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Tapering off suboxone (bi-polar)
  1. #1
    Buttercup79 is offline New Member
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    Smile Tapering off suboxone (bi-polar)

    hi everyone

    I'm new to the boards. Lurked a while, now posting. Going to try and make this as quick as possible, as not to bore or confuse, haha.

    I'm a bi-polar female who has been off her meds for four years. During this time, I abused opiates (oxy). A couple of times a week the during first year, and up to every day use for three years. Typical usage was between 30 and 120 mgs a day, though 120 mgs was near the end and fairly rare. I usually kept it around 60 - 80 mgs. During the last year I began using suboxone, but not correctly. I'd say I was going to quit, but I'd get weak if dealers called, would buy more oxy, wait a day, and take pills, then back on subs. I never took more than 2 mgs of sub for daily dosing; but this was back and forth between oxy for about a year.

    When I decided to get serious about quitting (2 months ago) I started back with 2
    mgs for a week, then down to 1 mg for about 4 weeks. About a week and a half ago I went down to .66 mgs (I am using the strips).

    ***I have a bunch of .66 strips cut. I cut a portion of those in half to .33 mg, and some of THOSE in half to .16 mgs.***

    Tomorrow I plan on taking .49 mgs (I have these strips cut to a science, haha). Going from 1mg to .66 caused mild w/d over the course of a week. Some chills,
    dilated pupils, light cramping, mild anxiety, some sweating. Nothing, however, compared to periods of WD in the past when I couldn't find Oxys.

    A week and a half ago I also went back to my psychiatrist and got back on my meds. I have mild bi-polar (Not bi polar 1) and acute panic disorder. Due to heavy depression/exhaustion I've been started on wellbutrin (300 mgs a day; started at 150 mgs for week), .5 mg klonopin (as needed). In a couple months I will most likely be stabilized with lithium.

    Back to suboxone... If I stay on .49 mgs for a week and a half, can I reduce my dose again to say .33 mgs for a week and a half, and then .24 mgs for a week and a half, then to .16mg for a week and a half, and then .08 mgs for a week and a half, then jump? I aiming for minimal to very mild discomfort, since I can't take any time off. I also want to finish the suboxone before I am put on lithium (if my psych does decide to put me on it in a couple of months).

    Is this taper too slow? I know people have jumped from 1 mg, but I can't without WD levels that would interfere with my job. (I don't sit at a desk all day... decent amount of physical activity). Or is there a better taper method with different amounts at different time intervals?

    I was trying to make this brief -- so sorry. I truly appreciate any and all feedback! :

  2. #2
    Buttercup79 is offline New Member
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    I also want to add, b/c I'm bi polar/acute panic already, the lows of depression and anxiety hit me twice as hard with reduction/detoxing then they would for someone without a pre-existing condition. Though I know most everyone experiences depression/anxiety post opiate detox.
    This may be why a slow taper is better for me?

  3. #3
    Anonymous Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup79 View Post
    hi everyone

    I'm new to the boards. Lurked a while, now posting. Going to try and make this as quick as possible, as not to bore or confuse, haha.

    I'm a bi-polar female who has been off her meds for four years. During this time, I abused opiates (oxy). A couple of times a week the during first year, and up to every day use for three years. Typical usage was between 30 and 120 mgs a day, though 120 mgs was near the end and fairly rare. I usually kept it around 60 - 80 mgs. During the last year I began using suboxone, but not correctly. I'd say I was going to quit, but I'd get weak if dealers called, would buy more oxy, wait a day, and take pills, then back on subs. I never took more than 2 mgs of sub for daily dosing; but this was back and forth between oxy for about a year.

    When I decided to get serious about quitting (2 months ago) I started back with 2
    mgs for a week, then down to 1 mg for about 4 weeks. About a week and a half ago I went down to .66 mgs (I am using the strips).

    ***I have a bunch of .66 strips cut. I cut a portion of those in half to .33 mg, and some of THOSE in half to .16 mgs.***

    Tomorrow I plan on taking .49 mgs (I have these strips cut to a science, haha). Going from 1mg to .66 caused mild w/d over the course of a week. Some chills,
    dilated pupils, light cramping, mild anxiety, some sweating. Nothing, however, compared to periods of WD in the past when I couldn't find Oxys.

    A week and a half ago I also went back to my psychiatrist and got back on my meds. I have mild bi-polar (Not bi polar 1) and acute panic disorder. Due to heavy depression/exhaustion I've been started on wellbutrin (300 mgs a day; started at 150 mgs for week), .5 mg klonopin (as needed). In a couple months I will most likely be stabilized with lithium.

    Back to suboxone... If I stay on .49 mgs for a week and a half, can I reduce my dose again to say .33 mgs for a week and a half, and then .24 mgs for a week and a half, then to .16mg for a week and a half, and then .08 mgs for a week and a half, then jump? I aiming for minimal to very mild discomfort, since I can't take any time off. I also want to finish the suboxone before I am put on lithium (if my psych does decide to put me on it in a couple of months).

    Is this taper too slow? I know people have jumped from 1 mg, but I can't without WD levels that would interfere with my job. (I don't sit at a desk all day... decent amount of physical activity). Or is there a better taper method with different amounts at different time intervals?

    I was trying to make this brief -- so sorry. I truly appreciate any and all feedback! :
    Hi there Buttercup and welcome. You have come to the right place to find really useful information. I too am Bipolar II and have recently stopped using Suboxone. I don't have a panic disorder although I suffered a few days of pretty severe (at least for me) panic/anxiety. I have been on Lexapro for years which has worked wonders.
    I think that the taper plan you have is a pretty good one though you might want to look at Robert's plan before you commit. You may be able to taper a bit more quickly, like every 4-5 days instead of waiting a week and a half at each dose. I tapered pretty quickly and the WD's weren't debilitating by any means. I had a few days where I was less than comfortable, but that's to be expected. You should be able to do all the things you need to do without many problems as long as you listen to your body and take it one day at a time. Good luck and God Bless!
    Buttercup79 likes this.

  4. #4
    Buttercup79 is offline New Member
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    Thanks so much for your reply! It would be great if I could taper a little more quickly, I'm going to look into it and see what I can manage. Thanks again - I appreciate you taking time to respond

  5. #5
    Anonymous Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup79 View Post
    Thanks so much for your reply! It would be great if I could taper a little more quickly, I'm going to look into it and see what I can manage. Thanks again - I appreciate you taking time to respond
    http://www.drugs.com/forum/featured-...apy-50887.html

    Here is the link for the induction/taper plan I was talking about. Hope this helps. Please let me know if I can be of any help! Good luck!

  6. #6
    Buttercup79 is offline New Member
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    This is great - thanks! I started the reduction to .49 mgs today and don't feel bad at all, but that's because it's day one, haha. I'm going to stay on this level for 5 days instead of my week and a half, then do the next drop and see how it goes! This would be cutting my taper in more than a half. God, if I can get out of this relatively unscathed that would be amazing! Thank you for your help -- I will definitely keep you posted

  7. #7
    Anonymous Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup79 View Post
    This is great - thanks! I started the reduction to .49 mgs today and don't feel bad at all, but that's because it's day one, haha. I'm going to stay on this level for 5 days instead of my week and a half, then do the next drop and see how it goes! This would be cutting my taper in more than a half. God, if I can get out of this relatively unscathed that would be amazing! Thank you for your help -- I will definitely keep you posted
    Stay strong and positive and follow Robert's plan and you should have no major issues to speak of. I look forward to hearing from you! God Bless!

  8. #8
    Buttercup79 is offline New Member
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    Thank you! I just started another thread.. I'm on day to at .49 mgs. I'm still awake and it's 5 AM. Yikes.. Feeling antsy, but I don't take my sub til about 2PM. oh boy.

  9. #9
    Anonymous Guest

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    Buttercup,

    I wrote you on another thread you were on since we could not find a way to private message. Robert is amazing. I am working with him and he is guiding me though this. I started at 4mg, which if i would of let him induct me it would of been a over dose but i did not get in touch with him until after i had started. I dose drop tomorrow to 1.7. I guess everyone does their math a little different. I have noticed some people doses are off by just a little but it all is about the same. I am like you. I have my whole rest of my taper plan cut out to a tee. I am very specific and i need to just relax. I too have characteristics of bi polar. I am on lamictal and proaz and xanax for anxiety disorder. My meds help me a lot. I take my dose for 4 days and if all is well i reduce my dose by 25% of the current dose that i am on. That is how i come up with my next dose. So, today was my last day of 2.25 and i just multiplied it by.75 to get my next dose. There are different ways to do the math i just find that the easiest. I hope you can talk to RObert because he wrote the plan that you read and he is an amazing man and wants to help whoever he can. Before i started the subs after a relapse after being sober 7 years i knew i wanted to be clean more than anything. I went on an IV bender for 2 weeks and had never done that before. I felt nuts. To me it was almost like a God thing. I know that may sound crazy but it takes what it takes and that is what it took for me. I wish u all the luck in the world and i am here to support and encourage you. Stay strong and positive. You can do this. The worse thing i can do is get anxious about something or a dos that i am not even at yet, which i tend to do at times. God bless and keep in touch

    Gina

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