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  #1  
Old 11-11-2012, 18:47
DaftNotStupid DaftNotStupid is offline
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Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

M, my wife, had been taking Tramadol daily for over two years, originally to relieve pain from shingles, and occasionally for fibromyalgia and back pain for a few years more. She was on 100mg per day until March when she bumped up to 200mg/day – for other reasons that I might go into later. M also takes Diazepam, 4mg/day, for anxiety, and Mirtazapine, for depression. On medical advice, M started to reduce her intake of Tramadol late September, with the plan to do that first, and then come off Diazepam. Seven weeks in, I decided to write this post to share our experiences, which echo those of many other people writing here.

One piece of medical advice said that her Tramadol withdrawal would take about six to eight weeks but it would be harder to come off than to come down. Another just said she should start by reducing from 200 to 100 mg/day. M thought this was a little aggressive, but agreed to start at 150 – 1 capsule, three times a day. That appeared to work well, she had moderate withdrawal symptoms – sea-legs and some dizziness, so after about 10 days, she dropped to 100 – going back to two doses per day.

Withdrawal symptoms started to get worse, but after a couple of weeks levelled off a bit, so after another few days M dropped to 80 mg/day. After a couple of days on 80, the withdrawal symptoms got worse – buzzing feelings, pain, fatigue, raised blood pressure, lots of others, but worst of all for someone already taking Diazepam, greatly increased anxiety. M persevered for a couple of weeks, then went back up to 100, where she still is now.

One of M’s major anxieties was driven by lack of knowledge of a positive outcome, that she would always feel the way she does now. A number of informed people had told her that it was even worse at the end of the program, making her doubt her ability to carry on.

To get a better understanding, I started to search the internet, finding this and other forums – full of people with similar stories. There’s quite a bit of technical literature available on the pain-management properties of Tramadol, most of which have some reference to its dependency and addiction properties, but the approach to its withdrawal is not consistent at all and certainly doesn’t reflect the feedback on the forums as regards ease or duration. What saddens me, is the number of web sites selling Tramadol on-line appear when I gooogle “Tramadol withdrawal” so people who may be looking for help are tempted instead.

The best recommendation I found actually has the greatest variance, “Can vary from 10% of the total daily dose every day to 5% every 1 to 4 weeks” (Canadian guideline for safe and effective use of opioids for chronic non cancer pain) and “Once a third of the original dose is reached, slow the taper to half of the previous rate” (same place). Box 5 in the same document has a useful withdrawal protocol, suitable for other opioids too. Other sources usually just mention the lower end of the range, e.g. “A withdrawal syndrome may be avoided by tapering doses by 10% to 20% per day” (Opioid Pharmacology and Considerations in Pain Management).

It’s not surprising that with so little, sometimes conflicting or incorrect information available, there are so many people asking questions about effective Tramadol withdrawal. Often the answer is “Consult your doctor, who will recommend a taper schedule”, but if your experience is like ours, what you hear may not be best practice.

I wanted some idea of how long the withdrawal would last, so I built an Excel spreadsheet that plots a number of options, including my wife’s actual dose, and a couple of reasonably conservative tapers – 10% reduction every week (green line) and 10% reduction every two weeks (blue line).



The chart shows quite graphically that withdrawal can take many months – possibly as long as a year. My chart doesn’t yet factor in the advice to halve the rate when the dose is one third the original, which will further extend the end date. Compared with the slower tapers, M’s (pink line) was far too sharp – more of a cliff than a slope.

For now, M is staying a 100, waiting until her blood pressure comes down and her anxiety has reduced. Then she’ll take it slowly, probably dropping by 10 mg or 10% each time. It’s hard to say how long each period of stability will last, but I’ve read somewhere that the goal of the taper is to avoid withdrawal symptoms, and if taking it longer can avoid them, it’s worth taking the extra time. We bought a little blood pressure monitor that goes around her wrist, and she measures it sitting and standing before and an hour after her Tramadol dose, keeping a record, which she’ll use to help judge when to reduce again.

I’ve also been looking into the half-life effect of Tramadol consumption, since M mentioned that she had noticed that round about 2pm she started to feel edgy. She says that she feels even worse in the morning.

My search on the internet didn’t reveal much more than that Tramadol’s half-life varied between 5 and 7 hours, but nothing about what that might mean. I created another chart using the standard half-life calculation which shows how the effective dose varies through the day. The peaks on the second day and thirds days are larger since they incorporate the residual dose.



The chart clearly shows the two big troughs in the effective dose. M takes her doses at 9am and 6pm, so by 2pm, the remaining effective dose is close to 50%. Our thinking is that while these have only just become apparent now, they have probably been contributing to her mood for the past couple of years.

I added a plot for 33.33 mg doses taken three times per day, which reduces the afternoon trough. The daily dose will remain the same at 100 mg, so this should be relatively easy to move to. I also show an option for four doses per day, but we think that would be too difficult to manage.

M’s next step will probably be changing to 3x33.33 mg doses per day, and she’ll stabilize on that before reducing further. I’ll try to keep you posted on her progress over the coming period.
  #2  
Old 17-11-2012, 01:03
DaftNotStupid DaftNotStupid is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

I've been waiting for the jpegs I uploaded to the Gallery to be approved, then I realized that I could attach them in a reply.

This the the half-life chart I mentioned:
http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/att...1&d=1353114053

This is the taper chart:
http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/att...1&d=1353114053
Attached Images
File Type: jpg half-life chart.jpg (88.4 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg Taper chart.jpg (72.5 KB, 23 views)
  #3  
Old 19-11-2012, 01:10
DaftNotStupid DaftNotStupid is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

Has anyone else experienced the lows during the day that are suggested by the half-life chart? M moved to 3 x 40mg doses per day, rather than the 3x33 that I mentioned earlier, and after a few very bad days - lots of anxiety etc - her withdrawal symptoms appear to be dying down a little. This may be a result of the increased daily dose, from 100 to 120 - but if it improves her mood significantly and gives her a level field to start the next slower, taper from, that's worth it.

When M started taking three doses a day, she took them at 9am, 3pm, and 9pm, which seemed a good balance through the day, nice even six hour intervals, but it meant that she got hardly any benefit from the last one before going to bed, and there was a big drop in the residual level before she got to take it. She'd also previously taken her evening dose at 6pm, so having to wait until 9pm appeared to put an extra strain on her. So, after a couple of days, she moved to 9am, 2pm, and 7pm - 5 hour intervals, resulting in less steep drops, and a smoother average through the day. No way around the steep overnight drop, though, without getting up in the middle of the night ).

I guess that the sustained release variant aims to achieve this same sort of smoothing and I'd be very interested to hear anyone's experiences of using it during Tramadol withdrawal.

Today was a good day. Let them keep on coming.

J
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Old 22-11-2012, 03:18
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

I know how frustraiting it is SWIm had an expience just like that, she had three surgeries on a nerve and ended up with a dependecy on painkiller specifically with tramadol.
I'm not going to lie it is going to be hard, it took SWIM six months to be completely of the Tramadol id de anxiety is being to much to handle go with a therapist and psyquiatrist that specialise on this kind of situations.
Best luck to M and you

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Please do not use SWIM http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=197306
  #5  
Old 22-11-2012, 15:42
DaftNotStupid DaftNotStupid is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

Thank you, Longwaytogo. It's good to hear that your friend is clear now.

It was getting to hard for M, so she has gone back up to 150 (3x50) mg. Her psychiatrist now suggests that she transfer to Buprenorphine (Subutex) which has a much longer half-life (32-72 hours) with less intra-day variance, and much less effect on her seratonin and noradrenaline receptors. Then, after a period of stability, a long, slow taper down, using the skip method, described elsewhere, towards the end. Anyway, that's the plan du jour. Now we need to find someone to prescribe it to her in the community.

I'd love to hear from others who have used Subutex to withdraw from Tramadol. I know it's more widely used to switch from heroin, methadone, etc, but the principle should be the same, right? Just a matter of getting the dose correct?
  #6  
Old 22-11-2012, 16:52
scartissue_68 scartissue_68 is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaftNotStupid View Post
I'd love to hear from others who have used Subutex to withdraw from Tramadol. I know it's more widely used to switch from heroin, methadone, etc, but the principle should be the same, right? Just a matter of getting the dose correct?
I do not have personal experience with using Subs for withdrawal, but having read many posts on both substances under discussion, my conclusion is that the switch from Tramadol to Buprenorphine may not be as good as it sounds. Tramadol has SSRI properties that would not be addressed by the Bupe. The psychiatrist's conclusion about Bupe having less interference with SSRI and NorE receptors would be true, but it would seem that going Cold Turkey on the anti-depressant component of the Trams may have a withdrawal effect all it's own. I do know that jumping off long-term anti-depressant use in general is ill advised and can be dangerous. Perhaps your doc has considered this and feels that the current AD med may cover the loss of Tram's SSRI effect.

A little more research might be a good idea. There are also many on this forum who know far more than I about this subject. Perhaps they will jump in and add their expertise or correct my theory.

Last edited by scartissue_68; 23-11-2012 at 01:39. Reason: Context
  #7  
Old 22-11-2012, 22:27
DaftNotStupid DaftNotStupid is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

Probably good advice, in the general case, scartissue_68, but she's also taking Mirtazipine, for long term depression, and it's the possible interference with that and Tramadol that we're trying to get away from.
  #8  
Old 23-11-2012, 01:54
scartissue_68 scartissue_68 is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

Understood. Glad your considering the easily overlooked interaction possibilities that come with Tramadol and Buprenorphine. They both are unique, complex opioids.

It would be helpful if someone who has experience or knowledge about what your considering can jump in and contribute info to help with your strategy.

I hope things progress in her favor.
  #9  
Old 24-11-2012, 01:05
DaftNotStupid DaftNotStupid is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

Thanks, scartissue_68.

I built another model and chart for Buprenorphine's long, 72 hour half life, showing both single (red line) and double (green line) doses daily, along with a line showing residual decay. This clearly shows that it takes about a week for the maximum dose to build up in the body, after which time the 2 mg daily dose builds up to an effective 8mg. The green line shows how long it take any residual dose to decay - with around 0.5 mg still active after two weeks.
  #10  
Old 26-11-2012, 22:51
Tallulah Tallulah is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

Hi Everyone!

I am on a break from Kratom for my severe pain, and my Dr. prescribed Tramadol sustained release 100 mg.

After reading some posts here I'm afraid. Should I just not take them and ask for something else?

I felt sweating and uneasy this morning while walking my dog. I had not taken the med for 10 hours. I have been taking them for 4 days total now. I'm really worried this is not a good medication. I am afraid of withdrawal.

I certainly don't feel anything special on Tramadol. It does take the edge off the pain somewhat. There must be something better. What is a good medication to replace it that would not cause withdrawals?
My pain is neuro-muscular.
Any ideas?

Thanks.
  #11  
Old 27-11-2012, 01:40
DaftNotStupid DaftNotStupid is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

Hi Tallulah, I'm pretty new to this, so I won't comment much, but since you posted on my thread, I didn't want to leave you hanging ) Tramadol can be very effective, I used it myself to manage terrible pain for 6 or 8 weeks while a dead nerve was regrowing and stopped without any trouble. My wife, M, on the other hand is having a lot of trouble coming off after a couple of years sustained use for chronic pain and fybromyalgia. Sweating and increased anxiety are common withdrawal symptoms, but I'm surprised that you became dependent so quickly - but others can comment here. Maybe your increased anxiety and resulting sweating is driven by your new concern about Tramadol itself and maybe fear that without it your pain will return. One thing I must say, is that you shouldn't stop taking prescribed medication with first talking to you doctor. If, as you say, Tramadol is only taking the edge of your pain, then you need to see him anyway.

Hope this helps,
J
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Old 27-11-2012, 05:13
Tallulah Tallulah is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

Thanks Daft for replying!

I am very small and low weight and maybe that's why I had the sweating/addiction/withdrawl so soon. After taking my next dose I was fine.

I called my dr's office and a nurse called me back. She told me that Tramadol is not addictive and it must have been my activity, drinking something hot like coffee, or that my clothing was too warm.

I do not believe her. My dr. of course is only talking through her. I have an appointment in a month.
I think I am more like your wife and likely to have difficulty getting off of it in the long run. What are you substituting for Tramadol? What will she be substituting? My pain is chronic with no cure.

Fentanyl patches gave me a bowel obstruction and I weened myself off those. Never again. At least with Tramadol I pooh no problem. I feel good as long as I take it. I hate to be dependent on anything.

I have taken Soma in the past and it helped until the crackdown on Pain docs in my area perscribing it. My doc will not perscribe it to me anymore.
I also had no withdrawl from Soma. Too bad about some of the best meds being monitored and less scripted.

I used kratom for a bit, but my doc said it raised my liver enzymes so much that I should not use it. It also caused inflamation of my bile duct according to labs and ultrasound. Inflamtion and problems stopped after discontinuing the kratom so he thinks I should'nt use it again. I like kratom so thats not good news for me. It actually worked better than other meds I used.

Thanks again for you reply. Please let me know what you and your wife are using because we are in the same boat.
  #13  
Old 27-11-2012, 14:25
DaftNotStupid DaftNotStupid is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

M is planning to transfer to Buprenorphine (Subutex) - she's seeing her doctor on Thursday, so I'll know more after that.

The best guide to pain medication that I've found so far is a document called Chronic pain medical treatment guidelines. Forum rules mean I can't post the link here, but if you goooogle mtus chronic pain medical treatment guidelines it should be at the top of the list. This is one of a number of MTUSs (Medical treatment utilization schedules) available from the State of California's department of Industrial Relations - not where you'd expect to find this sort of thing.

J
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Old 27-11-2012, 18:51
Tallulah Tallulah is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

Thanks and please keep me posted with a pm to let me know how it works for her.
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Old 27-11-2012, 20:43
scartissue_68 scartissue_68 is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

@Tallulah - Have you considered Medical Marijuana? It's available in California. The only problem, compared to an extended relief pill is that you will have to deal with the psychoactive properties of whatever MMJ product best fits your needs. You can get quite "mellow" on modern MMJ.

I have chronic pain and see a pain a management specialist, but I'm in Indiana. I have heard that some "chewables" provide relief greater than most opiates (equivalent to Tramadol and even stronger pills), with no effect on your Gi system and it provides good, unbroken REM sleep. The "next day" effect is actually quite pleasant.

I'm currently on BuTrans which is a 7 day patch of Buprenorphine. I would recommend it, but it has a high potential for constipation. So, based on your Fentanyl experience, BuTrans may not be the best option. I survive with daily dosing of senna, but it's still no fun.

4 days seems too soon to start getting withdrawal symptoms, but you can be sure that if you continue with the Tramadol, your tolerance will only continue to build and your potential for withdrawal symptoms enhanced.

See the comments above for Tramadol's double-effect withdrawal issues.

Best of luck.
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Old 27-11-2012, 21:32
luvrespectnrg luvrespectnrg is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaftNotStupid View Post
Probably good advice, in the general case, scartissue_68, but she's also taking Mirtazipine, for long term depression, and it's the possible interference with that and Tramadol that we're trying to get away from.
I have withdrawan from Tramadol numerous times, some times from about 600-1200 mgs a day, it wasn't that difficult.I couldn't even take a car riode without losing my food,couldn't move bowels for almost two days at some time.
One thing I used was cannabis however that may not be an option as it is illegal in the UK as it is in my state. Another way your wife could fight the depression parts of withdrawal is a nootropic like phenibut or piracetam I know a few years ago I had a series of bad cocaine binges and discovered phenibut sometime afterward and never considered cocaine again.

Pehnibut is possibly controlled in UK as in a lot of EU but here it is sold as a nutritional suplement. It is a derivitive of the nuerotransmitter GABA and really helps one sleep and not worry about things in low doses it can be beneifical but has it's own w/d problems you can use a low dose even in children so I imagine it would be safe in an adult going thru opiod w/d.

I have not much experience with piracetam but it acts as a cholinergenic and helps the brain commmunicate better it is used to repair the brain off alchohol w/d and as well. Just be warned about phenibut it has worse w/d's than alot of opiods it is serious stuff but if used in small amounts once every few days because it last for 24 hours or more with its half life.
I had way worse w/d's of phenibut after nearly a year of 6grams a day use(nearly needed to be hospitalized I pretty much went cold turkey) but I can really see it being beneficial if used properly and under controlled settings like 500mgs every other day or a gram every two to three days depending on the source.

Last edited by Smeg; 28-08-2013 at 14:48. Reason: Paragraphing and line-spacing to facilitate reading.
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Old 28-11-2012, 03:13
Tallulah Tallulah is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

Quote:
Originally Posted by scartissue_68 View Post
@Tallulah - Have you considered Medical Marijuana? It's available in California. The only problem, compared to an extended relief pill is that you will have to deal with the psychoactive properties of whatever MMJ product best fits your needs. You can get quite "mellow" on modern MMJ.

I have chronic pain and see a pain a management specialist, but I'm in Indiana. I have heard that some "chewables" provide relief greater than most opiates (equivalent to Tramadol and even stronger pills), with no effect on your Gi system and it provides good, unbroken REM sleep. The "next day" effect is actually quite pleasant.

I'm currently on BuTrans which is a 7 day patch of Buprenorphine. I would recommend it, but it has a high potential for constipation. So, based on your Fentanyl experience, BuTrans may not be the best option. I survive with daily dosing of senna, but it's still no fun.

4 days seems too soon to start getting withdrawal symptoms, but you can be sure that if you continue with the Tramadol, your tolerance will only continue to build and your potential for withdrawal symptoms enhanced.

See the comments above for Tramadol's double-effect withdrawal issues.

Best of luck.
Excellent idea about the medical MJ. I did not think of it. Perhaps I will make an appointment.
About the Buprenorphine, it sounds great, I tend towards constipation so always have colon clenz on hand. I'm glad that works for you. I am feeling great today so maybe the tramadol is starting to work. I was able to do activities without pain or even thinking of it today. I also like that one pill will last for several hours for me. That's a bonus. When my doc had me on Hydrocodone I had to take 4 a day.

Thank you!
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:57
DaftNotStupid DaftNotStupid is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

M started to titrate from Tramadol to Subutex yesterday under medical supervision. She has a 10 mcg/hr, 7-day patch, so it'll take a 2-3 days to build up to reasonable level, given its long half-life. She still feeling pretty rotten, but things should improve soon. I'll keep you posted.

Good luck with the MJ, @Tallulah.

J
  #19  
Old 11-12-2012, 01:21
Tallulah Tallulah is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaftNotStupid View Post
M started to titrate from Tramadol to Subutex yesterday under medical supervision. She has a 10 mcg/hr, 7-day patch, so it'll take a 2-3 days to build up to reasonable level, given its long half-life. She still feeling pretty rotten, but things should improve soon. I'll keep you posted.

Good luck with the MJ, @Tallulah.

J
Daft,
Thanks for the update. I hope M feels better soon! That Subutex is prob. much better than Tramadol.

I stopped cold turkey on the tramadol, 200 dose per day for about 1 and a half months. Still have a few. I am thinking of refilling as it does help with pain. For those that may wonder, no high at all. Pain relief only. Worked pretty well but not the best ever.

I only stopped to see if any withdrawls were setting in. The answer is no with me for whatever reason. I was so sure I would be feeling bad now, but no. I guess for me it would take more than 200 dose per day. No-Scratch that it must be having to take it for a longer period of time. Right now I'm not taking anything for pain control. I'm hurting, but surprisingly not as bad as I thought I would. I got a new special "temperpedic pillow" which may help some, but not a lot.

Update: Still having pain. Still hate to depend on doctors for pain relief. A forumite above suggested phenubut. Must research this.

Tallulah added 6 Minutes and 38 Seconds later...

To Luverspectnrg:
I am interested in this Phenubut. Pain free nights? Can I keep to very small dose without w/d troubles? I saw this as an ingredient in a "relax" supplement in many of my local health food stores here in California, so it is legal here.
It must not have had much in it because it didn't help with pain. Or relaxation, for that matter.
Should I buy it online instead? How is it taken?

Last edited by Tallulah; 11-12-2012 at 01:21. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #20  
Old 27-01-2013, 16:11
DaftNotStupid DaftNotStupid is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

I thought I'd bring you all up to date with M's progress. She's been on Sub for about 10 weeks now and is gradually reducing. She started on a 10mg patch and has reduced in different-sized jumps to about 4mg. She'll now be following the blue line in the chart, reducing the patch size by 0.5mg (1/10 of the patch) each week. We're hoping this rate is slow enough to avoid any withdrawal symptoms - I'll keep you posted.
John
  #21  
Old 09-02-2013, 20:41
longwaytogo longwaytogo is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

Sorry that I havent posted anything in a really long time. I know that long term pain eventually becomes your life, and it is a fact that if its not treated the right way it will only get worse. I am not a professional but I only know what was told to my daughter "after being longer than six months in chronical pain you develop depression", at this point she had already had two surgeries on her ulnar nerve. The injury came from the most simple accident as a little girl, but the surgeries didn't happen until she was 17, 18 and 19 and a series of prosidures to manage the pain, but it was not until we got to the turning point of deciding if we wanted a permanent solution.
In the process she baddly abussed painkillers specially codeine but mostly tramadol, she was supossed to take 37.5mg tramadol/500mg paracetamol (Tramacet), up to 6 times a day since Mexico doesn't require a prescription she could easily obtain the Tramacet.
After the second surgery the pain got a lot worse, needless to say pain clinics in Mexico don't really exist, the so called pain specialist gave her a bunch of pills and the next thing we know her liver enzimes are way to high to continue taking one of the meds she had been prescribed, needless to say wee didn't know that medication was an antizeisure medication (no history on seizures back then), a month later she is out with her friends and I got a call saying that she just had a seizure, we call the doctor and we have to stop her antidepressant cold turkey (Efexsor) after that she bassically spiraled out of control.
I didn't trust any surgeon in Mexico any more so we started considering our options wich were Buenos Aires,Argentina same surgery, Dallas,TX an implant that would go through her spine and would create parestesia (downside she was losing movement, strength and the implant had to get changed every 10 years she was only 18) or Boston, MAS the only specialist that could do this surgery, we went with the third option.
Needless to say the surgery went great but she had a bunch of other issues that were not her arm at all, starting with the fact that she was taking up to 1500mg of tramadol a day during the winter plus codeine (we live in Mexico getting a prescripton for codein wasn't hard) and over all the depression.
It took her six months to get rid of the tramadol specially since she had been taking it for so long and in such large doses, a great psiquiatrist that knew what he was doing, but over all a support system and consistency I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I was also so miserable because she had been lying to me, she was extremely irritable every week she would withdraw when they bump the dose down, and she didn't like her knew medications.
The hardest part was when we had to make the desicion to send her to a long term treatment program even though she was not taking pain killers anymore and she is not consider an addict, she still had major depression, its been eleven months since she went to treatment and next month she is coming back to Mexico to finish university.
I know its not easy J but tell M to keep on fighting.
  #22  
Old 17-02-2013, 01:45
DaftNotStupid DaftNotStupid is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

Hi there, LWTG, I've only just seen your post. That's a really hard story you tell there. I hope your daughter is still of the tramadol, and that he pain is not too bad now. When people have multiple issues it makes treatment even harder. Pain, depression, and anxiety seem to share common chemical systems in the body and the brain and their various medications appear to interact, so sometimes you don't know which drug is causing which effect.

M's patch is coming down, currently at 2.5 and dropping to 2.0 on Monday. Her blood pressure amd pulse are also nice and normal, so we seem to be keeping the WDs at bay. I know for some of you, this must appear to be a really small dose, probably the equivalent of 25mg of Tramadol, but you often read that the final stages can be tricky. so I don't want to do anything hasty and we'll keep to the plan, shown in my earier post.

Ciao, John
  #23  
Old 18-02-2013, 20:06
longwaytogo longwaytogo is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

I know exactly what you mean the last two or three weeks were the hardests for her, it was a combination of withdrawl and that final fear of letting go of the copping mechanism that the tramadol was for her. That was how she describes it now, but then it was just a constant screaming match and frustration for both of us, two more weeks and she will be back home.

As for M just tell her to hang in there and now more than ever you are a great support for her, but she will have to realize that this means no more opiates for the rest of her life, even though if they are prescribed to you it is "okay" to take them, as soon as she feel the rush of the opiates kicking in she will feel the need for more.

My daughter had her wisdom teeth removed while in treatment (even though she is not considered an addict) she chose not to take the painkillers, of course she was crying for four days but she told me she didn't wanted to take that chance, honestly I think she would have been fine, but she must have her reasons for having those fears.

Another thing is that nowadays there are non opiate painkillers that can be taken to control pain in a combination with other medications, but you have to be commited to follow all medical advise as well, and physical therapy if needed.
I can just say John you sound like a great person.
  #24  
Old 26-08-2013, 14:19
cazpot1 cazpot1 is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

Hi All Im posting as I feel I have just used some over the counter medication (browns Collins mix that contains morphine more importantly ) to successfully ( well so far anyway) withdraw from tramadol 2.5 days into it now. I have been trying to quit for years and done several torturous tapers and cold turkeys, either because I ran out or decided to quit - only to find it unbearable and reached for the drug tramadol again. Ive been on tramadol since about 2008/9.
With a little online reseach ( thanks to forums like this as my chemistry and drug knowledge was not great) and a few eureka moments based on my experience of withdrawls I decided to quit this Friday night last pill took at 6pm that Friday evening.

Basically I fended off the horrendous sweats and also spasms that seemed to rock my whole body for hours using just a bottle and a half of browns Collins through the night. I had a bit of a stomach ache but I put up with it . By 8am I must have fallen asleep until 1.30pm the next day and didn't actually feel that bad, Yeah I felt weak and looked a bit rough went to the loo to evacuate bowels 3 times after I got up but that was all and had that usual zinging in the ears related to the SSI withdrawl aspect but it was way way better than cold turkey alone or tapering.

I found with tapering its just slow long drawn out torture and one big protracted withdrawl that will break even the most strong willed. I did about 5 days once tapering and just cut down a tablet or so and it went on for days never really feeling any better and feeling really very ill and finally I convinced myself id never get off this drug and went back to it as I never felt any improvement in the withdawl doing it this way.

Yes im aware not to make a rod for my own back with the morphine but somehow I can just leave that alone and I don't seem to get the withdrawl off it so far. Just suggesting something that may help people out there - I havnt had much help from docs they just usually say taper. Yes taper worked fine for me off benzos and antidepressants but it didn t help with this - just stock up on browns Collins 3 bottles max and ditch the pills ( taken orally by mouth by the way at intervals or when you feel you need it )- also make sure you cant get access to the pills for like 3 days or so or longer if you can so you have no option but to stick with it - it still is a bit shit but the worst is over in about 12 to 24 hours. Fell free to ask me anything about the process or how I feel now. I feel a bit rough and a bit of a headache but im sure ive done it this time.

cazpot1 added 930 Minutes and 4 Seconds later...

Just a bit of an update on my witdrawl from tramadol - started this process fri night ( took last pill 6pm Friday 23rd aug ) Things going ok. I fell asleep about 6am again last night and woke at 1.30pm today ( this is somewhat normal for me but usually I had fallen asleep by 4am ). Im not stressing too much about this aspect as just relieved I am getting around 7 hours per night of sleep. I was worried id be unable to sleep at all for days like some have experienced. I don't like sleep meds over the counter ones with antihistamine make me seriously paranoid and anxious and don't help me - anything stronger ( well ive only tried ambien ) gave me a really bad headache.

Still took a bit of the browns and Collins through the evening last night ( went and did some minimal food shopping in the day and made a cooked healthly meal for tea which I enjoyed - eating ok and was actually quite hungry) but not as much as in the beginning maybe around half a bottle in 24 hours . I was feeling quite sick by the evening and had a headache also. I took a couple of otc co codamol with paracetamol as well. more in an attempt to relax and sleep ( I took codeine a lot too but I feel my addiction to it wasn't anywhere as deep or bad as the tramadol one).
I have my period so it was a bit for the cramps as well but im not taking it a lot or constantly or anything. Had a bit of anxiety in the night before I fell asleep worrying about issues recently at work and some stuff im planning in my personal life but again this is normal for me but maybe was a bit worse than usual. This morning headache gone still a bit weak and tired and did the usual 3 stools in the loo but not diarrhea or anything.

I don't seem to have the usual pains or aches in my limbs and body as I have had with previous withdrawls ( I really hate this aspect ) so this has helped- maybe this is a symptom relieved by the morphine? nor have the sweats been too bad at night and I havnt had those awful shivering chills that usually come with cold turkey or any spasms. Im hoping these don't start as some withdrawl from the browns and Collins but I doubt as I would have thought it would have started by now- but I will post honestly if it does.

Im stopping the Browns now ( last dose was about 12 hours ago now anyway and I don't feel any withdrawl from it yet ( which I thought I would do given its really short half life of just over an hour I think - correct me if im wrong ) Sick of the taste to be honest as well I don't like mint so its really just desperation that makes me go on with it being swimming in peppermint oil!.
I have to admit I had a few venlafaxine left over 37.5 mg( Effexor antidepresent med ) I don't take anymore but I have taken 1 (37.5mg) on two days now ( oe last night one the night before ) im discontinuing these tonight also. I took these to help with the SSNI withdrawl aspect and didn't want to feel the SSNI effects ( ringing in ears etc ) at the same time as the opiate withdrawl feeling. I can handle one or the other but both together is really harsh.

I have withdrawn from Effexor before and I know I can do it ok if I persist and know its only a bit of anxiety and ringing in the ears for 5 days or so - I found taking SSRI s etc gave me night sweats so bad in the past that its just not worth it for me as no sleep makes me feel worse tan not being on them at all - a shame but true. It helps that im not at work at the moment so don't have to worry about that too much as don't have to be on top form and can let this thing take its course. I recommend anyone to take a week off as leave or sick if withdrawing from tramadol( be as honest or make something up if you prefer to get the time off) as any stress may send you reaching back for the pills again.

On a deeper level I was using them as a prop to block out stress from work and /or pass the time is I was bored or had nothing to do or pissed off. I would take them and just sleep. I decided this was no way to live. Over the last 4 months been dong some personal training - hard but it really seemed to bring me out of myself again and relit the fire in my heart to fight for what I want in my life.
It also taught me I can take some shit and stress and just do it!!I may be more healthy and strong for it I dont know and wonder if my level of fitness has helped at this time - that and also this time it was a conscious decision to do it rather than just running out of pills ( which always used to happen as I couldn't control my intake ). A few things have led me here not in the least my sisters death this feb from alcohol addiction.

I don't know how much help she got if any or how hard she tried as I was a twat and kept my distance ignoring it ( like all my family do with things ). I don't want to go the same way as I know I took too many Tramadol for a long time and I could see it continuing for the rest of my life if I didn't stop. I cant talk to my family about it as it would freak them out and they would lock me in a room or something for me to withdraw lol! and then heap loads of blame on my head for it when really a lot of it has actually been caused by my familys lack of support and crappy upbringing.

Anyway its going ok - gonna get a shower get dressed ( always helps ) try to get out and do a few light chores today - i'll update again later as to how its going . All the best to everyone out there struggling with addiction xx

Last edited by Smeg; 28-08-2013 at 15:01. Reason: Paragraphing and line-spacing to facilitate reading.
  #25  
Old 28-08-2013, 13:45
cazpot1 cazpot1 is offline
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Re: Tramadol withdrawal, tapers, and half-life

Day 5 now - doin ok - had to get some other meds from docs yesterday which had included an rx for tramadol which I managed to successfully decline. not been taking any browns Collins now since it ran out on day 3 - maybe got a bit of a withdrawl from this not sure as my legs were aching. Went to the gym day 4 felt absolutely high and pumped the music felt amazing and really enjoyed it as had so much energy and felt to be honest high???

Maybe this is what the opiod was damping down as I noticed this high last time after a few days of withdrawl and it kinda gave me hope to be honest and strength to carry on. Had stomach ache in the evening not sure if related to my underlying endometriosis problems and aggravated after going to the loo for a poop a lot lately. Feels good not to be constipated so much and carrying all that waste inside me for too long all the time !

No venlafaxine as was making me sweat at night and day. Bit anxious again at night didn't sleep as well but slept. This morning stomach ache gone - had a usual visit to the loo but just one visit. Oh my appetite increased madly last night and couldn't get full ate loads. Going out tonight to see a friend and drinking a bit of alcohol .

I feel im over the worst but the ringing in the ears is still there guess it will take time to go but ive never got this far before ever and determined not to go back - last night started thinking how nice a tramadol would be just to drift into oblivion as I wasn't relaxed or sleeping but I fought it ( and I didn't have any more to the point nor can easily get any now for 2 weeks at least ).
People if you do this take a week of work at least and make sure no real stress to deal with and make sure you cant get hold of the tramadol either - but it can be done if I can do it you can! - I know this is an old post but I hope at least this has helped someone - love to all xx

Last edited by Smeg; 28-08-2013 at 15:04. Reason: Paragraphing and line-spacing to facilitate reading.

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