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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18443
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I have been told by my regular doctor of 25 years that I should

Resolved Question:

I have been told by my regular doctor of 25 years that I should not take opiates after a few problems with codeine products over the years. I am 68 Female and suffer from arthritis and fibromyalgia and three months ago another doctor put me on Butran Patches and told me they were not true opiates. Just the 5 Butran. These made me sleep for up to 18 hours a day and feel 'out of it' when I was awake. So she took me off last Thursday and changed me to pregabalin to start immediately. On Saturday I woke up feeling ill with flu like symptoms, sneezing, shaking and hot and cold flushes like panic attacks, feeling sick and then with upset stomach and diarrhea. It would seem that I have been having all the symptoms of withdrawal. Felt awful for three days, but am feeling much better,but still having occasional panic symptoms and very achey legs
What I am asking is that I have IBS and diverticular disease and although not diarrhea as such now I am still rushing the loo and experiencing stomach problems and very loose stools and no appetite. How long is this likely to ease off and is there anything I could take. I am taking pregabalin which I actually started to take on Tuesday. Doctors appointments are hard to get, it is not urgent, but my own Doc isn't available and I don't want to talk to the doc that prescribed the patches.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
Hello from JustAnswer.
Yes, the symptoms that you describe are typical for withdrawal from opiates. Your doctor is correct that the buprenorphine in these patches are not standard opiates, because the buprenorphine will partially stimulate the opiate receptor and partially block the opiate receptor. But withdrawal from buprenorphine is a withdrawal from the stimulating effect, so is similar to other opiate withdrawal.
The usual duration of withdrawal would be about 7-10 days, so after that time, your IBS should be returning to the baseline level of symptoms.
There is nothing that directly treats the withdrawal that is available without a prescription, but there are some OTC medicines that can ease some of the symptoms, including Imodium for relief of diarrhoea, antihistamine/decongestants for relief of the sneezing, and paracetamol for relief of muscle aches.
If I can provide any clarification, please let me know.
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