be kidding me! What kind of help is that? I found myself sobbing to her, in pain and begging for help as she was walking out the door. My God, is nobody going to take responsibility for this? Is this truly all my fault that I'm in this condition? After finding myself all alone and in pain from withdrawals, and so mad at myself for putting myself in this position and how foolish I've been for the past ten years to let this happen, and having nowhere to go, I thought to myself, my God, this is crazy. The doctors have to be held accountable somehow! It's wrong, wrong, wrong. The "devils in white jackets" get you hooked on this c**p and basically become your drug dealer year, after year, after year! We put ourselves in their hands to provide medical care for us because we believe and trust that they are doing the right thing and leading us in the right direction into recovery and healing and that they truly have our well-being at hand. After all, these are so-called professional, medical physicians who have taken an oath to provide care for us to the best of their ability. We have to believe that, right? So I thought! Well, with the help of my wife I was able to find a program to help me through detox for three days and ended up back home after that. It's now been seven days... I have never gone through anything so hard, have never been so sick anytime in my life and would wish this suffering upon nobody. I have a long way to go and am still very sick and on my own without medical care. Thank God I have my family!!! Something needs to be done about this! The medical profession must be held accountable for getting people like myself hooked on drugs!!! I didn't go to my doctor for help just for she/he to turn me into a f*****g drug addict/junkie. So take it from me, if I were you and your doctor wants to put you on morphine, it's not worth it. Live with the pain... it's easier, much easier!!! If I could take it all back I would.
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ok so yea morphine withdrawl is by far the worst experience i have gone thru in my life!!! I was takin pretty much anything i could get my hands on...mostly hydrocodone and percocet. well i actually messed up my back pretty good and a friend of mines gf mom had passed away from cancer and had 30mg instant release morphine tabletsand i was taking up to 10 a day! so he gave me like 100 of em to get me by...well i took em over a span of a month and a half and was hooked like no other!! today is saturday jan 29 and the last time i had any morphine was jan 22nd and the last time i had hydros was 2 days after that! so its been almost 5 days clean of everything except my bud! i will say that this is the very hardest experience i have gone thru. i couldnt imagine what you guys would be going thru after 12 years of the sh*t! i have severe severe anxiety along with insomnia, sleepless nights and some depression...ok alot of depression!! i wish i wouldnt have used the hydros but they did help with some of the sideaffects since it being an opiate itself! but yea you guys arent alone! the best way i deal with my anxiety so far is to take a hot shower when you start feeling overwhelmed!! yea...sounds funny but it works. i take like 15-20 showers a day literally...i dont scrub everytime or nothing but i just stand there and let the water sooth over my head!! but so far other than that i havent really found a way to dull the symptoms! i smoke pot n that helps a tad bit but not alot!
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The good news first. Even with a lengthy use/addiction/etc. the worst will be over in about a week. It will be seriously rotten week, but even with people in poor health, it's not fatal. Think of a really bad flu: sweaty, sickly and miserable. Find a doctor who is good with addiction/tolerance problems - not surprisingly you might find a couple of names if you hit an NA or AA meeting. You might also want to do that - even if it is not your cup of tea, you can get some really good info from people who have been that road, and even if you are still using, they will treat you like a human, and talk to you like one.

Back to your rotten week. Gatorade, Benadryl (not Gravol) and immodium will help you stay hydrated - don't sweat it if you don't feel like eating much, as long as you're not puking you won't throw your electrolytes out of whack. You can take vitamins if you can stomach them, but most people won't suffer from missing a few meals.

There is nothing that is going to help you sleep in the short term. Take a couple of weeks off work, and you should find that you can get at least a little by the end of that time. What usually happens is you're a serious insomniac for a week or so, then you'll crash hard for like 2 days, and then things should settle out a bit.

Aches and pains, restless legs, etc. are best dealt with in the shower or bath. Stretching, and whatever exercise you can get will also help a lot, though be mindful that this is not the week to start training for a marathon! If you are in serious pain, it could be that you actually have a problem that is causing you that pain, and you need to check that out and figure out how you're going to deal with it, without narcotics.

Depression is going to be like sleep. Your week will suck, but barring any pre-existing problems, that should also sort itself out. Cry in the shower if you need to! And seriously, don't do this alone. If it's your buds, or your family, or on-line or NA, find someone you can talk to through this - that'll help you the most.

Cold turkey or not? Depends how much you've been taking and for how long. Cold turkey is the quickest, but the most intense. But the quickest. If you can check in to a detox center for a week, that'd be the best. If you're trying to wean, yeah, you are prolonging the fun, but it's going to be less intense. If you are weaning, but withdrawing anyways, you need to give your doctor a slap until they LISTEN TO YOU - you can always wean more slowly, or switch to a different med that comes in suspension so that you can decrease way more slowly. It's really YOUR call.

Now the bad news. Not SO bad, but there is a phenomenon called Post-Addiction Withdrawal Syndrome. This kicks in for narcotics, booze, benzos - a lot of things - after the acute stuff is over, which is what we have been talking about so far. This is like withdrawal, but mild, and can last for months. With narcotics this means sleep, mood, eating, digestive disruptions. Again usually mild, and usually easily remedied once you recognize it for what it is. You may decide to try antidepressants, but that is between you and your doctor. It will also take 6-12 months for narcatics to work properly on you again. So if you are injured, T3's probably won't cut the mustard.
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Hi there...I know you wrote this over a year ago, I hope you were able to get off the pills. I too, was on 24mg a day for the past 11 years....I started weaning my dosage slowly, doing very well until I got down to 3 mg a day, then the withdrawls hit....I just went through the worst 2 weeks of my life. Have never felt so sick & swore my head was going to explode!!

I am still not 100% but am feeling much better. I will NEVER take another narcotic again in my life....It is too bad the Dr's don't tell you these things when they put you on them. Again hope you are doing much better.
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i'm also in the same boat as you, also 12 years on morphine, i tried weaning off for 2 months, it prolongs the agony, i went cold turkey, the forst 3 days were more than hell, but i survied, now i/m in week 5 of recovery, is it better, yes, is it still hard, yes, but i can do this...i'm hoping it will be over in a few months, but remember, your body is healing from all this. i hope you are better, and did it.......
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been over 2 months since i've been with out morphine....what can i tell anyone, forget the cutting down, thats just prolonging it all, becaue total withdraw is the exactly the same....going cold turkey, you can get thru the 3 days, first 6 weeks, horrible. where am i? past the 2 mark point. thank god, i never desired the drug, so i don't have to deal w/an urges to want it mentally. body. it wants the drug. i am passed feeling like a million ants are under my skin. sleep, maybe 2 forty-five minute hard naps. the flashes wake me soak and wet. feel like i'm still speeding my ass off, but i can say i'm 50% better after being off a good 2 months now..still no energy, major pain in spine and legs, but l'll live w/that. just want to get thru this year, and pray its over....lost years of my life, death of the man i loved for over 20 years, but sad part is the drug kept me a disable person more than my injuries did....People can do this, but they must want to. thankyou for all who have responded w/kind words. if anyone wants advice,questions, please email me _[removed]_
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i wish i saw this sooner,cause i was on opiates for 15 years and the last 10, i was taking 240 mg of morphine a day. 3 years ago i had decided to stop and was in the hospital for 3 weeks withdrawaling from it. they should have never let you do this by yourself.it's really stupid of them to do so.i agree that these pills are the worst things to get started on. i too was not abusing them, but man,i got physicaly addicted real fast. all this sh*t left my mind a mess and my face and head almost totally numb.i hope you got through it ok...god bless,i wish you all the health.

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Hi,

I know you only as guest, but thank you for replying.  I'm not playing one upman-ship but two years ago I was at 300 mg a day of morphine.  As you described ,my head was like a vegetable and still is like a smaller vegetable.  I decreased in increments of 15 mg on my own, which took me usually just over a month.  It was hell.  It's a wonder my husband didn't leave me I was such a mess and so bitchy. This ME specialist who put me on these meds told me she didn't really know anything about withdrawal.

Now I'm under the care of an official Pain specialist  who is also having me decrease gradually.  He has also prescribed a drug comparable to Lyrica to help me get through it, but if this is getting through it with help.  I don't know if that's affected my misery. In the past three weeks I have withdrawn from Oxycodone and Flexeril.  I still feel as sick as a dog.  Will it never end? This Oxy is powerful stuff. The original doc and some web sites say there is no withdrawal from Flexeril but there certainly is if you've taken it for 12 to 14 years.  This new pain doc. has a wonderful reputation and is treating me as an out patient although he's in charge of part of one hospital. I prefer it that way after having gone through the rehab route in the past.  At least I'm home and can use my own computer, my own TV and movies as distractions rather than the structured Happy Valley in rehab.  Please forgive the diatrabe but it's good to talk to someone who's been there.

Thanks for replying.

barus         

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Shari wrote:

guest0145 wrote:

I've been on morphine for 12 years due to chronic pain managed through a pain clinic. I was taking 30 mg x 2 a day of extended release tabs and 15 mg. immediate release up to three times a day. I never abused my pills or became psychologically addicted (thank god) but of course the physical addiction is clearly present. I decided to go off and try to deal with my pain in another way. The pain specialist idea of "weaning" me off is 15 mg extended release 2 x a day for 7 days then take them once a day for 14 days then nothing! He said come back to see me in a month when you are off the meds totally for a week. I'm starting to think I made a deal with the devil 12 years ago and I didn't realize it because he was wearing a white coat and stethescope. I'm already experiencing the horrible leg and back pain along with rapid heart rate. The anxiety isn't horrible yet. Here is my question. I've cut the 15 mg. pills in half to taper even more slowly. Am I just prolonging the agony? Will I spare myself the worst of the withdrawal symptoms by continuing to taper to the smallest of doses or am I just fooling myself. I'm starting to think maybe I should just white knuckle it and go cold turkey and get this over with. Anybody out there who has guidance I would really appreciate it.

For those of you out there in pain, really think long and hard before going the opiate route. I understood physical dependence but I always assumed when the time came my doctors would manage my withdrawal from the drug in a safe and humane way. Instead, I was sent on my way with no information on what to expect, how to manage the symptoms or any drugs to manage the withdrawal process.


Hi there...I know you wrote this over a year ago, I hope you were able to get off the pills. I too, was on 24mg a day for the past 11 years....I started weaning my dosage slowly, doing very well until I got down to 3 mg a day, then the withdrawls hit....I just went through the worst 2 weeks of my life. Have never felt so sick & swore my head was going to explode!!
I am still not 100% but am feeling much better. I will NEVER take another narcotic again in my life....It is too bad the Dr's don't tell you these things when they put you on them. Again hope you are doing much better.


I am going through this now. was down to 30mg er 2 x day. waited just 5 days, and quit. I am miserable with every God blessed symptom you can have. This is day 4 and I am going looney. I had been on morphine for 19 years. Had two cerivial fusions, reversed the curve of my spine. fused C3-7. Rather go through that again, that going though what I currently feel. somesaid take a shower, I am headed that way now. any more adivse, I feel real sick
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wow,you're really strong to do this yourself. on the 3rd day of withdrawl, i was clawing my bed cause i was in so much pain. withdrawl is one of the worst pain to go through.how did you get from morphine to oxy? oxy's such a strong drug.i hope you're doing ok,and have no history of seizures.i wish you good health and let me know how you're doing.
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Day 7 of this hell. too many years on this drug. None for 7 days, and I was taking both morphine and oxy. My other problem other than cervial fussion is my foot broke down litterally and I can't have the surgery as I have RSD. I want off these drugs no matter what. It is just so very very hard to do. Last night, no sleep at all. Feel winded, dizzy and all the rest. How much longer will this last?
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Quote:



Hi to my fellow addict,
Thank you for replying to my post. I have not started on the morphine yet and will wait until the end of the month when I'm sure I'm completely off of oxy and Flexeril. Most of the past few days have been okay with the exception of nightly panic attacks. I still have sleeping opoids from the previous doctor but don't want to take one no matter how bad the night gets.



.
I was put on Oxy by a pill pushing doctor who did not understand, nor did I, the consequences of piling on all these meds. She just knew how to write prescriptions, anything to stop the pain of my disease. At one time I was also wearing a Duragesic, Fentanal patch but I took that off myself. If was no problem. My body kept rejecting it until l took it off completely. Maybe that was my body telling me that I was on too many meds already.
I have no history of seizures but I am scared about the next step at the end of the month.
Thank you for caring.
Barbara


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