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Old 07-27-2008, 04:26 PM   #1
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Need to Know About Methadone..Anyone????

Hello,
I have gone to my PM doc who wants to put me on methadone. He says that will give me up to an extra year of mobility before my spinal issues interfere to the point I will have to quit work.


I know nothing about methadone except its use in heroin detox. Can members who have experience with this medication PLEASE give me some insight. This is a VERY difficult decision for me to take this step. Prior to January of this year, my only experience with narcotics was taking darvocet and some 5mg vicodin...so you see this is a HUGE jump.

I have heard that you do not develop tolerance to methadone..ie..requiring ever increasing doses to achieve the same pain-relieving effects....Is this true? And HOW effective is methadone as a pain reliever...say compared to the other LA meds...ie oxycontin, morphine and Opana?
I am sorry for all these questions. I just want to know what I am getting myself in for.

I also realize that, in the event that I ever try and stop taking methadone, the withdrawal is much more prolonged due to the way it gets in all the body's tissues.

PLEASE anyone...give me some advice....is this a mistake I am making to get on this drug?????


Thanks,
Lou

 
Old 07-27-2008, 04:49 PM   #2
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Re: Need to Know About Methadone..Anyone????

Hi Lou,

I'm on Methadone and have been since January. I've been in PM for almost 8 years and have tried everything: Oxycontin, Avinza, Opana, Duragesic, & finally Methadone. It has been a GODSEND!!!!

Lou, this med is THE BEST I've ever been on, LA or SA meds. My pain control is like night and day while on Methadone. I have extremely good insurance, so I've tried all the new (supposedly better) meds. Let me tell you, Methadone far outweighs any pain control with other meds.

Of course, everybody is different, but most people that try it WILL NEVER go back to anything else! I understand it's hard to get over the "stigma" of Methadone for heroin addicts, but just remember, Methadone IS a narcotic pain reliever.

Don't be afraid just because of the stigma. If your doc knows what he's doing (prescribing Methadone) I think you will find that Methadone will give you a somewhat "normal" life. There are other members here that are also on Methadone, and they would never go back, either. You will be amazed at the pain coverage.

Anyway, just my thoughts about it. I'm sure others will reply, as well. I will never have to come off of Methadone, due to my situation, but if you ever had to, your doc will do a slow taper.....so don't worry, ok?? Bye for now.

Shay

P.S. That is a huge jump from just Darvocet and Vicodin. However, there must be a reason (like you stated) for your doc wanting to try Methadone. Plus, Methadone is very inexpensive. Some patients that don't have insurance when first entering PM will also be prescribed Methadone, due to the price. Most certainly, your doc will start you on a VERY LOW dose. Is this why he's thinking about Methadone.....because of the cost? Or, because of the benefits it would give you?? Just curious. Talk to ya later.

Last edited by friendly_one; 07-27-2008 at 04:56 PM. Reason: add info

 
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Old 07-27-2008, 06:39 PM   #3
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Re: Need to Know About Methadone..Anyone????

Friendly One,
Thanks for your comment. Maybe I mislead a little about the darvocet comment. PRIOR to January of this year, the darvocet was all I was ever prescribed for my situation. Once I began treatemtn with my current PM doc, he started me on oxycontin which I did not do well with, so he changed it to Opana...which I did worse on (bad side effects). SO., right now I am on LA morphine 30mg 3 x a day...which is great as far as the side effects go, but it is not a high enough dose to cover my pain since i returned to work and increased activity 3 weeks ago. I am in agony literally 24 hours with the pain. This is where the discussion of the methadone has come in.


Take care,
Lou

 
Old 07-27-2008, 07:53 PM   #4
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Re: Need to Know About Methadone..Anyone????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou1 View Post
I also realize that, in the event that I ever try and stop taking methadone, the withdrawal is much more prolonged due to the way it gets in all the body's tissues.
I've heard from many that methadone is a great pain reliever. While the above is true, if your are life long CPer, it may be a mute point as you may be on it for a along time....Maybe forever. Your condition sounds like a chronic one...I would ask your Doc if he thinks you'll be on this forever and see what he says. For those with life long CP, there are only really a couple LA alternatives, which methadone is one.

Good luck.

Ex

 
Old 07-27-2008, 11:32 PM   #5
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Re: Need to Know About Methadone..Anyone????

Hi Lou!

I have been on Methadone for about 6 months now, and I also started on it from a 'lesser' med, I was on tramadol and lortab before switching to the methadone.

It it better pain relief than I ever thought possible. I am amazed. I will probably be on it for the rest of my life, but thats okay with me. I titrated up about a week at a time until I wanted to stop at 40 mgs per day. I take 2 10 mg pills in the morning, and 2 at bedtime. My doctor doesnt believe in breakthrough meds, but honestly, I havent needed any. I get very drowsy if I sit still for awhile, and reading in bed at night puts me out in about 1/2 a paragraph, but waking up and not being in terrible pain has been just a miracle to me.

I hope you are as happy on it as I have been, let me know if I can help.

Your Friend, Fabby

 
Old 07-28-2008, 01:31 AM   #6
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Re: Need to Know About Methadone..Anyone????

Hi. I've been on methadone since March of 2007. For nerve pain, it has been the best med I've tried. I never tried morphine. I'm also on gabapentin, cymbalta and percocet. I got better coverage using gabapentin (neurontin) along with cymbalta (an antidepressant used for pain control). Don't know if anyone else out there uses those two in conjunction.

Everyone reacts differently, and I'm super sensitive to meds, but it took me a year to get used to this drug, as my memory was just shot, both short and long term. Like the other person, if I sit still, I get drowsy. Don't plan on driving til you get well used to it. It does give me a short temper, and makes me emotional. I am a writer and cannot remember words.

I haven't upped my dosage. Don't want to, as it will make me too sleepy to function. Haven't really needed to. When pain is super bad, I will take an extra methadone. I can pop percocet like crazy and it barely touches the nerve pain. You know how that is.

Oh, and it does make me sweat horribly, like hotflashes. But those side effects, though problematic, are worth the pain control. I can now walk, whereas without it, the pain was so high in my leg and foot, I couldn't walk.

Make sure you get your blood taken every 6 months to check your liver on this med. I haven't had any problems.

This med has saved my life as I deal with level 10 nerve pain in my leg. Without it, I would have taken my life, as nothing else worked on the pain. Had to stop Lyrica because my tongue swoll, though that worked well on the pain.

The worry about becoming addicted to it is mute if you figure it gives you your life. And if we ever can go off it, we can cross that road then. I was told we just taper off slowly, same as coming off percocet.

God Bless. I hope it helps and that you have little side effect. Remember it can take a few months for side effects to taper off and it can be rough at first. I hope you try it and get good pain relief! It's a godsend.

I had been in horrible pain for 3 years before starting the methadone, and when I took the first pill, it relieved the pain and I could actually lay my head on the pillow and breathe...my body relaxed...and I enjoyed the first real sleep I'd had in all those years.

I take 5 mg of methadone every 6 hours. 10 mg at once put me to sleep. I'm 5'2 160lbs. If It's nightime and pain is bad, I take 10 mg and it works on pain and puts me to sleep. You have to play with the dose and how often you take it til you find what works for you. Enough to give you pretty good pain control, but not too much that you can't function. That's what doctor told me. He said being totally out of pain is unrealistic with this condition (nerve pain due to nerve damage from herniated disk). Good luck!

 
Old 07-28-2008, 02:51 AM   #7
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Re: Need to Know About Methadone..Anyone????

Hi everybody,isnt it amazing how times have changed,when i was young methadone was just used for getting people off of meds,i had no idea it was a great pain releaver,i hope drs start to use it my girlfriend is on it for herniated discs and has been doing very well,iam glad you folks have something to help your pain and thanx for educating people like me who really had no understanding of methadone other than the old fashion one,honestly it should be used more often if its cheaper,i guess i will never understand this crazy world we live in,i wish continued success with it,its nice to know that there is something out there,because the pain bites. marywoo

 
Old 07-28-2008, 03:46 AM   #8
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Re: Need to Know About Methadone..Anyone????

Hi Lou I have been meaning to write to you. I wanted to say that your Dr does not know for sure that you will have to quit your job and will become bed ridden or in such bad shape you won't be able to work. this is not something any Dr should tell someone and it sort of upset me your Dr said this to you. I don't believe this will happen to you. If it does you can slow down a bit or find a different job but I don't think your going to have be on disability and be that bad off. I can't believe a Dr would tell you this as he does not know if it will even happen. Please don't focus on this, and just keep going on with your life.!!!!


I am a bit worried for you taking methadone B/C your body reacts to every pain med you have ever tried. first off, why don't you just increase your morphine dosage if its working well for you with minimal side effects. I would go there first as your not on a very high dose yet to give up on the morphine. your body reacts to everything oddly and I am just afriad methadone will be way to much for you to handle. you have side effects from a lot of meds and weird feelings.

Millions of people take methadoen for pain don't worry about it being for heroin W/D as this is a totally different dose and for a different purpose. it is a very sedating drug and can also cause severe constipation, so just beware of that but I have heard its an excellent pain med and I may think about going on it too. All you can do is try it and see how it works for you. but you will need to give it time to work, you have to stick with it awhile to see if the side effects go away, and maybe you won't have any, but knowing you, you might. as things effect you differently than other people. Please don't worry so much about giving up your job and your life in 1 year. the dr has NO way of predicting this. Sometimes Dr's like to ramble and not everything they say is true. if I got worked up from everything my Dr's told me I would be a basket case. my surgeon told me I may never walk again and my need to have a colostomy bag and a pee bag. here I am today able to walk and use the bathroom. he made me believe I would be crippled and not have bowel and bladder control, he was DEAD wrong. so please don't let this get to you, and stay positive.

hugs

 
Old 07-28-2008, 04:13 AM   #9
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Re: Need to Know About Methadone..Anyone????

I would have to agree with what Fabby has to say about Methadone. I also take methadone (120 mg. per day) and have found that it is the best pain medication, by far, that I've ever taken. Yes, there can be issues with "nodding off"....but that usually is limited to the times the patient is doing some passive activity like watching t.v., reading, driving for long distances on flat, expansive highways where you aren't challenged with loads of stops and turns and scenery. But, this does get better with time and you can always have your doc lower your dose and titrate up very, very slowly. I have taken almost all available narcotic medications: opana, morphine, oxycodone, oxycontyn, ultram, duragesic patches, fentanyl lolipops andd a few others that don't come to mind this early in the morning! Again, they were not in the same league as methadone. Hope you will give it a try. You may find it is the best thing for you and your particular pain. Good luck! All the best - Memere (KathyMac)

 
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