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Withdrawal from tramadol. How to make it easier?
I've been lurking for quite some time and I'm ready to stop taking tramadol and own my life again. I can't keep living day to day with the pills being the number 1 thought that I have. On Friday, I switched from tramadol to percocet until yesterday. I thought it might mask the withdrawal symptoms.
So, my first question is: Did that mask the withdrawal symptoms or just delay my withdrawal?
This morning I tossed the percs and thought maybe withdrawal was over but I started to get a horrible headache and felt generally like ????. So, keep in mind, I hadn't had any tramadol since friday. I was taking about 17 pills per day- 50mg. This morning, I took 2 and then 2 hours later 2 more. Just so I could focus and get through the day. That's ALL I can take today- no matter what- because I only have around 18 left and I need to wean off. I'm hoping that I can be down to 2 tomorrow or maybe even Zero.
I'm really really hoping that the percocet got me through the worst of the withdrawal and that I can slowly start to function normally again from here on out. Am I naive to think that? Have I only delayed withdrawal by taking another opiate?
Is there some sort of taper I can do with what I have left if it gets horrible again tomorrow. Obviously I can't taper from 17 pills a day to 16.. 15..14 etc since I don't have nearly that many left and refuse to spend one more dime on this addiction because I am just done.
I would really truly appreciate any advice that anyone has. It really took a lot for me to post this and admit it.
From personal experience, I think you should flush the rest of what you have, eliminate any chance you have of getting more and cut ties with anyone that uses. Cold turkey is the quickest and best way in my opinion. You will be uncomfortable for a week or so but it can always be used A's a reminder why you don't want to use again. That's my .02 but I hope it helped. Unfortunately I think using percs might have or could have made it worse buddy. Tramadol is a horrible pain killer being advertised as the non addictive wonder pain killer but as we all know the depression, impotence, and addiction that comes with it is one of the worst to come off of. Once again this is my personal opinion and everyone detoxes differently, best of luck to you friend. I'll be around responding to your posts every chance I get
You don't know how perfect the timing was for your reply. I had just convinced myself that it was okay to take 2 more to get me through this afternoon- and I have decided not to, now, after reading your post. I do not think I can toss them as I'm too terrified of the horrible withdrawal and my children have things going on this week that I can't miss. I have to be stable, at best. Even if it means taking a half a pill so that I can get through it. This has been a habit of mine on and off for 11 years (and I'm young still) and it's not the first time I've tried to quit but it's definitely the time that I know there is no other choice. I cannot tell my husband when I'm withdrawaling as he will be very angry and it's the very last thing I need. Although, I do have every intention of telling him when I'm good and done. I don't know anyone else with this addiction or habit or medication- so at least that won't be a problem. This has truly been a secret of mine for as long as I can remember. I have self medicated my depression and anxiety in the worst way possible. It's shameful and embarrassing and I know the time has come to stop. Last week, a friend upset me and I OD'd and ended up vomiting for 2 days. That's it for me. Last straw. My kids don't deserve it. Otherwise, I am a high functioning addict but know that this will kill me if it continues.
I cannot tell you how important your reply was. Just to be heard and responded to. I read your post about your struggles and you inspire me. Thank you.
Hello Mushhead, I went ct from Tramadol 12 days ago, but I wasn't taking anywhere near as many as you were. The most I took was five a day, though I took them all in the AM. There were days that I only took 2 or three, but most days I took five. I wonder if you could try just taking 2 a day until you run out and go ct from there? At least the wd's won't be as bad as they will if your last day was 17. JMHO.
Wow LongHaul. 12 days, so far? That's pretty awesome. I'm surprised in myself actually that I've only taken the 4 today and it's not so bad. It almost feels like I might be able to pull this off. I think I'm gonna try to do 2 tomorrow and then 1.5 then 1 then .5 then nothing. But honestly, my hope is that I can pull the willpower from deep inside of me and get rid of this with even less than that. I had sort of figured that 17 per day was a lot judging by a lot of the other posts I have read. But then again, this was 11 years in the making. Just goes to show how out of control it can get.
If you took 4 today, I would only drop to three tomorrow. You don't want to overdo it. Others say that it's best to taper down every 4 days, but since you don't have that many left, I don't see how that's possible.
Also, as for the 12 days, I miscounted. Today is day 11.
Edit: The only issuse I'm still having is lack of energy. But, i've been reading up on L-dopa, and thinking of buying some to help replace the dopamine that my body isn't making. At least for a while.
Last edited by LongHaul; 07-12-2011 at 05:09 PM.
Yeah, if I feel like a disaster I'll allow myself 3 to get through the day. I have done the cold turkey on tramadol before. I got to day 4 and thought I was going to die and went and got my prescription. This is the first time I've ever tried even somewhat of a taper but I have realized going from 17 to nothing will just not work for me. How long did it take you to feel okay again?
I remember a few years ago I ran out and had no withdrawals (because I wasn't taking daily at that time) and I remember the clarity in my mind that I felt just days later. And I thought *Why do I do this to myself? It feels so AMAZING to be clear headed.* But alas.. I failed. I can't wait to feel that clarity again. How many days did it take you to feel it?
I was over the physical WD's by the end of day 5. Now I'm just waiting for my mind to repair itself. I've read that can take from 3 months to a year. One of my neighbors went through Vic WD's when he ended up in jail.(he started stealing to support his habit of over 20 pills a day) He told my son that it took him two months to feel totally normal.
It's good to know you were over the physical withdrawals by the end of day 5. By thursday, at the latest, it will be my last pill (if not before) if I have to do the taper because I have a load of family coming in the following week. I need to be free of the physical symptoms by then. What a mess I've gotten myself into.
Edit- You have no idea how much your 11 day mark gives me hope!
Last edited by mushhead; 07-12-2011 at 05:26 PM.
There is a thread on here with a list of things you can buy to help with the withdrawls. I can't remember the name, but I'm sure someone will post the link if the read this.
I guess I got lucky, because I didn't suffer as much as some do. I was still able to eat while I was withdrawing. Only had a couple of days with loose stools. And I haven't had too much trouble with sleeping, but I took Tylonol Pms for that. And for the past three nights, I've slept like a baby without sleep aids.
I wish you luck and if you need someone to talk to while your going through this, I'll be here.
Last edited by LongHaul; 07-12-2011 at 05:31 PM.
I did see the list of things to help WDs and I've tried that other times I've WD and it didn't seem to make much of a difference. So I suppose this is going to be a ride it out sort of thing. The main reason I haven't quit CT is because I'm afraid I might go into a seizure with the amount I was taking. It's crazy to think that this time last week I was taking 17 pills and today I took 4.
Thank you so much for your helpful posts that have helped me see the light at the end of this tunnel.
You're most welcome, and I'm sure there will be others willing to help as well. I'm surprised the forum is as empty as it has been of late.
I truly hope that lowering your dose helps prevent any seizures. Until I came here, I had no idea that was a possible side effect and I was prescribed these little pills.
Hi to anyone lurking and Longhaul and LostSoldier. I just wanted to give a quick update and say that I made it until 5pm today on no pills and then cracked and took 3. I guess that's sort of my taper plan. Tomorrow, I'll hold out as long as possible and if I crack I'll allow myself 2.. then 1 and then a half.
I'm pretty much ashamed of myself for cracking so easily today because the physical WD actually wasn't so bad. I had a glass of wine last night and slept 7 hours uninterrupted and had 3 panic attacks throughout today but mostly I cracked because I felt depressed. So part of my plan in getting off this horrible drug is to fight my depression at the same time. I have stocked up on vitamins today from the health store and I've made a lot of plans with my family to keep myself busy the next couple of weeks.
I want anyone who is lurking, who might be considering this drug for a high or for mild pain, to please reconsider. It will trap you. There is no doubt. It is absolute. And when you are trapped and feel like you want to quit, you will have to fight with yourself in order to do so. Stick with the highs on life and over the counter pain pills.
The important thing is that you're trying. You'll get there.
I took 3 yesterday and none so far today. I feel so tired and restless all at once. Cold and sweaty. This is awful. I would love to pull through today without taking any pills. I can't tell if the taper is doing me any favors or if I'm delaying the inevitable.
If it gets too difficult to handle, take another half. It might help. Its funny, for me, it didn't matter if I took five a day or one, I only got the WD's when I quite them all together. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones.
Okay, i'm an idiot. I read that as saying you had taken three today and still felt like ????. Sorry...
Thank you for replying on the thread today. I ended up taking 2 and now I feel totally fine (of course! because the drug won today!). I hope like hell I'll be down to 1 tomorrow and .5 on Sunday. I'm really trying so hard. I've never tried this hard before...
Do you have enough pills left that will allow you to take two tomorrow and then one on the following day? From what I've read here on the forum, people seem to do better if they stay on the same dose for a couple of days before lowering the dosage.
Also, I read that you can buy L-dopa. I wonder if this wouldn't help with the WD's? That's the same as Dopamine (sp), which the brain isn't producing while on pain meds.
please listen to me
Hi Mushead, I am also new to this forum, but I know alot about drugs having a psyc. degree and some drug abuse history in my past that I have combated and survived thank god (took place in my early 20's, I am now 38). OK, first of all, as u know, Tramadol can be addictive. It is considered a non-narcotic because it does not repress your breathing like regular narcotics such as Lortab, Oxycodone, Percodan, Percocet, Norco etc.. However, Tramadol does act on your opioid receptors, and it releases some serotonin, and if taken in large quantities or more than what u are supposed to, u can get a euphoric "high" off the drug and become hooked.
Don't be embarrassed. Believe it or not, many ppl are hooked on Tramadol, although Tramadol really is an effective pain med and it is less addicting compared to some other drugs. Sad thing is, doctors are having a harder time prescribing pain meds b/c of a rising trend of abuse, but pain meds are needed in our society for medical purposes, such as post surgical pain, dental procedure, broken bones, and even chronic pain from injury or disease. The Percocet you were taking did u no good. It is a highly addictive drug within itself, but do not toss the Tramadol out. DO NOT QUIT COLD TURKEY!!! That is very dangerous, esp. if u have been taking it for awhile and in high doses. The withdrawal syndrome can kill u and put tremendous stress on your heart and body. U need to ween off the drug, but u need to do it under a doctor's assistance. I don't know if u have a doctor and if u do, whether or not he or she is a good one and will understand your situation. If not, u need to find a doctor that will work with u and help u get off the drug. There are many doctors that will help with this, but some won't do anything.
I have a psyc. degree, but I am not a doctor, but I will tell u this, the withdrawal from Tramadol is severe and can last for weeks, not one week, but 2 or 3 weeks. This is a fact, and it is comparable to a withdrawal from a benzodiazepine medication, such as Xanax, which is very unpleasant. Plz seek help, and as far as not telling your husband, he will prob. find out b/c once u run out you will really start feeling bad and he will know that something is up. He may get angry with u, but so what. Your health is more important, and it is important u get help and ween off the drug. There is a drug called clonidine that is actually a blood pressure medicine, but it is also used for anxiety, sleep, and drug withdrawals. It works excellent. I take it for my blood pressure, but it has had a high rate of success in curbing drug withdrawals. U would have to talk to a doctor about getting on it and how much to take, but there is no easy solution to tapering off Tramadol when you have so few pills. U need a slow taper period to prevent possible deadly consequences. Many ppl think Tramadol is not addictive. They are very wrong. All that said, it is a good pain medication and one that I use for my severe back pain 50 mg every 6-8 hours as needed and only as needed. Most ppl don't abuse it, but some do and end up getting hooked. Plz take care of yourself and get in to see someone and do not stop cold turkey. Again, I don't mean to scare u, but the withdrawal is severe and is similar to a Valium, Xanax type of withdrawal for ppl that have been abusing those kind of drugs. God luck to u and god bless
Hang in there it will get better
It have been free from tramadol for 10 month's now. I took 7 i n the morning, 7 in the afternoon and 7 before I went to sleep and I would sprinkle a couple through the day. I do understand where you are coming from. I went cold turkey and it was sooooooo very hard. I do not wish these withdrawls on my worst enemy. I think you should go and see a doctor, which is what I should of done, but at the time I did not have health care coverage; therefore it make it much more difficult, but with a lot of support from this site it helped me tremendously. You see I come from a family that addiction is a huge no no; therefore I thought I was alone until I stumble on this site. I found that the pottasium pills helped a lot with the restless leg syndrome, I used the valerian root to help with the anxiety. Baths were also helpful. You can do this. You always have to think that you can overcome this. I can tell you that life wihout Tramadol is wonderful, I no longer have to worry about how am I going to get my next dose and not to mention how costly it was because I purchased them online and when I could not purchase them under my name I would do it under someone else name. I was honest with my boyfriend just a couple weeks ago and told him about my addiction because I will always be an addict and he was very understanding which surprised me,
You will be okay.
you can do it! seriously you can! i was taking 12 a day approximately ( i would just kinda throw take them without thinking) and tramadol did not work well with my personality. i have been going through withdrawals since february from Norco, then suboxone, then vicodin, now tramadol!!!! im like scared not to take something because withdrawal after withdrawal after withdrawal is making me nutsoo butttt anywayy...
i took 3 thursday around noon and then got a call for vicodin and i was like YESS i can finally get off tramadol while functioning! then i got mono and got vicodin on saturday! yay more relief from withdrawals....so i took my last 3 on thursday and was feeling fine friday all day until around 10pm then the brain zaps started and i was upnorth for a wedding and couldnt let ppl know what i was going through so i took ONE tramadol..which i was very upset about doing because i felt it would hold me back on getting off them....well now it is thursday about 7 days with no tramadol but i have been taking vicodin for my swollen painful glands in my neck and now i am out of the vicodin and out of tramadol waiting to see what tomorrow brings...
so to get to the tramadol issues that i had.....i had really bad zaps on tuesday night which i thought to be strange i thought they would happen sooner but my brain and whole body was just zapping i was scared i was having a seizure but ended up falling asleep. i have been waking up with a foggy brain and chills with a lack of lust for life. that is what i have been experiencing at day 6-7. i wish you luck and you can do it..im still trying to get over all of this and we both will........as many people that say dont cold turkey it....i say cold turkey it......tapering off narcotics is the biggest tease in the world and to the people that can do it i envy you
Please do NOT go cold turkey off tramadol, and please DON'T advise other people to do that. There's a risk of seizure with tramadol use, and that risk goes way up if you stop taking it abruptly.
Originally Posted by parsimony
If you want to do cold turkey, switch completely to the vicodin and then drop off that. It's way safer.
Been there done that.... Don't go cold turkey, the seizures are not fun period... All my best.... Reid
I had no idea how dangerous it was to go ct off of tramadol. I guess I was lucky.
It's very difficult to get hard data on this drug, but I am trying. The pharma companies are not being honest about the risks associated with tramadol, particularly the risk of addiction. They've marketed it as a "safe" alternative to other pain meds, but doctors are finding lots of people becoming addicted to it. Withdrawal from tramadol is really terrible, worse than coming off something like vicodin. I assume because the drug is complex and works on serotonin in the brain.
Originally Posted by LongHaul
I'm glad you were able to get off it. We're all lucky to get away from that drug!