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Methodone anyone???

tarheelgirlttarheelgirl Posts: 473
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Pain Medications
Hi, just wondering if anyone here takes methodone and how well it works? How long have you been on it and what dosage? What were you on before and what made you decide to go to methodone? Please tell me all you feel, good and bad about it...and for those who have considered it, why didnt you start taking it? For everyone else, just chime in your opinions! Please! I am having horrible, horrible pain...I've tried fentanyle patches and they worked pretty well but my hubby will not let me use those again b/c he is afraid of malfunction/leakage and overdose.

Right now I'm on 60mg oxycontin X 3 day and 20mg IR oxycodone X 4 day ( or 1.5 to 2 pills if needed0. First, I'm still in so much pain, it's off the charts...sitting about an 7/8 on the pain scale while reclining and goes to 10 or more with activity and while sleeping. I'm so scared that my options are running out. I know some take oxy 4 times a day instead of 3. My doc has mentioned a dilaudid pain pump, but he also mentioned methodone.

So, that is where my question comes from...I've researced it a bit and found that it does great with pain contol for severe pain patients when everything else has been tried. But, there is bad stigma accosiated to it b/c it's used to help break herion addictions. I've also seen where it's AWFUL...like the most awful drug ever to come off of.

Also, last question, what is the largest IR immediate release med you've heard of? I can take two of my 20mgs and feel like I took candy. It's so darn frustrating!!


  • My PM doctor had given this to me a few years back but it was to wean me off of the OXY and other Narcodick that I was on. Still taking OXY.
  • A dear friend of mine owns a couple of methodone clinics in Tx. He will be here this coming weekend Thur-Mon. If you have specific questions that haven't been answered by then, I'd be happy to ask him. He can't give personal experiences as he, nor I, have taken it, but he can give educational info!

    I am sorry you are having so much pain! This is a very difficult journey and one I wish no one had to experience!

    Let me know if I can help!
  • If you don't have a very well trained pain medicine doctor, I've read that methadone can be very risky due to the long half life. It requires a knowledgable provider.

    If your husband is worried about overdosing, there is no safe option. The oxy is dangerous too if you break a tablet. This process is about balancing risks and benefits.
  • I was on a low dosage 10 mgs. 3 x's daily. Along with Percocet as a BT med. We then moved and the new PM dr does not prescribe methodone. He did say in my case he would but would take away the BT meds. Well since the combination was not really working well I knew the pain would be horrendous without the percocet. He tried me on various meds Fentnyl Patch, Opana ER and another one but can't remember. They all made me extremely sick. He then put me on Oxycontin 40mg 2 x's daily and Percocet for BT med which seems to help somewhat better.
    However, to be honest with you I believe if he had increased the methodone slightly along with the bt meds it may have helped better than what I am currently taking. The reason for that is when you are taking the methodone it seems as though it stays more constant in your system. It seems with the extended release meds when they have run their course supposedly 12 hrs but more like 8 to 10 hrs your body lets you know. It was not that way with the methodone. When I was first prescribed this medication I was almost embarrassed I guess due to the stigma which is too bad. I truly think it works very well for pain yet the stigma surrounding the name makes us feel uneasy. Now I have the same uneasy embarrassed feeling about the Oxycontin extended release due to all the "abusers" out there. I realize I need pain medication to have any quality of life at all and I also know the medications I am on will never completely take the pain away. Why are we so hard on ourselves? We didn't ask for be injured or to suffer everyday in pain! Good luck in your decision making process. My dr has referred me for a scs and pain pump and I am going through so much agony and confusion about deciding if that is the right way for me to go.
    You will be in my prayers. If you have any other questions feel free to PM me.
  • Jay, we'll see, I may take you up on that.
    Jan, I understand it can be great for pain management if your doctor knows what he's doing. I think anyone would be afraid to have their BT (or rescue) meds away!! Can't say I blame you there. It's just the stigma...but you are correct, oxy carries a bad name too...so, we are screwed either way.

    Regarding my question at the end about the highest amount of BT pain med anyone here is taking...I'm very curious about Jon (terror) and his fentanyl pops. My pharmacy I use is a compounding pharmacy as well. I think I may talk to them about it while I'm waiting for my doctor to return home. I just wonder if changing things up a bit may help. I did look up "opiate resistance sydrome" or whatever someone mentioned to me on another thread and I can see that...I don't want to be on the highest of everything! That scares me...but I do know I've heard others say they switch up the routine every 6 months or so just to keep the resistance from occuring.
  • I WISH they would put me on methodone. Plain and simple.
  • Okay, so how many of us are really concerned about the stigma of narcotics when it comes to finding effective pain relief? Yes, I hate the way doctors, my own family, coworkers, etc. look at me when they hear that I am still on narcotics, but if I had a choice of medication that would be more effective than taking Hydrocodone throughout the day (and almost nothing throughout the night), I really couldn't give a crap what others think.

    Am I knowledgeable about Methadone? Not at all. However, when an Acupuncturist once said to me that it is a "wonderfully effective medication", then my chiropractor said the same thing last week, then a new pain management doctor said the same thing, I have to believe that there is something to it.

    I don't have any form of extended pain control, just sheer will power at times, and the guided imagery that we discussed in another thread (I was self-taught, so I'm not even sure that I'm doing it right).

    Sorry for the somewhat lame rationale, but I was intrigued by the fact that "alternative" practitioners were recommending methodone.

    I'm seeing my NS this morning. I plan to ask about other medication options. First, I need to see if he is going to acknowledge that my fusion didn't fix my pain issue. If he doesn't do that, then I need to have him refer me to someone who will. Without that, all of this is purely academic.

    Take Care,

  • thanks for the response...I hope you get things figured out. I too have heard that methadone is a very effective pain med...it has a long halflife apparently. Well, I appreciate getting to know you a bit. I'm going to withdraw myself from the boards, but best wishes to you buddy. I always enjoyed reading your posts.

    Take care and God Bless
  • Thanks so much for that long response and all the insight. Yes, the stigma, I can imagine, would be very bad...even with the medical profession...that is why my eyes go wide every time my doctor mentions it to me. I told him I may consider it if the new regimen I am on (oxycontin 80mg 3 times a day) did not work well...but it is working very, very well...In fact, some days i only take 2. And then your post just echos what I've researched about it. Being on Oxy is bad enough stigma, but Methadone...I don't want to try it. My doctor thinks it is under used as a pain management med...and thinks it is going to be used more in the future. I have seen where it makes people gain weight. I certainly don't need that! I also do not need any personality changes or 'dullness' to my mood.

    I thank you very much for digging this thread up and responding about this medication. I believe it's one I will not try. Hopefully, my present regimine will continue to provide relief as it is for a long time.
  • i was prescribed Methadone 10mg 4x per day and Norco 10/325 2 every 4 hours for BT for 4 years...i am now on Oxycontin 80mg 2 x day and Percocet 10/325 4 X day for BT as needed...i prefer the oxycontin by FAR...
    The Methadone caused me to gain 40 pounds...and since switching to the Oxycontin December 2009 i have lost all 40 and some extra... the few benefits to the Methadone was the price and the half-life...but i find the Oxycontin to be far more effective for pain control... i had a difficult time when i was switching FROM the Methadone to the Oxycontin- as i stopped the Methadone completely and started on the Oxycontin...once i was on the correct dosage (within 10 days) of the Oxycontin, i was fine...my one issue with the Oxycontin, is that while it is very effective for pain control, it DID not last 12 hours as marketed- i was lucky to get 8 hours of relief- and the drop-off was like a light switch turning off...however, 4 days ago, when i got my meds for this month, i received the new formulation OP Oxycontin...i have had EXCELLENT results so far with the new formulation- it is lasting for at least 12 hours- and the "missing link" has been resolved for me.
    I DID have side effects from the Methadone that i did not realize i was having until i was not taking it anymore: i was more "dulled" as far as my sense of humor and personality goes; i craved sweets incessantly; i was less motivated, and of course, it made me gain 40 pounds on my normally thin frame.
    With the Oxycontin, i wake up feeling much worse than i did with the methadone, since the methadone stays in your system much much longer, however, i refuse to consider adding another 80mg Oxycontin to my regimen, since i will be on PM for life, i want to keep my dosages as low as possible for as long as i can...the new formulation of the Oxycontin seems to have made a tremendous difference in that so far...my fingers are crossed...
    Finally, with the Methadone, the stigma attached was horrific...from pharmacies to nurses, and even Doctors, i was in a constant state of shock and horror by the way that random medical "professionals" would react to the "M-word"... I am a VERY successful, intelligent, and TOGETHER business owner and i was STUNNED by the blatant ignorance and general prejudice that is attached to Methadone for pain management...it is bad enough in general- but it was unfathomable with Methadone...
  • Just a quick comment. I had an ER Doctor (friend) tell me that methadone is the safest pain med out there. For whatever its worth.
  • A year or so ago, I was put on menthadone for about 3 month. All my friends & family were so worried about me because I wan't my self any more. "Dullness" barley touches what it did to me. I am on oxycocone & hydrocodone now. It doesn't take the pain away, but makes it tolorabe. I'm surprised your husband didn't want you to continue the fentnyl patch it it worked for you.
  • for your comments...

    Silverfox, I guess a better explanation for why my hubby does not like the fentanyl patches would be appropriate. He is not controlling in the least. The first reason, he said he felt I was a "zombie" on them...which I do not recall being that sleepy on them? But his biggest fear/concern came from watching DR G. (completes autopsies on unexplained deaths)...it comes on TLC. Anyway, she did the autopsy, and found that the guy (at least 200 plus lbs) had died from an accidental overdose of fentanyl patches. She found that the batch he had been Rx was a bad batch from that particular manufactuar and the medication was leaking out all at the same time to the patient and therefore causing an overdose in his sleep. I know several lot numbers were recalled and then they made them a different way so that it wouldnm't happened anymore (unless a patient was to tamper/cut or puncture the medication resevoir). So, after that episode, I weaned off to make him feel more comfortable about what I was taking. He certainly is in favor for me being on meds to manage my pain, but just requested we not use the patch anymore. He just wants to make sure to keep me around as long as possible. :)

    Currently, I am on oxycontin 80mg three times per day along with oxycodone for break thru pain and after it took about one month for my stomach to get used to the new oxy OP formula...the medication is working great. In fact, I haven't been this compfy in years...so I'll be staying with this regimine for quite some time!!

    God bless!
  • Emmy and others,
    i have heard the same thing about methadone being safe and effective. In fact, I recently spoke to a pain psychologist(20 years experience) who is a partial quad himself meaning he feels nerve pain from his c spine injury and gets around on crutches. He said that the latest research shows that low dose methadone with an antidepressant and nerve pain med such as lyrica or neurontin is the best combination for nerve related pain.
  • Hi,
    I was going to reply to this thread earlier, but got side tracked. But there's my life. lol Anyway, back to the subject of methadone, or methadose, I have been on it for a year now. I can not say enough about it. It's great! It's changed my life. Hell it gave me a life back. Like Dave (reformed1) said, there's a stigma for oxy now. I think all pain meds are getting a stigma, so why not take one that helps. What he said is true. Dr look at me just as funny on methadone, as they did on oxy.

    I'm not sure where to start, so if I miss something don't be affraid to ask. Half life is the biggest concern reguard to methadone, but also that's what makes it help so much better. These half lifes are stored in your liver. This makes it so you don't get between ER dose pain, but it's this half life that makes it harder to come off of. It takes 4-6 weeks to come off this med, and it takes the same amount of time for it to start really helping pain.

    According to my pm dr, methadone is the only pain killer that works on nerve pain. What Starshine said is true. That combo of meds is fantastic. Last yr I was taking 180 5/325 percocets a month, and 3600mg of neurotin a day, and it was doing nothing for me. All it did was make me depressed, and a space caudet. Now 30mg of methadone a day,(150)5-6 a day of darvocet as needed, if real bad (40) 5/325 4 a day of perocets as needed, usually darvocets are enough. I've asked for a refill of 40 percocet twice in the last year. I'm on a nerve pain cocktail. I also have added 150mg of amitriptylin, triple benefit med helps with nerve pain, depression, and sleeping. The methadone, neurotin, and amitriptylin have worked extremly well for me.

    I can function again. I can sleep. The pain. The burning. It's gone. I can do things, and not pay for days or weeks. I never thought I'd say, I miss being around people. But be locked away for 2 yrs with a tv, and computer in bed with pain, and the stigma of methadone don't look so bad.
    Bobbi Jo
  • for you is fantastic! I'm going in for my "pain pump" test in a few wks., so hopefully that will let me be a functioning person again. It doesn't matter what people say about meth or any other drugs,if it helps you, go for it! Good luck to you.
  • about my comments about your husband not wanting you on the pain patch. I feel bad for doing that. You know what I've learned while I've been on this chat room, is that do whatever works for you. It doesn't matter about the stigma of meth or any other drugs. If it works for you, go for it! People not in pain all the time, do not understand what we are going through. I say, talk to me after you've had 6 surgeries in 10 yrs., gone through numerous painful injections, pain patches, all kinds of drugs. Am going to do the pain pump trial in a few wks.. I'm praying that works.
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