Tapering 101 – Addictive Pain Killers and Opiates
Factors that affect the Taper From Addictive Opiates (Opiate, Methadone, Morphine, Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Suoxone and Dilaudid)
- how long you’ve been on the med
- what dose you’re on
- your age
- what other meds you’re taking
- your general health.
Opiate Tapering using Gradual Dose Reduction (aka Tapering)
The purpose of tapering a medication is to find an optimal dose or to determine whether continued use of the medication is needed. A taper of an addictive opiate such as (Opiate, Methadone, Morphine, Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Suboxone, and Dilaudid) may be made much more comfortable using tapering. You can use the Buprenorphine Naloxone & Suboxone Tapering Tool on this site to plan your own personal taper.
The Buprenorphine Naloxone & Suboxone Tapering Tool
Cold Turkey – Stopping Suboxone or Opioid Medications
What to do if your doctor says you can stop pain killers cold-turkey?
Question: I’ve been on Suboxone. My doctor has now said I can stop taking the medication. I’ve heard from others that you should not stop taking this medication cold turkey but should wean from
it using a gradual reduction in dose over time. The doctor said I should be fine that 4mg daily is not that much to stop. Should I just stop or taper on my own?
—Carlos, Sanford, Florida
ANSWER: Opioid medicines have common and easily seen withdrawal symptoms and some have rebound effects. Overall, pain killers can be tapered without problem but when your physician says you can stop them, most likely, you don’t need to worry about tapering off. (Ask questions if you’re not sure.)
Some other medications, such as antidepressants and blood-pressure meds, do need a tapering schedule. Sometimes docs will taper them over a short timeframe like 2 weeks or sometimes over a long period such as a year. It depends on how long you’ve been taking them and what dose.
What can happen if you stop taking certain opioids (pain-killers) cold-turkey?
For opioids such as (Opiate, Methadone, Morphine, Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Suoxone and Dilaudid):
- high blood pressure
- rapid heart rate