New Medication update

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 9/1/2009 2:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Well I am now past 2 weeks on my new medication methadone.  To catch you up if you have missed my situation I was on oxycontin and oxycodone and thought I was either becoming addicted or dependent only later to find out that I was truley DEPENDENT on the oxyontin.  My tolerance had shot of because I had been on it so long.  I was honest with my PM doc and we decided to go with the methadone.  I have been on a slow ascend of the medication.  I am now on 50mg a day.  I am still having trouble with pain (I am never 100% pain free).  I was told that the methadone had to build up in your system so I am letting it do just that before I make any decisions.  Also there are some side effects such as constipation which I am sure will go away soon and I cannot sleep.  The no sleep thing is really getting to me.  My PM doc said nothing can be taken for sleep as it interacts with the methadone.  Also I have heard alot of folks online say that you have to be real carefull with methadone as it stays with you for a long time and can build up in your system.  Like I said , I have been on it for over 2 weeks now and my results so far are as follows:  the oxycodone products work better on the pain and the methadone does not help as much with the pain but does keep it down some and lasts longer.  ALso my doc says breakthrough meds are not supposed to be taken with methadone which I cannot understand because I think I need them.  I actually think that if I took the methadone with a short acting med I might actually be able to live with it.  But since my PM doc says they are not suppossed to be taken together that eliminates that solution.  Does anyone know why you are not supposed to take short acting breakthrough meds with methadone?  I have also seen on this forum that some of you are taking methadone with short acting meds for breakthrough (in fact I think most of you who are on methadone have a short acting medicine). I am sort of stuck in a catch 22 here for the time being.  One medication works on the pain better with fewer side effects (oxycontin) while the other medication lasts a bit longer (methadone).  Which one do I go with.  I quess I will stick with the methadone for the time being just to see if it maybe gets better.  If it does not improve I will have a talk with my PM doc.  I wish we had it easier than we do. 
Thank you to all of you and I hope you all feel as good as God will allow.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 9/1/2009 3:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Shaw...I take methadone, 120 mg. a day along with Oxycodone 30 mg. 4 X daily... My Dr. is very open about the fact that Methadone will not get rid of all of the pain..that's why I take the other for the BT pain.  I know that Dr.'s have their own opinion about pain meds., but if you're in pain then why not give you something that will help?  I have been taking Methadone for many years, and the first Dr. that gave it to me didn't give me anything for the BT pain...Let me back up a bit...the very first Pain Dr. I saw would only give me Lortab 10's at first...then he tried me on Fentyl Patches..when they didn't work he tried methadone..That did the trick!!  It does have a bad rap, and some side you mentioned, the constipation (take colace every day), sometimes you "nod", and it may make your stomach upset....This will all get better.  With you being on only 50 mg. it's not really going to take the pain away...but I think he'll get you on a higher dose eventually...just be careful...Methadone is tricky...especially if you want to stop taking it. But your Dr. would make sure that you don't have a rough time...
Methadone is an aquired taste...not everyone can tolerate it, and not a lot of people like it for pain..I happen to like it.  It works better then Morphine for me.
If you ever want to talk my email is on my profile...

I have been a spectator for so long..Now it's time to participate.......
Post Lamenectomy Syndrome, Spinal Stenosis, DDD....
1999 Hemi Lamenectomy/2005 Spinal Fusion(L4-S1)
Methadone 120 mg. a day/  30 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 10mg. 2X in the morning
Lantus 35 units at bedtime with Solostar Pen                                                                   


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16757
   Posted 9/1/2009 3:49 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Shaw,

I am so glad Rhonda saw your post, she is our very own expert here on Methadone. She is right about switching pain meds if you are already on Methadone. Rhonda a while back was not sure if the Methadone was working much and she tried to switch to a different medication and she was not successful in getting off the Methadone. Something you need to understand Methadone is intended for long term useage only, it is not a short term use drug. It has the half life to it and thats why your dr is being as cautious as he is. It's  like Rhonda said, the drs own decision on whether he will allow BT meds for people on Methadone. Methadone is definetly not a drug to monkey around with. It can be an excellent source of pain relief for many. You must realize that people with CP are never 100 % pain free, that will not happen. The only way any of us could be pain free is if we were drugged out to the point of being a zombie. Never take more than what is being prescribed by your physician. It is an easy drug to overdose on particularly taking more than what is prescribed. People go to sleep and never wake up again when they have done this. The very best thing you can do for yourself is educate yourself about Methadone. We had some older threads here on Methadone and there was some very valuable info on those threads. Maybe you can do a search and find the threads.

Take care and let us know how you are coming along.

Moderator Chronic Pain
crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & decreased circulation in both legs. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 16 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.

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