Methadone for pain

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BrokenJen
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/27/2009 7:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Who here has had experience with it? Since my PM doc first mentioned it to me a few weeks ago, I have done a lot of research. At first I had major reservations. I thought methadone was just for heroin addicts. I know better now, and have seen it has helped many people.
Please share your story. Good or bad. I want to hear it all. :-)

-Jen

Sudden onset of chronic pain nearly 5 years ago.
Diagnosed with increasingly severe DDD, Spondylolysis at L5, many bulging discs from hips to skull and 2 herniated discs.
Current treatment - Oxycontin 30mg/x2 daily. (No BT meds found.) Amitriptyline 100mg/nightly for migraines. Related?
No surgical options to date.
Botox denied by Ontario's workers comp. Up next - Methadone.


Tony McGuire
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 5/27/2009 8:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Nothing but good since I was introduced to it in June 2008, myself.

I had the same reservations as you; scared me spitless that I'd BECOME a heroin addict.

Been using is as a main pain killer, with Morphine behind it as a breakthrough. These two do VERY well together for me. I had tried about everything available and nothing worked. I finally relented to my PM, who had wanted to try Methadone/Morphine several combinations before I did.

Overall, I can't say enough how happy I am over Methadone/Morphine as a combination.

I understand I'll pay for it when I come down off of it, but if I CAN come down off of it I'll be happy to 'pay' for it.

Side effects? Well, I'm taking enough screwy stuff that there is no way of knowing at this point. Sorry about that.
Wife: Liz, the choice of a lifetime
Dogs: Koshka Prayer & Chomp Prayer
Meet My Wife And Me

Post Edited (TonyMcGuire) : 5/28/2009 4:34:03 PM (GMT-6)


Danimal
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 5/28/2009 1:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jen:

I'm answering you on this board rather than the other! I've had a very good experience w/methadone. Like tony, I also take MSIR for break-thru. Right now, I take 90 mgs of methadone (30 mgs, 3 times a day) and I can take 15 mgs of MSIR every 4 hours as needed.

I went on methadone in 2003 after being on MS Contin and MSIR. It was a good switch for me. However, it was a difficult transition. This is just something for you to be aware of. It took me about 6 months to get fully adjusted to the methadone but it was so worth it. At first, I had dizziness and some nausea but that dissipated fairly quickly and the main side-effect I had to contend with, after that, was feeling drowsy. I was in my first year of law school at the time and often had a difficult time staying awake in class. Luckily, all of my professors had received letters about my disability so they understood!

I also want to tell you that methadone is the best pain medication to be on if you are planning any future pregnancies (that is, if you have to be on pain meds while pregnant). My husband and I are looking to have children in the not-too distant future and my pain management doctor and baby doctor both told me that they prefer to have their chronic pain patients on methadone out of all of the pain meds (mainly because there is more research on the effects of methadone on fetal development than any other narcotic).

Finally, you do have to be careful with methadone because it has a longer half life than other narcotics (meaning..it stays in your system longer). The dose has to be titrated up carefully and you cannot, under any circumstances, take more than your prescription allows. However, if you are under the care of a good pain doctor..you have nothing to worry about.

Let me know if you have other questions, ok?

Danimal
Author of CHRONIC STIMULATION, a blog about living with chronic pain and a spinal cord stimulator (neurostimulator). I would love for you to visit!!

http://chronicstimulation.blogspot.com/


BrokenJen
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/28/2009 9:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you both very much for your responses. I hope Methadone will be my miracle drug too.

Tony - "I had the same reservations as you; scared me spitless that I'd BECOME a heroin addict." Am I to understand you are calling Methadone heroin?

-Jen

Sudden onset of chronic pain nearly 5 years ago.
Diagnosed with increasingly severe DDD, Spondylolysis at L5, many bulging discs from hips to skull and 2 herniated discs.
Current treatment - Oxycontin 30mg/x2 daily. (No BT meds found.) Amitriptyline 100mg/nightly for migraines. Related?
No surgical options to date.
Botox denied by Ontario's workers comp. Up next - Methadone.


skeye
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/28/2009 9:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jen,

I've never taken methadone, but I did want to point out that there have been many, many threads & posts about methadone (the good & the bad). If you haven't already, you may want to sift through/search for old posts that may be of use to you. Best of luck!

Skeye

uniquelyme
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 5/29/2009 8:45 AM (GMT -7)   
 
 
Jen,
Finally a post that I have some expertese on...Methadone.  I have been on Methadone for years...I also take Oxycodone 15 mg. for BT pain.  Many people will tell u that Methadone is only for drug addicts...Not True!!  Maybe that's what it started out as, but it has come a long way.  Most Doctors will stick their noses in the air about giving Methadone, but that's only because they're not very educated about it's uses.  My Pain Dr. didn't start me out on Methadone... We tried other pain meds first, for about a year.  Then, when all others didn't work he said to me..."have you ever heard of Methadone"?  Well, that was several years ago and I have only tried to take something else ONE time...and it only took a week to switch back.  I couldn't get the same relief from Morphine..not even 360 mg. a day.  I take 120 mg. of Methadone a day...split into 60 mg. 2 times a day and it has transformed my life.  Before I was taking it I could only do minimal things like walking short distances.  Now, even though I can't do much physical activity, I can do more than I used to do. 
 
Methadone does have its pitfalls though.  I read that you wanted to have children and you were told that Methadone was safe....Well.....Not really.  Most of the women I know that were on Methadone throughout their pregnancies had their babies stay in the hospital for several days and up to a couple of weeks due to withdrawls from Methadone.  It does depend on the amount that you are on I guess, but it's not like you're taking Tylenol...it is a Narcotic, so you do have to be careful with it.
 
It also has some Narly side effects...Nodding off is one of them.  When you first start taking it you tend to fall asleep at the drop of a hat...but that only lasts for a while.  Then there is the constipation...pretty bad.  And you really have to take care of your teeth...
 
It's like an other pain med, but it does work better for a lot of people.  So, just read as much as yu can about it and you'll make the right decisions..
 
Me.
 

 I hate Boats!!!!
 
Post Lamenectomy Syndrome, Spinal Stenosis, DDD....
1999 Hemi Lamenectomy/2005 Spinal Fusion(L4-S1)
Methadone 120 mg. a day/15 mg. Oxycodone as needed(up to 4 x a day)
High Blood Pressure: Lisinopril HCTZ 10 mg. daily
Type 2 Diabetes: (March 16, 2009)
Metformin HCL ER 1000 mg. at night..Glipizide 5mg. 2X in the morning
                                                                    

 


Tony McGuire
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 5/29/2009 9:11 AM (GMT -7)   
BrokenJen said...
Tony - "I had the same reservations as you; scared me spitless that I'd BECOME a heroin addict." Am I to understand you are calling Methadone heroin?


No, I am acknowledging my total lack of understanding, when I first started looking into it, of what Methadone is and what it does.

I equated the two, regardless of what the truth is. I thought Methadone was a less wicked substitute for Heroin because it is synthetic.

Don't ask me to be logic about it. I'm just fessing up to what I thought back when I began my sojourn into Chronic Pain.

As far as addicted, Methadone may actually be a bit more addictive than Heroin. But from what I now understand, it can be tightly controlled. And from personal experience I can tell you that I feel NO outward effects, good or bad, other than that I feel less pain than if I don't take it. And I have forgotten to take it a few time and began to pay the price for doing so. I am now on 60 mg/day (20-20-20). While I don't know if I have felt withdrawals, I DO know that I have felt the pain coming back - the pain of the neuropathy the Methadone is treating.
Wife: Liz, the choice of a lifetime
Dogs: Koshka Prayer & Chomp Prayer
Meet My Wife And Me

Post Edited (TonyMcGuire) : 5/29/2009 10:17:23 AM (GMT-6)


DiLane
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 5/29/2009 6:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I took Methadone last year for about five weeks. It handled my pain well, but those nods were too much. I would fall asleep watching tv or at the computer. I went back on Oxycontin, which isn't working well anymore. I'm re-thinking Methadone. My doctor is open to whatever I want to do. For those who used it, when did the nodding off stop?
Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Chronic Pain, Hyperthyroidism, Cervical spine issues (DDD, spinal stenosis, bulging discs and more!), Depression, Anxiety.
 
Meds -- Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Lyrica, Motrin, Synthroid, Klonopin


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13471
   Posted 5/29/2009 7:11 PM (GMT -7)   

Jen,

The others here have given you some great tips and info on their experiences with Methadone. I know several people on Methadone for pain and they have done very well. They were put on Methadone when others seemed to stop being effective and these were people that would need pain meds long term. Methadone should never be taken as a short term pain medication.

Me, gave you terrific info on the effectiveness, for sure as she said any baby will be born with addiction and will experience withdrawals from the Methadone.  It is no different than any narcotic it will affect a newborn. Think of it this way, if you stop narcotics suddenly that you have been on for awhile, you will go into withdrawals, its no different for a newborn so keep this in mind. The reason Methadone should not be taken short term as it can be a very difficult drug to get off. I believe it was Me that tried getting off of it not long ago, and she ended up having to go back on it after all. It can be a dangerous medication because it stays in the system and it is not a drug that you can taken more than prescribed if you feel it is not working, you would never want to take an additional dose, this is how people have overdosed on the drug.

Not too long ago, there was an excellent thread on Methadone, I really wish you could search back and find the thread. One of the nurses on here is on it and she gave some extensive info on Methadone that probably would be very helpful to you.

Good luck with whatever you decide. Susie 



BrokenJen
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/30/2009 9:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all so much. I hope some day soon to be able to share my GOOD experiences for a change!

-Jen

Sudden onset of chronic pain nearly 5 years ago.
Diagnosed with increasingly severe DDD, Spondylolysis at L5, many bulging discs from hips to skull and 2 herniated discs.
Current treatment - Oxycontin 30mg/x2 daily. (No BT meds found.) Amitriptyline 100mg/nightly for migraines. Related?
No surgical options to date.
Botox denied by Ontario's workers comp. Up next - Methadone.


Tony McGuire
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 5/31/2009 3:45 AM (GMT -7)   
DiLane - you got me there. I thought that 'The Nods' were caused by the Lyrica that I also take.
Wife: Liz, the choice of a lifetime
Dogs: Koshka Prayer & Chomp Prayer
Meet My Wife And Me


Frenchdude
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 6/1/2009 3:41 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Brokenjen

I have been on methadone. I was on 30mg. Started out on the liquid form and then was switched on the pills (methadol). Keep in mind that this is from my own experience, meaning you may not experience all of it.

The perks are the following: it has a long half-life compared to most opioids so for round-the-clock relief, it is one of the best. It is not very hard on the stomach and it is very well processed by your liver, so no short or long damage there. It can be pushed very high as far as dosage is concerned. Very cheap (at least in Canada).

The downsides are: it makes you very sleepy and oftentimes, suddenly and pretty much at any given time. Extremely hard to comeoff of. Constipation is awful.

Hope this will help.

P.S You mention Ontario, are you from Canada?

Frenchdude.


BrokenJen
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 6/3/2009 6:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Frenchdude - Yes, I'm about an hours drive from Toronto. Thanks you sharing your exeriences. It saddens me to hear about suddenly severe sleepyness. My line of work requires me to be on my toes at all times... hopefully it won't affect me too bad.

-Jen

Sudden onset of chronic pain nearly 5 years ago.
Diagnosed with increasingly severe DDD, Spondylolysis at L5, many bulging discs from hips to skull and 2 herniated discs.
Current treatment - Oxycontin 30mg/x2 daily. (No BT meds found.) Amitriptyline 100mg/nightly for migraines. Related?
No surgical options to date.
Botox denied by Ontario's workers comp. Up next - Methadone.


Shooter61
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 6/3/2009 9:26 PM (GMT -7)   
What our you guys using to control the constpation well taking Methadone? The reason I ask is because I will most likely be taking this med soon.

Tony McGuire
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 6/4/2009 4:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Shooter61: I take Colace.
Wife: Liz, the choice of a lifetime
Dogs: Koshka Prayer & Chomp Prayer
Meet My Wife And Me


Shooter61
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 6/4/2009 5:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Tony, thanks for the info. I am very afraid to have to take this med, but I feel I have no other choice. The pain has gotten to bad for me to handle without something. I have tried surgery 3 times to fix the pain from a iquinal hernia.
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