I have been on Subutex for over 5 years at a high dose. I am scheduled to have a high tibial osteotomy in 4 days. My sub doc said I should stop the Subutex several days before so the pain meds will work. I plan on not going back on the Subs after the surgery, I will be taking a narcotic for a short time as this is a very painful procedure. I have been wanting to get off the subs for awhile but can't take the withdrawals. I am scared to death to not take my Subs, if I take a dose in the morning by the afternoon I start having symptoms of withdrawals. I know the half-life is at least 37 hrs but this is how it's always been for me. I had arthroscopic knee surgery a yr & a half ago. I took my prescribed 32mgs as I usually would. The surgery went fine & I was prescribed Tramadol for post-op. The 1st dose I took I actually felt the effects of that med but then I took a Sub & after that never felt anything. I guess my question is do I absolutely have to stop my Subutex or can I just take it as usual but just not take any after surgery? Maybe lower my dose for the last 2 days? Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!
Kleen4life, wow!! 32mg a day is a very high dose of Subutex. Most doctors won't prescribe more than 16mg. A day. Subutex doesn't have the narcotic agonist in it, only the Bupenorphine drug. Which basically means that it doesn't have the combination drug in it that prevents the opiate drugs from being affective. Subutex has the opiate binder Bupenorphine in it which is what prevents you from going into withdrawals when stopping pain meds. Since everybody responds differently to drugs, I can only tell you about my own experience. I've been on Suboxone 8mg. Tabs twice daily for over two years now. It is not a cure for the addiction, it just keeps withdrawals at bay sort of like being in remission. If I stop taking the Suboxone then I go into withdrawals. However, having said that I will tell you about a time when I too needed surgery. My Suboxone doctor told me to take a Suboxone vacation for three days prior to surgery and I did. I felt fine, didn't have any withdrawal symptoms, went into surgery and did fine, they were able to put me under with no problems. I stayed in the hospital for two days during which time I was on morphine IV, it worked fine for pain relief. The second day post op they tapered the morphine down to Percocet tabs in preparation for sending me home. I requested only a weeks prescription of Percocet, which I only used for three days and then went right back on the Suboxone and was fine. Whatever drugs they used to put me to sleep for the surgery worked very well because I don't remember anything from the first shot in my IV that was only to calm me down before taking me into the surgery and then later waking up in my room later that night several hours after the surgery was over. I'm sure that they woke me up right after the surgery in post op or they wouldn't have released me to my room on the floor. All I'm saying is that I don't remember any of it!! So for your safety just be honest with everyone so they can come up with the best plan of action for you. They understand that this surgery is necessary for you and pain control is a top priority with them. Good luck!! NIK
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