I have been on MS Contin 15 mg twice daily for six years for fractured discs and arthritis. I am told by my PCP (a nurse practitioner) that there is a federal mandate that I must get off opoids. I am a retired nurse so I know something about medications. Her proposed withdrawal schedule was: Short acting morphine 15 mg twice daily x 1 week; then once daily x 1 week, then every other day x 1 week then stop. I told her I completely disagreed with her schedule – that 15 mg short acting was way too much and that it would shoot me way up then crash me in the middle of the day and the middle of the night. I reminded her that I had been on this medication for six YEARS and a far longer and more gradual taper was warranted. She told me to try it. About the 4th day it started to hit me. “Fortunately” I was seeing my rheumatologist that day in the late afternoon so I was at my max.- I was nauseated, sweating, shaking, and my BP was up. My PCP is out of town for this week and I am scheduled for a phone appointment on the 5th. In the meantime, I have cut the 15 mg tablets in half and am taking 7.5 mg every 8 hours combined with 8 hour Tylenol. In addition, my rheumatologist upped my prednisone from my usual 5 mg daily to 10 mg daily x 1 week then 7.5 mg daily x 1 week then back to my usual 5 mg daily. I am comfortable on this regime and I could see where a GRADUAL withdrawal in this manner might make me successful at getting of morphine. I do not feel my PCP is qualified to manage this withdrawal but my managed care insurance doesn’t have any pain specialists in our community. Does anybody have any suggestions as to what I should/could do? Could you point me to guidelines for withdrawing opoids?