Discussions that mention morphine

Pain Management board

Hi Jen . I had a cervical fusion three years ago and was in pain management
for approximately a year and then could manage my pain with Lidoderm Patches ,accupuncture and OTC meds. However, I was diagnosed with MS
in May of this year and unfortunately I have very severe pain in my neck,spine,back, shoulders and hips. Because I had moved and been out of
pain management for two years ,my neurologist and Internist referred me to
a pain managemnt clinic in a Hospital here. My first visit the Doctor prescribed
Methadone 10mg 3 x day to titrate up a level of adequate pain control vs
tolerable side effects. In addition ,she also prescribed hydrocodone 10/325 mg
2 tabs 4 x day for breakthrough. I had no problem with the first dose of Methadone, i.e. no drowsiness, etc. However the second tablet I took that day, I started to itch very bad and then developed a rash all over my chest,
arms and face. I called my MD and she said to stop the methadone and wrote
out a rx for MS Contin 30 mg 3 x day and to continue to use the hydrocodone
10/325 2 tabs 4 x day for breakthrough. I was disappointed I had an allergic
reaction to the Methadone as I believe this is definately an excellent med
for chronic pain patients with severe pain. In retrospect , I do have some
allergies to other medications- Penicillin,Sulfa,etc..but I am unsure if that
puts me at a higher risk to having allergies to other medications. My new
pain meds ,accupuncture ,biofeedback,therapy has brought my daily pain
level of an 8 down to a 6 most days. However, I still find many days when
I will spike to a 8 or 9 in the evening. I have another appt. in 3 weeks with
my PM clinic and am fairly certain I am going to need an increase in the
morphine and also I am going to ask for a rx for Lidoderm Patches as those
worked very well for my fusion pain. However, this MS pain is 100 x worse
then anything I experienced with my fusion. I hope you are able to tolerate
the Methadone as many patients are able to achieve a much better quality
of life with minimal side effects. How well does your breakthrough med
work for you ?

Wishing you the best....Chris
To the best of my knowledge they are not the same but they do have similarities. Subutex is a new medication that is used to treat addiction of medications like Vicodin or Percocet. From what I've heard it's pretty useless for a replacement of stronger medications such as Morphine or Oxycontin. It also has the benifit supposibly to help pain. I think it is considered a narcotic.

Methadone was originally designed to help those addicted to crack or herion street drugs. They did find that due to the long half life of the medication it also controlled pain. Methadone blocks the receptors I think it is, that cause you to feel high from street drugs. I am not sure that Sub does that, I think it more or less replaces or stops the cravings of certain drugs.

I have not heard or even read much about Subutex and am not familiar with the side effects of it. I do know some people in the Addiction forum report using it but they use it more for addiction than for pain. I hear it works well for that purpose.

Methadone, as you read, has some heavy side effects, prominently drowseyness, especially at high levels.

Not sure if that really answered your question or not but that's about all I know about the medication. I do know there are some posts here about it, especially over the summer. Perhaps you could search the boards and find them as well in the meantime. And I know there's tons of posts on Methadone because it's commonly used for Pain Management when other medications fail.

I feel the need to point out one little thing in Kissa's post. Methadone was not made to help street addicts, it was discovered or developed during WW II by German scientists to give to their soldiers for pain. It was done because of the increasing shortage of morphine available. It was some time after the war that it was found to have the blocking abilities against opiates. It was used in the US for many years for this purpose and about 15-20 years ago, it again started to be used as an effective painkiller. Doctors are now starting to be more willing to prescribe it, were until recently, a lot would shy away from it.

It does, however, have a very long half life and takes about five days for the full serum levels to be built up in the bloodstream. As far as comparing it to Subutex, I'm on Meth, and have never have been on Sub, but from what I hear Methadone is much better for pain than Sub.