I posted almost a year ago in desperation to get off of Fioricet. I was finding it impossible to taper. I updated the original post, but I thought it might be helpful/more visible if I created a new post. Here is the link to my old thread: https://www.medhelp.org/posts/Addiction-Substance-Abuse/Desperate-for-help-tapering-Fioricet/show/3062047
And here is the update:
In April, I looked into a headache center near me. I had an evaluation and they agreed to take me inpatient to help me get off of fioricet. I had to wait until June. I got up to 8 tablets a day by the time I was admitted.
Because it was not a drug rehab, but a hospital, they did not rip me off any of my other medications, including benzos. They switched me over to the equivalent dose in phenobarbital. I took that in a split dose for 2 days, then they reduced it by 30% each day. It was excruciating. They did provide extra comfort meds like Ativan and seroquel. I was discharged on day 6 with five tablets of 32.4mg phenobarbital to take PRN and taper further.
I remember taking a tablet the day I was discharged. Then I waited about 3 days to take another tablet. A week later, I took a half. I spaced four halves (16.2mg) about a week apart each. Then I split the final tablet into quarters.
It was a rapid taper, yes. I was and still am worried about seizures. They reassured me that the risk is minimal, but you never know. I still have tinnitus and feel I need loads of sleep. Overall, I feel much better. I don’t have the horrible highs and lows. I can actually sleep without waking in a panic. I do have issues with memory recall and word retrieval, but it’s slowly getting better. I play memory games and puzzles on my phone to hopefully expedite healing.
Unfortunately, I had to increase my benzo dose to compensate because benzos and barbs are synergistic. I will taper benzo eventually, but I do not think my neurons are ready for that yet.
I am so incredibly blessed to have had the headache center in a hospital just a few miles from my home and that they had experience with patients like me. Drug rehab isn’t the way to get off of barbiturates or benzos. They just yank you off of everything and you can be left suffering protracted withdrawals or PAWS (which I suppose I have to some degree).
I knew I was not going to be able to taper on my own. It was too difficult with a family to take care of. It was either the crossover to phenobarbital in a medical setting (I was connected to a Holter monitor the entire time) or die. If anyone is desperate and can’t do it on their own, I urge you to look for a program like this.