PDA

View Full Version : Low dose bupe = bad headaches



D-Stabilized
08-10-2010, 12:32 AM
As the title implies, I am taking low daily doses of buprenorphine (suboxone), usually 1 to 2 mg. On at least 4 out of 5 days I get intense headaches that don't respond APAP, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, etc. I have a fairly high tolerance for pain and can put up with an occasional headache but these things are nearly every day, are severe enough to be disruptive, and usually last until I sleep them off. I'm self-administering the subs so I can't ask my doctor about it. Anyway, I get much better information on here anyway. I didn't see much of anything about this in the forums or on the internet in general other than headaches being listed as a possible side effect.

How common is this? Any suggestions on preventing and/or dealing with it? I'm gonna try to get my hands on some subutex just to see if the naloxone component in suboxone is the culprit, otherwise I have no idea what to do.

Thanks in advance...

DeadCat
08-10-2010, 02:42 AM
Headaches and Bupe (of any kind) seem to go hand in hand, at least that's bee my experience and that of everyone else I know. I think it has something to do with blood (or fluid?) pressure in the brain/head being increased by the buprenorphine.

When I first started at 8-16mg/day I had a screaming headache for about a week. I'm maintaining at ~2MG/day and still get frequent headaches.

FWIW, 50mg Imitrex (Sumatriptan Succinate tabs) usually work. They are prescribed for migraines and cluster headaches and I've never had a Doctor decline to prescribe them.

Wikipedia:
"Sumatriptan is structurally similar to serotonin (5HT), and is a 5-HT (types 5-HT1D and 5-HT1B[7]) agonist. The specific receptor subtypes it activates are present on the cranial arteries and veins. Acting as an agonist at these receptors, Sumatriptan reduces the vascular inflammation associated with migraine."

They used to be quite expensive ~$100 for a blister pak of 9 tablets ($26 each when buying fewer) now generics are about $17 for the same 9 pak.


-DC


PS. I am not a doctor or health care professional, I;m just relating first hand experience.

degausser
08-10-2010, 09:49 AM
Suboxone has given me massive pressure headaches in the past. Honestly, the only way around it I've found is to chug a large Caffeinated beverage shortly after dosing.

The synergy between Bupre and caffeine is great, and it totally cured the daily pressure headaches (at least for me.)

Worth a shot! Good luck.

P.s. I insufflate my bupre. I also think that may help with headaches, but I'm not exactly sure. I just prefer it to sublingual overall.

Indy
08-10-2010, 09:59 AM
The only headaches i ever got from suboxone were from the precipitated withdrawal... what happened was I'd get a headache from the P.W/D, and it would be the last symptom to leave when the P.W/D wore off. I could see how someone who got the same thing would think it was the suboxone causing it and not the withdrawal, because i don't usually get headaches from withdrawal (unless it gets REALLY bad), but I do from precipitated withdrawal. But after the precipitated withdrawal completely wore off and I was stabilized, I never got headaches from suboxone. I know some people really do get them, just saying that I didn't, guess I was lucky.

Poppylvr
08-10-2010, 10:28 AM
As the title implies, I am taking low daily doses of buprenorphine (suboxone), usually 1 to 2 mg. On at least 4 out of 5 days I get intense headaches that don't respond APAP, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, etc. I have a fairly high tolerance for pain and can put up with an occasional headache but these things are nearly every day, are severe enough to be disruptive, and usually last until I sleep them off. I'm self-administering the subs so I can't ask my doctor about it. Anyway, I get much better information on here anyway. I didn't see much of anything about this in the forums or on the internet in general other than headaches being listed as a possible side effect.

How common is this? Any suggestions on preventing and/or dealing with it? I'm gonna try to get my hands on some subutex just to see if the naloxone component in suboxone is the culprit, otherwise I have no idea what to do.

Thanks in advance...
The naloxone in Suboxone is barely metabolised because of the sublingual ROA. I doubt it's that causing your headaches.
What is causing them is a mystery, though.
This sounds silly dumb and simple but are you drinking enough water? Being dehydrated can cause /worsen headaches. By the time you get thirsty you are already apreciably (I don't remember what percentage) dehydrated.
Good luck, I hope you can figure it out.

limitless_euphoria
08-10-2010, 10:38 AM
Suboxone has given me massive pressure headaches in the past. Honestly, the only way around it I've found is to chug a large Caffeinated beverage shortly after dosing.
...
P.s. I insufflate my bupre. I also think that may help with headaches, but I'm not exactly sure. I just prefer it to sublingual overall.

Now, #1, Suboxone vs. Subutex... could it be the nalaxone that's the OP's problem (maybe yours too)?

#2, if you're railing your bupe, THAT will give you a fucking raging sinus headache. I do that maybe once in a blue as I've trashed my sinuses and have a nasty hole in my septum from years and years of intranasal drug abuse!

degausser
08-10-2010, 11:26 AM
Now, #1, Suboxone vs. Subutex... could it be the nalaxone that's the OP's problem (maybe yours too)?
#2, if you're railing your bupe, THAT will give you a fucking raging sinus headache. I do that maybe once in a blue as I've trashed my sinuses and have a nasty hole in my septum from years and years of intranasal drug abuse!

True, while I have never had any issues with nasal administration of My medication (8+ years of daily opiate use), I am sure it can lead to health issues. I am pretty sure I am an anomaly in that respect. I would definitely listen to LE.

Oxydation
08-10-2010, 10:05 PM
I gots 'em too. I've been on Subs at many dosages for over 2 years now (ya...too scared to quit) and it's been my opinion that at the lower dosages, I experience more frequent headaches.

Just a little background to illuminate the situation. Shortly after my last stay in Rehab I relapsed and was prescribed Subs at 16mg. / day as an alternative to starting the cycle over and over again. Although I've always been prone to headaches occasionally, I felt I was getting them more often after beginning Subs. In recent months the Doc and I have reduced it down to 4mgs. / day utilizing the little 2mg. tabs. I have nothing to verify my claims but I too experience headaches at a minimum of 4 days out of the week. They get bad if left unattended to (i.e. taking Imitrex or at least Excedrin Migraine). Of course I've brought it up to my Doc who has in turn sent me to Chiropractors, Neurologists and even an Acupuncturist. All with no results. It's frustrating because I have yet to find any substantial evidence whereas Buprenorphine is linked to headaches but many users, like yourselves, claim to have the same experience while on the meds.

I've been meaning 'sack-up' and drop my dosage down to 2mgs. and then apply one of the taper's found on this veritable treasure trove of information called Opiophile but have been reluctant because I just started a new Job / Career. Should I manage to begin and follow an effective taper plan, I will post the results here.

Suboxstitute
08-10-2010, 10:55 PM
Try skipping your dose for 2 days if you can without too much w/d ....or even just one day ... see if you still get the headaches. Bupe has a long half-life (as you likely already know) so you can prob live thru 1-2 days.. I can go three-four days without any ...I'm on a slightly higher dose than you are... and you won't get terribly sick in those two days. At least that is my experience.

The best thing ever I found for headaches is Aleve, which is an OTC drug (naproxyn if you can find a cheaper generic/Aleve is the brand name) ....get it at any drugstore.

Naproxsyn used to be prescription only a while back, and it's a good anti-inflammatory (sorta like ibuprofen but works much better in my opinion). Worth a try. Headaches are a BITCH, I feel your pain!

Sue

D-Stabilized
08-11-2010, 05:52 PM
Thanks to all who offered comments and suggestions. I guess I should have mentioned my ROA since some have assumed sublingual and intranasal. The fact is, that since presently I can only get 1-2 tabs per week, more often than not, I have to IV them. I honestly don't like doing that with this preparation as I know it's fairly risky but I simply can't get by on that few pills without the bioavailability that IVing affords. I'm trying to do something about it but subs are not easy to find on the streets around here. So since I'm IVing, I'm also getting the full dose of naloxone which is why I suspected it might be causing the headaches. But after reading the replies here, it appears that a lot of others on low dose suboxone are getting them too, seemingly regardless of the ROA.

To the poster who recommended Aleve: Yes, they do offer a bit of relief as opposed to all the other OTC headache meds but just barely so. That's what I'm using presently. In fact, I'm making a big cup of strong coffee right now to wash down about 3 or 4 of them. That combo sometimes helps a bit.

To the poster who recommended Imitrex: I'd heard that these work well but in truth, If I could afford Imitrex I'd be doing regular opies instead of subs and wouldn't have this problem to begin with. ;) But thanks anyway.

retrogradeamnesia
08-11-2010, 09:30 PM
I started suboxone pharmacotherapy yesterday (8mg) and was quite surprsied to find a rather intense headache building up around 2hrs after dosing. After a quick online search it became pretty clear to me of the prevelance suboxone causing headaches, which most afflicted describe as a tension headaches or migraine like. Of course headache is listed in sources as the most commonly reported side effects, headache (36%, placebo 22%), even to the point it seems some dr's prescribing will send patients home with NSAIDS.
It has been an 90mins or so since my 2nd dose and am waiting to see if yesterdays events repeat themselves. I dont doubt that the severity of my headaches was compounded by mild precipitated w/d and possibly slight dehydration, also seeking the refuge of cannabis didnt help, when I had a major drop in blood pressure! Fingers crossed :-P

People in the know seem to believe these heaaches are possibly a s/e related to the naloxone and switching from subxone to subutex may work..? But in my case unfortunately won't be an option.

doctor diesel
08-12-2010, 11:15 AM
When I was pretty opiate naive, on two occasions I took two temgesic sublinguals of 200mcg each, in the hope of getting some kind of jolly out of them.
I didn't, but what I did get each time was a nasty, nasty tension headache.
That was a long time ago, and since then I've been on H, then 8mg bupe, and I'm now down to 4mg bupe. Since graduating as a mature opiater, bupe has never again given me a headache.


Doc

Opiyum
08-12-2010, 11:35 AM
I think a lot of the time these headaches are Narcotic Analgesic rebound headaches.
Taking caffiene and other headache meds can only make this condition worse and I've had that happen to me in the past.
Typically it happened when I decided I wanted to start using for a week or so those first two days of coming off the subs normally would result in bad headaches directly after using dope. With the amount of suboxone in you plus the, sometimes, abnormally large amount of dope and then add on headache meds and I think it's a rebound headache.
Since pushing a lot of dope to break through the subs resulted in headaches instead I started just doing small amounts of dope slowly then I wouldn't get the headaches.
Even with dope out of the picture sometimes these headaches would occur and I still think they were because of rebound headaches.

kill
08-13-2010, 08:10 AM
Now, #1, Suboxone vs. Subutex... could it be the nalaxone that's the OP's problem (maybe yours too)?

#2, if you're railing your bupe, THAT will give you a fucking raging sinus headache. I do that maybe once in a blue as I've trashed my sinuses and have a nasty hole in my septum from years and years of intranasal drug abuse!



i strongly believe that the naloxone gets into your system at some point in some quantity...i mean it might only be a small ass amount..but i know for a fact that it does SOMETHING...there's a huge difference between suboxone and subutex with my body...subutex i feel insanely more of an effect than suboxone...and i always thought it was because that no matter what anyone says i believe a little bit of naloxone gets into your body no matter what route you take it..and that little bit is enough to either dampen the euphoric effect of the buprenorphine or give you some headaches..


the only fucking headache medicine that works for the headaches i get is "Excedrine Migraine W/Caffeine". no other headache medicine ever worked for my headaches but this shit gets rid of them in a half hour with 2 pills..it contains 250mg of tylenol, 250 mg of aspirin, and like 60ish mg of caffeine..

after reading what some other people said about caffeine in some posts above i really think people might be onto something...cuz it seems like caffeine is the one thing that really does help...

if anyone else gets headaches from their bupe try the excedrine migraine...and let me know how it works for ya if it does...


also i rarely get headaches from bupe....the only time i get them is when i switch from subutex to suboxone or vice versa.. for some reason the first couple days that i start taking the other one i get insane fucking headaches that totally knock me the fuck out...it normally happens a lot worse when i switch from suboxone to subutex...which honestly isn't logical if you ask me...cuz you'd figure going from subutex to suboxone would introduce the naloxone back into your system and could cause headaches..

i talked to my doctor about it...like when i switched from suboxone to subutex for the first week i got the most insanely bad headaches..tot he point i was kinda bed ridden over it cuz i didn't wanna move it was so bad...

the only thing me and my doctor could come up with is that when you take suboxone all the time we feel that a small amount of naloxone gets into your body when you take it...well my body got used to having that small amount every day..and when i switched to the generic subutex...i was no longer getting that small amount of naloxone....combined with the fact that bupe is a partial opiate to begin with...there's no reason why this couldn't be the reason why SOME(not all) people get headaches from bupe...

dtklamf
08-13-2010, 03:05 PM
I'm on maintenance, 2 mg. and have lots of headaches too, i get like deadcat sumatriptan for them and works great.

I don't really know why it is since it just started coming up and haven't had them in the beginning

anyhow, good luck

Vico-Dan
08-13-2010, 11:55 PM
As mentioned, try Subutex if possible as one of the main side effects of Suboxone is headaches.

I also suffer from Migraines and used to pay a fortune for Imitrex when I didn't have insurance.

Thankfully, there is now a generic version of Imitrex available at about 1/10th the cost of the name-brand, so try Subutex and/or generic Imitrex (Sumatriptan Succinate) and hopefully, your headaches will subside.

9x100mg of Sumatriptan Succinate at Costco is about $15.00, where the name-brand Imitrex is about $20.00 per tablet.