Any top tips for MST reduction?

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I broke my back, sternum, ribs etc. September last year. For a long while I was on 140mg of MST/day + Oramorph for breakthrough pain. Since Christmas i've reduced down to 60mg and don't really think it's doing anything for the pain anymore as I feel reasonably ok in the mornings. I forgot to take my medication a few nights back and by morning was a total wreck, I want to wean off the rest of it as it makes me feel horrible most of the time. Yesterday I cut down to 50mg and within the day was feeling really rough with bad guts and a general feeling of nausea and depression - should I keep reducing by 10mg every day or so or wean off more gradually? I'm feeling really frustrated that reducing this last stage seems the worst bit.

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  • Posted

    Hi Oly sounds like you are definitely describing withdrawal. You might need to cut down slower but if I was you I would definitely see my GP and talk to them to put a plan in place to reduce with the minimal of withdrawal symptoms.

    Good luck and take care

    Jo

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  • Posted

    Sweetie, you need to taper off much,much slower so that your body and brain have a chance torecover and function more normally. My doctor suggests reducing by just 5 to 10 percent of your total dose every two weeks. Otherwise, you body is going to release all kinds of chemicals like adrenaline which makes you shake, have a queasy stomach, diarrhea, severe anxiety, lethargy, and just feeling like lousy.

    But I applaud your effort. You have been through the wringer, and knowing when to get off the pain pills is such a smart thing to do. If you stay on them for too long (like I have), your body becomes damaged in all kinds of ways. Be strong, but be gentle with yourself. Take it easy, and talk with your doctor about what is right for you. There are also some medications like clonidine that can help with the withdrawal symptoms.

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    • Posted

      Ah, so by reducing 10mg, 17%, I'm pushing it really. I'll have to talk to the Doctor and get hold of some 5mg tablets and see if he has anything useful to say. So far he hasn't really given any advice except to do it slowly.

      This withdrawal sucks the life out of you! Day 3 of latest reduction today, not feeling so clever but I guess I will feel fine by Monday.

      Thanks for the top tips.

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    • Posted

      Hi, I only know about withdrawing from dyhydrocodeine, I cut down to

      just one and stopped taking them I had five really bad days of flu like

      feeling and upset stomach. It does get better after that a little each day

      sleeping can also be a problem then again it improves after awhile,if you

      can get outside and keep busy really helps. I know not easy when your not

      feeling great. All the sites I've read all seem to say there will be withdrawal

      even whe you taper slowly. Good luck and keep posting there are always

      good tips and help on here. Stay positive Ann

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  • Posted

    And remember, SLOWLY, a little less every two weeks, not every day. I've been down that road before, thinking, "wow, I can do this faster than I thought or faster than other people because I'm pretty tough (I am) and I can handle this (i couldn't). I'd be hanging in there for quite a while, only to be floored by the lurking withdrawal symptoms. Don't worry. You'll get there.. Your body, especially after what it has been through, needs you to take it easy. Be kind to the only body you've got!

     

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    • Posted

      Sigh, it's a long journey. Day 4 of 10mg less and it's still hurting bad. I hope the next step isn't as bad but I'm sure it will be.
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  • Posted

    Hi, just try to take one day at a time and if you can try to change your routine

    and do different things, getting out can help. Have you thought about meditation

    i found it really helpful at times especially with sleeping. There are lots of tips on 

    line. Keep strong you will do it in the end hopefully you will find each day is a little

    better. Keep focused and positive. Take care Ann

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  • Posted

    Just an update for any of those experiencing the same issue - day 6 of reduction isn't much of an improvement but I think it's fading. I've come a long way but I think professional support is vital now. Getting down from 200mg->60mg was reasonably ok, this last bit is far worse than I ever anticipated. I'm not an addict or abuser in any way but the physical dependency after 6 months is vicious.
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  • Posted

    i agree with foxy, you need to do it slower now otherwise you might resort to taking a bit more to get you out of trouble.every other week seems more like it thats what my drug worker wants me to do or even once a month
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    • Posted

      Hi Anita. In the end I went to the local drugs team and am now on a fast detox with Lofexidine/Britoflex. It's not addictive and is purported to remove 75% of the withdrawal symptoms. I'm now on day 5 of a 2-3 week programme and have gone from 50mg to 25mg with no real withdrawal at all. I'm due to be at 0 by Tuesday which seems fine to me at the moment.

      I really wish I'd known about this treatment before - I've been reducing since Christmas and it's been hateful but with Lofexidine it seems a walk in the park.

      In the US Clonidine is used and similar ... But not as good from what I've read

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  • Posted

    You say your not an addict or anything like that but have some thought for the addict who has thiss trouble of coming off, its not easy,far from it.If it was easy im sure that there would be far less addicts about.
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    • Posted

      Sorry, I didn't mean to be rude or dismissive. My point was how good Lofexidine is at removing the physical symptoms and GP's don't offer it so many people are suffering badly where options exist to make the process much less unpleasant.
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  • Posted

    Just to report back to all you lovely people:

    I am bloody minded by nature and after 6 months of pain hell with no income my determination to quit my slow release Morphine in a banzai manner was very high. I had calculated that slow reduction would slowly torture me for about 3 months and I had a good job offer on the table and no money. So I went to my local drugs and alcohol team and they offered me a detox with Lofexidine. I had to attend every morning to get my blood pressure checked and my progress checked. I quit 20mg on day 1 and after 4 days had no withdrawal symptoms at all - just a bit tired. After 4 days I chose, with support from the drugs team, to ditch the remaining 30mg, that was a week ago, Easter Sunday. I've still had no withdrawal symptoms and will be off the Lofexidine in about a week. Total 3 weeks, no withdrawal!

    Lofexidine is not addictive, there is no risk of yet another dependency.

    At the beginning of the detox they said Lofexidine only treats the physical withdrawal and I should brace myself for the mental bit. In my case there was no mental issues at all, cheerful all the way through. Obviously physical and mental addiction are both different and linked, your mileage may vary.

    I've been cutting down from 140mg/day + frequent oral Morphine since Christmas and it has been pure torture. Quitting this last 50mg with Lofexidine has been an amazing eye opener, I have no idea why it is not widely used, truly bonkers.

    I was on a truck load of other medication, anti depressants and all sorts. I've ditched the lot over the last 4 weeks. I feel absolutely amazing, arriving back to near full health after a very near death experience is pure joy.

    ... But there were a few catches:

    1. Blood pressure - mine is usually pretty low, I ended up settling on a lower dose than recommended and was fine. The advice and checks weren't frequent enough - I ended up with a blood pressure of 84/50 and heart rate of 37 and ended up being ambulanced to hospital to be monitored for a few hours. Then had to miss a dose and suffered a few hours of withdrawal, nothing major. The message - get a blood pressure monitor and take it easy on the ramp up of the dose, if you start feeling really tired and falling asleep - take less!!!!

    2. Pain - Morphine screw's your bodies natural pain management. So if your Morphine consumption is injury related the pain will flair as you reduce - don't panic, grit your teeth, in a few weeks your body will level out and then you can re-assess your pain needs. For some people this process may take longer - some say it can take a year for your bodies pain management to sort out. I've been in back pain hell for a few weeks - all sorted in the last few days by massage, physio exercises and a bit of Pilate's - I suspect Morphine had made be lazy and all that sofa surfing resulted in total back muscle lock up whilst not feeling it because of the Morphine. Maybe I could have been fixed months ago!

    3. Reducing Lofexidine - you have to slowly reduce or your blood pressure will go very high. For me withdrawal symptoms have previously lasted for just under 3 weeks from the reduction. So you need to take the Lofexidine for that full period - I tried reducing a too early, bad advice from the drugs team, and suffered a few more hours of minor withdrawal, no biggy - just minor tremors and bad guts for a few hours.

    If I ever have to take Morphine again I will insist on Lofexidine for all reduction - it's like magic.

    To those in the US - Clonidine is similar but not quite so effective as far as I know.

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  • Posted

    I've only just found this  site on line and have to agree, it's not easy coming off  this stuff. I started on it over 5 yrs ago for back  injury  ( I was a nurse) and am very allergic to many forms of analgesia. the drugs helped 

     the pain but caused me to lose my career as I was unable to concentrate for any amount of time , but  in August had a nerve block , as I'd reached such a low point I could hardly walk , but by then was on 180 mgs mst plus  extra  morphine if needed , I've been coming off very slowly , as the gp encouraged me , and now am on only 2.5 mg of morphine at night , so will be off by Christmas. 

    I did have huge amounts of muscle pain and slowed down the decrease , until,I realised it was the drugs causing the muscle pain.

     It's been a tough road and I have less pain . Able to be controlled by paracetamol, and yes I agree the Pilates , physic etc help as your muscle memory has to be retrained , and it does require you to be tough at times , but slowly slowly seems to be the answer.

    I wish all of those coming off these drugs the best of luck , it's tough and exhausting , I found the lack of sleep the worst symptom , even the restless legs was easier than constantly being awake for hours at night .BUT, I'm nearly there at last ,my partner has been brilliant, and it's been hard for him, but he has been my rock.Im o looking forward to an opiate free future , and may even consider retraining as a drugs counsellor, just wish I'd seen this site earlier in the dark days ! 

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Fran, that's awesome news, so pleased that you are nearly there - it's a very long dark journey escaping Opiates.

      It would be great if you did go into drugs counselling with your medical background, I found a lot of stupidity in the system with drugs services who don't understand medication and Doctors who don't understand addiction and dependency. But make sure to hang out here - there's a steady stream of lovely folk in world of difficulty needing your understanding and top tips :-)

      Hope you have a fabulous Christmas with that new clear head.

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    • Posted

      Many thanks for the positivity and encouragement , wishing you and yours a great Christmas .
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