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Old 01-19-2010, 12:23 PM   #1
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Methadone Question

I have been on over the last 5 years 10/325 Percosets and or 10/325 Norco's both meds worked equally well -- I prefered the Norco's because I could get Refils which saved some money on The doctors appointments.

Well needless to say, my tolerance had grown and I was up to 6 per day of either med. My PMD just put me on Methadone -- I have NEVER taken any other drug since my C-6 C-6 Fusion surgery in 2007 and am VERY VERY CONCERNED what this Methadone will do to me. I'm scripted for 3 Methodone HCL 10 MG's per day.

1) Is Methadone a stronger Pain Med than the 10/325 Perc's or Norco??

2) What are the side effects of the Methadone??

3) Is Methadone a highly addictive drug??

Please, anyone I really need answers to this

Peace and Thank You

 
Old 01-19-2010, 03:17 PM   #2
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Re: Methadone Question

Danme,

Buddy, just to put one of your worries to rest. Norco's and Percocet's are both "VERY" addictive themselves. Methadone is also very addictive just as all Opiate type drugs.

Now the only things with methadone is they say that withdrawl do last longer when you try to get off Methadone. So what you could do when you are ready to get off opiates is you can taper down the methadone and then switch back norco for a few weeks and then taper that and get off for good.

But either way wether you just stay with Norco or Percs or Meth you are going to get physically addicted and experience withdrawls if you try to stop cold turkey and the while the withdrawls from Norco and Perc don't last as long they are actually more intense in the short term than methadone.

But I would say if you need it for pain and you are in that much pain that only narcotics can help, then don't worry about the addictive side of things. Just make sure you take your medication exactly as perscribed and see how your situation with your pain goes.

Taking opiates is a catch 22, some people rather live with intense pain than take an addictive narcotic to treat their pains and some rather take the opiates and enjoy quality of life knowing they are going to be physically dependent on a drug.

If you feel you can find ways to live comftorably without the use of narcotics than I would definitely try to stop right now and ask your doctor to taper you off the norco's or perc. or you can try to taper and see how your pain levels are, just keep in my mind that your pain levels will be out of proportion to reality as your are withdrawing from meds your pains get worse and you may develop all sorts of other pains and only once you are fully off opiates for at least 4 weeks (maybe even longer) can you really judge your pain levels without the opiates.

Side effect of methadone are pretty much in line with all other opiates such as hydrocodone and oxycodone. They say less euphoria for methadone though. I have taken methadone and I remember it made me very lethargic. Everybody is different though, so while one person may get very drowsy from it, another person may get a burst of energy and some may just feel no high or low from it. Just as Hydrocodone affects people in different ways, so does the meth, But for the most part the side affects are in line with most other opiate type drugs.

Although some people say methadone is a very good pain killer and some not so much. But I do know of many people that really love what it does for their pains.

Try it out you may like it, if not I'm sure if you tell your doc it's just not doing the job, he may switch you to another Long Acting such as MS contin or possibly opana or oxycontin. It's a trial and error game until you find what works.

Oh and yes mg for mg methadone is stronger than Oxy or Hydrocodone (Which are the two you are taking).

I would say that 30mg of methadone is probably equal to about 6 or 7 10/325 percocets. Metahdone is a little more than twice as strong as Oxycodone.

P.S.: you don't ahving anything to be overly concerned about just try it out for a month, maybe ask the doc what do you do if ater a few days it is not working and you are still in alot of pain. "Can I call the office and come back or is there anything else I can take?" That will hopefully leave the door open to the doctor saying yeah lets try it out and go from there. But nothing crazy is going to happen to you and who knows you may like what it does for your pain more.

Good Luck.

Last edited by Leo123; 01-19-2010 at 03:28 PM.

 
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:02 PM   #3
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Re: Methadone Question

I just want to mention that overall I have had people say that they would rather come off ANY narcotic than methodone. I hear it is hell.

I am not trying to be negative, I am just sharing in what I have been told.
Good luck and I hope you feel better soon.

 
Old 01-19-2010, 06:38 PM   #4
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Re: Methadone Question

Madison,

That is why I wrote that if he was taking methadone for any length of time and he was olanning on getting off narcotics that he would be better off switching to a short acting narcotic like oxy ir for like 5 weeks or so and then taper and quit from there.

Honestly I've heard both sides of the coin. For one thing the withdrawls from methadone do last quite a bity longer than most opiates but that is because of the very long half life of the drug.

But ikve heard people who have experienced getting off both methadone and oxy for example say that while getting off methadone is longer withdrawl process the withdrawls are no where near as severe and intense as are the withdrawls from oxy for example.

I personally have experienced going cold turkey off of oxycontin about 7 years ago, when I thought I could deal with my pain without opiates and it was one of the most horrible things I've ever experienced, the physical and emotional suffering I went through for the few weeks was something I can't even put into words. I actually managed to do without opiates for almost a year until my pain just got so bad that I could not take it anymore and had to go back. Oh and I was only on the oxy for like 3 or 4 months. I remember I could not believe from such a short time of taking the oxy that I had developed such a physical dependence.

The point is withdrawing from narcotic is not going to be pretty wether it be hydro, oxy, or whatever and if the person who started this thread has decided he is going to use opiates to deal with his pain then the wityhdrawl he may have to deal with methadone should not be a reason for him to not try the methadone, whatever narcotic he takes if he decides to stop one day he will have to deal with withdrawl and I can assure you it won't be easy whatever it is.

If withdrawl and dependence is so much a concern that it would out way pain control than patient should not be on any narcotics and stick to anti inflammatory's and other non opiate type drugs.

 
Old 01-20-2010, 02:15 PM   #5
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Re: Methadone Question

Thanks for the Info --- Anyone elses input would be greatly appreciated --- Im kind of uneasy about thi Methadone and really would like to hear the experiences of other people on it

Thanks
Dan

 
Old 01-29-2010, 07:40 PM   #6
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Re: Methadone Question

The truth is Methadone is significantly stronger than hydrocodone/ percocet. It's not 6 or 7 times stronger it's 20 times stronger. I've had both Oxycontin and Methadone and Methadone is stronger than oxycontin. Keep in mind I was on 80mg 4 times daily and switched to methadone for financial reasons. I went from 320 mg oxy to 90 mg methadone daily and felt fine. The one major bonus with Methadone is it's dirt cheap! It also last longer than any other LA as it stores itself in your fat. With methadone you never feel on edge if you don't take the meds at the exact same time and it does kill pain. The main side effects i've had are water weight gain, and sweating for a couple minutes everyday out of know where you'll just get hot. Methadone is one of the hardest if not the hardest to get off simply becuase it stays in your body for a long time which is good if your using it correctly. good luck

 
Old 01-29-2010, 11:29 PM   #7
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Re: Methadone Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by greentp33 View Post
Methadone is one of the hardest if not the hardest to get off simply becuase it stays in your body for a long time which is good if your using it correctly.
Normally, when you switch from one narcotic to another, the one med replaces the other on the receptor, thus, preventing any type of real WD. There many be some transition issues between the two meds, but it's usually minor in nature. In fact, some transitions are nearly seamless.

However, with Methadone, it appeals to receptors that no other meds do....Thus, when you stop it, you go into WD, even if you start another narcotic. I think it's important for people to know this so that if they ever plan on stopping it, they should know the ramifications up front.

Best of luck to you.

Regards,

Ex

 
Old 01-29-2010, 11:58 PM   #8
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Re: Methadone Question

Not to be nitpicky, but 20 times stronger than Oxy or Hydro? If that were so then you would have been Rx'ed 16 mg. of Methadone daily (do the math, Greentea). You are right about it being more powerful than the others, it is, afterall, what the Heroin addicts take in it's place to come off the stuff. The truth is the conversion ratio on Oxy to Methadone is 1:2, so twice as strong. Hydro vs. Methadone, about 1:2i/2-3 times stronger. Again, this is simply infom from regular PDR opiate conversion tables. One thing no one has mentioned and it is a biggy: Methadone has a very long half-life, about 28-58 hours, so the stuff can build up in you very quickly. Many folks are pushing daisies from trying to self-titrate their Methadone. Be careful with your dosages and see what happens. It is about the best pain reliever for the money you can get, just know it really can take a long time to come off of it, but don't even worry about that. If 30mg. a day is helping, you are doing just fine. Good luck to you, Jackbeanstalk

 
Old 01-30-2010, 12:10 PM   #9
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Re: Methadone Question

I stated that Methadone is 20 times stronger than vicodin or percocet..not oxycontin! And just for reference when I first switched to Methadone from oxyconitn my original dose was 50 mg and I felt fine..no WD. My tolerance has grown since so that is why I'm at 90mg a day. So it all depends on the person and their opinion. I believe methadone is way stronger than a 2 to 1 ratio (i've been on both). I know they make the charts but those are just slighty off as they tend to be conservative and rightfully so( to eliminate overdosing). For instance if I were to switch back to oxy and be comfortable I think 400mg would be necessary. So that's about a 4 or 5 to 1 ratio. Anyway we agree that it's definately stronger than the others and very cost effective

 
Old 01-30-2010, 11:12 PM   #10
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Re: Methadone Question

.....and so you did state specifically the ratios were to Hydro & Percocet. My apologies for any mis-quotes, my eyes are getting old and tired I suppose, but taking 400 mg. of Oxy daily is indeed a lot. I topped out at 620-800 mg. a day before going to Methadone for the same reason you did: COST! It is funny how some CP'ers can stay in a stable condition on a dosage of narcotics for years and others are having to up their dosages every 4-6 months or so to control their pain. It's different for some, building a tolerance based on escalating pain or simply becoming more tolerant to the drug or both. That's why having a good Dr. who understands and practices these principles is so vital to the mental, physical, and emotional health of their patients. It sounds like you have had someone like that (there are not so many docs that will Rx that much Oxycontin to a non-terminal patient) and I sure hope you are not one and that you will find relief one way or as a result of several ways. God be with you, Jackbeanstalk

 
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:27 PM   #11
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Re: Methadone Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackbeanstalk View Post
The truth is the conversion ratio on Oxy to Methadone is 1:2, so twice as strong. Hydro vs. Methadone, about 1:2i/2-3 times stronger. Again, this is simply infom from regular PDR opiate conversion tables.
My PM Doc uses a 6/3/1 ratio for conversions. 6 is for morphine, 3 is for oxy, and 1 is more methadone. So, for every 6 mg of oral morphine, you need 3 mg of Oxy (2x) and 1 mg of methadone (6x to morphine and 3x to Oxy). For what it's worth, he's very well known anesthesiologist.

For Oxy vs Hydro, the conversion is roughly 1.5. For every mg of Oxy, you need 1.5 of hydro.

It's very important to know that these conversion guidelines are just that....Guidelines. Every patient is different and a lot of Docs are different in what they believe in. Many factors go into converting one med to another, including cross tolerance. Also, some patients react completely different to one med vs another. It's always best with conversions to go slow and conservative. For example, with fent conversion (for patches), the conversion table put out my the manufacturer lists a "range", rather than a percentage. It's very interesting to see the ranges as they are quite wide. For example, the 25mcg patch lists the morphine range as 60-134mg and 30-67 of oxycodone.

In one of my conversion situations, the Doc admitted afterwards that he was a little on the conservative side....He said that it's better for the patient to be uncomfortable than dead. In 25 years of PM, he said that he's never killed anyone. That statement gave me a new perspective on conversions.

Regards,

Ex

 
Old 10-28-2010, 10:46 PM   #12
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Re: Methadone Question

My boyfriend is on a high dose of methadone (330 mgs once every day) and he has many side effects, he "nods" out constantly because it makes him extremely tired, he twitches quite a bit, has mild depression, hes very forgetful and cant focus on something for too long, he also has low testosterone levels and weight gain.
One day he couldnt dose and by that night he was shaking, had cold sweats, diarrhea, vomitting and his whole body hurt.
Coming off of methadone is something I would never want to do after seeing that so I suggest either going on a very small dose and attempting to stay at that dose as long as your on it and as soon as you feel your no longer in need of it start coming down slowly. Hope this helps

 
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