DHC cold turkey - severely allergic to them! Advice?

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It's been so good to read through so many posts on DHC...well, here's where I'm at with them...

Been taking them 8 a day for ,6years for pain and I have become severely allergic to them this week and had to stop cold turkey. And it's miserable.

It's been 3 days 14 hrs down and I've got all the usual symptoms... feel like I've got the flu, hot and cold, shivery, stomach cramps, etc etc.

I'm hanging onto 4 days of total misery before feeling better, although I do feel better already I still feel like death. I can't take any other pills to help due to more severe allergies and am left with herbal remedies! Milk thistle to help the liver detox. I'm barely drinking, not eating, have a raging temp (I exaggerate slightly, just high!! Feels raging though, with the chill's and shivers).

Anyone got any advice, input, ray of hope?!? I just want to hoooooowl in misery.

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21 Replies

  • Posted

    I'm now on day 9 and 17 hours and slowly coming through but it's been hell. Right now I'm still suffering through the restless body and insomnia leftover but I can definitely see the finish mark.

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    • Posted

      36 days later and things are getting steadily better...

      the worst, most horrible and disgusting symptoms have settled 

      it's 'just' this yucky restless feeling still causing havoc. I'd quite happily rip my skin off in the evening, that's how it feels. 

      sleeping's finally settled into a steady 8 hours. not sleeping in the day is weird, and sometimes a challenge, staying busy and getting out into the fresh air helps (read that in one of the other posts, great tip).

      I'm still itchy as anything, especially in the evening

      Still have this weird cough. There's nothing wrong,  just this odd cough. I've read elsewhere of others coming off opioids having the same thing. My guess is my lungs haven't really 'coughed' for 6 years so they're getting used to a new way of being. 

      My brain isn't overly impressed without it's regular supply of opiods...it'd still love me to take some, but that's 'just' the dependency of 6 years. Knowing I'd have another severe allergic reaction if I did kind of helps avoid them.

      Cold turkey is a rough option best avoided if at all possible...that's my current view. Take the slow, scenic, titrate down route if at all possible. 

       

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    • Posted

      Ye you've been to hell and back and I know as iv been through the same with opiods, iv had great support from here pushing me through but like you there's light at the end if the tunnel, I started 5 weeks ago tapering 1 dose at a time but at the end of week 2 I needed time to recover I thought I was going mad, I then dropped the last 2 together 9 days ago and like you I was hanging on every day just wishing it was over, I am over it now but my body is so weak still and all I want to do is get out and start having a normal life again, unfortunately

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    • Posted

      Unfortunately I still have to deal with chronic back pain

      I hope your feeling well this morning and today is a good one for you, no matter how strong the urge is you never want to take that rubbish again its just poison!

      Sending hugs x

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    • Posted

      You're doing amazingly well Pumpkin1. Still hanging in there? I feel for you but it's so worth it and you really are doing SO well. I was once told, "you only have to do this once". :-) I was on 10 x 30mg a day and now i'm down to one. Do you, or does anyone know if i can jump from this dose without too much grief? If not, what's a good jump off point? 

      All the best to you and congrats for getting this far!

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    • Posted

      Hugs right back to you :-) 

      Sounds like you've done amazingly well too, it's not easy, is it?! I feel like I've woken up into my own worst nightmare...all the pain and exhaustion and misery the drugs were masking are still there and now I've got to find a new way to cope. Grrrr....as if we don't have enough with 'just' the withdrawal....

      I've found a new website that has more info about opioid withdrawal and talks about it having *2* stages...acute and something called 'post-acute withdrawal (PAWS)'...where you have less physical symptoms but more emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms, as your brain's chemistry is returning to normal...apparently the worse you feel mentally the better it is as a sign your brain is healing...or something like that...it's described as a *rollercoaster* of symptoms...mood swings, anxiety, exhaustion, labile energy, poor enthusiasm, labile concentration and disturned sleep....and you have 'good times' and 'bad times' where you crave opioids for 2 years! Yikes.

      I guess we're likely to feel mentally and physically knackered for some time after getting through stopping the pills...as well as still having to deal with the underlying conditions...and life in general...

      Yeah, I think we deserve a medal ;-) 

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    • Posted

      Thank you...you too...you've done what I should have started in August when I started to feel weird, but miss-read what was going on and left it until I had a bad allergic reaction to them!

      42 days and counting...still hanging in there, had a rough few days of utter exhaustion, could have happily taken some dhc to stop it after learning it's probably this 'post-acute withdrawal'causing it, but have weathered the storm and feel a little better. Taking some dhc just isn't an option because of the allergies, so I guess that's kind of 'lucky'. Maybe!

      Getting from 10 30mg DHC down to 1 is an amazing achievement. Have you thought about getting some liquid dihydrocodeine? then you have the option to keep stepping down slowly, titrating this last step nice and slow and keeping the horrible, nasty and truly disgusting withdrawal symtpoms to an absolute minimum...It comes in 10mg per 1ml, so you would have a lot of control over this last stage.

      Good luck, hang in there, take it steady and gentle on your mind and body, you're doing amazingly well!

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    • Posted

      Wow iv learnt a lot off the last 2 posts, I knew nothing about PAWS but makes complete sense. I totally agree with liquid meds to taper down that last dose something I didn't do and paid the consequences, your both doing fantastic considering the hell you've gone through, stick in there this hell is almost over and something you never want to go through again xx

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    • Posted

      Your so right we definitely do deserve that medal😊

      I totally understand where your coming from with dealing with the problems your meds where masking, the other day I woke up and thought omg how am I going to get through each day with this disability, firstly I won't ever take an opiod again and cant believe we can be given something that is so destructive, I was given mine off my gp not my pain doc who actually couldn't believe I was on them in the first place and advised me really well(very lucky to have him on my side)

      I have looked into alternatives and started with the tens machine, tried meditation which I'm not good at but hoping to master haha, yoga, relaxation music, chiropractor....I just have to plod on and hopefully find what works for me but it is very daunting as this is my life and being restricted in everything you do is mental torture in its own without that poison

      I hope today is a good one for you xxx

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    • Posted

      Hi Pumpkin1. Thanks so much for the response. I agree, taking more for me isn't an option regardless of the PAWS kicking my butt. I never knew about the liquid dihydrocodeine but that system does make sense. Today i took 3/4 of a single 30 mg tablet. My main complaint is serious exhaustion and depression. I'm wiped out all day and just wish the day would come to an end right when it starts. Missing the warmth and it's freezing here today. Anyway, you should be real proud of yourself and i admire you so much for coming off this. Can i ask you, how many mgs were you on when you jumped? All the best to you and thanks again. :-)

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    • Posted

      Everything you've said is what I'm going through today, not nice!! Iv been really low, no energy, freezing cold, cramps and the usual, I think I'm so down today because I just don't know how much longer I will feel so weak it's been almost 5 weeks now but nearly 2 since my last lot of meds, i have a lot of anger towards all the docs who got me here from my opp to the meds as iv found out it wasn't necessary and I could be living a normal life 😡 Just a bad day today!!

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    • Posted

      Hi Carolineq8. I feel for you. I really do. I know from experience though that it will get better and you will get to a point where you actually feel better than you have for years. I quit Percocet and was an iv user as well. The PAWS is sometimes the hardest part. When you're sick, you're sick. It almost distracts you. But when you get the psychological, almost trauma of PAWS, it's just that addict demon wanting you to cave. Don't give in. I had 10 years clean and regardless of what life may have thrown at me, my life got great again. It just takes time so keep going. I know it sucks but you can do it! Once you do, you'll be ok. You'll start getting intermittant "good days" with bad ones between. Then More good ones then bad ones. Then just life, but a better life. Hang in there because i totally get how you feel. I feel pretty crap today myself, but i know that it's mostly psychological because i'm only on 22.5 mg from 300-400 a day. I wish i didn't relapse but realise that i just have to get on with it because feeling sorry for myself is exactly what my addict nature wants so i'll keep messing up and feeding it. It's p*ssed offf because we're winning. We can only keep winning by keeping strong and not giving in. I know from experience that it will get better. You're a good way in so stay strong. You're worth it. :-)

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    • Posted

      Hi Carolineq8. I just responded and it was a long one but now the moderators grabbed it so hopefully you'll get it soon. It wasn't because of a link, it was because i said p'd off with something. Hopefully they'll remove that word and send it here as the real response to you. I kind of can't believe they did that. Keep staying strong. It's the only way to keep the demon inside of us at bay. You're worth it. :-)

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    • Posted

      PAWS is a bit of a multi-headed monster, isn't it, sigh...like a dragon that roars every now and then. All you can do is hunker down and ride it out, be super gentle to yourself, stay warm, do 'nice' things if possible, or at least something that isn't taxing and wait till it passes....and it does pass, and then the dragon quietens down for a bit. 

      Hang in both of you...

      Pete...I was taking 240mg daily for 6 years, but if I had really horrific break through pain I would *occasionally* (like 1 every 3-6 months) take 480mg for 24 hours, either that or chop off my head, that's how it felt. I told my docs, too, severe chronic pain just sucks. I actually asked to take the DHC, rather than move up to morphine / fentanyl, but was taking it with another strong pain pill (nortryptiline max strength), a strong muscle relaxant (baclofen max strength) and diazepam for break through pain! Slowly this year I've had to stop everything as I've become allergic to them one by one. Each one's been pretty grim but nothing like the DHC, that's been the worst withdrawal by far. The one 'good' thing is that the overall pain has come down. I thought the pills might be causing a paradoxical increase in the pain, but the thought of coming off everything was too much to contemplate - my doctor even suggested admitting me to hospital to manage it 'properly' but I thought 'heck no' and was then forced to do it all cold turkey. Not too bright, I guess!! 

      I was in a horrific work situation of major stress and overworking with no other way of staying at work other than to medicate, medicate, medicate...and now I'm having to deal with the consequences. 

      I'm left with very little to deal with the original pain...I'm practising being 'in touch' with my emotions to try and stop repressed emotions causing muscle spasms - it's one man's theory anyway, but it kind of sucks when you've been through all manner of things that still need dealing with. 

      For pain relief now it's oodles of hot packs, hot baths, trigger point massage, craniosacral therapy (a very weird complementary therapy that's essentially about deep relaxation) and doing a bit but not too much. And it sucks! I'd love some nice drugs to take the pain away but it's not an option right now so it's 'sort your life out' time instead. Fingers crossed it works eventually.

      In the meantime I'm seeing how much that PAWS really is kicking my butt, ha ha hooooow. 

      Hang in there, both of you. Stay kind to yourselves and take it minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day etc. It will get better, and the sun will shine again. :-)

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    • Posted

      Caroline, I get that anger you have at the doctors. It's the lost days, weeks, months and years that you can't ever get back. Although I asked to go on the DHC I could have come off it 4 years ago if my work hadn't behaved like evil weasels, in nasty ways to me that totally messed me up mentally and physically. I'm still at the 'feeling helpless as it all happened, with a touch of pure fury' stage, and am finally getting some proper mental health with it, some counselling that's taken me 3 years to find. I've got to find some peace with it all and am hoping that does the trick.

      You have every right to feel angry at the neglectful and reckless way you were prescribed DHC. It's shocking how relaxed some doctors are about prescribing these majorly strong addictive substances. Yes, right dose / right time works sometimes but so many people suffer so much.   

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    • Posted

      ...you can tell my mind's totally affected by everything...

      ...that should read 'mental help', not 'mental health', sigh...

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    • Posted

      Ah thanks Pumpkin1. Wow. This is really to me, a success story! You should be real proud of yourself and i can relate to the alternative ways you're going about it to conquer those thoughts that make the spasms worse. I tried Mindfullness and it is very helpful, but when the PAWS attacks, the cravings start. I appreciate your advice and i guess i'm lucky in the sense that it's been 3 months rather than years which is probably why my withdrawal isn't worse. I had 10 years happy and clean and then after the bout with the so called harmless and safe as coffee Kratom, my demons got fired up. After i quit that, my addict came back to life and i stupidly went on the DHC. I know it's my own fault but can't afford to beat myself up because that's what my addict wants, in hopes of another feeding. I do take it a minute at a time but with the PAWS, time is SO slow. Thanks so much for your response and advice. Keep on keepin' on. I am really happy for you that you are conquering this thing. You seem very nice and deserve to be happy. Thanks again.

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    • Posted

      Thank you😊 Ye just having a bad day but another one nearly over and tomorrow is going to be better, iv took my dog out and done a few things round the house and it has made me feel better, I know its trying to mess with my head and I won't give in, I hope tomorrow's a better one for you to, thanks again on advice about paws I had no idea about it until I read your comment it's helped me understand what my body is doing, have a great night 😊

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    • Posted

      48 days and counting....and finally the horrible dip last week seems to be over! I still have zero energy and my own personal nightmare life to sort out but at least the drug withdrawal misery has eased back again...until next time...it got pretty grim, though, hallucinating skeletons attacking me, not fun, but I guess it was 'just' my brain adjusting to it's lack of opioids

      hope things are better all round 

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    • Posted

      Great to hear your getting there, the worst is over now and you have the rest of your life to enjoy the best way you can, I'm also feeling better and feel the worst is over, just been for a Bowen therapy treatment today and found it really good for me, same as you tho my energy levels are still 0, walking up the stairs I feel like I'm 85 and little tasks have me worn out so bad but it's made me realise that I do need more help which is something I find hard to ask for but now realise if I do t I'm going to suffer as a result, stick with it you've done amazing and I wish you all the best for the future, one day at a time mate 😊

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