Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Have you taken Methadone for CP? Need help/advice - thank you

JessaJJessa Posts: 22
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Chronic Pain

I'm new here and will introduce myself soon. I'm under time pressure right now because I am interviewing for jobs and my current pain meds (patch) aren't working well. I know I can't work at my current pain level. My doctor may want to switch me to methadone.

I'm hoping that anyone who has taken methadone for CP in the past or present (or knows a fair amount about it) might be able to help address some of my concerns. I have to make a decision very quickly. I actually tried methadone for CP *very* briefly about a year ago, but got really worried about the reports I read about gaining a lot of weight. I'm not just worried for cosmetic/psychological reasons, but have concerns about the effect of gaining weight on my overall health. I tried it for all of a week -- during the last three or four days on it, I developed a very dry mouth and was insatiably thirsty. On the other hand, it was wonderful for my pain. I don't know if the severity of the dry mouth would have diminished with time and/or if this was an unusual side effect (maybe something else I was taking at the time caused the severe dry mouth?).

I know methadone can be a great painkiller (was for me),but I'm worried about gaining a lot of weight on methadone and having a really dry mouth. I'm wondering what side effects people have experienced, and if you gained weight and/or had terrible thrist/very dry mouth like me. If so, did either of these side effects go away?

Also, I heard that it can be difficult to switch from methadone to another medication. I guess I'm worried that if I go on methadone and take it for several months but find that I'm gaining a lot of weight, that it will be hard to switch to another medication, and that I might have to take a lot of time off work.

If you have taken methadone and then switched to a different med, I would be grateful if you could tell me a little about the process - the med you switched to, if it was hard for the dr. to find the right dose, and how long it took to make the change to another med.

Thanks so much for any help you can give me. Sorry if I repeated anything - I feel exhausted right now and can't think clearly. I'm looking forward to being a member of this community.



  • hi! i see this is your first post and i want to welcome you to the forum. :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i am sorry i cannot help you with your question but i did want to say hello. :H good luck as you return to work!! :D keep us posted! Jenny :)
  • why dont you ask you doctor for oxycodone?
  • I was prescribed Methadone for 8 months , last year. It worked really well for the pain.
    I didnt experience any overt or covert weight gain while using it.
    Heres what I did experience....I have PTSD from my VN war service and it brought it back with really weird mood changes and depression. I was experiencing black moods and thoughts and knew it was the Methadone.
    My pain doc told me it would be hard to just quit cold turkey without help.
    Not so for me.....I just stopped using it, dealt with a couple days of weird nervousness , and that was it.
    This is my experience and may not be the same for you.

  • Hi

    I just wanted to respond to some of your concerns on methadone, I have been on it for about 5 years and it was a life saver for me. I am at now at a pretty high dose. I don't have any bad side effects from it, in the beginning, they stated me at a low dose and increased it slowly.

    on the question on the weight gain I haven't gain any weight at all, as for being thirsty i occasionally have to drink a little water to control it, but it isn't a big problem at all. hope i have helped a little.

  • Hi, I wanted to let you know that methadone for cp is a great medication. I have been on it for 5yrs. I have had 3 surgeries for ruptured disks and have degenerative disk disease. I tried many, many medications before I started methadone. Nothing worked better or lasted longer than it. The dry mouth you had will go away, and although it may or may not increase your appetite, use common sense and choose your food wisely! Every drug has a side effects, and those side effects are different for everyone, or may not even happen to you. I researched methadone before, and while I was on it, and I still update myself while on it. If you have any more questions don't hesitate to ask. Good luck on whatever you decide!!!!
  • Unfortunately, oxycontin isn't working well for me anymore.


  • May I ask how much methadone you were taking? Glad to hear that you didn't experience any weight gain. I'm sorry to hear that it caused depression, mood changes and brought back the PTSD. I hope this went away after you got off of the methadone. Pretty amazing that you didn't have any difficulty going off of it - did you switch to another med from methadone or just stop taking pain meds? It seems like it it wouldn't be easy for you to stop taking meds given your injuries though the skydiving may suggest otherwise?

    I presume that you didn't experience the need to drink water constantly because of dry mouth as I did...

    Thank you for your response. I appreciate it. I am in too much pain to work and have to get work ASAP. Unfortunately,most meds aren't working very well for me anymore.

  • Doris, thanks so much for allaying some of my concerns. Perhaps the dry mouth/thirst was due to something else. During the one week I took it, it was great for my pain as well.

  • Do the side effects tend to be less problematic at a lower dose with methadone? Would I be less likely to gain weight or have a severe dry mouth/thirst on a lower dose of methadone?

    Last, if you have tapered your meds before and you've tapered methadone and/or oxyontin, morphine,and/or the patch, how does tapering compare? Which one(s) did you taper with and which was hardest/easiest to use for a taper to lower your dose?-- not PAWS (tho that would be interesting to know too)

    Thanks again for any help you can provide.

  • Kimberly, I'm not sure what happened to my post to you -- I may need to recreate it later. In the meantime, thanks so much!

  • Jenny,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to welcome me to the site. I appreciate it!

  • Works very well for me also. Oxycontin is extremely expensive and in my opinion it does not last as long. Methadone is dirt cheap and stays in your system a loooooong time. I have been on it for more than 1 1/2 years. I had a few problems in the beginning like nausea and constipation but they both subsided quickly. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • I have been on 40 Mg's of Methadone for about 8 months now and the drug has been a life saver to me. No side effects like some other people report. No sleepiness, groginness, I can function just fine! Have not gained an ounce since I started taking it.
    The one thing that my Doctor checks for is the heart. Since Methadone can affect your heart, my Doc just performs an EKG every 6 months, I am due for one soon. I have nothing but good things to say about the drug and the price is right! Good luck to you,
  • Just wanted to thank you for sharing your experience with methadone. I had an EKG done but am not sure my dr. received it...such a surprise! ;-) Helpful to know you get an EKG follow-up every 6 mo.

  • hi elvis i knew u still alive man, that accident sure do sound painful, hope u are doing well!!!
  • Kimberly,

    Thank you for addressing my concerns -- thus far (day 10), it has not increased my appetite and the dry mouth is fairly mild - nothing like what I experienced before.

    On the other hand, if you read my other thread, my experience w/ methadone this time seems completely different than my experience last time in just about every way possible - unfortunately, that includes my my pain level, which has been higher than I am accustomed to tolerating [5-7 level of constant pain.] I increased the dose to 50 mg (with my dr.'s permission) 3x/day today and I think I am feeling a little better. However, I also took a hot bath and used a lidocaine patch last night. So, I'm waiting to see how it goes.

    It seemed like 30 mg 3x/day was *more* than *enough* when I tried it a year ago, and now I'm up to 45-50 mg 3x/day. I was *really* hoping the dose would be lower.

    I just discovered that my doctor messed up my prescription and I am going to run out of meds in two days, so I am going to have to drive an hour and a half to pick up a new prescription. At least I have enough to make it through a job interview tomorrow! Irrelevant to my post, but annoying none the less! My dr. wrote the prescription wrong three times and I thought I had checked the prescription I walked away with carefully, but apparently something in my brain didn't allow me to believe he could write the prescription wrong three times in a row!

    Perhaps my dose is still too low though I am beginning to feel better on 50 mg 3x/day.. A little sleepy though, and I need to be alert to prep for my interview today and, to do a good interview tomorrow!

    Thank you again for your encouragement.

  • J.J. - thanks for your your comments on Methadone. I noticed you were taking Soma. I used to take Soma and it worked really well. My current pain dr. seems to be somewhat opposed to it - I know dependency can develop more easily and that it is sometimes abused but considering the other meds we take, well...Just not sure what the distress is about.

    Anyway, I used to take the 350. My dr. said that there is now a 250 instead of the 350. Do you know anything about this? I think he might have mentioned something about seizures...I don't recall the conversation well, but he basically discouraged me from Soma.

    Ironically (?), I told him I was willing to try something else but that I had taken Flexeril before and didn't find it helpful. He handed me 10 samples of Amitrex on my way out. It was only when I got home and looked Amitrex up on the internet that I discovered it was a needlessly expensive brand extended release version of Flexeril. I'm not sure what to think - perhaps he didn't hear me or maybe he didn't know that Amitrex was Flexeril ER.

    Anyway, just wondering what, if anything you had heard about Soma -- did the lower the dose to 250 mg? If so, why?

  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    and welcome to spine health. I was confused on your dose. surely you don't take 50 mg. 3 times a day, right?
    I take 60 mg. a day, 20- 20- and 20.
    I have not had weight gain from methadone, but did have weight gain from testosterone replacement.(androgel).
    There are side effects. But they do subside after a while. It is a long acting drug. And sometimes I can get by with less. 50 mg per day total. And sometimes 40 mg. The less the better cause I find the side effects at 40 mg. a day total are not that bad.Start with the lowest possible dose.
    As for cost like J.J. said, it's dirt cheap! And for muscle relaxants, diazepam is dirt cheap. And that also works well for me.
    God luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • I'm really glad the medication is working for you. Don't let others make you feel bad because you are on a higher dose than them. As long as you are seeing your doctor and both of you are comfortable with the dose than your doing great! Everyone's pain level is different. YOU KNOW YOUR BODY BETTER THAN ANYONE! Don't ever forget that! I really dislike it when people judge others without really even knowing you! Remember your body builds up a tolerance to any meds, and you might have to increase your dose at different times, but that's okay. I take 60mg 3xday, for the last 2yrs. And I have been on methadone for 5ys. And of course I did not start with that much, but like I said you build up a tolerance, I also have had more surgeries, and more pain. Well good luck, and any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

  • Methadone works well for me now too. I switched from the Oxycontin several months ago and have truly loved the results with one exception (and no, surprisingly I didn't gain any weight), the afternoon sleepiness. I also take oxycontin 15mg 4x a day as needed with the meth 20mg x2 a day. I'd like to go up on the meth and get rid of the oxy so that I have to take less but I am not sure what is making me so tired that I have actually fallen asleep at my computer at work...not good by the way! (luckily no one saw me!). So have any of you had this side effect?
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.