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Lucky to be alive... Hope this helps someone. - Page 5

post #61 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merck View Post



That;s not good.



Lol you took it personally. Actually i have just gained more brain power and i don't feel as anti social.

post #62 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelostMIDrange View Post

Drugs are required for only severe cases...... Bali kratom for me has been transforming for anxiety laden situations - it's a tree leaf from indo I'm sure the Man will illegalize soon so they can peddle their 'safe and researched' drugs.

 

I remember that stuff. It was being hyped by opiate addicts as an alternative to "pod tea" since it has alkaloids that act on the mu-opiod receptor. I know a lot of it sold on the Internet is bogus, but if it's genuine and actually works as claimed, I'd be careful.

 

post #63 of 82

 

A quick search says Kratom Leaf is illegal in Australia, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Finland, Denmark, Poland, Lithuania and Bhutan.

 

 

It says it's highly addictive and people have died.

 

post #64 of 82
Thread Starter 

Kratom does stimulate opioid receptors, I'm not sure if its the mu-opioid sites specifically though. I would have to double check. IIRC though it is either a partial agonist or stimulates similar sites (or both) which is why it helps getting off opioids/opiates - it eases the withdrawals.

 

It is not something I would consider addictive or dangerous... it is something I would consider a novelty and a pain in the ass though :P. You would have to work at getting addicted to that stuff, and have an iron cast stomach as well as a high tolerance for bad taste. And if it is illegal in your district well then you are out of luck/in luck depending on your point of view. Additionally off label use notwithstanding, opioids and opiates offer probably the best in terms of therapeutic effect / side effect ratio of any psychoactive medicine out there and are quite very safe with in the right context and can treat traumatic / severe pain to diarrhea.

 

I think the only issue using Kratom as an anxiolytic is that people might assume that because it is a plant/herb/natural that it is also benign which would be a fallacy. By that same token it is also particularly weak and seems to lack the ability to cause true addiction of physical harm. It would also probably only be of use in certain forms of anxiety as the onset is quite slow, and the plasma levels take a while to peak. There are a few benzos which can achieve peak plasma and therapeutic effects in just under or just over an hour, making them extremely helpful for panic attacks... but also adds to their already addictive nature. In terms of addiction,. just about anything is a good alternative to Benzodiazepines due to how prolific GABA sites are in the brain, as well as the rest of the body.

post #65 of 82

 

GABA sites in the brain......

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7S1OWLB57A

 

 

post #66 of 82
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

Wow.

 

OK I agree with you some of this stuff seems to be handed out like candy and that is less good.

 

Please don't say MDMA can cure PTSD with near 100% success rate that is just pure b/s imho ok, you can't give a Vietnam veteran MDMA and then all of a sudden all his mental horrors are gone ok.

 

If you search the internet I'm sure you'll find a paper supporting x drug in x way and people put their shades on and just read the papers they want to read to self-justify whatever it is they happen to like, and that is just idiotic.

 


 

Actually the mechanism by which MDMA is believed to acheive this astouding trait is quite interesting, and backed up / explained by numerous theories / models either directly or indirectly. Sounds like a cop out but I don't have the time or inclination to list everything, as the scope is so big my own understanding of it is humble.

MDMA is not new, and is well documented in clinical practice before it was arbitrarily classified. The only reason the study is new is because they had to wait so long to be allowed to do it.

 

The study was a legitimate study... you can't argue with the findings really. You can argue with how much can be extrapolated from such a small sample size, though.



Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post


 

Yup. The ability for anyone to publish information to the Internet is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it allows new approaches and ideas to gain exposure that would have otherwise been stifled due to prevailing prejudices and academic climates. On the other hand finding clinical studies on the Internet often means next to nothing, sorry to say. If you have any knowledge of experimental design and efficacy, these "studies" tend to have more holes than swiss cheese. Finding something in a scholarly journal on the other hand is another matter, as they have high standards for publication. Standards are a good thing.

You are 100% correct, but it was peer reviewed study which appeared in a Journal of neuropharmacology. I will double check but I think I just posted the link directly from the MAPS site for the sake of saving time. Unless I am sorely mistaken I actually found the full scholalrly journal entry through the ProQuest data base it might have only been the phase 1 study, and I think I linked phase 2. I'll try to remember to dig it up once I get my new password if anyone is interested
 

 

post #67 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by sokolov91 View Post

Kratom does stimulate opioid receptors, I'm not sure if its the mu-opioid sites specifically though. I would have to double check. IIRC though it is either a partial agonist or stimulates similar sites (or both) which is why it helps getting off opioids/opiates - it eases the withdrawals.

 

It is not something I would consider addictive or dangerous... it is something I would consider a novelty and a pain in the ass though :P. You would have to work at getting addicted to that stuff, and have an iron cast stomach as well as a high tolerance for bad taste. And if it is illegal in your district well then you are out of luck/in luck depending on your point of view. Additionally off label use notwithstanding, opioids and opiates offer probably the best in terms of therapeutic effect / side effect ratio of any psychoactive medicine out there and are quite very safe with in the right context and can treat traumatic / severe pain to diarrhea.


Pretty sure it is the mu-opoid receptor with Kratom. As for the bad taste, well, it's certainly got nothing on "pod tea."

 

And yes, opiates are indeed the most effective pain relievers out there, but I really have to question the medical literature when it says that "in the right context it's almost never addictive!" I've known plenty of chronic pain patients who have, through the course of their treatments, gotten addicted to pain medication. I was one of them.

 

It's especially disheartening because few medical professionals really seem to know how to handle patients with chronic diseases who are also addicted to their medication. Most doctors just don't want to deal with it and play the blame game or run away from the problem, and in a sense I can see why, as they don't want it casting negative attention on themselves. Unfortunately though you're always in a state of "recovery" even when you're no longer physically dependent, and when it's a medication you're going to require for the rest of your life, it's a bit unnerving to think the whole thing could happen again.

 

Like an alcoholic if he or she had to have periodic drinks for the rest of his/her life. It's not a nice situation to be in, for sure.


Edited by MuppetFace - 1/7/12 at 3:16pm
post #68 of 82
Thread Starter 

 


Well I'd just like to say thanks to everyone who responded or shared their own story.

 

Here is a small update a bit for anyone who might be interested:

 

Clonazepam only ended up exacerbating things in the end. Where lorazepam caught me off guard as I did not find it addictive, clonazepam I found to be very addictive as well as very debilitating and to have even worse withrdawal symptoms: Flu like feeling / fever / tachycardia / restlessness. These would present themselves about 2 hours before I took my dose, every night, after I cut down to once a day.

 

I understand that this is not typical and I seem to be more sensitive than most, but due to how diverse a messenger GABA is, the spectrum of possible withdrawal symptoms and their intensity can vary greatly from person to person.

 

Ultimately clonazepam debilitated me for about two months both physically and mentally. Ataxia and and weakness for physical and lethergy, amnesia and horrible sleeping patterns for mentally. It also , ironically and infuriatingly, skyrocketed my tolerance to lorazepam which I ended up begging to be switched back to as clonazepam litterally hijacked my life as I knew it.

 

When all this happened I was taking a max of 2 megs of lorazepam, and I then had to restart cutting down from 4 megs. It has been about six months and I have managed to cut down to 1.5 megs with a fair bit of difficulty. I give this info not for sympathy or pats on the back, but rather to show just how difficult it can be to get off this stuff.

 

As a final warming I will share another story I ended up learning by chance from a colleague: They had taken lorazepam twice daily for 15 years, and it took them 5 years to taper off. I think this is my 5th year taking lorazepam so if I can be rid of it in a year it wouldn't be too shabby.

 

Usually, long acting benzos are used to aid tapering off, and supposedly have a higher success rate. However, the long acting ones are lipophilic and have very long half-lives. Clonazepam has a half life of 50 hours, and diazepam which is most commonly used to taper off can be present as an active metabolite for up to ~330 hours. By contrast lorazepam is not soluble in water or fat, or even alcohol and has a half life of under half a day, generally. For whatever reason, this did not work for me, I could not tolerate the long acting ones. Also, Diazepam is Valium, one of the the most addictive things out there... so again if you can, steer clear of these things. Short cuts are not worth it if ends up costing you all that time and more in the end.

 

Finally, this is my opinion, my experience and a little bit of research in my own words - nothing more. For some these medications make life as enjoyable as everyone should be entitled to, so if you have a panic disorder and anxiety go to a doctor -everyone is different. The potential for physical addiction, and the danger of withdrawal is still greatly underacknowledged by the medical community and the pharma industry. This is just a warning I guess I wish I had gotten.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post


Natural supplements are all well and good, but if you have serious depression you really should seek medical help. It's always good to have options to explore, and conventional medicine is often lacking, but I think it's irresponsible to promote these "alternatives" as sure fire cures to people with serious medical conditions. It may be beneficial. It may not be. The important thing is to be informed as a patient. You are ultimately responsible for your own well being, not your doctor.

 


It could have beneficial effects in some people as a mild mood enhancer, but it's certainly not a remedy for major depression. The important thing to remember is that it can interfere with the absorption and functioning of a lot of medications, so if you're already on medication you should definitely ask your doctor first.

 

Yet more good points. Enzyme inhibition, induction , etc can make all the difference and doctors (from my experience) are not usually well versed in pharmacokinetics (I am by no means an expert, I dabble at best) ... unfortunately in my experience pharmacists are not always much better, and tend to give only limited and watered down information at best so you really need to be careful even if your doctor says it is okay. Like MuppetFace said, the responsibility is ultimately yours. I just wish I had learned that BEFORE this haha... but hey, live and learn - right?

post #69 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post


Pretty sure it is the mu-opoid receptor with Kratom. As for the bad taste, well, it's certainly got nothing on "pod tea."

 

And yes, opiates are indeed the most effective pain relievers out there, but I really have to question the medical literature when it says that "in the right context it's almost never addictive!" I've known plenty of chronic pain patients who have, through the course of their treatments, gotten addicted to pain medication. I was one of them.

 

It's especially disheartening because few medical professionals really seem to know how to handle patients with chronic diseases who are also addicted to their medication. Most doctors just don't want to deal with it and play the blame game or run away from the problem, and in a sense I can see why, as they don't want it casting negative attention on themselves. Unfortunately though you're always in a state of "recovery" even when you're no longer physically dependent, and when it's a medication you're going to require for the rest of your life, it's a bit unnerving to think the whole thing could happen again.

 

Like an alcoholic if he or she had to have periodic drinks for the rest of his/her life. It's not a nice situation to be in, for sure.


I have been lucky and had no issues coming of strong pain medication for my surgeries. Both times, after my month and a half script was up, I was merely a bit irritable. So again, everyone is different, I guess it either wasn't long enough or I just got lucky, or both.

 

Just to clarify I was not trying to undermine how addictive pain medication can be. I worded that wrong as "safe" would also mean non-addictive and that is not what I meant really. I was talking more along the lines of how ironic it was that the attention seems to be disproportional to how much opiates/opioids can help and how safe they are in a supervised situation. Safe in the sense that (at least in my view) mild hypotension, slower heart rate, histamine release and I guess worst being constipation if we don't count addiction as an immediate negative side effect. Internal bleeding, kidney and/or liver damage, with NSAI seem to be more troubling, especially considering their lack of efficacy for most types of pain.

 

Sorry if I offended you, I was thinking aloud more than anything. I didn't mean to make light of a different  unpleasant situation.

 

I am sorry you have had such experiences too.

 

As for the doctors playing the blame game, I would agree. And also agree you can kind of see their point I definitely wish there was an alternative but the second you mess with homeostasis you are bound to run into some sort of issue really... even if the issue seems to lack of balance in the first place, or so it would seem.

 

post #70 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

GABA sites in the brain......

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7S1OWLB57A

 


 

Lol kinda neat I guess :P.

 

Sounds like low-rez Astral Projection at the begining... then it sounds like I am not quite sure what lol.

post #71 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by sokolov91 View Post


I have been lucky and had no issues coming of strong pain medication for my surgeries. Both times, after my month and a half script was up, I was merely a bit irritable. So again, everyone is different, I guess it either wasn't long enough or I just got lucky, or both.

 

Just to clarify I was not trying to undermine how addictive pain medication can be. I worded that wrong as "safe" would also mean non-addictive and that is not what I meant really. I was talking more along the lines of how ironic it was that the attention seems to be disproportional to how much opiates/opioids can help and how safe they are in a supervised situation. Safe in the sense that (at least in my view) mild hypotension, slower heart rate, histamine release and I guess worst being constipation if we don't count addiction as an immediate negative side effect. Internal bleeding, kidney and/or liver damage, with NSAI seem to be more troubling, especially considering their lack of efficacy for most types of pain.

 

Sorry if I offended you, I was thinking aloud more than anything. I didn't mean to make light of a different  unpleasant situation.

 

I am sorry you have had such experiences too.

 

As for the doctors playing the blame game, I would agree. And also agree you can kind of see their point I definitely wish there was an alternative but the second you mess with homeostasis you are bound to run into some sort of issue really... even if the issue seems to lack of balance in the first place, or so it would seem.

 



No offense taken. I figured you weren't speaking about their addictiveness, and the quote about their not being addictive was from a psychology textbook I had as an undergraduate. I've also seen similar statements on pamphlets for various medications, and it really blew me away to see it in print in such a way.

 

As for their overall safety, I guess it depends on the context and the mechanism of administration and the specific opiate in question. In general, therapeutic doses of mild opiates are safe, and their side effects are more a nuisance than anything else (itchiness, constipation, rashes, getting flushed). There are however some SERIOUSLY potent opiates for patients who have cancer or other cases where pain relief is considered top priority above all else. Fentanyl is one such opiate, and it's often administered via patch that releases a round the clock dosage in the MICRO grams. There have been deaths due to patch malfunctions, people accidentally just touching the patch, too much heat releasing too much medication, etc.

 

Opiates also don't play nicely with certain medications such as benzos. Respiratory depression can go from mild to fatal pretty quickly, and it's unfortunate that patients sometimes don't even think to mention that they're taking this or that medication to their doctors.


Edited by MuppetFace - 1/7/12 at 4:47pm
post #72 of 82

Well i have been off my medication a few weeks now and i feel no different.

post #73 of 82

sokolov91,

 

Thanks you for your honesty and for sharing your story with us. It can be a difficult thing to discuss. Luckily it seems that fellow head-fi members are very open-minded. I'm glad to hear that you came through OK. Reading your posts I get the impression that you're extremely clued up about your own mental health. Hopefully nothing like this happens to you again.

 

your story is certainly very pertinent to my situation at the moment. I'm taking a somewhat lesser evil of the benzodiazepine family. 30mg's Valium per day for anxiety and insomnia. Here in the UK Doctors are very unlikely to prescribe Valium these days, and if they do they are very careful about drilling it into you that you must taper off gradually.

 

If you don't mind me asking, how much were you taking per day?

 

Wish you all the best,

 

DoctorGonzo

post #74 of 82
I have a sort of similar story. I almost died from Nexium withdrawl(you know that purple pill thats advertised probably 1000 times per day), the doctors don't even mention that there is a withdrawl at all. In my case(and many others I've found online) if you go over 20hrs without it your stomach symptoms come back with a fury. I was having bile reflux, which the nexium actually makes worse anyway, but the withdrawl makes it many times worse. My throat swelled shut on a few occasions from all the bile irritating it.
Seeing as everyone is being so open about this kind of thing I kind of feel I should mention this as well, I've completely lost my voice, I haven't been able to talk for months. I've managed whispering on occasion, but there is a large ammount of mucus or something in my throat that stops my pretty much. My lifes pretty much a living hell right now, the Nexium thing is only part of the hell various doctors have put me through but I'd be here all night going through it all.

If you take anything from my story, let it be to look up anything your doctor gives you before you take it. Nexium is handed out like candy here in the US, and a fair number of people get stuck on it for life for fear of a deadly withdrawl. I'm lucky I got off of it, no clue how I managed it. About half a year of taking it 2 a day + another large assortment of pills to deal with the side effects of it, there was one day where the withdrawl didn't kick in. I was pretty much not taking it until the symptoms of withdrawl started as if I had to take any extra pills I'd run out before the next refill was in. Needless to say, the withdrawl didn't kick in that day so I didn't take it. I figured I'd get a day or two until I needed it again, but nope. I havn't touched it since. Months later and I'm still recovering from the bad withdrawls that made me loose my voice, there isn't any permanent damage fortunately.

Music is my medicine now, I can't count the number of times I've declined pain meds for my legs, but I won't get into that.
Edited by MohawkUS - 1/9/12 at 10:12pm
post #75 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorGonzo View Post

sokolov91,

 

Thanks you for your honesty and for sharing your story with us. It can be a difficult thing to discuss. Luckily it seems that fellow head-fi members are very open-minded. I'm glad to hear that you came through OK. Reading your posts I get the impression that you're extremely clued up about your own mental health. Hopefully nothing like this happens to you again.

 

your story is certainly very pertinent to my situation at the moment. I'm taking a somewhat lesser evil of the benzodiazepine family. 30mg's Valium per day for anxiety and insomnia. Here in the UK Doctors are very unlikely to prescribe Valium these days, and if they do they are very careful about drilling it into you that you must taper off gradually.

 

If you don't mind me asking, how much were you taking per day?

 

Wish you all the best,

 

DoctorGonzo



I never took Diazepam / Valium, I took clonazepam. They started me off in the hospital at 2x .5 mg daily and then I asked to get off it and they switched it to .5 daily. When they switched from 2x a day which was way to much down to .5 it was still too much in the sense morning amnesia and milder ataxia throughout the day were still there. But it was at that point I realize how addictive the clonazepam was because my body was not very happy at all with the switch.

 

The good thing about Diazepam is that it is active for so long, some people are able to self taper. I have read the active metabolite of one dose lasts for anywhere from 300 to 350 hours depending on the persons age and liver function. Due to this clonazepam and diazepam are getting more popular in hospitals as the patients don't leave  with as high of a chance of getting withdrawals. That being said, I found the withdrawls of the clonazepam to be far more pronounced and frequent than with Lorazepam... I didn't notice with Lorazepam until a few days later being completely clean -hence the surprise. With the clonazepam I would notice it about every day.
 

Having never taken Valium there is only so much I can say. However from what I have read it is not "the lesser evil" of benzos due to how addictive and euphoric Valium is said to be, that being said it is the #1 choice for tapering off. You might find this equivalency chart of interest:  http://www.benzo.org.uk/bzequiv.htm. I will also mention that Clonazepam was far more powerful as an anxiolytic IMO but due to how fast I built up a tolerance it didn't ease sleeping as Lorazepam did, which is the only reason I was taking ativan. I have been lucky and it has been years since I have had any major anxiety or a panick attack. Oh also, another reason it is chosen for tapering off is the doses come in quite a variety of strengths, were others do not.

 

I am in an odd situation now, though. My original insomnia and anxiety have largely ceased as I found they were related to procrastination. Getting more done/ being more productive leaves less on my mind at night. However, cutting down causes anxiety due to withdrawals and it took me quite some time to find a doctor who would believe me and work with me to get off of ativan rather than try and get me on an SSRI. A Doctor with a good understanding of pharmacokinetics is absolutely key.

 

Thank you, and all the best do you too.

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