Posted by pseudoname on January 9, 2006, at 17:19:19
In reply to opioid motivation » Declan, posted by pseudoname on January 5, 2006, at 9:32:39
I've been on buprenorphine (Subutex) 3 mg/day for about 7 weeks for depression.
Last night, I had trouble breathing when I lay down to go to bed. It was as if I couldn't get enough oxygen through my nose, but there was no pain. So I breathed through my mouth. No better!
Every time I lay down this started over. Then it started happening while I was sitting up straight. Then it started happening whenever I THOUGHT about the subject of breathing and I got butterflies all through my abdomen, like a panic attack. (Which I've never had before.)
I figured it was asthma, which I've never had.
I got ZERO sleep last night. At 4:00 AM I took a walk; I was okay. Then I played a computer game and got absorbed in it and.... no breathing problems! Today troubled respiration came & went whenever I though about it & forgot about it. At one point I could only avoid what felt like suffocation by distracting myself playing with my cel phone's menus.
I went to my G.P. today about it, who listened to my chest & my heart & my history (all fine), read my blood O2 level (98%), ordered chest X-ray (not yet seen), etc. His determination? It's not asthma, not heart attack, not infection. It's probably due to the BUPRENORPHINE!
Bupe, like other opioids, *can* cause respiratory depression in overdose. (If you got too much opioids, you'd need to be on a ventilator till they were out of your system. I'm pretty sure there's no antidote.) He thinks it's likely that I may be sensitive to opioids, and that the bupe is screwing with various respiration control centers in my brain even at the low doses I'm taking.
So his advice: No more bupe until this is resolved and I speak again to my pdoc (who prescribed it).
My reaction: NOOOO!!!
Bupe is the ONLY antidepressant that has EVER worked for me. I've had hopeful outlooks on it that I have never had in all of my adult life! I care about other people as human beings now! My "How-are-you?"s are SINCERE on bupe!
It is not perfect and I need to learn more about maximizing its good effects (which are not constant but seem to be spreading), but it is as close as I've ever been to a miracle drug.
I can't lose it now. I *can't*.
Acute respiratory problems, however, are TERRIBLE. They are actually worse than depression. I cannot afford to keep having them. I'm really not looking forward to tonight since I'm still affected by this morning's bupe and I still have trouble breathing every time I think about it.
The G.P. offered no advice about tonight other than to try sleeping propped up with pillows and go to an E.R. if it gets dangerously bad.
I left a message with my pdoc, but it's not her style to return calls promptly. I see her next week Tuesday (8 days from now).