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Journey off tramadol
  1. #1
    Tramadead is offline New Member
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    Default Journey off tramadol

    Hi all

    I have been on tramadol for 10 years for a condition called Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome. A painful condition which affects one of my legs. When I first took it I thought WOW, it made me feel great all over! Like it cured pains which I didn't even know I had. My back was the most obvious, I remember saying to my sister that it doesn't do a lot for my leg but it makes my back feel better. Which in turn allowed me to deal better with my leg.

    I happily took these pills for years not knowing that they were addictive. I'm a fairly level headed girl who tried smoking weed but didn't like it, I tried speed in my twenties and loved it but was too scared about taking too much so only did it a few times and never touched it again after.

    Two years ago my GP DOUBLED my Tramadol to 2 x 200mg slow release tabs each morning as she no longer wanted me to take Naproxen as I am on Warfarin (coumadin). I knew the tramadol did little for my leg but the naproxen was wonderful for it. I wasn't going to tell her that as she may have stopped the tramadol and That would have put the fear of God into me. I guess I knew it was addictive subconciously.

    If I ever ran out or forgot to take it I would have w/d's such as RLS but only ever went a day without.
    For the last few years I have been searching for what might be wrong with me as I have the memory of a brain damaged goldfish and zero focus or concentration and I never really feel well. I've considered ADHD (dx as I was like it as a child too) thyroid problems, circadian sleep cycle disorder, sleep apnea.....the list goes on. Now I am convinced it is all due to the TRAMADOL!! I feel like I am constantly 'dampened down' if that makes any sense. I'm irritable and easily angered.

    So after some research and reading many many stories of Tramadol addiction I have decided I want out. As of 2 days ago I reduced my dose back to 200mgs from 400mgs but cannot taper any more as they are slow release and only one pill. I am off to my GP on Jan 23rd to discuss with her. I will be armed with a magazine which has a title on the front cover "Is your GP a dealer? Are you hooked on pk's" Guess what, it is about TRAMADOL! Although she is a great GP and really listens although I'm sure she thinks I'm a hypochondriac lol

    The only w/d's I've had from halving my dose is weakness and RLS at night but nothing like I've had it before. For me it usually feels like a gazillion creepy crawlies vibrating under my skin (full body, not just legs) but at the moment it's just an urge to move my legs, so the last two nights I have tossed and turned but still slept.

    I'm so sorry this is so long but trust me, it is just the minutes from a 10 year long meeting
    Ash

  2. #2
    Tramadead is offline New Member
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    Default day 4

    Today is day 4 since I halved my dose and I have to say I think I got off quite easy. I hope now the further taper will be the same. I have arranged a phone app with my gp so I don't have to wait until 23rd for the app. She will call me monday morning to discuss.
    I had the toilet troubles and RLS only midly enough for me to cope fine. I'd love to go CT to get this done and out the way but will see what doc thinks. I think I feel better for reducing my dose already but that may be like a placebo effect or something but who cares, better is ...well erm...better! I can't wait to be free of this and start to see my dazy hazy life improve

  3. #3
    dlink01 is offline New Member
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    Good luck but be prepared for some withdrawals when you go to near zero if not zero. Many on here have said that their tapering went fantastic until the very end.

    You are doing great and keep it up.

    I was taking around 25 50mg pills of tramadol a day for years....and recently quit cold turkey.

    The first week was HELL...the second week is better with less energy....and I expect the 3rd week to be another step up
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  4. #4
    Tramadead is offline New Member
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    Thanks for the reply. I have a phone appt with my gp on monday morning where I'm sure she will prescribe the 50mg pills so I can start to taper. In my mind the best thing to do would be just quit! I just want this over with. I have felt the first signs of withdrawal many times when I've forgotten to take it or run out but only ever for one day. I know it's going to be tough but I am lucky enough that I can book a couple of weeks off work and deal with it without too much responsibility. I have no kids just 2 dogs who will stay at my sisters. I know I won't be able to manage them as they are used to having BIG walks everyday and will be like tazmanian devils without it lol
    Well done for going CT. It takes guts to tackle this head on and just knowing there is light at the end makes us more determind. I have little or no will power but I feel very strong about doing this and doing it first time. I think I'm dependant as opposed to addicted. Never take more for the high and I do still get the high even after 10 years but it's short lived.
    Good luck and it must be so nice to be on the other side of the worst of it :-)
    Ashley

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    Tramadead is offline New Member
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    Well today I pick up my 50mg tabs and will try halving my dose again by taking on am and one pm. Doc says take 3 a day but I want to see if I can handle less. I just want it done with. I'll post how I get on.

  6. #6
    Tramadead is offline New Member
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    Well I went straight into halving my dose again and have since halved again with only a few withdrawals. Just the RLS at night although last couple of days I have felt it coming on during the day. I just bought some magnesium supplements as I understand this can help and whether it has or it's a placebo effect I don't care as it is definitely better

    I also bought L-Tyrosine and I also feel perkier in the day, not so many crashes like I just want to sleep.

    I am down to one 50mg tramadol a day. It is 4:30am here in the UK and I am up not because of RLS but just because I'm wide awake! I have also noticed that 2 seperate pains I've had for years have just disappeared! I had a shoulder issue which was mild and inconvenient but also a hip problem for which I have consulted rhumetoligists, orthopeadics and an osteopath. I had physio on it for a while and nothing could stop the pain. I couldn't lie on either side for long at night before it kicked in and I'd have to turn. Now it's just gone?? I've had this for 4 years?? WT?

    For all the people who think tramadol is not as serious as the 'real' opiates....think again. I've been lucky in this tapering as I never abused the medication and never craved the drug or the high which was still there after 10 years. I just had a huge fear of running out or forgetting them.

    My next post should be after I quit the final daily pill soon, if anyone is interested..... which appears to be not due to the lack of replies but still, my story is here if it might just help anyone

  7. #7
    Tramadead is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlink01 View Post
    Good luck but be prepared for some withdrawals when you go to near zero if not zero. Many on here have said that their tapering went fantastic until the very end.

    You are doing great and keep it up.

    I was taking around 25 50mg pills of tramadol a day for years....and recently quit cold turkey.

    The first week was HELL...the second week is better with less energy....and I expect the 3rd week to be another step up
    How are you doing in week 3 dink?? Well done for going CT, I'm too much a wimp for that

  8. #8
    AlmostHome is offline Junior Member
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    I took 300mg a day for three years. the easiest way i found to wean was to takeless pills more often. I started taking 3 in the morning and three around dinner. The first change i made was to start taking them in the afternoon, so then i was at 2 - 2 - 2, then i eliminated a pill every 5 days. until i was at 1-1-1. then you go to 1/2's 1-.5-1, .5-1-.5, .5-.5-.5, .5-0.5, 0-.5-0, 0-0-0. You may not be able to cut SR's in 1/2' but you get the point.

    I had bads days mixedin with good days, usually right after i eliminated a pill, but the real fun came when i stopped all together, you would think that .5 a day is the same as 0, but your body hates you for it. RLS and hot-cold-hot-cold are the big problems here. i wanted to quit so i wasnt tempted mentally, but the opiate withdrawl mixed with a decrease in serotonin levels are no fun for your body.

    If you can get past the anxiety and want to quit, then it is nothing that a hot bath (or two or three), some hot green tea, and some nyquill cant fix. You'll hit a point a few weeks in where you sleep for 12 hours every time you close your eyes, you want to eat everything in sight, and you cant stop sneezing, this wasthe beginningof the end for me. All of these fade over time and eventually you start to sleep normal again.

    Welcome to reality!

  9. #9
    AlmostHome is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlink01 View Post
    Good luck but be prepared for some withdrawals when you go to near zero if not zero. Many on here have said that their tapering went fantastic until the very end.

    You are doing great and keep it up.

    I was taking around 25 50mg pills of tramadol a day for years....and recently quit cold turkey.

    The first week was HELL...the second week is better with less energy....and I expect the 3rd week to be another step up
    Good luck, cold tukey is tough stuff and your dose was high, i wish the best for you.

  10. #10
    Tramadead is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostHome View Post
    I took 300mg a day for three years. the easiest way i found to wean was to takeless pills more often. I started taking 3 in the morning and three around dinner. The first change i made was to start taking them in the afternoon, so then i was at 2 - 2 - 2, then i eliminated a pill every 5 days. until i was at 1-1-1. then you go to 1/2's 1-.5-1, .5-1-.5, .5-.5-.5, .5-0.5, 0-.5-0, 0-0-0. You may not be able to cut SR's in 1/2' but you get the point.

    I had bads days mixedin with good days, usually right after i eliminated a pill, but the real fun came when i stopped all together, you would think that .5 a day is the same as 0, but your body hates you for it. RLS and hot-cold-hot-cold are the big problems here. i wanted to quit so i wasnt tempted mentally, but the opiate withdrawl mixed with a decrease in serotonin levels are no fun for your body.

    If you can get past the anxiety and want to quit, then it is nothing that a hot bath (or two or three), some hot green tea, and some nyquill cant fix. You'll hit a point a few weeks in where you sleep for 12 hours every time you close your eyes, you want to eat everything in sight, and you cant stop sneezing, this wasthe beginningof the end for me. All of these fade over time and eventually you start to sleep normal again.

    Welcome to reality!
    Hi Almosthome
    In the uk the lowest dose you can get is 50mg which is powder in a capsule so pretty sure now I am comfortable with one dose in the evening I am going to have to just stop. I don't have any of the addictive behaviour and have not had any desire to take more. Mentally I am on it. I still have slow release pills at work, in my bag, at my sisters (kept them everywhere so if I forgot I would have one where ever I was) but I have no interest in taking them. Wish I was this strong about quitting smoking!

    I am concerned that it has been relatively easy so far. Each time I've halved a dose I've had about 3 nights of slight wds but then ok. I have been sneezing alot lately and wondered if it was because of the tramadol as usually if I sneeze a lot I will get a cold the next day, not now and I don't even remember the last cold I had, I seem to be fairly resistant to them. I've only has slight wds during the day, weakness but only very mild compared to when I was on 400mg and forgot to take them.

    Yesterday I was bouncing off the walls at 6am! This is not me at all so hopefully this is what I have to come. I've been taking magnesium and calcium with vit D3 for restless legs and l-tyrosine for 4 days now and I think it's helping, maybe the l-tyrosine was why I was so lively (dancing around doing housework at 6am) but last night was 3rd night on 50mg and I got my first full nights sleep.

    For years I've been going to the docs saying I feel so tired and drained and they have continually tried to pass me off as depressed. Sleeping 12 hours straight was something I was doing on the pills or at least that was if I could get to sleep in the first place! I haven't had even slight anxiety or feeling down since tapering and hope I don't when I quit altogether. I always told the doc it is NOT depression just fatigue and weakness. Anyway I've rambled enough, how long you been clean now?


    Thanks for the reply
    Ashley

  11. #11
    AlmostHome is offline Junior Member
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    i think the slow release may be helping you with that. I have talked to ppl in other threads who while still trying to quit tried to experience the ups and downs (the high) of taking multiple pills at once, it is better for you to keep a constant level and decrease that over time. You may see a spike in your symptoms after you are done done, but tapering helps because you are used to the discomfort and this is only slightly worse. If i stayed busy duringthe day, i barely noticed, it was only when sleeping that i had a problem.

    I dont think you can cut slow release pills in 1/2 so you may have to stop afteryureach that last pill. Dont be suprised if your symptoms from eliminating that last pill are worse thanyou think. 1/2 pill a day was enough to stave off the worst ofwothdrawl for me, i was in shock.

    Also i noticed that its not really about your levels over 24 hours, but 48 hours (or more), you might find it easier to take 1 pill everyother day for a while, but only if that second day is worse than the first day, either way as you are in the right place mentally (and you are) you'll beat it.

  12. #12
    AlmostHome is offline Junior Member
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    i have been off of everying since late november early december. I still have back episodes, but i only take a pll when it is really bad, but its amazing how far 1/2 of a 50mg pill goes.

  13. #13
    Tramadead is offline New Member
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    I quit the slow release pills about a week ago. was on 200mg slow release and then switched to 50mg immediate release in am and another pm. Now down to 50mg immediate release in the evening just before bed. I may stick with that for a few more days as so far I have tapered about every 3 days.

    I do feel like I am coming down with something, keep sneezing and get a tight feeling in chest like when you get a horrible cough but I can handle that.

    I still take Naproxen and paracetamol to help with pain in my leg but I know I can stop those and suffer no consequences.

    Well done on being off them for so long

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    AlmostHome is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you, honestly once the psyical symptoms were gone i lost the urge to be "high", actually i am really. liking reality, you dont feel like you are going through life in a haze, but a few weeks after you take your last pill a certain clarity will come over you and thats when you realize that a huge chunk of your life has gone by life a dream. I dont ever want to be there again.

    I think you will be successfull because, like me, you have a bottle full of them, but you want your life back, and at that point it is just a matter of time.

    If you start feeling bad at that level. Try splitting that 50mg in 1/2 and taking 1/2 in the am and 1/2 in the pm for a few days, then switch to. 1/2 in the afternoon only.

  15. #15
    rxqueen is offline Junior Member
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    Good job and thanks for posting your experience. A lot of people come here for help with Tramadol addiction seeking answers. It is a synthetic narcotic so people tend to think it's 100% safe and without drawbacks. There is no drug I know without drawbacks. I'm happy for you. It's great you can take the time off of work and don't have children to take care of during your recovery. I've had to work and take care of a young child while being "dope sick/hippie flu" and it was no fun! She doesn't understand when Momma doesn't feel good and deserves her whole Momma, not 1/2 of me. I'm sure your pooch's will be happy to have you back!

    I wish you a speedy recovery. One thing I noticed when I stopped using Opiod pain relievers was 99% of my pains and aches dissapeared. My brain was literally making me think I needed those pills. It would talk me into it. I understand some have very serious, debilitating pain issues; but I wasn't truly one of them, and some Tylenol with a heating pad, rest, hot baths and good shoes make a world of difference!

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    AlmostHome is offline Junior Member
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    One thing to be mindfull of, especially when taking other drugs while detoxing is that your blood pressure usually goes up when going through wdraw. I was 153/95 sitting still and I am young and healthy, I have a friend who is a medic she came over, took one look at me and went back to her car for her blood pressure cuff.

    If you are taking something else that has an effect on blood pressure you should be very carefull.

  17. #17
    Tramadead is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rxqueen View Post
    Good job and thanks for posting your experience. A lot of people come here for help with Tramadol addiction seeking answers. It is a synthetic narcotic so people tend to think it's 100% safe and without drawbacks. There is no drug I know without drawbacks. I'm happy for you. It's great you can take the time off of work and don't have children to take care of during your recovery. I've had to work and take care of a young child while being "dope sick/hippie flu" and it was no fun! She doesn't understand when Momma doesn't feel good and deserves her whole Momma, not 1/2 of me. I'm sure your pooch's will be happy to have you back!

    I wish you a speedy recovery. One thing I noticed when I stopped using Opiod pain relievers was 99% of my pains and aches dissapeared. My brain was literally making me think I needed those pills. It would talk me into it. I understand some have very serious, debilitating pain issues; but I wasn't truly one of them, and some Tylenol with a heating pad, rest, hot baths and good shoes make a world of difference!
    Hats off to you rxqueen, even though so far it has been relatively smooth for me I am so glad I don't have the responsibility you do otherwise I think I would have kept putting it off. Well done!

    I have lost 2 seperate pain issues since reducing my dose, one of them being hip pain which affects my sleep and has been happening for 4 years! Now it's gone That is no coincidence in my book. If it were 4 weeks or months then maybe I'd think it might be coincidental but not 4 years.

    Tonight I will not take my daily dose of tramadol and see how I go. I literally have had 3 days of wds (mild) with each taper so far so if I can get this done over the weekend then I don't have to lose any holiday. I guess if it's too difficult I could always just keep taking the dose later and later. Wish me luck.

    I've had one day where I felt amazing and I think I'm being unrealistic about whether I can feel like that on a more permenant basis but hopefully after a while of no opiods then fingers crossed. I never was a lively type anyway but at least I used to get stuff done unlike now.

    Ashley

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    Tramadead is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostHome View Post
    Thank you, honestly once the psyical symptoms were gone i lost the urge to be "high", actually i am really. liking reality, you dont feel like you are going through life in a haze, but a few weeks after you take your last pill a certain clarity will come over you and thats when you realize that a huge chunk of your life has gone by life a dream. I dont ever want to be there again.

    I think you will be successfull because, like me, you have a bottle full of them, but you want your life back, and at that point it is just a matter of time.

    If you start feeling bad at that level. Try splitting that 50mg in 1/2 and taking 1/2 in the am and 1/2 in the pm for a few days, then switch to. 1/2 in the afternoon only.
    I never had the urge to be high and I think that's why this is seemingly easy for me. I do, however have the urge to feel normal again and that is what I am chasing. I know many people would think it dangerous to still have the pills to hand but seriously, I have zero desire to take them.

    I have also realised that I have a lot less desire to drink alcohol. I know alcohol is to be avoided with tramadol but I was drinking every evening just to help get to sleep and I guess I was also 'self medicating' with it to help the doom and gloom effects of the pills. Now I'm not bothered about having a drink and prefer to have tea lol.....every cloud.

    I can't split the last dose as it is a capsule with powder rather than a pill but I'm NOT taking my daily dose tonight so this is it, the start of the end and I can't wait to get that clarity that so many people talk about. I used to be very sharp witted and funny but all that has faded. Bring on the old me

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    AlmostHome is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tramadead View Post
    I never had the urge to be high and I think that's why this is seemingly easy for me. I do, however have the urge to feel normal again and that is what I am chasing. I know many people would think it dangerous to still have the pills to hand but seriously, I have zero desire to take them.

    I have also realised that I have a lot less desire to drink alcohol. I know alcohol is to be avoided with tramadol but I was drinking every evening just to help get to sleep and I guess I was also 'self medicating' with it to help the doom and gloom effects of the pills. Now I'm not bothered about having a drink and prefer to have tea lol.....every cloud.

    I can't split the last dose as it is a capsule with powder rather than a pill but I'm NOT taking my daily dose tonight so this is it, the start of the end and I can't wait to get that clarity that so many people talk about. I used to be very sharp witted and funny but all that has faded. Bring on the old me
    Good Luck my friend, in 5 - 10 days you will start to feel human again! If i can be of any help...

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    Tramadead is offline New Member
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    Default 2 days done.....

    Well have just gone through 2 nights of zero tramadol, infact last pill was about 11pm on the 2nd feb. The RLS definitely has been worse than during the taper but still no where near as bad as anticipated. I wake up in the morning feeling like I have a hangover, the right side of my head hurts a bit too. I had a slight headache during the day yesterday but thankfully any wd's I'm getting aren't disrupting my day.

    I'm hoping tonight will be better as so far the third night usually is. Roll on that clarity for I too am 'almost home'

    Thank you
    Ashley

  21. #21
    gamomma is offline Member
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    Congrats to you it only gets better I'm on day 13 and I'm sooo glad I.got off those stupid things they took my whole life made me a hermit and I'm not that way I was very social until pills I love people noticing there is something different about me its amazing I'm pulling for you be strong
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  22. #22
    AlmostHome is offline Junior Member
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    Good job to the both of you! ashley the RLS may get a little worse before it gets better, but you seem to be doing great, the only lasting wdraw symptoms from here on out involve getting enough to sleep and regulating your diet, i gained about 15 pounds at this point. I now know it was because i wasnt getting enough sleep and i was eating everything in sight. The two seem to go hand in hand.

    I am wondering if i actually have rls and it was controlled by the pills because i am almost 2 months off and i still get it from time to time, but I have picked up the habbit of a hot shower before bed which helps me get to sleep.

  23. #23
    Tramadead is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostHome View Post
    Good job to the both of you! ashley the RLS may get a little worse before it gets better, but you seem to be doing great, the only lasting wdraw symptoms from here on out involve getting enough to sleep and regulating your diet, i gained about 15 pounds at this point. I now know it was because i wasnt getting enough sleep and i was eating everything in sight. The two seem to go hand in hand.

    I am wondering if i actually have rls and it was controlled by the pills because i am almost 2 months off and i still get it from time to time, but I have picked up the habbit of a hot shower before bed which helps me get to sleep.
    Well I'm hoping that I will lose some weight as since starting on tramadol 10 years ago I have gone from being a UK size 8 to an 18! I lost weight to start with as it gave me energy but that has slowly deteriorated and have been left a lazy slob lol

    I have some mild GI problems but nothing to make me need anything to help. It hasn't stopped me eating though.

    As far as the RLS goes I can't remember if I ever had it before tramadol, I just know I've experienced it periodically for years. I have started taking magnesium as this is supposed to help so maybe give it a go. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to afford to get tested for any deficiencies we have, todays diet is sure to leave many of us lacking. I take l-tyrosine and I think after my research I might also try l-glutamine. It's the most prolific amino acid in our bodies but many many people don't have enough. I read somewhere that anyone with depression or cfs or fibro are all deficient in l-glutamine. Worth a shot and better to pop some supplements than nasty pills

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