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05/20/2012 09:53 PM

Wean from narcotics.

snoopyemt
 
Posts: 325
Member

I have been told that I will have to wean from all narcotics in order to have my ketamine treatments, but we did not discuss how because we weren't sure I was going to be able to have it. Now that we are and I am just waiting on my cardiac and psych clearances, I was wondering. Does anyone here that has had Ketamine infusions know how long you usually have to wean from all pain meds prior to having the infusions? Thanks!
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05/20/2012 10:19 PM
revvanbus
revvanbus  
Posts: 2032
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I also have heard that your have to be off narcotic for the ketamine to have a chance to work but don't know for sure how long you have to be off them. I have weaned off narcotics a couple of years ago because they were making my pain worse and other medical problems re4quire it. I had the active aupport of my pain doc and a slow weaning off. For me, it was not a problem but I was on a lot and weaned off over 6 months. I know that the faster youu wean off, the hardewr it is. Stay with us for support and good luck, snoopyemt.

sending a hug and my prayers.

Rev


05/20/2012 11:11 PM
maddiesgram
maddiesgram  
Posts: 2330
Senior Member

Hi snoopyemt,

I just got my book out, Remission Possible, to see what she said about this. I remembered that she had to get off her narcotics but couldn't remember the details. She does say "Dr. Schwartzman made a big deal out of this: narcotics... he told me that if I wanted to do the ketamine treatments and have it work, I needed to get off all narcotics."

She was for some reason not on heavy narcotics anymore but said a bit later in the book that the withdrawal was the scariest part and it took her about two weeks but that people on higher doses may have to go to a rehab program, "others will just skip ketamine because they are afraid to get off the narcotics." She goes on to say that she knows others who have had IV ketamine treatments without the good results she had because they were still on narcotics.

The book does describe lots about her journey, almost too much. I could have done without some of the details about going to see American Idol and stuff and stick with the RSD/mecical part but this is her story so she gets to tell it. I tend to get wordy myself, if wordy is a word- Smile

I am so hopeful for you but it's not easy. She fought for this remission and in every way, including financially with fund raisers and things. I could never do that, but am glad that she did as she helps us know what is possible. Oh, I just found in the book where she states that narcotics also "set off glia" and that the doctor needs you off narcotics because the glia has a ketamine receptor and the ketamine turns off the fight or flight response but that narcotics turn it back on. There! That's all, I think.

Good luck with everything and do keep us informed!

gail


05/21/2012 04:15 AM
rsdpeacefrog
rsdpeacefrog  
Posts: 81
Member

Hi Snoopy.You're so lucky to be having the ketamine treatments. I'm looking for someway to have it done here in Massachusettes. I don't know how long you have to be narcotic free but I can attest to weaning off opiods the quick and dirty way (cold turkey). I spent 3 days in a detox facility and then continued the detox at home. I regret doing it that way as it was the worst month of my life. I definitely would suggest a slow taper. Take as much time as you can. Don't let them telpl you that cold turkey won't be that bad. The withdrawl for me was a nightmare. But I did it! I'm about 4 months opiod free and so happy to be drug free. If I had the chance to do it over, I definitely would have taken a couple months to wean.Keep me posted.

05/21/2012 02:24 PM
snoopyemt
 
Posts: 325
Member

I have a very high pain tolerance and lately I've been taking it once a day or sometimes not at all. I went almost 2 weeks without any narcotics, before I got in a bad flare and had to take it. I haven't had any problems with withdrawl, I am just concerned that I will keep taking it and I wont be able to start my Ketamine in mid June like they want me to. I am so thankful for this Doctor, they have been amazing. The only thing that is going to hold me up is getting my clearances, and I don't want my pain meds to stop me from getting it. I was really surprised at how fast they will get me in, and that it isn't nearly as expensive at some clinics. My doctor said He isn't out to get rich from doing the Ketamine, he is out to make it accessible for patients that so desperately need it. He can't legally charge less then what he is reimbursed from medicare, so he charges his cash patients the same. 18 low dose treatments will be 4600, 250$ a day. I was thinking it was going to be 10-15. My parents are going to take it out of their home equity loan, and we are going to have a fundraiser. And then i am just going to cross my fingers that I will get my workers comp claim back eventually, because they will have to pay for the ketamine.

05/21/2012 02:48 PM
revvanbus
revvanbus  
Posts: 2032
VIP Member

SNoopyemt, if you want to start the Ketamine in mid-June I have a suggestion for you. You may not like it but...If you can survive without the narcotics stop them tomorrow. And have somebody you trust with them hold them for you. The pain gets bad you use warm soaks, distractions like music, reading, a really involving movie, a game with family or friends that you can lose yourself in. Whatever you can that will take your interest beyond how your RSD is hurting you. Remember, it doesn't have to last all day, just until the worst of the pain eases.

Remember also, when it hurts, breathe slowly in deep breaths. We tend to hold our breaths when we hurt and that is the worst thing you can do. So when it hurts worst even have someone coach you breathe in deeply, hold it 10 counts, breathe out slowly: repeat. May not work but it helps me so you might give it a try...

Rev.


05/21/2012 05:29 PM
Fletch2ya
Fletch2ya  
Posts: 3183
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

HI... Snoopyemt.. I hope that before you stop any meds that you talk to your doctor.... They are the only ones that can tell when it is right or wrong to stop or start your meds..... PLEASE, Talk to your Doctor before you stop taking your meds....

WE here are not DOCTORS, and we do not know what is best for you...ONLY YOUR DOCTOR does... and is qualified to make that decission for you....

CRAIG


05/21/2012 06:39 PM
snoopyemt
 
Posts: 325
Member

Craig I wasn't implying that I was doing anything without my doctors supervision. I was merely wondering, from anyone who had had the infusions before, how long their doctors asked them to stop. They already told me I was going to stop and how to do it... I was just wondering if any other doctors had any different philosophies.

05/21/2012 06:47 PM
revvanbus
revvanbus  
Posts: 2032
VIP Member

And I was not telling snoopyemt to stop taking narcotics altogether all at once. It was after I read that that had already been done. That the nacotics had been restarted at a low level to deal with a flare. I was just suggesting that sometimes if you need to stop after you have gone back on the meds, the best way id to give the bottle to someone you trust not to take them and just stop.

Rev


05/21/2012 07:45 PM
maddiesgram
maddiesgram  
Posts: 2330
Senior Member

Snoopyemt,

The one thing you actually asked I didn't find in the book last night which was regarding the time you must be free of narcotics and I wanted to let you know that I didn't find that. Just ask your doctor. I know you were hoping for others to tell you what they did, but we don't have lots of experience with infusions in this group. I just want you to know that I'm pulling for you!

gail

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