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Hydrocodone Withdrawal Eased with Tramadol?
  1. #1
    TheCoyote is offline New Member
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    Unhappy Hydrocodone Withdrawal Eased with Tramadol?

    Hi! I have some questions about withdrawal.

    I have been taking some form of opiate on and off since the start of the year, all by necessity and never more than I was prescribed. Since March, I have been constantly taking 5/500 Hydrocodone/Acetominophen to deal with the pain of gallstones. Two weeks ago I had my gallbladder out and I have a strong desire to stop taking the hydrocodone. I was taking between 4-6 pills a day for nearly three straight months.

    I tapered for a few days, then stopped all together. I still have some hydrocodone pills left, but I have little desire to take them because I fear restarting my withdrawals from square one when I do. My last dose of hydrocodone was about 38 hours ago ... and I feel absolutely miserable.

    Well, less miserable since I caved and took a 50mg Tramadol. I have used Tramadol in the past to treat a lingering pain from a neck injury, but stopped using it as I did not want to become addicted. It has eased some of my worst symptoms (cramping, foggy head, muscle aches, etc.) but I'm concerned that since I took it that I've rebooted the withdrawal process all over again. I'm sticking to low doses to prevent seizures, vomiting and the other really nasty side-effects Doctors don't like to tell you about when they hand you a script for Tramadol.

    My plan is to use 50mg Tramadol every 6-8 hours for the next 2-3 days to keep me from punching walls and tearing the heads off of the others I live with. If I keep to those low doses, cessation from Tramadol will be fairly easy (that is if I notice it at all). My hope is the low dose and the long span of time between doses will be effective. Is this a sane regime? Or will I end up being sorry I took the 50mg when it starts to wear off in a few hours?

    I would much prefer to forgo Tramadol at all and use marijuana to help with my symptoms (I have a medical card for marijuana use, it's what I treat my neck/back pain with INSTEAD of Tramadol) ... but I have no money to buy any and none of my sources are willing to front me a little to get me through the worst of my problem. I have boatloads of Trams, however.

    In summary, my questions are:

    1)Will one 50mg Tramadol pill ever 6-8 hours be effective in reducing my symptoms OR will it just prolong my suffering?
    2)How much longer can I expect my symptoms to persist? Everywhere I look I get different answers, or answers from folks taking MUCH higher doses than I was for MUCH longer periods of time.
    3)If I do end up caving and take a half a hydrocodone pill; will that prolong my withdrawal or ease my symptoms?

    Thank you for listening! I hope to hear from someone soon.

    ~TheCoyote

  2. #2
    TheCoyote is offline New Member
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    Since nobody has chimed in to respond with help or advice, I figured I'd share my experiences in hopes of helping others.

    The Tramadol has been immensely effective at making my withdrawal more comfortable. I'm at about the 62 hour mark now, and even though I don't feel what I'd call "Good" I feel better than I did yesterday. I don't even think I need to take anymore 50mg Tramadol (I have taken 3 up to this point, on average 7 hours apart).

    I was able to get out for a walk today, which has helped the cramping in my arms and legs.

    I've been drinking Monster Rehab (the irony of this does not escape me) energy drinks; the caffeine, electrolytes and added vitamins have also been very helpful. I consume no more than two in a day, at least eight hours apart.

    My insomnia hasn't really let up yet, but I was able to get a decent amount of sleep this morning. Even if I can't talk my body into sleeping, I find that laying down in the quiet and the dark for even just 45 minutes is a little refreshing.

    I take lukewarm/warm showers at least twice a day, but hop in for a quick rinse if I get a bout of the sweats.

    I haven't been hungry, but when I can manage to make myself eat I try to get protein and salt. Since I just had my gallbladder removed, red meat is out of the question -- however I've found Jack Link's Turkey Jerky to be a good source of both protein and sodium. You don't have to choke down a lot of it to benefit from what it has to offer.

    Hopefully these tips will be of some use to anyone out there who is going through what I am.

    Thank you all, and take care.

    ~TheCoyote

  3. #3
    mareke is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCoyote View Post
    I've been drinking Monster Rehab (the irony of this does not escape me) energy drinks; the caffeine, electrolytes and added vitamins have also been very helpful. I consume no more than two in a day, at least eight hours apart.
    I've found that energy drinks work well for dealing with the letdown that follows stopping tramal and I imagine they'd be effective for coming off many other drugs that leave you feeling tired and washed out when you stop them. I don't take just one energy drink though. I have several of them and find the effect compensates beautifully for the lethargy and various unpleasant feelings associated with coming off painkillers. After several days of using the energy drinks (I prefer sugar free ones so I don't put on weight) when the normal withdrawal symptoms from stopping the painkiller start to ease I wean myself off the energy drinks and it makes for a much easier transition off the painkillers back to living without them.

    I suspect that many people who feel unpleasant withdrawal symptoms coming off drugs would discover the same thing as I have. Withdrawal off many drugs involves the nervous system more or less crashing because the drug is no longer taken and the energy drinks provide a compensatory stimulation that eliminates much of the suffering of withdrawal. A word of warning here though. Anyone taking more than one energy drink needs to be careful. I can have several and just feel a compensatory pleasant stimulation counterbalancing the withdrawal symptoms but that doesn't mean even more is better. Energy drinks can cause their own problems if you have too many and the effect of them lasts for many hours.

  4. #4
    BrokenAngel36 is offline Member
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    Hello Coyote and thank you for posting. I am Angel and have struggled and the struggles continue. However you have to be committed to sobriety. PLEASE DO NOT USE THE TRAMADOL NOR MONSTER ENERGY DRINKS. The only reason I say this is you are trading one for the other. Trust me when I say I know how awful the withdrawals are, no sleep, not hungry, just an all around sick, crawling out of your skin, I have been there. The reason I say stay away from the Monster energy drinks is because although they may have vitamins they are also chalked full of caffeine. Drink water as though it may be the last water on earth lol. Please do not take the TRAMADOL as this is just another drug that will become addictive. Take ibuprofen and melatonin for sleep. Good for you in the first steps. I'm here and I feel the need to give as much advice as I can offer because I know how much this forum helped me in my times of depression and it was a life saver.

    Good for you, please keep posting and know we are reading posts it helps us all with our own struggles and we can offer good advice.

  5. #5
    qun_luv is offline New Member
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    Hello coyote. As stated before trading one drug for the next isn't the best idea. I have experience with Tramadol and the withdraw from that is absolutely terrible. I was prescribed it as a substitute for any "hard" narcotic because it was seen as something not as strong, not as bad, etc. I started taking 50mg twice a day and eventually graduated to somewhere between 6-9 50mg a day. I couldn't get anymore as I was travelling across the country and it was the worst experience. I had terrible restless legs and arms...for days. Had a need to constantly sneeze and tramadol has this awesome withdraw symptom of prickly skin for no reason...I guess that's a withdraw symptom of the antidepressant in the med. Naseua accompanied the above and fatigue was of course another symptom. Bottom line...hydrocodone withdraw is bad and the tramadol withdraw will be just as miserable. If you can get off the tramadol now you'll be thankful...I was given 30 50mg I took over a span of about a week and still experienced the same symptoms!! It wasn't as bad, lasted a couple days, but it was still dreadful as I knew the feeling all to well. Only thing that helped really was hot baths that soothed the restlessness and ibuprofen for the other symptoms but I had to basically deal with everything as nothing seemed to really help. The prickly skin lasted for a couple weeks and that was probably the worst part of it. Hope you're able to work through the hydrocodone withdraw and also the tramadol. Good luck with everything
    BrokenAngel36 likes this.

  6. #6
    mareke is offline Junior Member
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    Coyote I think what you are doing is perfectly reasonable. Tramadol 50 mg is a small dose to taper off a stronger drug and if done right can make for a gentler transition off drugs. As for the energy drinks if you try them the way I suggested and you are like me you'll find that many of the symptoms of withdrawal are greatly alleviated by the drinks.

    I have been taking tramadol intermittently for over 10 years and have been through withdrawal coming off the stuff many times and using energy drinks to counterbalance the withdrawal symptoms works beautifully for me and makes the difference between up to 4 days of feeling lethargic, fuzzy headed and not wanting to do anything and feeling much better after judicious use of the energy drinks to give me a lift that basically just balances the depleted feeling that stopping the drug cold turkey results in.

    After several days of using energy drinks the last step is to taper down off them which is not too difficult and you find that you avoided a lot of the suffering associated with withdrawal. If I take 200 mg of tramal just once and stop abruptly I can feel bad for several days afterwards but if I use energy drinks to counterbalance the symptoms I basically don't suffer at all. After several days of using the energy drinks I taper off the energy drinks and the difference between doing it that way and going cold turkey is chalk and cheese.

    Cold turkey involves considerable suffering whereas judicious use of the energy drinks to prevent some of the symptoms of the body crashing from abruptly stopping the drug in my experience makes for a much easier and gentler return to normal. Not all of us are highly addiction prone and using a milder 'drug' like energy drinks intelligently the way I've described to relieve some of the symptoms of withdrawal can make the difference between feeling awful for 3 or 4 days and feeling quite reasonable because your body isn't experiencing an almighty crash by abruptly stopping all drugs.

    I'm not currently taking tramadol but I have a packet ready to take if required and each time I take it I use energy drinks after stopping because the difference they make in preventing my body crashing as a result of abruptly stopping the drug is amazing. For those of you that are highly addiction prone yes you could be swapping one drug for another and one addiction for another but for the average person like myself all the energy drinks do is prevent a needless crash and 3 or 4 days of unnecessary suffering by counterbalancing many of the symptoms of withdrawal.

    I've come off tramadol by stopping abruptly and suffering for 3 to 4 days and I've tapered down using smaller doses and energy drinks the way Coyote described only using more of the energy drinks. The cold turkey method has involved needless suffering while the second approach has involved very little suffering and the end result was the same with my body back to normal and me being drug free. I'm not a masochist who enjoys suffering and faced with a choice between a gentle way of coming off a drug and a way that involves a lot of discomfort I prefer the gentler way.
    Last edited by mareke; 06-03-2013 at 04:49 PM.

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    BrokenAngel36 is offline Member
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    I apologize for voicing my opinion in such a way, everyone is different, so do what works for you. I did not enjoy withdrawls as no one does, I did what I felt best for me. I apologize if I upset anyone, I was just trying to help.

    Take Care and Good Luck to you!! Congratulations on your progress.

    Sincerely,
    BrokenAngel

  8. #8
    BrokenAngel36 is offline Member
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    Hi Coyote,

    Thought I would check on you. Post please and let us know of your progress. Hang in there, this will pass.

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