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Old 12-11-2004, 12:46 PM   #1
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Sleepiness from methadone?

My husband (who has RSD in both feet and ankles from an auto accident years ago) has been having terrible sleep problems for about the last two months. He sleeps about 11-12 hours, and then falls asleep in a chair or while eating breakfast for another 2-3 hours. This means he is starting his day about 3:00 in the afternoon. Then he stays up late trying to accomplish things. First the doctor thought it might be because he was on a lot of Lexapro. So they stopped that and changed to Cymbalta (it is supposed to help with pain, too). The problem continued. Now they think it might be the methadone. But why all of a sudden? He has been on it for 2 years, and it does help with the pain. (He is on Neurontin, catapres patch, Norco, Wellbutrin, atenolol, Lopid, Prevacid, and low-dose aspirin as well). I read about all of you having problems sleeping, meaning that you can't sleep because of the pain, but he has the opposite problem. Of course when he is awake he is in pain, so sometimes he says he would rather stay asleep! They are now declaring him permanent and stationary, but there is no way he could do any kind of a job, right now!
I told him to ask the doctor about the Avinza that you have been talking about, John. He hasn't tried anything morphine-based, I believe. Oxycontin made him too much of a zombie. Right now, he is fine once he finally wakes up, so they say he doesn't have narcolepsy. I think the methadone also depresses the CNS and aggravates his sleep apnea, so that could be a problem, too. But the doctor says that any narcotics would cause central sleep apnea. So maybe, we are stuck!
Thanks for any ideas.
Sunny

 
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Old 12-11-2004, 05:52 PM   #2
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Smile Re: Sleepiness from methadone?

Hi Sunny,

I can relate to what you guys are dealing with. I used to feel the same way...I'd rather sleep because at least I wasn't "feeling" the pain when I slept. I also slept my life away for a long time. I think I was also in a depression at the time so that had something to do with it for me too. I can't really help you. Just wanted to say that I've experienced the same issues. Good luck. I hope you guys and your docs can figure something out.

Sharon

 
Old 12-11-2004, 08:48 PM   #3
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Re: Sleepiness from methadone?

I sleep a lot because of the depression. I wish so often that I could go out with my friends and be like everyone else, but when it comes down to it, getting out of bed can be hard. Some days sleeping the day away sounds more fun than trying to find something good on tv, or in a book. - Jessica

 
Old 12-12-2004, 04:47 PM   #4
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I can TOTALLY relate, Jessica. It really stinks. My depression is MUCH better now (I think it's because I don't take much oral morphine now. That severely depressed me. And, Zoloft helps me a lot). For a while, I was really bad. I didn't eat and I slept all the time. I gained a lot of weight because of not eating (my metabolism slowed down) and that was even more depressing to me. I hope it gets better for you in the NEAR future. It really stinks.

Sharon

 
Old 12-12-2004, 10:51 PM   #5
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Re: Sleepiness from methadone?

Some days it's just so hard to get out of bed and my only options are to sit in front of the tv.... Woo hooo... So of course i'm depressed. I'm 25 and living like i'm 100.... Grrr

 
Old 12-13-2004, 08:01 PM   #6
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Re: Sleepiness from methadone?

Hi Sunny - Maybe your husband's body doesn't like the mix more than any one drug. How long has he been on neurontin? Neurontin caused me to sleep 12 hours a night after only needing 7 hours all my life. Also caused me to be lethargic half the day. But if it never bothered him, maybe that's not it. Do an internet search and maybe you can find a site that talks about what mixes best for most people. I can't post any sites as it is against the rules but do a general ask jeeves question and you will come up with some...our best to you and hope this helps...Beth

 
Old 12-15-2004, 10:13 PM   #7
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Re: Sleepiness from methadone?

Thank you all for your support. Beth, you may be on to something. He feels tired after gets up in the morning, and then falls asleep at breakfast or in the chair watching TV for 1 1/2 hours, but when he wakes up from the "nap" he doesn't sleep for the rest of the day. The before-breakfast set of pills is about the only time that he combines Norco (like Vicodin only less acetaminiphen) with the other medicines like Neurontin and Methadone. He takes the Norco separately during the rest of the day when he is in the most pain. He takes about 5 a day. So maybe the combination of the three is the problem. Tomorrow he is going to try to tough it out and not take the Norco in the early morning (early for him being 10:30 or 11:00). That brings me to another question. It seems like there aren't many of you who use Vicodin (Norco) on a regular basis. I thought I read somewhere that it was not good to use that for chronic pain. That it was better to have something with a more sustained action. We have asked the doctor what to do for break-through pain. He said take more methadone. But he knows that my husband takes so many Norcos a day. But we are going to ask him about it again.
Thanks,
Sunny

 
Old 12-16-2004, 06:14 PM   #8
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Hi Sunny,

It is better to take a long-acting pain med than short-acting. Your husband is taking Methadone which is the long-acting and Norco for breakthrough, right? Maybe the doc needs to increase the methadone so your husband doesn't need so much Norco. That's what my doc did with me before I had the pump. Also, I'm not sure about Norco, but some others like Vicodin and Percocet have Tylenol in them which isn't too good for your liver when taken in large doses. That's another reason my doc would have rather increased my long-acting so that I wouldn't need as much short. Good luck.

Sharon

 
Old 12-17-2004, 02:58 PM   #9
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Re: Sleepiness from methadone?

Hey Sunny - Sorry I didn't get back here sooner. My RSD set in from a failed bunionectomy where the big toe bone was cut, slid over and two screws put in. Due to post surgery complications, I had deep bone pain for nearly 8months and could not be up more than five minutes at a time. Due to the deep bone pain, my doc was trying to put me on something that would handle that because it was flaring my RSD. He put me on Kadian, a slow release morphine that has brought back my life. I am not tired, it handles the pain that short acting hydrocodone and oxycodone did not handle. The only struggle I've had is constipation, which is getting better, I think. I don't know if this would help your hubby or not. Your doc knows what is best, but maybe this would be the pain med that he could handle. Just thought I'd share what worked for me...keep us briefed we will be watching for your posts in hopes you find some answers....Beth

 
Old 12-18-2004, 12:39 PM   #10
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Re: Sleepiness from methadone?

Thank you all again. My husband went to the doctor yesterday (I couldn't go because the appointment was in the middle of the day and I was at work--I'm a teacher). They really think the methadone is the problem and want him to try decreasing it by 100 mg for a month, down to 1500. He has already decreased the Neurontin to 1600 mg (from 3200, I think) over the last 6 months. They increased the Cymbalta. So we will see what happens. I will be going to the next appointment because they were able to set it up on a holiday, so I am going to ask about the morphine-based medicines. For you Sharon, they caused depression, which he certainly doesn't need any more of, but it seems that the Avinza and Kadian are doing well for others. I know that each medicine reacts differently in different people, so it sure is hard to find the right mix for people. It's just the odd thing about this that the falling asleep at breakfast came on so suddenly. And he doesn't even know he is going to fall asleep. The dog woke him up once. The dog could see him through the window and got nervous that he hadn't moved for an hour, I guess. He kept barking and barking until he woke up!! The dog must have a bit of Lassie in him! (Actually, he is a dalmatian-cocker spaniel mix. He looks like a black lab with one white spot. Even the vets get confused.)
I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Sunny

 
Old 12-18-2004, 04:45 PM   #11
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Hi Sunny,

You're absolutely right. It is so hard to find the right combination of meds and it's different for everyone, it seems. That is scary that he just falls asleep so easily. That's amazing what your dog did. Animals are so great, aren't they?

I have a soft spot for teachers. My parents and my sister are teachers. My parents are retired now, but my mom taught first grade for 30 years and my dad taught 11th and 12 grade social studies for about 25. My sister has been teaching for 10 years (3rd and 4th), but is on maternity leave now. What grade do you teach?

Sharon

 
Old 12-18-2004, 05:09 PM   #12
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Re: Sleepiness from methadone?

Hi Sharon,
I teach kindergarten special ed. I have 12 students with moderate/severe disabilities. I have taught special ed for 14 years. Before that I taught first grade and preschool. I enjoy it but it is exhausting sometimes. I am glad for vacation right now!
We would like to wish everyone a happy holiday!

 
Old 12-19-2004, 05:43 PM   #13
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Hi Sunny,

So, you like the little ones too. What kind of vacation schedule do you have? You're in CA, right? I'm in NY and their Christmas vacation starts this Friday through the 3rd. I guess yours is different since you're already off. My parents and sister were ALWAYS in desperate need of a vacation when it came near that time. You definitely need that time off to recharge, right? People don't seem to understand that unless they're very close to a teacher and see all the work that goes into it, work at home and in school. How is your husband doing? Anything change yet? I hope you and everyone here has a great holiday season.

Sharon

 
Old 12-21-2004, 10:10 AM   #14
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Re: Sleepiness from methadone?

We haven't seen any change yet in my husband's sleeping. I came home from shopping yesterday and he was just finishing breakfast at 4:00. I had called him at 12:30 to make sure he was awake, but he fell asleep after that! I told him to set an alarm to go off every hour, or something. He is getting really frustrated because there are things he wants to do to get ready for Christmas. I get two weeks off. Sharon, you mean that the kids around you only get 1 week off? How much at Easter? We get a week. We get three days at Thanksgiving and then the standard 1 day holidays. We used to start school the day after Labor Day, but now it's a week earlier, at the end of August. Hope everyone has a good holiday with as little pain as possible. The board seems to be pretty quiet these past few days, so I think that is a good thing, meaning that people are busy with family and shopping. Take care,
Sunny

 
Old 12-21-2004, 05:01 PM   #15
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Hi Sunny,

Wow. That must be so frustrating for you guys that your husband falls asleep so easily. I hope they can figure out something to help you guys SOON.

Once in a while, they get a two week vacation for Christmas. I think that might have happened last year when Christmas was on a Thursday. I guess since it's on a Saturday this year, it kind of screws that up. For Easter, they usually get the Thursday and Friday before Easter and the week after, but that also depends on when Passover falls. I do remember a time (once in a while) when they went back the day after Easter. Some districts around here have been going back the week before Labor Day too. I guess it all evens out in the end. I think I remember my Mom saying they went 182 days or so.

I thought I remembered something about schools in CA going through the summer and having a different system for vacations. That was a while ago and maybe it was just a few schools?? Ring any bells? Enjoy your well deserved vacation!

Sharon

 
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