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Thread: Leg pain/restlessness in opiate withdrawal...any ideas for help?

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    Leg pain/restlessness in opiate withdrawal...any ideas for help? 
    #1
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    Well, today is my first day in at least a year not taking any opiates whatsoever. I have been tapering down over the past 5 months or so, took my last dose last night. I will remain on a very small dose of oxy because of true chronic pain, but will not get more for about two weeks.

    Anyway....I can feel the dreaded leg pain coming. Every time I have dropped in dosage I have gotten terrible, unrelenting pain in my legs, mostly in my upper thighs that lasts for four days or more.

    In those cases, I still had opiates because I was tapering so if it got really really bad, I could up my dose temporarily. This is not an option this time.

    Some things I have tried are magnesium supplements, OTC meds like naprosyn and soaking in hot Epsom salts baths.

    Does anyone have any other ideas? I did call my doc and ask for a script for a non narcotic pain reliever like meloxicam mostly for my back pain but maybe it will help with the legs too?

    Any and all advice appreciated! I am so excited to finally almost be non-physically dependent on these meds, but really want to get through the next week with the least suck as possible....
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    #2
    Bluelighter AminoAcid's Avatar
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    Unfortunately this was one of the worst aspects of withdrawal I experienced as well. "Restless legs" doesn't sound that bad to someone who has never experienced them, but to me it was the closest thing I've ever felt to true torture, especially when my arms started as well. I was flailing them around like a fish out of water/ a lunatic for hours on end.

    Unfortunately the only solution I found was to knock myself out with whatever I had in my arsenal as the time.

    Sorry I know that's not very helpful.
    Last edited by AminoAcid; 14-09-2012 at 03:31. Reason: Coz that's how I roll
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    Bluelighter escapingwonderland's Avatar
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    I took lots of vitamin/supplements and Immodium AD seemed to calm me down alot. I had a little RLS here and there, but not as bad as I remembered a few years back when I stopped before.
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    #4
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    Man, it is agonizing right now. Just took a dose of NyQuil (I have a cold ), 500 mgs of naprosyn and 150 mgs of trazadone...that is the best I've got right now,I sure hope it will knock me out or else it will be a pretty long night. Why just the legs I wonder?
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    #5
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    Anything with quinine should help with RLS in WD.
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    #6
    as escaping wonderland said immodium. ive actually been taking 144mg of loperamide generic immodium every day for about a year and a half and i havent had to exp any withdrawal but now the problem is having to come off the immodium/loperamide. high doses of it will kill even the toughest WD but loperamide withdrawal from long term high doses is akin to methadone withdrawl but id reccomend take 40-80mg of loperamide and slowly ween down from that by 2-4mg a day and you could be completely clean in a few months. it does not get me high but i do get a mild mood lift and sleep like a rock since loperamide is in fact an opiate but doesnt readily cross the blood brain barrier so no real high is possible from it but it does attach to opiate receptors in the gi tract and that works to combat withdrawal 100%. my plan is to get enough money for some ibogaine and once i have that ill switch from the immodium to hydrocodone and oxycontin for a month or 2 at normal doses since ibogaine is really best used to come off of short acting opiates which loperamide IS NOT hence why ill transfer to hydro and oxy for a bit first then its ibogaine time and that stuff is a miracle
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    #7
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    ^ Except, of course, the "homeopathic" restless legs "medicine" that "contains" quinine. Meaning someone was thinking about tonic water while they were operating the press filling placebo capsules.

    Tonic water, though it tastes like shit and contains very little quinine any more, should help. If you can find some cinchona bark or somenthing it would be more effective. Bear in mind quinine is used as a standard for bitterness by the way.

    Another remedy is magnesium supplementation, or hot mineral baths. Buy some Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate), saturate a bathtub with 'em, and soak for a long time. Magnesium is actually absorbed through the skin quite weel and will help ease your muscles. (The hot bath will help too.)

    Getting excercise if you are able to do so can also help ease the tension, especially things that involve exerting force like rowing and biking.

    Immodium is actually an opiate on its own, so it won't neccesarily help you if used at high doese continuously, but it can be used to alleviate some of the pain, or to titrate downwards. (Easier to buy Immodium than "true" opioids for most people)
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    #8
    Bluelighter AminoAcid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beachcat View Post
    Why just the legs I wonder?
    RLS is a dopaminergic imbalance, hence why it occurs during withdrawal. Your spinal cord is used to being bombarded with huge amounts of dopamine, so decides to go spastic when stopped.
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    I have akathisia right now which is kind of similar to your malady.

    Try attempting to stay moving.

    Needless to say after an orgasm you feel alleviated for a period.

    Any depressant could help.

    If you drink coffee, drink green tea beforehand.

    Valerian/Kava might be looked into as herbs that will help a bit.

    Keep at a stable temperature.

    Good luck!
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    #10
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    the only thing that has help my RLS is xanax but it's very addicting so i'm not sure you want to go down that road
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    #11
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    Exercise.
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    #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by muvolution View Post
    Exercise.
    Nope. I ran 3 km and did about 100 push ups and didn't change restless arms/legs in the slightest. No matter what you do the "itch" and "energy" in your legs are still there, if not stronger.

    Although exercise is good in the sense it *might* help you sleep, but usually the RLS is too strong.

    The reason for this is that it's not a circulation problem as many people mistake it to be (yes it does *feel* like a circulation issue) but it's a dopamine problem, and nothing you will do will change that. You can run 21902km and your body will still be kicking from lack of dopamine.
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    #13
    The only thing that seemed to work for me for a bit was stretching and a hot bath, but after awhile it comes right back...
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    #14
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    Clonidine may help with the RLS, and you might want to get it anyway to help with other symptoms of withdrawal so see how it works for your RLS as well.
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    #15
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    PS: Something that might help is strong alcohol, as it increases dopamine in some parts of your CNS (not all) and affects your GABA system similar to benzos which will help you sleep. Use at your own risk though.
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    #16
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    Thanks so much for all the great advice....since I did such a sensible taper, the only withdraw symptom I get anymore is the leg pain, which seems torturous but I guess I would take it any day over shitting liquid and hurting all over, which happened when I ran out at my peak of using....

    There is some great advice here...I managed to knock myself out last night and slept for maybe two hours but woke p and could not return back to sleep. The good news is that the pain has moved from my thighs to my calves already, which is usually a sign that it is leaving...
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    #17
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    The amodium a-d with loperamide is one of the best tips for anyone. If you have A partner sex is a great dopa replacement if nothing but for short time but it's worth it for couple hours of sleep and it's sex who don't like that release, and last after the worst is gone and it's the 4-6th day I would say and most of the RLS is gone but still there just enough to bother you prop your legs up on like two or three pillows to sleep. You won't see any advantage of this the first few days because you'll be uncomfortable enough as it is but the last couple of days of the severe wd the pillows under will help, just something to do with your legs being above your heart does help a bit. Sleeping aids will help those last few days also but not the first few cause you don't want to be kept awake with the RLS and feel like crap cause you took sleeping meds too so wait till the end to use them. Good luck to anyone going through WD's.
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    #18
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    I have yet to find a reliable remedy for this problem. I notice after 24 hours without heroin, I have terrible pain in my legs as well. Mainly my ankles, for some reason. Withdrawal literally makes your bones ache, yet at the same time giving the old RLS, so you're forced to move them around. Quite the cruel conundrum.
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    #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by AminoAcid View Post
    PS: Something that might help is strong alcohol, as it increases dopamine in some parts of your CNS (not all) and affects your GABA system similar to benzos which will help you sleep. Use at your own risk though.
    This may be a very temporary solution, and is not a good idea since it will make things worse. First of all, drinking while in opiate withdrawal sucks, and I can't even think about drinking alcohol while kicking. Next, once the alcohol wears off it will make all the opiate withdrawal symptoms even worse since it increases anxiety, and becoming dehydrated will make your leg muscles ache even more. For all of these reasons I recommend using alcohol to try to alleviate your symptoms.
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    #20
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    my advice:

    *stay away from opioids
    *booze for emergencies / peak withdrawal (may not be for everyone)
    *stay away from immodium
    *exercise if you feel up to it, best thing you could probably do
    *stay away from kratom/tramadol
    *gaba agonists (valerian, kava, gabapentin, benzos or similar)
    *stay away from opioids
    *lots and lots of water/juice
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    #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommyboy View Post
    Clonidine may help with the RLS, and you might want to get it anyway to help with other symptoms of withdrawal so see how it works for your RLS as well.
    BINGO! That was the one drug that provided enough relief for me to be able to sleep. Otherwise, I'd lay in bed curled up in a ball and I would just shake and as long as I was shaking, sleep would not come. Once it would stop, I could finally get some sleep. Mind you, this was a result of a forced cold turkey coming off 400mg Oxycontin daily. Needless to say, I was miserable for a few weeks. I have flashbacks of those times and the experience definitely scarred me for life. I wouldn't wish that experience on anyone!
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    #22
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    Zoey, I have gotten those injections quite frequently in the past in my L5-S1. My doc does a series of three, he says that it most effective. They work great for me, too. The last series I had reduced my leg pain resulting from nerve compression for almost a year. Unfortunately I don't have insurance right now and they are $500 out of pocket. Totally worth it IMO, but I just don't have the money right now.....
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    #23
    the best thing that worked for me during this was taking a magnesium supplement and using moderate doses of DXM. but depending on the severity of your withdrawals it might not even work for you :/
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    #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommyboy View Post
    drinking while in opiate withdrawal sucks, and I can't even think about drinking alcohol while kicking.
    Hey it worked for me, lol. But yeah that's why I said use at your own risk, I guess everyone responds differently. Prior to this I had not had any alcohol to drink for about 4 years so my tolerance was zero, and a heap of wine put me fast asleep even during kicking withdrawals. Only draw-back is after a few days you'll probably start throwing it back up...
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    #25
    I have been taking opiates for about 5 yrs, my RLS is soo bad and I have been clean for 9 days already it has slowly got worse. I have been taking valerian root and lots of alcohol to combat it, but it's not working great. I either go to sleep real late or wake up after a few hours and feel like shit. Has anyone else had symptoms this long and if so what else can I do. Don't really want to jump to another addictive drug. Please help!!!!
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