Day 4 of Opiate withdrawal

Posted , 14 users are following.


I have been battling a codeine addiction for about 5 years now and have posted about it somewhere in this forum.

I recently was on a taper plan with my GP and doing OK apart from some nasty symptoms (RLS, Insomnia, Aniexty).

Earlier this week something occured which meant I was forced to go cold turkey, I had no choice.

It is now day 4 and it has been hell.  Contstant Dhiarrea, Nausea, Pain, yawning, goosebumps, RLS (not just in my legs but my arms too, anyone else had that?), insomnia, etc etc...  I am trying to stay hydrated and eat but it just comes back up or goes straight through me (nice). 

As its day 4 I am not sure if I feel better or not, I still cant eat, sleep, etc....  Ive read it can take 7 days to 2 weeks and the RLS and insomnia can last for months...

I've had a lopt of support from people on here, Caroline8, Ritchie, cliveonpatches and I am so grateful for that as I have had no support from my partner and my Doctor hasn't been the greatest.

I'm in a real low place at the moment but I am going to keep going, I havent got any codeine in the house and I cant go out and buy any either....

I am back at the docs on tuesday and I am going to beg her for some gabapentin or robaxin (as these 2 are life savers for rls, insomnia apprentley? Carolineq8 recommended this and I have read about it everywhere too,  if you read the patient leaflet for gabapentin it says its used to treat RLS) and I dont want any more codeine my minds made up of that.

IS gabapentin or robaxin addictive or abusable ?  IF so I don't I will get any but I am literally going to beg.  My doc advised me to join a support group and I'm going to tell her that my support group have all reccomended gabapentin as a life saver....  If I do get some what will the dosage be ? will it effect me in anyway or will it jut take away the RLS ? 


Ian xx

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  • Posted

    IAN, I can only suggest reading 'End Your Addiction Now' by Charles Grant.

    I cannot go into my story just now, but if you wish to avoid symptoms almost completely, then please read.

    Warmest Regards

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  • Posted

    Hi ian 

                  gabapentin is a anti-seizure med which is also used for nerve pain ( which is what im using it for /slipped discs ) .. however it has also been reported to help opiate withdrawls especially symptoms such as restless leg syndrome and mild anxiety 

                   however another similar drug namely "pregablin" also helps RLS but is also prescribed for anxiety ( which gabapentin isnt ) and has the advantage of reducing anxiety in opiate withdrawl and many other symptoms,and since many other symptoms manifest from the anxiety by reducing the anxiety you can aleviate many of the worse symptoms .... diahorrea can be helped by taking buscopan which is avalible over the counter from all chemists 

                 in summary if your anxiety isnt too bad then i recommend gabapentin,however if anxiety is a concern and affecting you bad then go with the pregablin 

                addictive potential .... doctors have stated both gabapentin and pregablin to be non addictive however there has been reports of people becoming addicted to these drugs ... short term however for opiate withdrawls the chance of addiction is negligble 

                 finally its best to start taking gabapentin/pregablin at night as this is when your RLS will be most noticable ..maybe 1 in the day(100mg) and 2 at night (200mg) currently on 900mg a day ( 3 x 300mg) but this is for nerve pain with the maximum dosage being a whopping 3200mg ( 6 x 600mg daily ) 

                 hope this helps ian and keep us posted 

                            best wishes mate 

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  • Posted

    As long as the underlying cause of your codiene use is gone, I wish you the best and the utmost strength. My experience with gabapentin, perscribed for nerve pain was horrible. I had an allergic reaction and my entire face swelled up to the point I couldn't even open my eyes (so much for that idea). However, this is apparently a rare reaction.... 

    BriantheSnail seems to have great advice on gabapentin/preglabin and I would take heed. 

    As for Robaxin, I have no expereince, but it should help with the muscle spasms. It isn't necessary RLS, but muscle spasms as a result of withdrawal (I think the RLS diagnosis is usually kept for other problems). But yes, it can happen in arms too, or even weird muscles in the stomach, back, etc. The term "kicking it" developed for the very reason that uncontrolled muscle movements occur with cold turkey withdrawal. You will be fine, but it will suck in the meantime....

    My doctor took me down 25% off the morphine I have been taking for 9 years and prescribed something called Clonidine to help with the withdrawl symptoms. However, it is a blood pressure medication and I found it made me very dizzy and almost pass out (but my BP is already low, about 80/55). It is supposed help with the nausea, stomach cramping and even the 'kicking' in some cases. It isn't addictive (from what I know), but the fact it has oh so many uses makes me worry that they have no idea how or why it works (got to love the pharma biz).

    Also I think Day 4 is suposed to be the hardest. So if you can get through today, things should settle down. I would suggest a hot bath and a joint (not addictive).

    It is a shame that your partner isn't supportive. Do they want you to stay on codeine or stop? If the latter, they should support you through this mess. Support is important. If you need to talk, we are here, many of us have been through this stuff.

    Take care of yourself, and remember only you know what is best for you, but many of us have been there : )

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    • Posted

      My Dr also has me a on a type of gabapentin Lyrica to be exact I told him I don't want it but he insisted I have had bad reactions to it but he doesn't care? I now have to get the script filled and just discard it, I know it also can be addictive one addiction is enough for me I can't wait till I move to another state that has help my insurance will cover, right now my only option besides taper/cold turkey is going to a state authorized Methadone clinic and pay out of pocket they don't take any insurance. Ii have managed to taper a little and save up some for when I move so I have time to get some kind of help in another state cold turkey is not something I am looking forward to and I refuse to let my sadistic Dr put me in that situation.

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    • Posted

      No one should be forced to go cold turkey, no matter what you may have done/shown. Methadone is also addictive, so I wouldn't recommend it. If you don't have low blood pressure maybe ask for Clonidine to help with the withdrawal? Again, I am not sure if it works as I only took it twice, and with the extreme dizziness it was hard to tell whether I had any other symptoms. 

      I am trying to get to a pain clinic that is willing to treat me. My problem is that I still have pain, that is now getting worse and I was perosnally managing fine with opiods. They work for pain, but doctors claim there is little evidence of such for "non-cancer chronic pain". However, they also offer nothing else. 

      They just treat patients like rats in a lab. We are not science fair projects and shold not be treated as such.

      Good luck Ken and fight the power : )

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    • Posted

      Hi ken 

               lyrica is pregablin .... this has the same chemical structure as gabapentin ...used short term you should be fine and will help with the RLS and other symptoms,infact lyrica is prescribed for anxiety so this should also help 

              but whatever you do avoid methadone ... this is even harder to qiut than codeine,and it annoys me how they wont keep you on the codeine taper but will happily put you on a methadone program 

               ive recently come off methadone after 8 years and its was hell coming off it ...

               try the lyrica ( pregablin ) will help ...

                          good luck ken and best wishes 

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  • Posted

    Hi Ian it's me again😊, I hope you do get gabapentin, I took 300 mg X 2 per day at the beginning of my withdrawals (they'll probably give you 100 to begin with) I think I maybe took them for 4 weeks then the withdrawals got better so I reduced them to just 1 t night to help sleep, I found that if I was having a better day I wouldn't take it and I never suffered withdrawals from them, I still take around 2 per week when rls is bad and I seem to be ok when I don't.

    I don't have any effects when I take them, I had to take one today as Iv got a trapped nerve in my shoulder and it's sending nerve pain up my neck, head and face, I found that I don't get the nasty shakes or dizziness you get off opioids,

    Pregabalin can also be effective as suggested but for me they made me a bit out of it however I really don't tollereate many drugs well so they could be different for you.

    Hope this helps Ian and keep us updated 😊

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  • Posted

    Thanks for all your advice!

    I am going to ask for the pregablin when I see my doctor tomorrow... I am VERY anxious

    It's now 5am on day 5 and I haven't slept all night. Some of the symptoms have alleviated though . No more dhiarrea,yawning, sickness,goosebumps... but the rls seems to be getting worse, insomnia and anxiety, sweats...

    So tired but can't sleep

    My partner wants me to stop the codeine altogether but thinks it's just a matter of stopping and in 2 days I will be fine

    If i get prescribed anything tomorrow she will probably try taking it off me!

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    • Posted

      Hi Ian,

      I too had insane restless legs and arms when I quit cold turkey I didn't sleep for five days straight. I nearly went nuts.

      I abused opiates for nine years and I feared the thought of withdrawal more than I feared death.

      I tried so many different things for the restless legs/arms both homeopathic and medicinal and the only thing that helped was the pregabilin (lyrica). One dose and the restlessness stopped and I could sleep.

      As stated by someone else, doctors will tell you it is not addictive but new studies are showing that it can be. I think it may have a lot to do with your perspective. For instance if you continue taking it as a replacement for codeine rather than its prescribed purpose. I could be wrong but for me codeine was a reward and one of the things I really struggled with was coming to terms with not taking pills to reward myself.

      I hope you get some relief with the pregabalin but after day six cold turkey I started to feel somewhat human again if that puts your mind at ease any.

      Take care


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  • Posted

    What you described is almost exactly what happens when I try to stop Even if I taper, I think my biggest issue is I moved from the NE USA to the SE USA and th laws here a few how the DRs deal with medication is like I left reality and have been stuck in own episode of the Twilight Zone, my main Disability (I was diagnosed with in 2009) is PTSD and various other Anxiety disorders, before moving my DR had me on low dose of Xanax I only took when needed but the DRs here refuse to prescribe it, Xanax was what helped me deal with the withdrawal during the move it was a unintentional effect of the Benzo, if I knew I would never be prescribed it here I would never sought a pain dr here because the pain dr I have now thinks Opioids are easy to stop taking??? My new home state is so strict it seem like they tell the Federal government to screw themselves and started there own DEA they log everyone who gets any script filled regardless of what it is and sharers that information with anyone (other government agencies, Drs,) and dictates what Drs can and can't do, I was hoping now that Donald Trump took the State govonor (Nikki Hailey) out of power here and gave control to someone else things might get better, it's to soon to tell. I know most here are in the UK but I am stuck here in the (Divided States Of America) were each state is lime another country what's perfectly legal in one can put you in prison for 5+years in another, this is a little known fact about this now backwards country! Can you imagine the Great land of the free everyone wants to live in

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  • Posted

    Ok so today is day 6

    Last night was another sleepless night, RLS seemed to get worse, its like someones constantly gently tugging my leg & arm bones... I drifted off for 10 mins and woke up feeling worse! rest seems to make it worse for some reason.  Also its effecting me in the day now as well..

    But... I just got back from my doctors appt.  She was happy that I had gone cold turkey and was on day 6,  she immediately agreed to give me some pregabalin (2 a day)

    So I took one and more or less within 1hr 30 mins (seems to take a long time to peak??) I started to feel calmer, less anxious, relaxed and my bones have stopped hurting/jerking...

    I'm not going to try and sleep till tonight though so wont know till then!

    But so far its just pure relief.... after 6 days of hell

    Thanks for everyones advice the past week it really has got me through the worse... biggrin

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  • Posted

    Ok So today is Day 8

    I feel really good at the momemt.  All my withdrawal symptoms have gone!! I have got my appetite and sex drive back (probably the Lyrica).  

    I do still a little anxious though, but not for long.. and even though the Lyrica has stopped my RLS i dont sleep for very long.  Last night I went to bed at 10pm and woke up at 230am for a couple of hours, then fell alseep and got up at 6am.

    I am only on Lyrica until next tuesday.  My doc said taking it for a week wont give me any withdrawals side effects so I can just stop it. I have only enough till then anyway and tbh dont really like how it makes me feel (sneezing, itchy mouth, forgetful, monged out)  but it has been a god send...

    Anyway so I go back to docs next week and that should be it for me!! Doc says I CANNOT take any opiods every again and I dont intend to. She said my neuro transmitters/receptors will be damaged from the 5 years of codeine but should eventually heal...

    Hope everyone else on here is ok too ! biggrin

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  • Posted

    Ah Ian that's fantastic news I'm so happy to hear your coming through the other end of this nightmare, take it easy tho your body has been through hell so just because your feeling a little better don't burn yourself out, my body was weak for a long time after. Keep us updated and don't forget where always here for the good and bad days, stay strong, I knew you'd do it ?😊 

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