As all of you know me here on this site my mantra has always been PAIN, PAIN, PAIN! Grrr I recently made a visit to Dr. Madill in N. California because he is a big time researcher of the brain and very up on Goldsteins findings with the limbic system of the brain being damaged from a hit and run infection, and what follows is the cluster (bleep) of problems we with CFS/ME endure. After my first visit he told me he wanted me to do two things to begin with. 1. Get off of Norco (Vicoden) for my pain and 2. Get an accurate up to date sleep study done. I told him that I despise havin to take Norco for pain and know of all of the draw backs but just don't know what else to do. My memory has been getting scarey BAD! He recommended a drug called Subutex which is an opiate agonist and they use it to help addicts get off of Heroin and Opiates. He said he is getting terrific results from it for pain relief and his patients reporting that their heads are clearing up and their libido returns. (oh that will make my bf smile). He also said it does not have the terrible effect that opiates have in tricking the body into thinking the pain is worse than it is, and needing more and more to get the job done. Prior to my Rituxan infusions I was on 4-6 Norco a day and have been on 6-8 or more for the last 6 months. So ... I decided to take the Subutex and do my best to get off the opiates for this stinkin pain. The first 3 days were pure hell bc Subutex increases cranial pressure (did not know) and due to the fact that I have Chiari Malformation...it caused 2 days of puking and dizziness, and I slept 40 hrs!!, but the pain level had dropped sooooo much that I just went waaaay down on the dose of Subutex and stuck with it. (This won't happen to any of you unless you have Chiari - and if you do just start LOW) I have been completely off of Norco for 6 days now (after taking it for 9 yrs), and other than the Chiari related issue I am in amazement of how well it has gone. In my case when it comes to medical crap if there wasn't bad luck, it seems I'd have no luck at all. ugh I am utterly BLOWN AWAY by the amazing pain relief that the Subutex is giving me already and get this... I am only taking 1/4 pill 2 times a day! II just dissolve it under the tongue. I am still experiencing dizziness and lightheadedness but it could be the Chiari or still withdrawing from the Vicoden. Am hoping in time that leaves. Subutex or Suboxone are used widely in Europe for neuropathic pain. Many of us suffer terribly with full body small nerve neuropathy but most physicians are not aware of Subutex being used for pain management, and just offer the addictive opiates etc. Another exciting find that I read was that Norco/Vicoden lowers DOPAMINE (which I did not know)...and that the Subutex helps to raise it over time. Soooo I am very hopeful that I have found a safer and more effective pain management RX for this stubborn nerve pain. For those who have also been stuck in the pain trap and looking for other alternatives Subutex may be worth your while to research. Fight on friends!!