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Switching from hydrocodone to hydromorphone

Discussion in 'Hydromorphone' started by hollytabor, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. hollytabor

    hollytabor Newbie

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    Female from U.S.A.
    I've been taking hydrocodone w/ ibuprofen for the last few years for severe chronic back pain due to degenative disc disease and herniation. Obviously, over the years it's worked less and less and I've had to take more and more - upwards of 10-12 per day.

    My surgeon just prescibed hydromorphone (4 mg pills) for break thru pain and would like me to drop my hydrocodone dosage in half.

    I'm not well versed in how similar/dissimilar these drugs are - but I'm wondering if I'll experience withdrawl symptoms when I cut back on the hydrocodone. (Basically replacing 6 of the hydrocodone pills with 2-4, 4 mg hydromorphone pills per day.)

    I've experienced withdrawls before when I've stopped hydrocodone cold turkey and needless to say, it wasn't pleasant.
     
  2. Mick Mouse

    Mick Mouse Palladium Member

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    Hydromorphone is considerably stronger than hydrocodone!

    A rough "chart" would look something like this: hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, heroin, hydromorphon, oxymorphon, buprenorphin, fentanyl. This is not meant to be all-inclusive, but rather just to give you a rough idea of how strong these drugs are.

    I use Fentanyl with hydromorphon 16 mg for breakthrough pain, so I am somewhat versed in its use. You should not suffer any withdraw effects from going to a stronger narcotic pain med.
     
  3. fuzelogic

    fuzelogic Silver Member

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    Did you just have a operation? When you stated surgeon instead of Dr.?

    You might want to ask before making the jump and increasing your tolerance very quickly. One good thing is that you won't being having all that APAP to contend with now with the hydromorphone

    If your not in ALOT of pain, you could experience sickness. When SWIM had operation and took them at first, SWIM was o.k., but about a week later SWIM would start to feel sick from the pills
     
  4. hollytabor

    hollytabor Newbie

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    Nope - no recent surgery. Actually trying to put off surgery for as long as possible ... but my doc is also a back surgeon and spine specialist.

    (And not that it really makes a difference, since a truckload of ibuprofen isn't good for the body either, but I've been on hydrocodone w/ ibuprofen - not w/ acetaminophen.)

    I've cut my hydrocodone useage in half today - from 12 pills to 5 - and added 4 hydromorphone. And actually, so far so good! The hydromorphone definitely seems to last much longer than the hydrocodone - I'm pretty pleased. And no sickness at all.
     
  5. fuzelogic

    fuzelogic Silver Member

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    Yes, SWIM has found the Dr will say take Hydrocodone every 6 hours and by hour 4 SWIM is ready to re-dose again.

    Also, not sure about SWIY, but if SWIM was taking that many hydrocodone, SWIM might sometimes forget how many pills they have taken during the day unless it was in a daily medicine box with it pre-layed out for each days dose.

    BTW, how bad would SWIY rate the pain to be prescribed the stronger medicine?

    SWIM is glad to hear that SWIY is getting good pain relief and can "thinks" they can relate to the type of pain that SWIY is experiencing and can make the day "DRAG" when sitting there thinking about the pain.
     
  6. Mick Mouse

    Mick Mouse Palladium Member

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    Really? You find that the hydromorphon lasts longer? That is weird, as I find that it works very well, but it doesn't work for very long! That is one of the reasons why my dosage went from 2 mg. to 16-24 mg in such a relatively short period of time, I kept having to re-dose for effective pain control. I do not use mine recreationally either, it is pretty much just as the doctor ordered. With Fentanyl (my long term pain med), there is really no narcotic that you can use recreationally though, the fent just overpowers everything!
     
  7. Burning Pain

    Burning Pain Newbie

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    The doctor switched me from hydrocodone to hydromorphone, I had been on hydrocodone for 6 years and was physically dependent on it. I've been through withdrawls three times for various reasons so I know how terrible they are. The switch did indeed cause withdrawl symptoms of anxiety and diarrhea for about 6 weeks. It was never as bad as going cold turkey though and turned out to be worth it. The hydrocodone was not working any more and I was taking it just to avoid withdrawl. I've gone as long as 30 hours forgetting to take hydromorphone without symptoms of withdrawl ... I'm now wondering if I stop taking it all together if I'll have any symptoms at all. If they could just fix the cause of the pain for once I'd love to just stop taking anything. I joined this site to find out more information on hydromorphone and discontinuing it's use .... what will it do to me? Will it be as bad as quitting hydrocodone? I just don't know.
     
  8. Mick Mouse

    Mick Mouse Palladium Member

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    Yes, you will go through withdraw symptoms, and yes, they will be nasty ones.
    In general, I have found that quitting the synthetics and semi-synthetics (such as hydromorphon) produces withdrawal symptoms that are worse than natural opiates, but they don't last as long. That may be just my perception, however.
    This is an excellent place to come to for information, though. Especially on opiates! You can find everything you ever wanted to know here.