Suboxone after Spinal Cord Stimulator

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Suboxone after Spinal Cord Stimulator

Post by River9 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:59 pm

Hello everyone. Here I am again. It's been a while and a lot has happened. I am still on 3mg of Suboxone per day and it still works very well for my back pain, fibromyalgia, and migraines. Unfortunately it constipates me to the point of no return. I have been hospitalized TWICE in seven months for bowel obstructions. Last time (in July) they put an ENG tube up through my nose that reached down to my stomach to evacuate everything in my stomach. They left it in for 2.5 days. It is a very uncomfortable thing to have in (it's hard to swallow), but it's better than the pain of the bowel obstruction. I am on three(3) medications for constipation: Linzess, Trulance, and Motegra. Still constipated. So, I absolutely have to come off the Suboxone. I don't want to be dramatic, but I believe I could actually die from these obstructions. Because of this, I am currently going through the process of getting a Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted for the pain. I keep asking the doctors the same question and always get a vague answer. What I want to know is how will I know if it's the Stimulator working or if it's the Suboxone working? As I just stated, the Suboxone works wonderfully for pain. But I am really just trading one pain for another. My fear is that my doctor is going to abruptly take me off the Suboxone. This terrifies me. I went from 12 to 18 mg down to 3. I have been unable to successfully get below 3. First, the pain becomes unmanageable. Second, I get all the withdrawal symptoms that comes with getting off opiates--depression, massive hot flashes and sweating, anxiety, insomnia, ringing in my ears, and the list goes on and on. I am just wondering if anyone on this forum has had a stimulator placed and how did their pain doctor handle the issue of getting off the medication. I am somewhat of an anomaly in my pain doctor's office. His protocol is that he has to personally sign the prescription for Suboxone. It is very clear that they do not understand how this medications works and how difficult it is to stop. I won't see him until next Wednesday and I know I am going to worry about it the whole time. So I was just hoping someone on here has had a stimulator placed or perhaps know someone who did. Thanks everyone and God Bless.
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Re: Suboxone after Spinal Cord Stimulator

Post by docm2 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:05 pm

The spinal stimulator will have no impact on your opiate tolerance, whether it is from Buprenorphine or a full agonist. It will not prevent or treat withdrawal.
A slow taper will still be necessary.
As you asked, you really won't know how well the stimulator is working until you are essentially off the Suboxone. In the pain management world you are still at the higher dosing for buprenorphine, even though you have dropped from 16 mg a day.
Too bad that even with the lowering your dose to the extent you have that the constipation cannot be managed with your current regimen. Truly a rock and a hard place.

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Re: Suboxone after Spinal Cord Stimulator

Post by BlueLight » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:00 am

Suboxone has been the absolute worst opioid I’ve ever taken for constipation. For the first year I was taking laxatives constantly. I’m on 2 mg roughly these days and the best thing for constipation has been taking magnesium capsules daily. 400 mg liquid gels work best. I still have to use laxatives about twice per month.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Suboxone after Spinal Cord Stimulator

Post by Jess1208 » Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:27 am

Have you tried the prescription "Lactulose" ? It is the ONLY thing that has worked for me. Its extremely safe and an old med, I got lucky enough to have my neurologist recommend it and I was amazed (and upset) that it was never mentioned by my doctors in the previous 5 years I had been having SEVERE constipation issues.

I was drawn to your post because I have considered getting a Nerve Stimulator Implant surgery for my chronic (DAILY) migraines. Unfortunately for me though, suboxone does nothing for my pain, although I do not feel comfortable going completely off until I know I have a treatment plan for my migraines that is actually reliable. I'm sure you know when the pain gets so bad you literally would rather be dead, you get desperate for relief. I think anyone who has to live with daily chronic pain can understand that feeling.

Its been 20 years and I still have not found relief. Ive tried it all. Except surgery.

I know for myself recovery seems much more difficult to keep strong when chronic pain is a part of your life. You can have the best intentions for staying clean, and not even WANT to use, but dealing with excruciating pain every single day is so much harder when you're a recovering addict. It is exhausting being in pain all day, every day. You just want the pain to go away. For now, I feel more comfortable staying on a low dose of suboxone. I don't know when I will get off, but I definitely know I don't think that is a good idea for me right now, when it seems my chronic migraines are getting worse and worse each year.

I am so jealous of those who get pain relief from suboxone!! You have a tough choice to make.

There should be a "trial" period, before the actual implant surgery?? But if you have to get off suboxone, you will probably need to be off of it for awhile to even give the stimulator a good chance... Your body will be EXTREMELY sensitive to pain during withdrawals so it will be hard to tell if it could actually help you if you're withdrawling and already miserable. I would say you need at least 3 months completely OFF suboxone, before getting the stimulator implant. That way you can give it a fair chance... But thats just my thoughts. I know for me personally, my pain is sooo much worse during withdrawal and who knows how bad it would be without suboxone in my system, even tho I am on a low dose. I can't imagine it could even be any worse than it has been these last few years, but I'm sure it could be possible. I'd rather not find out. I dont think I can take much worse than this.

I wish you nothing but the best.

"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, Anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." -Unknown

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