Posted: 03/26 10:52 AM
I was prescribed 24mg/day at my induction, but my doctor said I might not need that much, and over the first month I could just find what was the best amount for me. He said I could start with two 8mg strips per day, and if I needed more, do the third strip, and if I needed less, just do 1 strip, or whatever I felt was best for me. So I never did over 1 strip/day, in fact, I felt fine doing only half a strip/day. So I told him this at my first follow up appt and he said good, but wrote me an Rx for 30/month just in case I started feeling like I need more than half a strip since I am so early in my sub treatment.
I ended up getting stable on 3mg/day because I wanted to do the least amount possible that would keep my cravings away, and to make it easier on me when I decide to taper (probably not for a while since I want to get used to living sober before I go off sub). Anyway, I did find over the last week or so that, although 3mg does keep my cravings away, it is not helping me with my pain as much as when I was taking up to 8mg/day. When I first started sub I was so excited because it took my neck pain away and allowed me to lay comfortably in bed all night...something I haven't done in years and years.
Well, on Saturday morning, I got so fed up with not being able to lay in bed without pain, so I decided I might need to raise my dose of sub to a level that addresses my pain better, like it did in the beginning. So I took 5mg on Saturday and 5mg on Sunday. It did help my pain...wasn't uncomfortable all day or night...which is great! But I started feeling guilty yesterday because I felt SO great that I cleaned my house, moved the furniture and swept and mopped 3 years of dust bunnies under the couches, organized my closets and drawers, took my dogs on an extra long walk, etc. I didn't feel "high" like I did on the first day of sub, but I definitely felt more energized, talkative, and in a great mood.
The reason I felt guilty was because I felt like this was tweeker behavior...like I had just snorted a line of coke or something. Because I know I wouldn't be that energetic if I was sober. And if someone watched how I acted all day, they would probably suspect that I was on drugs.
So do you think I should be feeling guilty because I raised my dose and felt better than normal on it? Should I have just stayed at my 3mg/day because that is the lowest dose that would address my cravings, which is what sub is really for? I really did raise my dose 2mg for a legitimate reason...to address my pain issues...and it worked. But I feel like I got a little extra out of it than I expected, and I don't know if I stay at 5mg and feel this good if I am actually abusing sub? Or is it better to stay at 5mg to use it for pain too, instead of going on some other medication for pain?
Posted: 03/26 12:46 PM
If you want my opinion from my very limited experience with suboxone I would say that it is perfectly fine to adjust your dose in this situation. First of all, your doctor seems to be comfortable letting you decide what works best for you. That is great! He/She clearly has confidence in your ability to adjust your doses as you need to...like you said, if you are going to take something for pain anyway, you might as well just up your dose of the medicine you are already on to get relief. That is assuming that you stay within the parameters set out for you by your doctor and providing that it is a legitimate pain issue. I know as addicts we tend to be harder on ourselves than we need to be when it comes to these situations. If you are not getting a high from the subs (and I'm sure your not) then I would just say that the extra energy is one of the more pleasant side effects that comes with this medicine. You have to take the good with the bad... I have experienced the increased energy as well but I also have a sore tongue from dosing....One good side effect, one bad side effect...just look at it that way. As long as you are not sitting around thinking "I sure am tired today, think I'll take an extra suboxone to make me have energy to clean my house." then I think you are fine. If you were thinking about it like that then I might re-evaluate your decision.
I hope this helps a little. Like I said, I am new to all this myself but it sounds to me like you just needed a little encouragement that you were not falling back into addictive behavior. Of course only you know what is going on in your head...but if what you laid out in your post is all that is going on and there are no other ulterior motives that weren't mentioned than I think you are safe. Maybe someone else with more knowledge will post a response soon as well. You know, it's funny the way the suboxone works, for me it was kind of opposite of how it worked for you. My physical pain was under control before my cravings were. After 6 days on the meds I am finally feeling like everything is leveling out...the cravings are pretty much gone now. Just hang in there, let us know what you decide to do.
Posted: 03/26 01:58 PM
Thanks for the reply qhorsegal. I just want to get opinions from people, thinking maybe someone will have something to say that will give me a different perspective or something. I do think it might be better to just take more sub instead of adding another med for pain, because that is what I would end up doing. And it really has made a drastic difference. I don't feel the constant pain all day and I am able to lay in bed and be comfortable. But I just want to make sure I am not doing something bad in my recovery.
My sleep cycles still have not regulated on sub though. I have always had problems falling asleep and staying asleep. I average 3-4 hours sleep per night. Oftentimes even a little less, like 1 or 2 hours. This causes me to be irritable and depressed, and just feel out of it all day. I have had this problem since I was 15, and I'm 35 now. It has gotten worse over the years. Sub hasn't helped me with my sleep, other than making it so that I am not in pain, which enables me to lay comfortably in bed without tossing and turning, which helps me be able to fall asleep a little better than before. But I am still having major problems staying asleep.
This is another reason I lowered my dose in the beginning. I feel that the sub, even though it helps me lay still, is keeping me from sleeping because my mind won't shut down and it gives me energy. And when I wake up literally 20-30 times throughout the night, it's hard to fall back asleep. I only sleep in 10-30 minute intervals at a time. It's so frustrating. I rarely EVER get deep sleep. And I don't want to keep taking sleeping pills, so I don't know what to do. I was hoping I would get regulated on sub and it wouldn't keep me up, but it has been almost a month and a half since I started sub, and I still can't sleep. I do try not to take a sleeping pill a couple nights a week, and when I do, I alternate them and take different kinds so I don't get addicted or a high tolerance to one certain med.
I just wish I could find a way to sleep without taking anything, like most people. It's very frustrating and I'm sure it is one of the main reasons why I have depression in the first place.
Posted: 03/26 08:10 PM
Hey Taurus, I can understand why you're concerned about taking that extra Suboxone, but I'm with qhorsegal....I think she gave you a great response.
I also think the fact that you came on here asking about the extra says a lot. Most addicts would take the extra and lie about it or just not say anything at all.
I'm sorry your sleep is so horrible. I know what it's like to not be able to turn your mind off, but my case is nowhere near as extreme as yours. I know my anxiety issues play a part with not being able to turn my mind off and the fact that I obsess over nonsense doesn't help either. I don't know if this would help, but have you ever thought of going in for one of those sleep study thing-a-ma-bobbers at your local hospital?? I came within inches of doing it, but my sleep just started improving on its own, so I never did go.
I hope you can get some kind of resolution.....not sleeping SUCKS!!
Oh Yeah, you're not taking your Suboxone anywhere near your bedtime, are you? I found that I could not take my dose past 4pm or I'd have trouble sleeping.
Posted: 03/26 08:32 PM
I usually break it up and take half when I wake up and half around 1 or 2pm, since I do take it for pain. Maybe I will try taking it all at once as soon as I get up, but I haven't done that yet. I always look forward to the 2nd dose because I do get a little energy out of it. I know you are not supposed to do that, so maybe taking it just in the morning will hold me all day. I'll try it tomorrow.
I think I will look into a sleep study. I would have no problem doing that unless it costs a lot. I have no idea because I've never looked into it.
Thanks for the replies!
Posted: 03/26 10:30 PM
I agree that you were within reason to adjust your dose upward. Some people do get a burst of energy from their sub. You can't help that if you do. And you did not up your dose for that purpose. So you have no reason to feel guilty.
Oh and on pain dosing, you really should split your dose. Sub's pain properties only last from 4-6 hours, not like the long half life that applies when using it for addiction purposes. I take it for pain and I dose 2-3x/day. So you'll probably want to continue taking that second daily dose.
I'm glad it's helping your pain, too.... From suboxforum.com