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Please post experiences w/ methadone

My PM doc is maybe going to try methadone on me. I am not getting pain control w/ 2400mg of gabapentin 10mg opana 2 times a day, soma 350 3 times a day and 50mcg fentanyl patch every 48 hrs.
I now understand that 2400mg of gabapentin is a maintinance dosage and maybe that can or should be increased
I am getting some relief from the opana but it wears off and he wants to do ER of opana. That really just scares me too much.
I made the mistake of trying one sip of alcohol at the end of a 12hr ER opana dosage and I was high as a kite even at the end of the dosage and time to take next one. So am vey afraid of the ER opana med. Since the 10 mg is helping somewhat I dont understand why he cant or wont go to 10 mg 3 or 4 times a day.
Please anyone having personal experiences with Methadone please post how you tolerated the med and how well it controlled your pain levels. Any related experiences too. AND most importantly how hard was it to come off of it? I have heard once you are on this med you have to take it the rest of your life, and I DO NOT WANT THAT.
I am so scared and just want this to all be over with and can not live w/ this level of pain forever. I dont think an employer is going to let me go lay down every hour or so. So getting this under control would be very good for my brain and all other related problems
Thanks to all in advance who post :)


  • Hi,

    I have RA and a chronic neuromuscular illness that's brutally painful on my back...I have taken Methadone on and off for the last 6years and I have had a great deal of success. I take a dose that ranges from 5mg to 15mg and I rotate with 8-16mg of Dilaudid. I would just advise caution to try the medication on a temporary basis to make sure your body handles the drug ok. As I'm sure you have read that Methadone is an extremely strong drug and can seem almost too much at times, but for severe neuropathic pain, I have not found a pain killer that works better, except perhaps Medical Marihuana if it is legal in your state. I hope this information helps and would be happy to help with any further questions.


  • First let me say- this is MY experience, and we all react differently!!

    My dr had been trying to sway me to switch to methadone for a year before I said 'why not'? He actually provided me with some proof that it really is a great pain reliever! I, too, had issues about finding myself in a spot where I would have to get off of it, and I feared- FEARED- the withdrawals. (I have a friend with cancer, who decided to kick it cold turkey after about 6 months, and she was SO sick. But even she says she would take it again- that's how well it worked for her!) So I finally agreed, and I did it.

    My dr started me on 10mg, to be taken 3 times a day. Every 3 days, I added another 30mg (split between the 3 doses), and was told to increase up to 90mg daily and we would discuss how it was working on my next months visit. So I took 30mg days 1-3, 60mg days 4-6, and 90mg days 7-13- which is when I could no longer handle it. Thankfully my mother was in town, as I could not function and take care of my kids. I didn't really 'feel' it, but I found myself answering questions that weren't asked, randomly talking to no one, fell asleep stopped at a stoplight, and according to my household I was a total space cadet. My mom hauled me into the drs office and we told him everything, so I switched back.

    Now, I have a new dr who tells me that my old dr (the one who prescribed the methadone, and that I LOVED AND TRUSTED) almost killed me with an overdose, and that it may be the reason I had issues. Regardless, I am in no hurry after all I was through! BUT my grandmother takes methadone and swears by it. My uncle, who had a multi level fusion and suffers from OA, swears by it... A LOT of people get the results I was after- just not me. :/

    I hope you are one of the lucky ones who gets the relief you need! Good luck!
  • reesemayrreesemay Posts: 67
    edited 04/16/2013 - 5:58 PM
    So how are your families teeth? I hear this drug rots your teeth and leeches the calcium from your bones and weakens them. I have done numerous searches about this drug and keep coming up with the same results..rotted teeth...I CAN NOT DO THAT. That is about one of the only nice things I have left is my teeth.

    Sorry medical pot is not legal where I live, and even if I could get it illegally, I get tested monthly, so no go on the pot...plus I tried it when I was a teenager and hated it...I sure hope something helps soon. I have had a shot of dilaudid before and it did not curb the pain at all, just made me feel foggy headed and put me to sleep when I layed down..slept really good, but no pain relief..kinda felt "stoned" kinda like pot...and I dont like that feeling at all.
    So thankfully we will be trying a very low dose to begin w/ we did not talk about increasing the dose at all, just one dosage as far as I know, I think two times a day...so far the other meds 2 times a day are not cutting it at all...wish me luck!!!
    And if anyone else has experience please post...good or bad
    thanks all!!!
    Zippedin08 what med was your doc switching you from? WHat have you tried that has been helpful for you?
    To the other poster I will PM you if you dont mind and ask some more ?? OK?
  • Hi, Methadone was very bad for me. I was only on it for about 8 months and then it took me about 3 months to painfully taper off of it. The worst thing was it effected me mentally which other pain killers do not. May be a coincidence but I also had several teeth crack around the same time.
    I have heard other people say it was great though.
    If you do a search on here for methadone you will see other past threads on the subject.
  • Reesemay-
    I was on oxycodone 15 mg, 9 times a day when I switched. I'm not sure why he never put me on a long acting, but I was doing ok at that dose so never brought it up. I since have a new Dr who has put me on Oxycontin 30mg 2 times a day, and oxycodone 30mg 3 times a day. I also take Mobic 15mg and Neurontin up to 3600mg a day. I am doing good right now with this mix, and I also do physical therapy, chiro, and get a weekly massage. I also do my stretching and walk as much as I can- I shoot for 1 or 2 miles a few times a week.
  • Why on earth would you take ANY alcohol into your system when taking Opana??? It says very clearly on the labels and all over the prescribing information sheet to NEVER consume any alcohol at all when taking opana. You are very fortunate that all that happened was your getting extremely high, you could have died and I believe that we told you not to drink alcohol sometime ago in one of your previous threads about using alcohol with opana.
    There is no reason to fear the long acting version of Opana- it is exactly the same is the short acting, only to last 12 hours instead of 6-8, thereby reducing the amount of times that it needs to be taken a day. Again, however you CAN NOT consume any amount of alcohol.
    The reality is that no opiate is supposed to be taken with alcohol so you are going to have to decide if you want pain relief or you want to drink. Sounds harsh, I know, but you very easily could have died, and could again if you decide not to follow the directions on the medications labels or what your doctor tells you.
    Methadone is a good pain reliever, but like every other opiate medication out there, the prescribing doctors directions must be followed to a t. If you don't you run the risk of over medicating, suppressing your breathing, and causing your own death.
    It has a very long half life, meaning that whatever dosage of methadone you are given a day - half of that will remain in your tissue/blood for up to 36 hours. It is a cheap alternative as far as cost goes, and it works very well for people with neuropathic pain- however with you already being on fentanyl- I am not sure why he would want to give you another long acting medication like methadone on top of the fentanyl.
  • I used to be a "So-called" Authority on Methadone. Everyone would ask for my help or opinion since I had been on it for 12 years. Let me start out by saying that we all have differing opinions and outcomes with any pain med...but mine is a bit different. I started on Methadone way back in the 90's when I started having sever back problems. Lortab 10's were the new drug and I took full advantage of them.. This was way before any Pain Management Dr.'s so I had to see either my PCP, an Ortho, or a Neuro Dr. about the pain.. I got to the point where nothing worked and they simply wouldn't help me anymore. Finally my back just Gave OUt and I had surgery... My new Dr. put me on Methadone as well as other meds and I thought they were helping. After being on Methadone for all those years....up until last year, they stopped it cold turkey.. I wanted to die literally... I had always had problems with severe sweating (pouring) and unable to sleep, water retention, and headaches but thought they were due to being newly diagnosed as a Diabetic... But after being off of the Methadone for 3 months I noticed these symptoms had gone away...
    Even though the Methadone really helped me with the pain at the time I can honestly say that NOW I would never recommend anyone start taking it... It is the worst pain med to come off of, even tapering, and it is not worth the health risks. I had to start having my heart checked all the time... I would scare my family half to death while I was sleeping with all of the breathing sounds and their inability to wake me up... Trust me, it is not a good drug to be on...unless you are planning on being on it forever....
  • I was on methadone for my pain, and you must be very careful. This drug is very strong and builds up in your system. If you take it, the next day almost the same level of medication is in your system.

    If has a long half life, meaning it's easier to take to much and not realize it. Following the dr directions exactly, and at first you must be careful because it builds up in your system before you will have any pain relief.

    Give it a good 24-48 hours before you judge if it's helping at all.

    I took it for 3-4 months and was having good relief, but had to stop it because I was having side affects.

    Good luck, Eric-
    Left foramina stenosis of L3/L4 (retrolisthesis)
    L2-ilaic revision fusion ( loose screws) with a laminectomy at L3 (cage at L3-L4)
    (PLIF) -@ L4/ L/5 - S1 (cage at L4/L5)
  • Methadone was made during the second world war when the Germans didn't have enough morphine to give the injured, so it is a man made chemical unlike morphine. It has twice the life of morphine and is hard to get off. But it is less expensive than a purer drug like morphine.

    You can taper it down over a few weeks but it is hell to get off - unless you get something to replace it with while you are withdrawing. Don't 'cold turkey' with methadone - take it down gradually. It takes about two weeks to get off depending on the dosage and the last 5mg are the worst. If you are in pain it is a really good pain reliever but like all opiods it is addictive. Just depends how much pain you are in. My pain got to the stage I didn't care what I took as long as it stopped the pain but I changed from methadone to oxycontin because it is a purer drug and doesn't do so much liver damage. Now I have built up resistance to the oxy and makes my pain just bearable sometimes. The painkillers combined with a muscle relaxant are the only things that have helped me, painkillers alone were not working.
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,378
    I had a lovely conversation with the Administrative Law Judge for my SSD case.

    Only problem was ... I was In my basement talking into my computer mouse!!!

    Wacky stuff - I was on 120mg a day and other meds also - was happy to get off that stuff!!

    Its also called Dolophin alledgedly named after Adolph Hitler!


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  • HopeInBraceletsHHopeInBracelets Posts: 73
    edited 05/01/2013 - 6:23 AM
    After being on opiods for years for back issues, was put on methadone after fusion surgery. 1st there were the flying donkey hallucinations. Then blackouts. I lost a whole week. I had phone conversations with people that i dont even remember calling and i have no memory of being in my house, eating, anything, for a week. Then hubby cut dosage in half......withdrawals started almost immediately. Vomiting was insane and ended up in ER. Was told i was going thru withdrawals. Its been 1 week and i am only on 1-10mg opana er in morning. Nighttime is the worst. Cant sleep. Leg bones hurt and am very emotional. Hope this ends soon. I have motre issues from the opiode issues than the surgery. Sucks.
    DDD 2 level ALIF L3-L5 in 2007. 4/11/13 posterior fusion w/decompression on L5-S1.
  • I hardly ever drink and I went on a little shopping trip with my daughter on weekend and had one mixed drink with my supper. I did not even think about the fact that I had taken my Oxycodone an hour before. By the time we got back to hotel I was vomiting and so nauseous I could not stand up. That was first drink in probably close to a year and will be the last while taking pain meds.
    My husband lost his best friend and best man at our wedding from drinking heavily and taking pain medications for recreational use. It was heartbreaking for us all and scared us. It is just not worth it :(

  • I normally do not drink anything at all.
    I was in my PM's office for an epidural and said to one of the nurses I would really like to be able to drink a beer, I like the imports and flavor of
    German or wheat beers. Her comment to me was " just skip your meds and have a few". This was an OR nurse. I had ONE sip that's it. Anyway that was over a year ago, and have since learned my lesson. Read the label about LA opana and want nothing to do w/ it.
    As for the methadone I did try it, only 5mg two times a day. Might have been working but my feet and legs swelled so much could not tolerate the med, I was stopped cold turkey per doc's nurse supposedly from his orders, puked my guts up horrifically. Thankfully it was only one night.
    Took a few days for the painful swelling in my feet and calves to go down
    So this is another drug to cross off my gorged list of failed meds...
    Uuugh....hopefully the scs will help...I don't have high hopes but keep
    Your fingers crossed for me.
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