View Full Version : Withdrawal?! Please help...

01-01-2008, 02:22 PM
I've stopped taking Dilaudid (Hydromorphone, a derivative from morphine) and am feeling really terrible. I'm irritable, sad, going through hot and cold spells, and having severe stomach pain. I've also had a prickly, pinching sensation on my back (maybe thats the nerves coming back, or maybe something else). I just feel awful.

I wanted to get of the Dilaudid because it was affecting my mood; I had such a short fuse and was hugely emotional (a bad bad combination). Now that I've stopped taking it, though, I'm feeling so terrible.

I would be so grateful for any advice...

01-01-2008, 02:56 PM
I felt the same way when I went down on the dosage of Oxycotin, very emotional, sad, crying over anything, etc. It took about 7-10 days before I was feeling better. I would call your DR. just to make sure everything is okay.

June 19, 2007 T4-L5 anterior/posterior fusion
w/ instrumentation

01-01-2008, 03:40 PM
Vndy, it's a bad plan to just stop taking it, babe.

After going through 4 years of (ineffective for me) pain mgmt (including most high of the big gun narcotics), I'm asking you ... *please* ... wean yourself off.

I assume the Dilaudid is pill form. Get a pill cutter, and at the very least, start reducing each dose by 1/4 for a few days, then 1/2 for a few days, then take 1/4 dose for a few days ...

Even though you've been on it only a short while, morphine and hydromorphone are just as addictive - and cause the same withdrawals as heroin (and what you're describing is classic).

Going cold turkey without a doctor's supervision can cause serious side effects - all you've described ... plus seizures and breathing irregularity.

Big hugs ... hang in there. You'll make it through, but smaller steps ;-).


01-01-2008, 04:36 PM
Thank you everyone, for your quick replys (and phone calls!).

I finally spoke to doctors (both my PCP and surgeon's office finally called me back). The surgeon's office recommended reducing my dosage by 10% a day (unfortunately that's hard to do because they are 2mg pills, and too small to cut). The PCP's office recommended being a bit more aggressive about it. Both said I made the mistake of trying to go "cold turkey" and need to wean myself, as you both have said.

I just made a calendar for the next 8 days. I'm reducing my total dosage by 2mg or 1 pill a day. I'm not happy about still relying on the meds... but I understand I don't have a choice really... here's to a healthy, un-medicated new year...

01-01-2008, 06:02 PM
I am so glad you talked to your Doctors. I was able to wean off the Dilaudid pretty quickly with no noticeable side affects. I can't imagine going through withdrawals. I was able to increase the time between doses and then just cut it all out within a few days. Please take care of yourself. Good Luck and Happy New Back and Happy New Year!

01-01-2008, 07:06 PM
Yikes Vndy! I'm sorry to hear that you are going through this. Sounds like you have some great advice from everybody though. Hope things get better for you soon!


Alma in Alaska
01-01-2008, 08:10 PM
Hi! When I lived in La., Ca.I was part of a Christian Program(Hope for Homeless Youth)which helped kids who were living on the streets in that area get off of drugs,I am not a licensed counselor dut if you don't mind I will share some things we would do to try and make it easier. If your not a diabetic get a Big bag of hard candy and carry it with you every where you go(or a pocket full)and keep eating them. The sugar attempts to give you a sugar high,which helps to over ride the withdraw,it is a short up so keep eating the candy And your body thinks it needs the meds. to make it through the pain but at this time you will have to retrain it the pain has gotten less and less(it is tough BUT IT CAN BE DONE)Get a calender and every day mark it how much you have cut back(a tiny little bit is a big step)If you can keep cutting back for a week treat yourself to something special( if you need shorter goals that is ok also) Let every body around you know what you are doing( the little kids can be told you are coming off of the pain pills that is good for them)and let everyone be part of the goals you make(CELEBRATE). The kids will love it. Make shure everyone knows the meds make you feel different and not them. It is OK to say I NEED YOU TO JUST HUG ME!! Let others love you through it this will help them feel they are part of your life and that is very important to them at this time and to you also. When you go through hard times with someone you get closer to them. This is my email for anyone who wants to talk more about the tough times ,and this is a blessing for me because I am almost home bound because of the pain I have, and I am going BANANAS! I am one of those people who loves everyone.Most of the young people I work with up here call me mama,you can to no matter your age if you feel it is ok.I do good holding your hands over the email or phone. If it is ok to do that here. I REALLY DO LOVE YALL!! Alma IN Alaska

Alma in Alaska
01-01-2008, 08:19 PM
Sorry I forgot my email Send me a message and I will give you my email. Sorry!! Alma in Alaska

01-02-2008, 08:21 AM
I had very bad withdrawals because I came off my meds to fast. The last meds I came off from the pill was small and I couldn't cut it because it was time released and the instructions on the pill bottle said do not crush or cut pills. I was down to 1 pill a day for two weeks then I reduced it to every other day for another two weeks and then stopped.


01-02-2008, 08:35 AM
vndy-- I'm so sorry you have been having this problem! It sounds like you've got a good plan now, your doctors are aware you had a problem, and you've gotten some good advice and encouragement from the forum. I didn't have a withdrawal problem, so I can't help with that. I know my scoli nurse was good about explaining the need to wean off gently-- and that doing without pain meds too soon would also take its toll in what I'd feel like doing, which can also have an effect on recovery. So I was a wimp and stuck to the meds, even after I thought I could/should probably do without. But they were greatly reduced from what I had right after the surgery, and spaced farther and farther apart. I felt a little guilty, but it worked out fine. And I had no problems with addiction or withdrawal (that I was aware of!)

Best wishes for both weaning off and feeling comfortable enough to do the things you want to do. Keep us posted on how it's going--the good and the bad. Take care! :)

01-02-2008, 09:55 AM
I had to come off the hydromorphone quickly as well because I was so nauseous and throwing up I couldn't eat or drink a thing. I got down to 92 lbs. Was depressed, crying, cold/prickly on my entire body and didn't think I would make it through. It even hurt to shower!
As hard as it was less than a month later I am on nothing but the odd tylenol and on a real bad day 2.5mg of oxycodone and I feel so much better.
My suggestion is to do it gradual, drink lots of water to flush it out, walk as much as you can to build the muscles so you won't need the meds.
Hang in there it will get better.

01-02-2008, 10:00 AM
Some people are more sensitive to withdrawal than others. I got very weepy and crabby every time I reduced my Oxy dose. I'm still not entirely off Percocet (down to 2.5 mgs.) -- which upsets my family doc no end even though Boachie's office didn't bat an eye when I told them. I'm working with a pain management doc to find the best ways to treat my existing pain with other means while I get off the last of the narcs. This whole pain management business (with withdrawals, etc.) has been quite difficult for me.
Hope things go more smoothly for you, Vndy.

01-02-2008, 12:47 PM
Singer, you brought up an interesting point ... Perception of more than short-term use of narcotic pain meds by a lot of primary care physicians - and quite often, pharmacies.

A lot of pharmacies won't even stock Oxycontin, oxycodone and MS Contin because of such an increased risk of burglary - and the ones that do generally look down on you.

When I was trying pain management, I had a good repoire with a nearby pharmacy - one pharmacist in particular -and I just laid out the situation for her. She was quite sympathetic, and with a little advance warning before we'd switch to a new med, she'd even make sure to stock what was coming next.

That said, I can't even count the shocked looks I received from family doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners - and ignorant pharmacy techs/pharmacists.

The worst experience was after they started me on methadone: The pharmacy I use is a chain, and there was one (not my home store) in the path of my errands one day ... so I dropped my rx there.

Without even pulling up my history (tied into all stores by computer), the pharmicist gave me a disgusted look and said "we don't stock things like *this*.". You could clearly tell he was thinking "HEROIN JUNKIE!".

I proceeded to give him a terse lesson on the use of methadone as a tool in the arsenal of chronic pain treatment. As I was leaving (counter full of people now) I said "I hope you never need it, but more than that, I hope YOU never have someone treat YOU the way you just treated me.".

(... oh, and when I got it filled by my regular pharmacist, she was apologetic, furious ... and asked "Would you mind if I reported this to the company?". )

Boachie - with his expertise - knows surgery can relieve pain, relocate pain, or even create new/different pain.

It infuriates me anytime I hear of *anyone* suffering needlessly because their doctor is hesitant to rx sufficient pain meds. That's the reason they exist ... to make a patient more comfortable!

Best of luck with your pain mgmt doctor ... I hope you find a comfortable solution in the very near future ;-).

Best regards,