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Thread: Percoset withdrawal nightmare

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112

    Percoset withdrawal nightmare

    I was trying to lengthen the time between doses of Percoset, and noticed that I couldn't get to 6 hours without disabling pain. Then I noticed that a lot of the pain was in places that shouldn't hurt -- shoulders, knees, feet. I figured I'd developed not only a dependency, but a tolerance to this horrible drug, and tried cutting the pills in half for a day, followed by quitting completely. After five days of withdrawal symptoms that got worse and worse, I called my pain management doctor, who prescribed Clonidine to reduce the symptoms while I completed withdrawal.

    Clonidine was a whole new nightmare in itself. Incredible dry mouth. Still couldn't sleep. Irrational thoughts and obsessive thinking. Weakness, faintness, no appetite, and still with some Percoset withdrawal symptoms too. The topper was today when I finally went to the pharmacy to check my blood pressure, and it was 81/48. No wonder I felt so terrible.
    Perhaps these doctors should monitor Clonidine more closely, especially if the person they give it to only weighs 110 pounds and has a normal blood pressure of 110/58, which is normal but on the low side to begin with. I could have ended up with kidney damage.

    My last dose was 3:00 a.m. today. I still feel weak, but the Perc withdrawal has lessened, since it's run its course pretty much. Good luck to all trying to get off this drug! It's probably better to be more patient than I was, and wait it out with decreasing doses. I just couldn't stand it anymore. Looking forward to feeling human again. Oh, and my back barely hurts at all now, almost seven weeks out. I probably could have stopped the painkiller a long time ago, only the dependence/tolerance on the Percoset was causing me to feel bogus pain whenever I tried to taper off. Lesson learned.
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    80
    Well that's good you are almost over it, and happy to hear you're doing well otherwise being 7 wks post op. Drug dependence is tough one. My doctor is known for not being a big pain killer prescriber. I left the hospital with only a prescription of hydrocodone 5mgs. Had to deal with a little more pain with only hydrocodone but didn't have to worry about dependence on stronger stuff. A good heads up post to those going in to surgery. Either feel more comfortable post op and have to be careful about getting off the pain killers, or be less comfortable and not have to worry about dependence. I'm 10 wks post op and back is doing very well.
    Age 25 male
    Upstate NY
    T3-L3 fusion for 80's degrees kyphosis
    Anterior 9/21/10 & posterior 9/28/10
    Post op degrees soon to come

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707
    Regulating the pain meds. is one of my bigger worries. I want to control the pain enough that I feel like I can walk as often as I should, but I worry about the constipation caused by the pain meds. as well as the possibility of going through withdrawal. It's easy to think that it would never happen to me, but I'm sure Bad Kitty never thought she'd have a problem weaning either.
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Juliet,

    I was also prescribed that drug to 'help' with the withdrawls. When I picked it up the pharmacist told me to take it right before bed because it could lower my BP and he didn't want me to fall over. I paid for the stuff, brought it home and reconsidered, because like you, I have naturally low BP and didn't want to take the risk. I also had that wierd paid in strange places that shouldn't have been hurting.

    It sounds like you're almost there. Within a week or so, I bet you'll feel like a million bucks!
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    sometimes doctors will slow down the weaning process to try to slow the withdrawal symptoms...and some meds have a worse withdrawal than others..
    it sounds like the worst is over for you...
    i hope it gets easier and better as the days pass...

    jess

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ukiah CA
    Posts
    891
    well i agree with Jess on this one most doctors slow the time of the getting off pain meds
    Kara
    25
    Brace 4-15-05-5-25-06
    Posterior Spinal Fusion 3-10-10
    T4-L2
    Before 50T
    After 20T

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112
    Thanks, everyone! Since I'm "med-free" now, I hope this was the last major hurdle.
    I never thought I'd have a problem with this ... but this evening I feel SO much better already! I even went out to dinner with the family ... a first since surgery!
    Back to the walking program tomorrow, after having been laid low for almost a WEEK!
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Chelsea, MI
    Posts
    53
    BadKitty,
    What a relief to be off the big time pain meds! Going off of them was very uncomfortable for me, even though I thought I was doing it very slowly. I felt just plain YUUUUCKY and depressed for about a week - I had to wrack my brain to think of one thing I felt like eating. I hope every day is better and better for you!
    Nancy
    Age 58
    Surgery w/ Dr Lenke August 23, 2010
    original curves 91 thoracic, 86 lumbar
    fused T1 to sacrum, new curves 50 and 45

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    Oooh those withdrawals were hell. It's an amazing feeling when the symptoms disappear and you start to feel GREAT again. Glad to hear the worst is over now.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,163
    Juliet

    It seems that 6 weeks is the average time that posters post about this subject matter. In fact, its so predictable.

    If you are off, stay off and replace with nutrients. I started with my protein smoothies and a few days later felt so much better.....

    There are increased pain periods upon termination, this usually happens for 2 to 3 days. Drink water to flush from your kidneys. Replace the chemicals with nutrients, your body will heal.

    Hang in there, this is the last hurdle.
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    151
    It took me 3 days to kick it. It was horrible with no sleep. I still take pain meds when I over do it, but I never take them two days in a row. I started back to the gym, so I had some pain on some days, but I only take them every other day. I don't want to ever get hooked again. I did see that our local news station interview a person who had harrington rod surgery, who was promoting medical marijuana. He looked like she was just using it as an excuse.

    rich

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,163
    Rich

    I agree. She is using it as an excuse, and she would know after going through a scoli surgery that it takes major sedation to battle major “pain” levels....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opiate_comparison

    I was up to 100mg of percs which drops down near fentanyl levels on the chart. Where would weed be on the chart? Notice that morphine=1.

    I still like a hot water soak for pain. There really isn’t anything for major bone and nerve pain on the market. My pain levels were excruciating after my corpectomies... It was a test of faith.

    On the gym workout question, I have not seen any literature on building muscle mass after fusion surgery. I think the best approach is to take it real slow, and feel things out. It took me awhile to build up my skiing muscles, it was a slow process. Since I had an incredibly painful “soft tissue” injury which felt like a soldering iron for 14 days, I would move slow on this and stage at least 2 days. Don’t workout every day. I enjoyed the arm bike for paraspinal “toughening” and the pull-up machine, which doesn’t require force on the lower spine.
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    years ago, i was given fentynl patches...(haven't had surgery)...for pain...i hated them...stopped using them myself (hadn't use many)...later they were pulled off market for defects...

    i also know that at times, marijuana, medical or otherwise, can cause a person to become more aware of certain types of pain, and the substance does not serve any useful purpose in terms of pain relief...

    there are some personality types who will use more rather than less of pain medication without concern for tolerance or dependence levels developing...others fear dependence so much they may under use the pain medication...anyone can become dependent on the stuff...but some are more careful about taking the meds than others...

    but it is a tough situation to be in, when pain becomes so overwhelming!

    jess

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    312
    Such a timely thread!

    Since my hardware removal surgery (11/2) I have been fairly miserable. I am taking Oxycontin 20mg and Lyrica 75mg, morning and night, and Oxycodone 5mg for breakthrough pain. I had cut back to 2 oxycodone/day, but my pain level increased about 2 weeks ago, so I was taking usu 4/day. On Thurs, I had a 2 hr dental appt. I took 3 in anticipation of the appt, then maybe a 3 more later in the evening. My back, by evening, was starting to let me know that it didn't appreciate 2 hrs in that chair. By Fri am, my lumbar pain (which usually exists on a low level these days) was substantial. But, because I felt that I had so much of that crap in me, on Fri, I only took my Oxycontin and Lyrica. As the day progressed, the spasms were worse. By late afternoon, I could hardly walk. I continued taking only my scheduled meds. On Sat, I was still in a lot of pain. By late Sat afternoon, my husband commented that not only was I clearly in pain, I looked sick. . .my color was funny. That's when he said, "I think you're going through withdrawal". So, I took an oxycodone and felt maybe a bit of pain relief, but felt generally better. Yesterday, I went ahead and took 1 in the early afternoon and 1 in the evening.

    If you've suffered through reading all of that, what I am looking for is advice.

    Does this sound reasonable? I am not sure that taking a single, or even 2, oxycodones is really providing adequate relief for breakthrough pain, at least not enough to warrant their use. I'm not totally sure that the Oxycontin is doing much, either. My hope is to, slowly, be down to next-to-nothing/nothing by the end of the week, other than Tylenol. I'm curious if my pain is pretty much the same, with or without this stuff, unless I go to higher dosages. My husband suggests that, if I'm not significantly better in a month, I try a pain clinic.

    I have learned a lot reading people's histories here. Am I looking at this correctly? Has anyone else said, basically, I'm in pain with or without the pain meds I'm taking, so "without" is a reasonable choice - even if there is some relief with the scheduled Oxycontin and the 4 - 6 Oxycodone/day. . .is that "some relief" worth the side effects?

    I see my surgeon this afternoon. I look forward to hearing what he thinks is going on - I did not expect to be in this much pain (not including the situational spike in lumbar pain on Fri - Sun) 1 1/2 mos post a "simple" hardware removal.

    I hope to hear everyone's feedback. For now, since I have this appt, I have to go and try to figure out how to shave my legs. (On Sat, I gave it a try, and the logistics were daunting , so I decided that I'd get them waxed this morning - ouch! - but we ended up with a blizzard, so extra driving around isn't a good idea.) Tomorrow afternoon, I have a 45 min dental appt. Drat.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    i think your surgeon is the best one to ask about your situation...he could refer you to a pain management doctor if he thinks it would help...but you are so EARLY from your surgery date!! and i dont think there is any "simple" surgery when it comes to scoliosis!!!

    i have not had scoli surgery...yet...and i am on oxy when needed, and hydrocodone daily!

    jess

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