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methadone is that for pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Chronic Pain
does anyone know why my doctor would issue me methadone for pain? is it really for pain?


  • Yes, methadone is prescribed for pain as well as heroin withdrawal. Methadone is recognized by some professionals as a legit pain treatment med, but many professionals are ignorant and do not realize that. Therefore, some patients do not like taking it because of possible stigma.

    I do not take this med, but there are lots of posts about it. Some like it, some don't. I know that it has to build up its level before it starts working, I think(not 100% sure) it has to saturate your fat cells first before you feel much of a therapeutic effect. I believe it also decreases saliva production so you have to be really careful about mouth care(brushing, etc.) or you can have big tooth decay. Also, I have heard that it is very constipating, so be sure to take measures to avoid that.

    Some folks swear by this drug for chronic pain, some don't. Don't know why your doc chose this med for you, but it is a legit pain med. There really are a lot of posts on it, check them out for more personal experiences.
  • she had me on perc 10 then switched it today to methadone cause i said the perc was not working. is it stronger than the perc
  • Yes, Methadone is considerably stronger than Percocet 10/325 or 10/500. You need to be very careful with Methadone and follow the dosing instructions exactly, otherwise you may find yourself in danger of overdosing.
    Methadone builds up in your fat cells in the body, and because of that, it can build to dangerous levels if the dosing instructions aren't followed. Do NOT under any circumstances take any extra of it.
    What other pain medications has she tried you on before putting you on Methadone? Methadone is a medication that is usually used after trying many other medications, also strong, but not as difficult to manage as methadone.
    It's usually used when all other medications like oxycodone/Oxycontin, Opana, Avinza, MS Contin, etc have failed. Percocet to Methadone is a huge jump in the pain med scale.
    Do you have a history of abuse of alcohol or drugs?
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Yes, it is a pain med. Very long acting. ernurse has good info. Everyone is different,so it may work well for you. But you may be one of the few who it doesn't work that well for.
    Good 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 found it to be good medicine, how ever it does have nasty side effects.
  • Hi all,
    I'm new to the board, but not to the "wonderful" world of back pain.

    About the questions on methadone-- I'm no pharmacist..just a pharmacy tech, and can speak from my 13 years in the field. From the few patients that were at my place of business, they had previously been on drugs like MS Contin, MSIR, and OxyIR.
    Then, their docs switched them over to methadone slowly at first (I presume to avoid opiate withdrawal symptoms). Once they were safely through the medicine changes, the docs found levels that were safely therapeutic for the patients' chronic pain management programs.

    One reason I may can provide for why the switch to methadone was possibly made is this: sometimes (hypothetically) patients begin to exhibit signs enjoying the euphoric rush, and the extreme highs and lows as the meds enter and leave their systems (I am NOT implying this in your instance :) -- all I'm saying is that this may be what your physician wishes to avoid happening. :)

    The methadone doesn't provide the euphoric feelings of other opiates, which can help prevent the other less desirable effects if you had to withdraw (from the 'major' ones).

    In all cases, I would definitely make sure to follow your physician's advice for what's best for you :)
  • My Sharona,
    Welcome to Spine Health! It's nice to have you join us. I just wanted to correct some misconceptions that you seem to have about why methadone is used in pain management. It is used as it is a good combo medication, in that it works equally well for both neuropathic ( nerve ) pain and mechanical chronic pain. It is not used because a patient might experience a bit of euphoria when first started on opiate medications. Just about all of us will tell you that we don't experience that at all, or if we did, only within the first few days of taking a new medication. Methadone is titrated up slowly because it has a long half life. It is stored in the fat cells in the body, therefore an increase in the dosage takes a bit longer to get our bodies to respond to , than the typical short acting or long acting opiates do. Methadone can reach toxic levels if not monitored correctly and titrated the same way. Chronic pain suffers usually can take lower doses of methadone and get great pain relief, so it is titrated much slower over a few days to a week apart between increases to give our bodies time to adjust to the increase and to make sure it is not too much for our metabolism.
    Hope this helps clear those things up for you. Looking forward to reading more from you.
  • I was given methadone for the first time today and I must say I am a bit reluctant to take it. I know it can be just as hard to get off of the methadone as it is any other addictive drug if not harder. I guess I am looking for the one person that has had to take it and can still function. I have had two back surgeries. The first was a Lamy and the second was a Fusion with the cage implants. The Doc is telling me now that I have nerve damage and they are going to do a Mylogram to see if the other disks around the L4 L5 S1 are bulging now. My choices are getting quite slim. It would seem that surgery is the first choice and they are not sure it would help. The electrical implant to mask the pain and I am not to sure after reading up on that proceedure that I want that in my spine or last but not least the pain pump and oral meds as well. They are calling it Post Lamanectomy Syndrome. Sorry for all the bad spelling. I have been going through this for the past 27 years and the thought of being put on a med that I know I will get addicted to very quickly is just a bit nerve racking to me. I have to be able to function because my wife has MS and I am the one the one that drives and shops and does the things around the house and now I am in so much pain that those things are going undone. Sorry, sounding whiny at this point. I just want to make a very informed choice is all so I would love to hear from anyone that would like to answer me back. Thank you and have a very pain free day if you can. ~X(
  • Welcome to Spine Health, sorry that you find a need to be here though. As to methadone being a drug that someone is going to get addicted to goes, that can happen with any opiate pain medication that you are given. Chronic pain patients develop tolerance issues but that is far different than "addiction". Tolerance develops with any opiate that someone is taking long term. Addiction comes into play when someone is using a drug that may or may not be prescribed to them, in a manner different than their doctors ordered, despite negative consequences .
    As for your other concern about being able to function well with methadone, the answer is yes, you can do that. Typically , those on methadone for pain management are able to take lower doses than they would on other meds. However, they are like any other opiate pain med in that you need to give your body time to adjust to the side effects . Most will improve in time, others will go away. Methadone is also one of the lowest costing pain meds there are.
    What other meds have you tried before your doctor suggested this? Usually patients who are put on methadone have gone through most of the other meds before trying methadone.
    Yes, it is a bit harder to come off of, once you have been on it, and it takes longer because of it's long half life, but it can be tapered like other meds.
    Hope this helps ease some of your concerns.
  • Methadone is frequently used for chronic pain. I took Methadone for 12 years and only switched to Avinza (once a day) because I was taking Methadone every 6 hours and it became a bother. I regret switching meds. Methadone worked well, gave quick relief of pain and was very inexpensive (compared to Avinza).
  • i tried metadone but was allergic to it.it did help with my pain the little time i was on it.
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