Methadone question

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cogito
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Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 6/29/2012 12:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi All,

I thought I would look into some alternatives to oxycontin if I continue to get headaches. My understanding is that Methadone is more likely to cause sleepiness than most other pain meds.

So, I'm wondering whether any of you who have taken it, haven't had this problem or it went away within a few days or weeks?

I'm not ready to give up on the oxycontin yet, but during my last appt., my PM suggested in addition to oxycontin, methadone (and a few other things, including the Butrans Patch).

Thanks.
C4-T4 Scoliosis (disk degeneration, stenosis, narrowed neuroforamen, bone spurs), RT hip and SI joint damage from car accident. Also, pectus excavatum, supraventricular tacycardia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.
Current meds:20mg Oxycontin daily, Oxycodone 5-10mg for BT. .25-.5mg xanax as needed for sleep, Verapamil 240mg SR (for tachycardia).

Screaming Eagle
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 6/29/2012 12:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Good afternoon Gogito!



I don't take the methadone med, but have visited with several that do, and they shared that it would be their last choice. Not because of the effectiveness, but because of the problems getting started on it, and then again getting off of it. I hear several, that say it can be extreemly difficult to get off of if needed.



My Dr has mentioned it several time now, along with the possibility of a pump, and at one time I was scheduled for the trial, but cancled at the last minute. However, it is now a possibility again, if I can not get this Fentanyl to grab hold.shakehead



I will see if Pete has some time to stop by and visit with you on it. I'm not in anyway knocking the med, as I hear very good results as far as pain reduction with it's use. I'm sure there are others who are on this, and will have some good information on it.



Have a great afternoon,



SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

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Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 6/29/2012 6:59:29 PM (GMT-6)


Blessedx8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 6/29/2012 2:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I know we all have our own slant on meds.... but methadone is at the bottom of my list....

Yes, I had the sleepiness - and it really never resolved. It does resolve for some people... and it depends on the dose you are on.
Despite pretty high doses - I never got decent pain control either.

As Michael said - it can be hard to get the dosing right... and hard to transition off of.

The positive of methadone is that it's inexpensive.

Again, I know that there are a few here that use/have used methadone successfully. It just wasn't a good one for me.

Have you ever tried Dilaudid? ER Opana? Have you had headaches today?
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My faith and family sustain me even on my worst days... as well as my wonderful friends here at HW.

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Barbara Lee
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Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 2889
   Posted 6/29/2012 7:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Cogito,

I am currently on methadone I take 5mg three times a day. At first getting my dosing correct, it took sometime I was very out of it at first. The Dr. had me on a dose double what I am on now.

Last summer I had some serious health issues and nearly died and while I was on life support they (Dr's) noticed that my Q-T interval was long. The Dr. quickly cut my methadone from 30 mg a day to 15mg a day.

My last appointment with a Professor/MD at the Military Medical School said my Q-T interval is now normal. If you think or plan to start Methadone make sure your Dr keeps a close eye on your Q-T interval.

As far as to working for me it's really made a difference for me pain wise. I was taking about 6 dilaudid a day for break through pain as well as my OxyContin. I now only take 2 to 3 dilaudid pills per week now for break through pain. With the methadone I can manage my back pain fairly easily.

If you have anymore questions, I will keep checking the thread and will try to help anyway I can.

Take care,
Barbara

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 6/29/2012 8:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Q-T Interval:
the period from the beginning of the QRS complex to the end of the T wave on an electrocardiogram. It reflects the refractory period of the heart. A long Q-T interval is associated with the life-threatening ventricular tachycardia known as torsades de pointes.

Thought I better explain some of the little known acronyms that pop up in some of our post. wink

SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"If you trust Google more than your doctor then maybe it's time to switch doctors"

Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 6/29/2012 7:16:52 PM (GMT-6)


cogito
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Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 6/30/2012 1:06 AM (GMT -6)   
I am aware of the Q-T interval issue, which is something that concerns me since I have supraventricular tacycardia. When I last saw my PM and discussed methadone, he indicated that if we did go with it, I would have to first see my cardiologist, and have periodic EKGs

I've tried Dilaudid and found that it had no effect. Opana ER is a possibility, but I'm guessing that I'll be no better off with it than Oxycontin.

As for the day -- I was in a lot of pain earlier today and decided to take 7.5mg of oxycodone around 1pm. That was the first BT med I've taken since a small dose on Tuesday. I was guessing that with enough time in between BT doses, I could tolerate it.

Fortunately, no headache today. I am conjecturing that a steady state from an ER is something I can get used to (so it seems from the years on Ultram ER), but I can't take BT meds more than a few times a week without nasty headaches.

So, I might need a powerful enough ER so that I need BT meds very rarely, but the ER can't leave me groggy or unable to focus. Maybe I'll get use to the oxycontin -- it still seems the best shot, unless there is a non-opioid agonist out there that will really help with the pain but not make me drowsy.
C4-T4 Scoliosis (disk degeneration, stenosis, narrowed neuroforamen, bone spurs), RT hip and SI joint damage from car accident. Also, pectus excavatum, supraventricular tacycardia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.
Current meds:20mg Oxycontin daily, Oxycodone 5-10mg for BT. .25-.5mg xanax as needed for sleep, Verapamil 240mg SR (for tachycardia).

Pete trips again!
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1899
   Posted 6/30/2012 8:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Cogito, sorry it's taken me so long to get here! S.E did ask me to come reply two days ago but just didn't make it! Anyway, I didn't understand your post completely, Are you taking methadone now or just thinking about it? I've been taking it fore about 7~8 years, I can't remember exactly and also take oxicodone for B/U meds. It did work wonders when I first took it for neck & back pain but am not sure it's still helping as much? My problem is it makes me sleepy even after all these years so raising the dose to get better results are kinda out of the question as I hate the "Methadone nod!" I'm currently taking 10mg x 4 daily w/ 15mg oxycodone x 4 daily which puts me at an even 100mg of nacotics> My doc actually doesn't like going over 100 as we live in Fla. and there are problems w/ prescribing anymore even to long term patients! I've heard of people taking several hundred mg of methadone a day and can't imagine!!
The biggest problem w/ methadone as I see it is if you want top change to another med. The say it is w/ out a doubt the hardest med to stop taking!! Also once you start taking methadone, other meds do not seem to work at all, at least that has been my experiance!! The oxi does seem to help for some reason, maybe because I was taking it when I started taking methadone, I duno! Every other med I've had since including IV meds after surgery did NOTHING at all for me! I'm not trying to scare you away from methadone, just giving you what has been my experiance w/ it!! Good luck and if you have any questions, Please ask!! 

cogito
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 7/1/2012 11:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Pete.

Your experience with Methadone follows what I've read elsewhere.

I see my PM in about a week and wanted to look into Methadone ahead of time.
He switched me to oxycontin in June and though it helps a lot with the pain, I've been too cloudy to work most days, and had a terrible headache when I took 7.5mg of oxycodone for BT.

Fortunately, though, I've not had a headache since Wed, and after a few days without any BT meds, I took one again without a problem. So, I may stick with the oxy instead, depending upon how the upcoming week unfolds.

Thanks for getting back to me!
C4-T4 Scoliosis (disk degeneration, stenosis, narrowed neuroforamen, bone spurs), RT hip and SI joint damage from car accident. Also, pectus excavatum, supraventricular tacycardia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.
Current meds:20mg Oxycontin daily, Oxycodone 5-10mg for BT. .25-.5mg xanax as needed for sleep, Verapamil 240mg SR (for tachycardia).

rjbeck
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 255
   Posted 7/2/2012 3:42 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been on methadone for 8yr's and without this medication I would have no life at all.. I was started on 30mg's and was increased up to 180mg's daily. then in 2007 my new Pain Doc lowered me down to 90mg's and it's been a perfect dose with the use of 15mg oxy 1 tab Q4hr's-prn pain upto 4 a day. and 100mg nucynta 1-tab up to 3 a day.
The methadone does not make me tired it wakes me up, Almost like my morning coffee. When I take my dose in the morning I am able to get out of bed,shower,shave and everything else I need to do..

I've read there black box warning. It was conducted on several hundred people and a couple of the participants had the extended Q-T interval.
Remember this, Methadone has been in continuous use for 50 plus yr's and is one of the safest pain medications on the market when used as prescribed. The problem with methadone is the stigma that is carries because of heroin users using it to get off of the heroin
AVASCULAR-NECROSIS (AVN) in 6 joints. HIPS,KNEE'S and SHOULDERS-Replaced rt shoulder and left hip 4 more joints to go.
Bilateral Empyema-Thoracotomy with Decordication
MED'S-methadone 45mg's Bid---oxycodone 30mg's Bid--nucynta 100mg-Prn

Post Edited (rjbeck) : 7/2/2012 2:45:20 AM (GMT-6)


cogito
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 7/2/2012 9:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks RJ,

Your distinct reaction is the sort of counterexample I was looking for. I don't know how methadone will affect me, but at least some opioids have woken me up more than made me sleepy -- that at least was the case when I first started using them.

If I get any more headaches from the oxycontin, I may then try methadone.
C4-T4 Scoliosis (disk degeneration, stenosis, narrowed neuroforamen, bone spurs), RT hip and SI joint damage from car accident. Also, pectus excavatum, supraventricular tacycardia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.
Current meds:20mg Oxycontin daily, Oxycodone 5-10mg for BT. .25-.5mg xanax as needed for sleep, Verapamil 240mg SR (for tachycardia).

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 7/2/2012 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   
 
       ...if you have not tried Fentanyl...it would be a possibility as well, and my first choice, before trying the Methadone. It is the smoothest med I have tried to date. The Fentanyl has allowed me to have the clearest head compared to the other med's so far.
 
    As we can see, all of us are different....but give the Oxycontin a good go before changing. Some of the side-effects may go away after some time.
 
     It's kind of hard to micro manage your med's, looking for the one that allows the least of the side-effects, and at times we just have to settle for pain relief, which is hard to come by for many patients.
 
  Have a great day!
 
    SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"If you trust Google more than your doctor then maybe it's time to switch doctors"

Ryobi
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 7/3/2012 1:13 AM (GMT -6)   
I use the butran patch and it helps me for many of my condiitons as well as headaches. Now if I get a horrible breakthrough migraine I also take a treximet and a valium. Good Luck and I hope you feel better.
Mindy
Diagnosed Fibromyalgia 2010
Diagnosed Rheumatoid Arthritis 2011
Diagnosed Hypothyroidism 2012
Medications
Butrans 20 mg patch
Hydrocodone 10 mg BT pain
Ambien as needed
Valium as needed
Treximet as needed
Naproxen as needed
Arava

Lasardo
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 373
   Posted 7/3/2012 4:24 AM (GMT -6)   
I tried methadone before I went on fentenyl. It made my judgment off and I would nod out mid-sentence the then continue what I was saying BUT as far as pain, great!
My understanding is once you have tried methadone and later in life you have stopped taking it It will be the one drug that will still come up positive. So once in your system ,always there.
I have tried them all and as stated before fentenyl is the one drug that gives me a clear head and manages my pain but doctors are incredibly hesitant to prescribe.
Take your time and try the methadone, it may help but be AWARE.
Crohns dx,Pelvic Floor Tension,Pelvic Adhesive dx,interstitial cystitis,ileostomy,chronic pain,arthritis,fibromyalgia,severe 42 degree scoliosis,degenerative disc dx,neurological impingement,pelvic tilt and complete loss of neck curve. 4th degree tear during childbirth with 13 reconstructive surgeries (including fistulas) resulting in chronic pelvic pain and an ileostomy. Bp and panic attacks.

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 7/3/2012 7:45 AM (GMT -6)   

 

         ...just wanted to make a note here on the statement by Lasardo, and Methadone staying in your system forever, and test may come up positive for it.

     I thought it was odd, so I did quite a bit of research on this, and no where did I find that Methadone would stay in your system for life. Everyone is different, and it takes different times to clear ones system. I see anything from 3 days to 5 weeks, and again everyone is different.

   If it is a worry for employment, then ask your Dr. or Pharmacy. I absolutely do not believe once taken, and later on in life if you stop, it is there for life, and may still test positive for it. We need to be careful making blanket statements out of the norm, and it would be better, if one would provide a credible source for such information.

     SE wink


Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"If you trust Google more than your doctor then maybe it's time to switch doctors"

Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 7/3/2012 8:20:04 AM (GMT-6)


CRPSpatient
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 7/3/2012 8:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Methadone does have a much longer half life for sure. I tried it briefly a few years ago, and it made me so ill (uncontrollable nausea and vomiting) that I very nearly ended up in hospital. I only took it for a few days, but it took nearly a fortnight for it to be out of my system enough for the side effects to subside.

Laura
Moderator - Chronic Pain Forum

Full body CRPS with spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension,bradycardia/tachycardia, bursitis, CTS, osteoporosis, multiple compression fx, disc bulges.

Oxycodone ER/IR, Topamax, Mobic, Somac, Cipramil, Midodrine, Vit D & C, SCS, baclofen/bupivacaine pump

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 7/3/2012 9:32 AM (GMT -6)   

 

        ...this is one of the many side effects that I see reported, but often subside after a while. I also see headaches as one of the side effects reported as well. If your PM/ PCD believes this is the treatment for you, then it may be worth a try to help with chronic pain, but from the reports I see on it...again, it would be my last choice...and would rather entertain a pump instead. (IMHO)..which may not be worth much! LOL

    I do think it is good to discuss these med's here like this, as it provides a good source of personal experience and information to members,...and we must realize that we have many visitors looking in each day. If you go to the index of members and visitors, we can see who is looking at what, and I see many visitors watching and reading our post. This is why I believe it is important that we post as accurate information as we can. Even if visitors research other sites, they are often interested in hands on personal experience.

      Thank you to all of you that contribute to post like this. Good Stuff! wink   

      SE wink


Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"If you trust Google more than your doctor then maybe it's time to switch doctors"

NiNi53
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 7/3/2012 1:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I have mixed feelings about methadone, its not expensive and it works well as a pain reliever.  It also carries a stigma with it, it was u,sed mostly in the 70, 80s and 90s as a way to control heroin addicts (and it did a poor job of that). I was on it for about 8 years, it was given to me as a way to control pain, my doctor warned me about the problems that go with it.  My doctor took another job, a better job he said, he had children to put through college, I tried not to hate him and of course I let it go, as it was selfish of me to want him to stay because I needed him to write scripts for me.  That was 2006, for the next 4 and 1/2 years I saw some of the craziest doctors in the U.S.
10
The next to the the last refused to write scripts for methadone, he gave me 60mg ms-contin witht p 10mg percocet for bt pain.  Even with that in my system, it took at least 9- 10 of withdrawal from the methdone.  Although it does good for pain, a person has to be very careful when taking methadone, it can be very dangerous.
 
Good Luck,
Kathy
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson
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