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buprenorphine WEEK 7 » ed_uk

Posted by pseudoname on January 2, 2006, at 20:34:06

In reply to Re: buprenorphine ongoing » pseudoname, posted by ed_uk on December 17, 2005, at 14:15:04

> Will you post how you're doing on your bupe thread?

For those new to this thread: This is my 7th week on buprenorphine for unipolar treatment-resistant depression. Bupe is an opioid given to addicts, but I've never been addicted to anything. Its use as an AD is off-label and very uncommon. I first got benefit in my second week, when I titrated up to 1.8 mg. I've had "40-100% improvement" every day that I've taken it for the last month. Mild nausea and dizziness were a minor problem for the first few days.

CURRENT DOSE: 2-4 mg/day Subutex® sublingual tablets. Usually 1 mg at 6 AM, 1 PM, 5 PM.

> Perhaps you could get a more consistent effect by taking it in three divided doses - which is often necessary when it's used as an analgesic.

I was taking 2mg on waking, but spreading it out evenly (waking-noon-supper) seems best right now. The AD effect is definitely TEMPORARY.

But oddly, despite its short action, I feel no craving or urge or "neediness" for it. I've gone without it several times without withdrawal, just the same-old depression & foul thoughts returning. Because of bupe's nasty taste, I actually have to force myself to take it.

I think there's no craving because it takes so long to kick in — about 1 or 2 hours after dosing before my thoughts clear and my mood lifts. So the addictive part of the brain can't figure out the connection.

My longtime craving for caffeine is greatly reduced on bupe, as is caffeine's effect. And usually a 1/2-glass of wine will get me buzzed, but I had a full glass over Christmas (I know, I know) and found it had ZERO subjective effect. Is that because I'm already semi-bombed by bupe??

I'm less dopey now on bupe than a month ago, but I'm still a little. I'm hoping that will continue to dissipate.

When I've gone WITHOUT bupe for a day, however, I've had really strange memory lapses. I've done complex tasks that I later have no memory of. That is worth keeping an eye on.

> >I'm still taking 17g of Miralax every day.
> It is adequate at this dose? Any side effects?

Constipation was a big problem for several weeks, despite Miralax and other treatments. But now I poop about every other day. Maybe every day: I'm not paying attention, happily. I'm not aware of any side effects to the Miralax.

I still carry meclizine (Bonine®) in case of nausea, but it's rare. However, my tummy on bupe is sensitive and doesn't like rich foods.

> Do you worry about the possibility of 'poop out'?

Yes. I suppose that's not entirely bad. That worry could get me off my butt to make improvements in my life while I've got the ability to do it.

I feel like I'm a lot different on bupe. Aren't I? ;-) I feel like people are treating me differently– clerks, strangers, family, Babblers. Probably it's the same as ever, I'm just seeing it differently. Or maybe I'm more chipper or relaxed or something and evoke different responses.

I've gotten insights and personal-history realizations on bupe that had eluded years of psychoanalysis. I think they were just too scary! On bupe I can face things I couldn't before. This is a separate effect from the general mood-lifting.

But being braver and less depressed means that I now have to fix some things I'd rather avoid! My finances and other messes, for example. Maybe also applying to grad school (not just pretending to, LOL). Curing depression can lead to anxiety.

I posted 3 weeks ago that although not depressed "I still have no real drive or interests." Well, I have continued "coming alive" slightly on the bupe. Some interests/drives are gradually returning.

I posted a lot over on Books about my recent bupe-related "enlightenment". It's probably not worth repeating. It may not be worth reading, LOL. :-)

Thanks for your continued interest, Ed. Sending love & best wishes your way. And thanks to Marsha, Dec, Matt, Larry, Elizabeth (if you're there), and everyone else who's given me their ideas & support.




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