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Hoping to stop taking opioids-looking for substitute medications/weaning suggestions

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  • Hoping to stop taking opioids-looking for substitute medications/weaning suggestions

    I've been a C-5 quad for 25 years and I have been taking OxyContin since around 2005.
    I take 30 mg a day total of OxyContin for neurogenic and general muscle pain, in addition I am on baclofen and clonazepam for spasms and ditropan for my bladder. I also take a little bit of Senna and Colace along with using a magic bullet for the bowel program. And then occasionally I will take 25 mg of tramadol if I am going to be out and about post dinnertime.
    I didn't just start with OxyContin, I can't remember exactly all the drugs I tried. But, there were tricyclic antidepressants, gabapentin, Lyrica, Cymbalta and so on. None of them worked terribly well and eventually I started taking OxyContin. My problem is they are legislating the practicality out of continuing to take this drug. First, every time I change a doctor, which is not that often, it's hard to find one who wants to prescribe. If something is up with my doctor then there is also a problem. A few months ago he went out of town and even though they have a record of me refilling this drug religiously on virtually the same date every month, no one else in his office would write for it until he came back. My current doctor is retiring so that turns into a bit of a problem. Second, there are pharmacies that won't fill prescriptions for maintenance narcotics. Third, the monitoring level keeps tightening. In Ohio I have to go in every couple months, but for example, in Sarasota County where I hope to move I have to see the doctor once a month and provide a urine sample (the urine sample isn't checked to make sure I'm not using other drugs… It's supposedly to make sure the levels of OxyContin are therapeutic. I did not think one could detect that from urine and what if one supposedly shows that it is not). What happens if I leave town for 5 or 6 weeks? I'm not sure if these same rules apply to the tramadol or not but I assume probably.

    In any case, although it's effective, it's just become impractical and I would like to try to stop taking it. How do I wean myself off and do you guys have suggestions for substitute drugs. The problem is although I take it for pain it ticks a lot of other boxes and helps with a lot of other things.
    Neurogenic pain-it helps reduce this quite a bit
    Back pain-it also helps with this muscular pain
    Spasms-it reduces my spasms significantly-I do not think I can take enough baclofen or klonopin to substitute for its effect on my spasms, these anti-spastics also seem to make my body temperature drop. I wind up much colder after taking them.
    Low body temperature-like a lot of quads, I have low body temperature problems. It seems to help keep my temperature up a little bit higher and prevent me from shivering quite as bad.

    So I would need to find substitutes that help with each of those. Anyway, any suggested courses of action are welcomed. Don't get me wrong. I could stay on this drug. Some doctors look at me, say you are maintained, and are perfectly happy to prescribe, but they are increasingly being handcuffed by the government. The stigma attached to this drug is problematic at best and they keep making it more difficult to get. I'm afraid we'll hit a point where suddenly I can't get it and I would prefer to have transitioned to other drugs when that happens. I have very little faith in doctors when it comes to this. None of them seemed to be particularly creative with solutions. And suggested weaning schedules have been ridiculously fast. They seem to have a very limited view when I tried to explain exactly what we would need to substitute for.
    Thanks much

  • #2
    Search "withdrawals" on this site, there are posts by others who were at the crossroads you're at now. I couldn't feel better having transitioned off the meds... best of luck
    get busy living or get busy dying