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  • Has anyone gone straight from Ultram to Methadone?

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    Old 12-07-2007, 12:30 PM   #1
    Fabrashamx
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    Has anyone gone straight from Ultram to Methadone?

    Hi All,

    I have been taking Ultram (Tramadol) for about 15 years, I take 2-50 mg pills 4 times a day, I also take 7.5 hydrocodone 3 times a day.
    My new doctor says I can go off what I'm on cold turkey and switch to methadone, he said he will start me off on a higher dose since I am considered opiate tolerent.

    I am not afraid to drop the hydrocodone, I know methadone is close enough I will have little to no withdrawal symtoms.

    But I always thought you had to go off Ultram slowly and I am scared to stop it cold. Has anyone else done this? I have in the past gone several days without ultram and it was horrible. I'm really scared, but my pain is not being managed, I need to make the switch.

    Has anyone done this? how did it work for you? please let me know.

    Thanks!
    ~Fabby

     
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    Old 12-07-2007, 01:40 PM   #2
    brianpain33
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    Re: Has anyone gone straight from Ultram to Methadone?

    Fabby,
    I don't think that I would ever go cold turkey again off of Ultram. That was a very bad idea for me trying to go form 150mg/day off cold turkey and missed 3 days of work, could not drive, very sick. You have to remember that Ultram affects serotonin and norepinephrine so it is really a narcotic and an anti-depressant combined. Unless methadone has some qualities that affect those neurotransmitters as well I would not go cold turkey. Maybe he could start you out on a low dose of methdone while you gradually go off the Ultram. I am interested to hear others comments on this one.

    Brian

     
    Old 12-07-2007, 04:22 PM   #3
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    Re: Has anyone gone straight from Ultram to Methadone?

    Hi Fabby - I'm really glad that you are going to go on the methadone. I think that you will really see a huge difference in the pain relief that you get. As far as stopping the Ultram cold turkey - I've done it 3 times without any severe side effects. Have you had a chance to research the guidelines for stopping the med after being on it for such a long time? I would ask the pharmacist his or her opinion on the cold turkey approach. I'm absolutely sure that you won't experience any narcotic-type withdrawal from switching to the methadone, as long as the doc starts you at a decent dosage. Please let us know how it goes for you....I'm sure you must be anxious about this switch as you've been on the same drugs for such a long time. Hang in there my dear!! Memere (Kath'Mac)

     
    Old 12-08-2007, 04:56 AM   #4
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    Re: Has anyone gone straight from Ultram to Methadone?

    Hey Fabby,
    I have to agree with memere that you will be better off in the long run by changing from Tramadol to Opioids. I don't have personal experience with stopping that much Tramadol suddenly, but everything I have read says it should be done more slowly to prevent the possibility of seizures.

     
    Old 12-08-2007, 10:32 AM   #5
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    Re: Has anyone gone straight from Ultram to Methadone?

    Hi Thanks for all the replies, I agree with you that I need to make the switch, but I am still at a loss as to what to do about the ultram. I think my only choice at this point is to start cutting back on the tramadol on my own, and when I get down to a few a day, make the leap.

    I like my new doctor, but he's really young, he often has to stop and look stuff up or ask other doctors, which of course is preferrable to a know it all, lol, but it doesnt exactly inspire confidence.

    He refuses to let me be on ultram and methadone at the same time, since ultram is considered an opiate, he says it puts people at high risk of accidental overdose because of the nature of methadone (I.E. building up in your system)

    Part of me thinks, how bad can it be? and for how long? I'm pretty much miserable now because of pain, If only I wasnt jumping off from 400 mgs of ultram, I think I would be less scared.

    I thank you all so much for your replies, they really helped.

    Hugs, Fabby

     
    Old 12-08-2007, 01:25 PM   #6
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    Re: Has anyone gone straight from Ultram to Methadone?

    I would have to agree with Badoldback on this one...eliminating the risk of seizures is worth tapering down, instead of going cold turkey! That's a scary thought, especially if you plan on driving, etc. We had a wreck when I was little when my mom had a seizure while driving. I can still remember the day like it was yesterday! In my opinion, you should taper...even if it's rather quickly.

     
    Old 12-08-2007, 02:12 PM   #7
    Fabrashamx
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    Re: Has anyone gone straight from Ultram to Methadone?

    Thanks so much gang,

    Thats what I'm gonna do, start tapering today on my own, I want to do it as quickly as possible, since my pain was already bad, But I think If I drop a pill every 3-4 days it will at least be way way better than stopping cold.

    I worry about the seritonin levels, I just dont think my doctor has taken that side of it into consideration, he's thinking its just switching one opiate for another, but anyone whos ever taken ultram knows its not the same at all.

    Plus I remember in the 70's, doctors didnt think valium was addictive, gave it out like candy, and then cut people off cold when new studies showed it was in fact addictive. a lot of people actually had psychotic episodes from being pushed off a high dose all at once.

    The rule in my marriage is only one of gets to be crazy at a time, and its not my turn yet, lol.

    Thanks again for all the info and suggestions.

    Hugs, Fabby

     
    Old 12-09-2007, 04:02 AM   #8
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    Re: Has anyone gone straight from Ultram to Methadone?

    The rule in my marriage is only one of gets to be crazy at a time, and its not my turn yet, lol.

    I like that Fabby, I think I'll be using it!

     
    Old 12-09-2007, 06:20 PM   #9
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    Re: Has anyone gone straight from Ultram to Methadone?

    Fabby - I really needed a good laugh tonight!! Here's wavin' at ya girlfriend! Memere (K'Mac)

     
    Old 12-09-2007, 07:26 PM   #10
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    Re: Has anyone gone straight from Ultram to Methadone?

    ((((((((((KathyMac))))))))))) always so good to see you, glad I made you smile.

     
    Old 12-09-2007, 07:52 PM   #11
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    Re: Has anyone gone straight from Ultram to Methadone?

    I think after being on it for over a decade stopping cold turkey shouldn't even be an option. No one can say for sure exactly how your body will react to stopping a medication you have been on for so long. I've had an Ultram seizure myself so I can say that those warnings are very real and there for a reason. You know your body better than anyone so deciding to do a taper on your own is a pretty smart idea. I hope your switch is successful and methadone works well for you.

     
    Old 07-15-2010, 07:42 AM   #12
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    Re: Has anyone gone straight from Ultram to Methadone?

    This post is a bit late but I do know that Methadone will stop withdrawal from about any opiate-type med right off the bat. That is one of it's functions. I was at one time on 480-640 mg. of Oxycontin a day and lost my insurance. The Pain Doc put me right on the Methadone and boy, was I scared until he reassured me there would not be any problems. I took the Methadone and went in to work that night, never had an inkling of WD's. It was hard to believe but it was true. Coming OFF the Methadone was the tough part. It is a good drug when indicated but unlike WD's from other Opiates, this WD can kill you if it's not monitored, that is it's only bad part. Jackbeanstalk

     
    Old 07-16-2010, 01:26 PM   #13
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    Re: Has anyone gone straight from Ultram to Methadone?

    hi fabby-

    IF you trust your dr then you should follow his orders and report any negative symptoms immediatley during this medication change- i'm sure he has already taken inconsideration the fact that it is safe to stop ultram cold turkey-these type of medical decision making is what I rely on my doctor to already know.

    Hope it is a positive transition for you.
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    Old 07-22-2010, 06:08 PM   #14
    Fabrashamx
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    Re: Has anyone gone straight from Ultram to Methadone?

    Hey everyone, LTNS! I have been away from the boards for quite a while, my husband has been very ill. But I came in tonight, and here's one of my old posts on the front page! Thanks to all who replied.

    Here's an update, if it will help anyone. I have now been on methadone for almost 2 years, it has been a Godsend to me. I can do things I thought I had lost forever to pain, I walk 3 miles a day, and have been able to lose a lot of weight and bring my blood pressure down a lot too.

    I took myself off the Tramadol over the course of three weeks, when I was down to two pills a day, I went in to see the doctor and he started the methadone. I stopped the Tramadol (Ultram) that day and have never looked back.

    At first it was just a little better, but it took a while to bring my dose up to where I was comfortable, I am now on 50 mgs per day and doing well, I still have days where I need the ice pack and the heating pad, but overall my pain is better than it has been in years.

    Hope everyone here is doing well, old friends and new ones alike.

    Best wishes, Fabby

     
    Old 07-23-2010, 08:53 AM   #15
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    Re: Has anyone gone straight from Ultram to Methadone?

    It's always good to hear from Chronic Pain folks that their med plan is helping their quality of life. Life in itself is too short anyway, but when in msery from pain, sadly many would rather die or go ahead and finish the job themselves. I don't know exactly what type pain you have but Methadone is one of the best nerve-based pain relievers out there. 50 mg. a day is not a huge amount, but how are your doses divided up, if you don't mind me asking?
    Jackbeanstalk

     
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