I have been taking prescription pain meds for the better of the past 7yrs, gradually getting worse. I have a severe injury to my leg that has caused me to endure many unsuccessful surgeries. I just had surgery on Aug 22nd, but this time I feel like it may have worked and since I'm still off work for a few weeks I want to quit taking pills, but I don't have a regular doctor and I have some things I deal with mentally and I know this is about to make that worse. Currently it's been just over 24 hrs with just a half of 1 pill. I couldn't sleep last night and I'm hurting but I feel like it isnt as bad as my mind wants me to think it is. I need my life back, I need to learn to live with a little pain and not rely on these things that are controlling my life... any tips please.
I have a long story to tell on my Norco journey that perhaps can help you and others. First I’ve suffered chronic back pain since the mid ‘90’s with pain level varying over those years from excruciating to moderate but always there, even now. I tried everything and about 13 years ago I just gave up and went to see a pain management Doctor, and I’ve been on Norco ever since. There were short periods where I took 8 per day but mostly I stuck to my prescribed amount 3-4 / day. However over 13 years as you know the dependency on the drug is incredibly strong. I tried quitting several times, the problem was what to do when the back pain is just intolerable let alone the massive withdrawal symptoms; complete exhaustion and heart pounding in my chest and I couldn’t sleep. I always fell right back into taking that little white pill to make all the pain go away. I made a huge mistake at one point about 4 years ago and started taking Suboxone. It works I got off the Norco’s but in my experience this drug is way worse, if you think the Norco WD’s are bad the subs withdrawal is much worse. All I could do to suppress the horrible feeling was to get back on Norco’s.
Then I turned the corner this past summer, I decided I would workout, lose weight, and systematically decrease my 4 pills / day by 1/4 pill each week, so it’s basically a 16 week plan, week one 3.75 pills, week two 3.5 pills etc. I hit a snag around week 8 with a major flare up of pain, but I didn’t let that be an excuse to increase my dose, but rather didn’t continue to decrease till the major bout of pain passed. This added two weeks to my taper schedule. So to jump ahead to today, I just finished my final week, I was taking 1/4 per day and tomorrow I should be 100% off this drug that has plagued me for 13 years.
I know people have recommended a taper plan that decreases your dose by 1 pill / week, this to me is way to severe for someone who has been on this drug as long as I have. This plan I just went through was not difficult and I avoided most of the withdrawals, and the small amount I had was not severe but actually mild. They to any plan is you have to decide in your mind that you really want to quit, otherwise you are kidding yourself and just wasting your time. One last thing, for me the exercising and stretching was also a key component to making this work. Lying around in pain and feeling sorry for yourself is just a crutch and a trap, and a way to justify continuing the drug, exercise helps break that cycle and that mindset. Good luck !
- Norco Information for Consumers
- Norco Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Norco (detailed)
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