I have been on methadone for CP for going on 8 years now and have had no side effects after the intial start of treatment. I have had some good effects from being on it health wise. I have been on blood pressure meds for a great many years and these meds are extremely hard on my already declining hearing ability. After adjusting to the methadone my blood pressure kept running extremely low and my EKGs were throwing out bradycardia ( low heart rate) so my Doc took me off the blood pressure meds and low and behold the methadone held it at a much better rate and more evenly then the meds I had been on. I have now been off blood pressure meds for years and have a very stable heart rate for my age.
After the adjusting to the lethargy and just plain falling asleep where you stand effects of methadone I have had no side effects whatsoever thru the years and this med has actually given my some semblance of a life back. I do things now that were not possible prior to methadone treatment or on other opiates.
Like stated earlier on alot of what you hear about methadone is urban legend and simply myth. I have not had to steadily increase my meds to get relief and if anything I am at a much lower dose now then when I started after switching from OC.
The only problem I have encountered is the ability of other opiates say for dental pain to break thru the barrier and bring relief for acute pain from dental work or injurys. Methadone is not a good med for acute pain and needs to build a level in your blood before you get the needed effects and benefits. In other words taking a methadone for say a toothache isnt going to being about much relief. As stated by an earlier poster fentnyl is about the only med that breaks the barrier and not alot of dentists are going to prescribe it for your dental pain.
I have encountered more problems associated with the attidudes of others such as ERs and pharmacists and yes even dentists in thinking my regular meds are going to cover acute pain such as post op pain and dental pain. I usually have to go to my PCP whom prescribes my methadone to get adequate relief for any acute problems that arise since others even Docs that should understand,arise.
For an example I was in a bad car accident back in October and was hospitalized with a tear in my knee replacement and a dislocated shoulder as well as alot of scrapes and bruises as I was ejected from the vehicle and the admitting Doc wrote some ungodly order for a wee dose of morphine to be given between my methadone doses. This was in ICU too! Now you would think that any Doc and especially one that is in emergency medicine would understand the ratio of 1:10 that is required of methadone to morphine right? Not. He might as well have given me water for all the good it did. I was in horrible pain and this went on for over 24 hours before my own Doc got in to see me and rewrote the orders,very unnessary for someone to have to tolerate that kind of pain for that amount of time due to ignorance or lack of understading the way a medicine works.
It is however something alot of methadone users deal with on a daily basis.
Like stated it is not for short term use however and the decision to switch needs to made with care and thought. It seems once someone has been on methadone for long term pain everything else falls short afterwards.
Good luck to you in your search for better treatment though.