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Methadone or No Way Jose?

I never thought I would still be using this forum 3 years after my L4/L5 fusion. But, here I am and worse than ever. I still suffer from chronic pain, lower back, hips, buttocks, inner and upper thighs. Burning and tingling in lower legs and feet. And newest symptoms, I feel like something is crawling on my legs and burning spots on the tops of my feet, like someone is putting a cigarette out on me. I still go to pm, she is great! But, I am so greatly frustrated at this time. My official diagnosis is FBSS...I finally filed for disability in August this year. I am 46 years old and feel 86. I take my meds ( er pain meds, bt pain meds, anti-inflammatory, lyrica, muscle relaxer) like I am supposed to and still suffer far too much. I have gone to the ER twice in the last 2 months when the pain has just been out of control. Love those injections that allow me to stop feeling like screaming my head off. My family doesn't get it, neither do my friends.

My pm wants to change my er med to Methadone. I am up in the air about this. Can you methadone users give me some info on your experiences with it? I am not asking for specific medical advice, just how it controls your pain, if you have had to wean off of it, side effects? I know that is a lot of info I am asking for. I just need to know how others have done with it and if they would recommend.

Thanks for reading my rambling!!


  • when i was first diagnosed with sciatica, my pain dr put me on methadone. he upped it up to oxycontin after my diagnosis showed the sciatica was worse, discography where they inject your disc with dye and see if it spreads out. but back to mehtadone, yes it is a narcotic and it is also used for helping people that are on heroin. it is a schedule 2 drug like morphine and oxycontin. i found it to be not as strong and if you take it for a while you will have to be weaned off of it like any other narcotic. try it out and if it does not help talk to your pain dr about a change in meds. most pain drs like to start off with a weaker drug then go stronger if need be. it was all right for me but not as effective as oxycontin. hope that helped
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • alexhurtingaalexhurting Posts: 1,991
    edited 11/29/2012 - 8:11 AM
    I tried the methadone and i was itching like crazy, I stoped using it after the 1 st day, I would try to stay away from it if at all posible, There is other meds that might work even beter without the side affects and the worry of geting hooked on it in my opinion,
    But i never did handle meds very well so it might be just me, I am also FBSS. From l4l5 ADR that was fused later,
    Ask about tremedol which is same as ultram works beter then some of the meds for some reason on the leg pain and such,
    Even with my scs pain in legs and nerve pain is not controled with the scs unit, You never want to start on the heavy stuff of meds always find what works best at lower dose that can be slowly increased, If needed,
    Give tramadol a try see what you think, The radiating pain in the legs it works for but dont help the nerve flare up much,
    Maybe the lyrica with the tramadol ask the dr see what he says,

    Good luck, hope this helps,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • TraseeTTrasee Posts: 571
    edited 12/01/2012 - 9:57 AM
    I am always willing to try something new but the Methadone scares me for some reason. I already take Morphine ER 30mg 3 x's a day, so going back to Tramadol really isn't an option for me anymore. I go to my PM on the 10th so I can discuss it with her more. Maybe just an increase in that or my bt meds (Lortba 10/500 4 x's a day). Something has to give, I cannot afford to run to the ER everytime I get out of control pain. But I really appreciate hearing your experiences.

  • Oh ok sorry, You are correct, going from morphine to tramadol is a big step down, I must of over looked that you taking morphine already,
    Its not easy to find what realy works sometimes and that what makes these conditions so complicated,
    I had many visits to the er then realised its the valium they shot me up with that calmed my nerves down and helped control the pain, Thats when i convinced my pain dr to prescribe valium to take when needed and that is what keeps me out of er these days when pain gets so out of control,

    Good luck, ps oral morphine never worked for me as good as it does when given in IV in er is why i stoped using it,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Just about everyones post has been sort of negative..... for me, methadone works great. I have been taking it for almost five years now. I like it better than any of the other narcotics Ive used. It keeps the pain under control and so far it hasn't affected my way of thinking and/or response time in any sort of way. Of course, it has the rep...... if you ever tell anyone your own it, they automatically think your an ex-drug addict. Its pitiful. The only negative side affect is the same as other narcotics....constipation. Give it a thought cause it may work for you too since its similar to the morphine based drugs. Good luck!
  • Get with your doctor and get your pain meds adjusted as best you can. Visiting the ER is seen as classic "drug-seeking behavior." I know, I know . . . most of us have been there, and yes, we needed to go, but in the grand scheme of things, it gets written down in your record and, later on, when you really need to stay on the meds, that's one of the reasons they yank them out from under you. Like walking a tightrope -- so fun to be in pain.
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • esi_no_workieeesi_no_workie Posts: 9
    edited 12/06/2012 - 10:43 AM
    The primary issue with Methadone compared with other medications is you have a higher chance of having a fatal overdose on Methadone. This has to do with the way the drug causes respiratory depression. Methadone apparently causes this more than oxycontin for example, but all opiates cause it. So the key with regards to Methadone is to be careful and keep your doses low. If you feel your not getting the relief you were from it, make sure to tell your doctor. Don't increase your dose on your own out of fear your doctor won't support you or will take you off all together. We are in a very sad state of affairs in regards to pain care in this country.
  • jarthurwjjarthurw Posts: 4
    edited 12/09/2012 - 7:23 AM
    Hi, Trasee

    I have been taking Methadone in low doses for several years and I can personally tell you that it works very well for my pain, even at a low dose. I am 22 years old and I have a chronic neuromuscular illness that causes similar symptoms to that of MS and I can report that for my brutal nerve pain it really is quite nice. Now I take mine in low doses and therefore have less concern about OD and addiction. Methadone does cause Respiratory depression, but the most dangerous part of Methdone is that it has a longer half-life than I believe most any other Opiate and therefore if you are taking it in higher doses most often it will build in your system and can cause you to OD.

    I have used numerous Opiates and have not cared for really any of them (Vicodin, Percocet, MScontin, Dilaudid). My pain regiment more so consists of a very high dose of Neurontin (900mg 4x a day) numerous muscle relaxants and an anti-Malaria for my Rheumatoid arthritis.

    I wish you very good luck in your search for easing your pain and if you have any further questions about experience with Methadone, please don't hesitate to ask.


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