I've been taking 5x 100mg tramadol at 3x a day so 1,500mg a day of tramadol. I thought nothing of it as i was using it temporarly to ease my oxycotin withdrawl till my script got refilled, well ive been on this dosage for about 20 days for the tramadol and want to stop, i get the jitters something awrful, sick to my stomach, high anxiety and tired all the time. The weird thing is I have morphine, vicodin and oxy on hand and none of them seem to curb the withdrawl symptoms from the tramadol? I've got a script for Valium 10mg so im thinking wean my self down and use the Valium for the anxiety and such? Whats the best way to go about this? im about 3 days in cold turkey and just miserable. Any help suggestions would be appreciated, and no none of this is for recreational use, i was in a very bad car accident.
I have been on and off Tramadol for years. My first experience with it was back in 2003-2004 when I had whiplash from a car accident that ended up being diagnosed as a cervical spine injury as well as a painful knee condition. Thank you military! It was prescribed as "non-narcotic nor habit forming." I didn't think much of it and took it several times a day (maybe 4 or 5...50 mg tablets...can't really remember) until I ended up getting pregnant with my daughter in 2006. I cold-turkeyed as I did not want to take any medication while I was pregnant. Even this many years later I remember it being horrendous. I called my orthopedist (prescribing doctor) AND my gynecologist who both assured me a low amount (2 per day) was safe. At that time I could not find any evidence online that contradicted that. They both said 100mg a day would be less harmful than the stress of trying to quit cold turkey. I believed them because I just didn't know. Thankfully my daughter was born full-term as healthy as can be.
Then Tramadol stopped being effective for the pain and I was switched to hydrocodone (vicodin) then oxycodone (percocet). This is when I became "hooked" to pain killers. I then battled a 2 year addiction with these medications (at my worst taking 10-12 super strength 10mg percocets each day). I was buying it from a friend because my scripts would run out quicker than I could refill them. In 2009, my family discovered the abuse. My husband and I went through a divorce, I moved in with my parents with my two children, and entered an intensive outpatient substance abuse program. My job was suffering. Trying to detox while all of these negative life experiences were going on was horrible. I ended up being admitted to psychiatric wards on two occassions for severe depression and suicidal ideations. After about a year, I was doing great. I got my own apartment, my job was going well, and the kids were doing great. I then got a better job and met the man of my dreams in 2011.
Unfortunately, while my neck was fine, my kness were getting worse and worse. I was too young (32) to have replacements so I began physical therapy and Tramadol...again. And it has helped SO much...I am finally able to go about my daily activities with no pain and no depression (which I had from being inactive). In my mind I believed it was better than vicodin or percocet. I've turned those down every single time I've been offered these last few years. For the most part, I've adhered to the dosage regime. This last month I had more pain and ended up taking one or two more a day than usual (4 or 5 of the 50mg tablets each day vs. the prescribed 3). As I go to the VA for care, prescriptions are ONLY refilled through the mail and are NOT delievered before they are due (filled 2 days early to arrive "on time"). I knew last week I'd be running out this Monday. I prepared myself mentally, telling myself it'll only be 10 days before I receive them...you can do 10 days. What's 10 days? A drop in the bucket. I was a little cranky over it but nothing terrible.
So, right now I'm into hour 46 since my last dose. About 4-5 days before I knew I'd be running low, I adhered to only 3 per day to get as close to possible to the refill date. I noticed a little malaise and weepiness going from 4-5 to 3 but no other problems. Monday (the 20th), I took one in the early morning, one in the early afternoon, and the last pill at 4pm. I had no problems at all Monday evening and slept with no issue. Yesterday was not that bad during the day either. I found myself a little sleepy but nothing coffee and mio energy couldn't fix. I made it a point to eat healthy meals. I had a little sneezing and runny nose that I took my flonase and day quil for. Treated the nausea with pepto. I am VERY busy this time of year at work (end of financial year) so the day flew (without much thought to my physical self). I noticed at a smoke break in the 3:00 hour that I was feeling achey and had a tiny bit of chills (23 hours since last dose). I took some ibuprofen and went back to work. I got off work, got the kids, took more day quil and pepto for the symptoms and proceeded to keep myself INCREDIBLY busy all night (hours 24-30)...not a moment to sit type of busy. I felt like c**p but I just kept going. I cooked dinner, did the dishes, laundry, got the kids ready for today, etc. The more I moved, the better off I did. I made sure I was drinking orange juice (for the potassium) and NO CAFFEINE as I knew that would help the restless legs I was familiar with during Tramadol detox. When they were in bed, I sat down around 9:30 pm exhausted. I then noticed the chills and aches a bit more. My upper body (upper back and neck) felt restless so I decided to take a long HOT shower. Before taking the hot shower, I drank a cup of Celestial Seasons Sleepy Time tea. When I got out of the shower (10:15 pm...30 hours in), I was tired so I went up to bed. I had trouble getting comfortable and while my legs felt absolutely fine, my upper body felt restless. Until my boyfriend came home at 12:30 am, I may have gotten 2 periods of brief sleep (15 minutes or so). I sat up with him for a bit and smoked a cigarette. When I went back to bed I slept a little better until he came up at 2:30-3 am. Thankfully I was able to nod back off fairly quickly and didn't wake up until the alarm went off at 5am. I was not as exhausted as I expected to be. I got myself ready, the kids ready, and off to school. It was hard because I did have periods where I felt SO exhausted but I just kept going...what choice did I have?
Here I am at work...some 46 hours since my last dose and I'm feeling a little worse than I did this morning. I think the not sleeping much last night has screwed me all up. I took day quil, flonase, and pepto for my symptoms...I figure treating the symptoms was my best bet since there is NOTHING else I CAN do. I drank two Revive Vitamin Waters which have a c**p ton of potassium, b vitamins, vitamin c, and electrolights. I haven't noticed much restlessness or chills. I have more body aches than before and sneezing but have been taking day quil and ibuprofen religiously. I am drinking an energy drink slowly and just trucking along. I want to keep myself busy while I'm going through this. It SUCKS and is REALLY REALLY hard to do that sometimes but I KNOW myself...I know sitting at home will keep me thinking and obsessing over how bad this is. Keeping busy at work keeps my mind from going there. I know each HOUR...it gets just a little bit better than the last...or at least closer to the end. I did all the stuff I could last night so that tonight (while the kids are with my ex-husband) I can rest. Dinner is in the fridge for me and my boyfriend, clothes and house are clean. I can take cat naps all night if I need to. I can take a shower ever hour if I need to. I will baby myself tonight. Because of the kids' back to school schedule (my daughter doesn't start kindergarten until Monday while my son's already back), I took Friday and part of Monday morning off. I just have to get through today and tomorrow at work then I have 3 days off. I can't leave with taking Friday off...I just can't. I HAVE to suck it up and keep going...so I will.
I'm not sure if it was a lower dose, lower duration (I only began Tramadol again 2 months ago) or positive attitude but this time detoxing has not been NEAR as bad as any time before. I have a very happy home and work life so that is probably helping the emotional part of it. However, I know the physical symptoms will give way to the emotional ones and I'll have to keep giving myself pep talks to get through the doom and gloom I'm certain will come...because it always did before.
My advice is if you are committed to doing this...DO it. Whether it be a weaning schedule with your doctor or cold turkey...commit to it and be DONE. Don't turn back. Give yourself a pep talk every time it's needed...sometimes you will need it constantly, other times not so much. Lean on family and friends. TELL yourself you are OK...this too will pass. Even if you don't BELIEVE it...SAY IT...I WILL BE OK. Think in minutes or hours...NOT in days or weeks. Expect some discomfort but don't freak out over it. It will come and you will get through it. Pray. Treat your symptoms. Keep up with your life if you're able...or take a break if you're able. But DO NOT OBSESS over it. DO NOT. Find SOMETHING to do if you take a break at home...TV, read, errands, household chores, writing, cook, bake...whatever it is you like to do that passes the time. Even if you don't do it well this time or can't concentrate very well...just do it. Who cares if you can't remember what you just read or if your cake is a little flat...the key is to keep yourself busy mentally. Physically too. I think I really helped with the restless legs by the potassium intake, treating my symptoms as benign "illness" and by keeping physically busy. Mentally, going about my normal routine, talking to coworkers like nothing is wrong (pretending if you will), talking to my boyfriend for real...is really helping this time. I'm not feeling 100% at all but I am getting there.
YOU CAN DO THIS!!! And you WILL...and next thing you know it'll be a week, month...whatever.
Good luck and GOD BLESS...you got this...and SO DO I!!!
I would highly suggest you switch to a low mg painkiller like perc 10s and use those to tapper with. Tramadol can be extremely difficult for some people to get off of, having crazy side effects along with withdrawals.
Thank you for this more positive detox sharing-you give me the hope I need for my own tramadol detox.
Are you clean still from tram? Just wondering bc this is an old post