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Best way to detox from pain meds?

From: carebear - on 02/06/2010 7:28pm

I want to stop taking all narcotic pain medications. I've been suffering from neck and back injuries for years. I've stopped using fentynal patches, oxycodone, soma, xanaflex (yes, all at once) and I'm down to Norco 4 times a day, 1 Cymbalta and 2 xanex per day. I get it...surgery didn't work; my lower back is shot; spinal surgeon doesn't know wether to fuse up or down; "It's a complicated case" blah, blah, blah. I have had every injection procedure there is (almost) and I would like to stop the Norco next.

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9 Responses

on 02/09/2010 5:45pm

carebear... I am so sorry to hear about what you are goign through. This may seem silly, but arent there medications that help you reduce your dependency. After all the opioids you were on, I would say you are doing a GREAT job stepping down to cymbalta and xanax.

Can't you stay with these two? Cymbalta should help with the nerve pain, right? If you are in that much pain, why go completely off?

Have you thought about spinal cord stimulation? Some people on this site are talking about it.

best of luck

on 02/11/2010 12:21pm

carebear, I know how disturbing it can be to get to the point that you've tried this and tried that and it just didn't work. I too have very severe low spinal problems. I get spinal blocks every 2 months and take Norco 4 times a day and 1 10mg valium daily. Thats not near as much as you've taken and I commend you for getting off of all that you have. I'll say that again.... I COMMEND YOU. But with severe chronic pain comes along depression and great turbulance in our lives. My chronic pain DR. has told me that the goal is some control of pain or at least some degree of relief, thats his job. I like you wish the Drs. could take it all away but they can't. only control is the name of the game with such severe conditions that you and I deal with. The more they operate the more complicated it gets, its a vicious cycle. So remember some quality of life is what you deserve and need and we have to be realistic, this just does not go away completely at least in my case it don't. Go with the flow and be comfortable. I agree its nice to be able to take the meds only when you need them. This gives you a measure of control over your own body. But please, be comfortable and pat yourself on the back because you've come along way. I too have had to learn to live with crippling pain and it takes alot out of us physically and mentally. Don't overload yourself on top of all that. I care, carebear and I too agree with your first commentor, havn't you come along way already?

on 02/11/2010 4:34pm

I have had two cervical surgeries, fusion at C6-7 in 1996, great success. Fusion with plates in 2007 from C4-C6. During the surgery, while fluid was being drawn from right hip, suffered compression fracture at L5-S1, inoperable due to DDD and arthritis. Never had any low back problems until then.

I was doing 12-18 Vicodin a day, 4 Norflex,4 Fledene and med-dose packs (steroids) regularly. Whether the pain was real or imagined, I had to have the Vicodin for relief. In March, 2008, I came across a homeopathic medicine - Hyland's Legs Cramps with Quinine, Calms Forte, and Nerve Tonic. I began taking the Leg Cramps with Quinine, knowing that Quinine was a natural pain killer. I began with 2 every 2 hours, and noticed that I could tell there was some alleviation in the pain, while cutting back on the Vicodin. I added the Calms Forte shortly after that. But, when I said enough of the Vicodin, I wanted to see what Hyland's did by itself, I was impressed.

I now take two of the Leg Cramps and two Calms Forte in the morning; at lunch if the pain has risen to a 6-7 level, and two of each at night, plus the Nerve Tonic. I have been able to sleep 4-5 hours at a time without having to get up and move around. I do still have a prescription of Vicodin, but only have to take a couple every now and then, and mainly when I get out and do physically demanding work. I have been fortunate to be self-employed and have what is considered a sedentary job by Social Security standards.

I would encourage anyone with chronic pain to try these. I get them at Wal-Marts in the vitamin isle.

They might not work for everyone, but it is worth a try. From the second surgery and the complications that ensued, I have been restricted by my neuro-surgeon to lifting no more that 10 lbs. I have been able to lift more than this, and have found when I overdo it, that Hyland's usually works. I keep a bottle in my pocket at all times, and will pop two of them when I feel the pain beginning to rise.

Good Luck!

on 02/13/2010 2:58pm

I have discussed this with my Pain Magmt dr and if I when I decide to do this, they will give me Valium and Xanax to help with the side affects. I take four 80mg Oxycontins a day plus two Lyrica and Phenergan. I have to take my pain meds in them morning and wait for them to "kick in" before I can even attempt to get in the shower and get dressed. Six yrs ago, I had and artificial disc implanted at L4 & L5 and now have nerve damage from surgery. I have Degnerative Disc Disorder in all Lumbar disc, bone spurs, Osteo arthiritis and the list goes on. I have had 6 injections that did not help. My pain level is very high and the pain "sets in" in my lower back and I have deep, sharp stabbing pain that goes all the way thru my hips into my thighs and on down my leg. Good luck to you in getting off the pain meds, Wish I could do it but my condition will only get worse.

on 02/13/2010 6:10pm

I have been suffering from lower back pain for going on 10 years. Osteoporosis & arithritis from L4 to the end. Not a surgical candidate, nothing to fix. Heard "there is nothing we can do for you" from more doctors than there are bullets in my pistol. Was on Duragesic - 3 of the 100 patches - for over 2 years. Lost 40 lbs. and was sick all the time. Slept 24 hrs almost every day. Also taking 8 Norco/day. PT, injections, denervations. You name it, I had it done. Not much relief. One year ago I had an intrathecal pump installed. Wow! Finally, relief. Not 100% all the time, but much improved. Also taking Nucynta 50mg, 4/day, PRN. I feel better than I have in 10 years. And I have my brain back. Less constipation too. Yesterday, at my refill, they added Bupivacaine for the sciatica. Ask your doctor about the pump. It gave me my life back. Since it delivers the morphine right to the spine, less is needed than orally. Currently at 3.5 mg/day. Usually just an overnight stay in the hospital for the surgery. Ask, you have nothing to loose but your pain.

on 02/15/2010 1:36am

I'm with Mathman47....I too have an intrathecal pump and it too gave me my life back...I've had 4 back surgeries and am fused from the sacrum to T10-11.....nothing worked, but the pump is fantastic...no more pills...thank God...It's at level 5.5...the only scary thing is that the pump is "the end of the line""...there is nothing else...I'd had the spinal stimulator, pain patches, etc.etc.etc....so what happens when you reach the highest level, which I think is a 9 and your body gets used to that..there isn't anything else...I'd never heard of Nucynta...maybe I'll ask my doctor about it...thanks and good luck to us all..have faith..rochjo

on 02/18/2010 6:53am

After moving from Maryland to Michigan and consequently having to switch doctors (UGH!), I was detoxed off the meds my doctors in Maryland had me taking by using Suboxone. From what my Michigan doctors have told me, this drug was created to help drug addicts detox, like methodone, but it was found to also help relieve chronic pain. While still a narcotic, it interacts differently with your brain than the others do and is suppose to be better for you. I know I don't get the loopy feeling you can get when taking the other narcotics and I was able to get rid of several drugs I was taking by switching to the Suboxone.

Anyway, you may want to ask your doctor about this medication and see if it's for you.

on 03/27/2010 12:44pm

u should look into a medication called suboxone. It is used to treat opiate addiction and is very effective. I would see an addiction specialist and ask about this drug. It works by hitting the same receptors as the opiate without causing the depression, anxiety or any of the typical effects of the narcotics.
It worked for a friend of mine who had terrible knee pain, was taking vicodin every day and about to have surgery- he got on the suboxone and is now 90+% pain free for 9 months. It can cause a little constipatrion for which Triphala- an Indian herb for regulation of digestion and bowel is excellent
Good luck

on 07/23/2013 2:39pm

I have the same back problems. I would like to get off the meds too. Let me know if you are successful