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At my last PM appointment my doctor and I discussed different meds. I hate the loopiness of my Norco. I'm currently on 10/325 Norco every six hours and Robaxin. I'm a college student and I seriously despise the feeling Norco gives me. I'm constantly choosing between white knuckling it through a test without meds or being tired from the meds. It's exhausting.

Anyway, at my last appointment, my PM doctor offered me methadone. He said it may decrease the general lethargy. I have an appointment coming up in the next few weeks and wanted to hear some experiences from other people before I make a decision. I'm currently handling my pain very well on my current meds, but if I could decrease the lethargy, that would be great.


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    edited 04/21/2015 - 11:48 PM
    .....to pain management, doc talked about methadone. That was first I realized it as option and possibly in my future. I'm still learning I know.

    Instead, I'm on OxyContin two times a day......and although I still would be unable to work or concentrate for school....I less lethargic than after three years on fentanyl patch. Now I wake up early, in part due to pain and needing morning meds. But also, less having to nap during day cause I couldn't stay awake another minute.

    Hopefully, someone will come along and speak about methadone effects on them. I would be interested also.

    Good luck with med management....and with schooling
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • NICK E Nico JrNNICK E Nico Jr Posts: 1
    edited 04/23/2015 - 10:01 PM
    the effects of methadone initially are much stronger in the sense that the medication gives you the effect of falling asleep much like what i have seen on TV " people who use heroin" for the first month you must take it slow it is by far much stronger than any drug i have ever taken it has an extremely long half life if you are not in a situation where you can make it with a less powerful drug i advise not to take methadone for four reasons: #1 if you decide to stop taking it the withdrawl is much longer and much worse than any narcotic medication i have been prescribed #2 the stigma attached to it due to the fact it is used to treat heroin addiction # it will be difficult for you to have proper pain relief if your burned or have a major operation #4 reason it causes a prolonged OT wave in a percentage of the population and can damage you heart rare but can happen i have complex regional pain syndrome, 4 knee replacements, fused sacrum, brOken back L4, broken neck C7 and over 25 surgeries over the past twenty years i am 46 years old and terrified of the future because narcotic medication is no longer very effective for me have you tried gabapentine its a seizure drug not narcotic schedule 4 meaning your Dr. can call it in 1 visit every six months not 1 per month little weight gain but has proven to be a miracle drug for my burning pain in my legs, forearms, and face if i do not take gabapentine every eight hours feels like i have been dipped in gasoline and lit on fire sorry for punctuation errors and spelling errors its 3:55am and i am in quite a bit of pain and cannot sleep due to it remember this THE MORE YOU TAKE THE LONGER YOU TAKE NARCOTIC MEDICATION THE LESS EFFECTIVE IT BECOMES OVER LONG TIME PERIODS i only wish 20 years ago i would have been given that advise hope this helps any questions please feel free to email me nico3052@gmail.com
  • Mrs FisherMMrs Fisher Posts: 1
    edited 04/26/2015 - 5:00 AM
    I have been on methadone for over a year. I have had amazing pain relief. Nothing else, no narcotic helped the way methadone does. My pharmacist told me it is because methadone works on two types of pain, the back pain and the nerve pain that goes with it.

    I have a disk in my lumbar spine that is herniated. The pain. Isn't being controlled by the methadone for the past two weeks, due to the new herniation. My original pain is post thoracic disc, and spinal cord compression surgeries.
    Thoracic discectomy x2
    7 thoracic levels
    November 2010

    Spinal Stimulator Placed 5/12
    Car accident on vacation
    Spinal Stimulator Removed- emergency surgery 8/12

    Pain Management since 8/12

    4/15 Lumbar Disc Herniation
  • I've taken Methadone for about 5 years now, and found that for my chronic pain it controls my pain better than the other narcotics. It is a very steady medicine due to it's long half life ( which also makes methadone a dangerous medicine for abusers, or for opiate naive patients, or those just starting to take methadone who don't follow instructions). However, due to the concerns listed in Nick e Nico's post, I would not take Methadone if not for my permanent conditions: 2 Cervical Fusions , Anterior c3-6, and Posterior C4-T1, T-11 fracture, severely degenerated knee, both shoulders dislocate, and initial neck injury damaged my spinal cord, which causes clonus and cramping that increases the pain in all areas. The only other thing I've found is that methadone does not contain break through pain very well, such as a new injury or when you aggravate an old injury. Therefore, I take oxycodone for break through pain if necessary. Just to restate, I would not recommend methadone to anybody that will not have permanent chronic pain, because once you start it is difficult to get it out of your system. It works, but has a dark side.
    C3-C6 Anterior Cervical Fusion
    C4-T1 Posterior Cervical Fusion
    Left semi Hemi Paresis
    Numerous other old injuries
  • It is not heart healthy in some people. It has caused me some problems and I want to add my "amen" to the difficulty of withdrawal. Having just come off of both hydrocodone and methadone, I did the hydro first and it was a piece of cake compared to how bad methadone withdrawal made me feel. That being said, It was pretty effective for nerve pain. So it's another one of the "toss up" situations that chronic pain sufferers have to deal with. Daily. Good luck.
  • I have been on methadone two times in the past and it did not work for me. You are not taking a really heavy dose of medication and since you are getting good pain relief you should not increase your opiate dose. How helpful is the Robaxin ? Maybe taking less of that would help decease that tired feeling. The one good thing about medications that have a long half life like methadone is that you do not get that up and down feeling of pain. You might want to talk to your doctor about taking the long acting hydrocodone in it's lowest dose that just came out. However since it is new it maybe more then you can or want to pay for it. I do not know how long you have been taking opiate pain meds but if it has only been for a short time many find that the side effects tend to lessen. There is a lot of different ways to go with pain meds and you don't really know how things are going to workout until you try them. The other suggestion I have and I almost hate to say it but maybe taking 30 mins for a quick nap might end up being the best choice out there. Naps over 30 mins taken during the day tend to make people more tired and or make it harder to for them to get to sleep at night. Good luck!
  • hi there. went to the methadone clinic after rehab for drinking and prescription pills (injury in 03) . I can say that when I first started taking methadone, it was life saving. it filled that "hole" that most of us try to fill. I was told that methadone is not for pain. this might be the clinics reasoning, I don't know. since then, a new screaming pain and the methadone doesn't touch it. ive been on methadoterne liquid 88 mg for 2 years now. this program is strict; swabs, urine tests, breathalizers and if you even look tired or "sedated", you are pulled out of line, talked to and sometimes do not allow you to dose. As you can see, it is a pretty big detterant to use. it comes with bad conontat ions . , a drug is a drug is a drug. I am on tap for a big spine surgery, and as I mentioned in my forum topic, once a criminal, always a criminal. the drs feel like the methadone should be enough to cover the pain. I am here to tell you, it does not. I hope I have helped- Kathy
  • There are lectures on YouTube & the web from Pain Management experts at famous universities. I was surprised that they say methadone is the best (Really Heavy Hitter) of narcotic therapy because of the nerve & structural all-round pain control. I'd always associated it with heroin addiction (I'm of the "Just say No!" Generation!)

    I see it as a very, very 'last resort' type med & you seem such a long way from there! There are many extended release narcotic meds. Some make me less fatigued than others. ALL pain, muscle, nerve meds make me feel very sleepy until I've taken them consistently with 24/7 coverage for about 2 weeks.
    I'm just wondering if the rollercoaster relief of Norco is adding to the problem. Maybe an extended med is worth discussing with your doc.

    I'm no doctor & probably a little bias against methadone because of it's imfamy. I do believe in doing my research & having all of my concerns & questions answered to my satisfaction before I do something 'big' like taking a step-up in narcotics.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Thank you guys all so much for your input. I've been slammed with finals and work these last few days. I definitely think there are way better things I can try than methadone for the time being. I was speechless when he offered it. The whole conversation actually began when I asked about ER meds. Not any specific ones or anything, I just asked if they decrease lethargy and what not. I feel like if I went straight from Norco to Methadone, I would be SOL so to speak as I get older. My problems will likely be life long so I don't want to be maxed out at 22.

    Again, thank you guys for your input. It's given me a lot to discuss at my appointment on the 16th (my PM does Saturday appointments, which is awesome!). I think I may stay on the Norco, because it is working.
  • kathyykkathyy Posts: 580
    edited 05/05/2015 - 12:39 PM
    Don't grab onto methadone unless you have to. You are way too young! I would look at other pain relief methods. Even a spinal cord stimulator. (It works for some.) Lidocaine patches can be good. Ice. Heat. Physical therapy. If you have such issues at 22, just think of those of us over 60! You have to find a way to rehabilitate your body to any extent that you can. Swimming, too. Gosh, I think I need to follow my own advice (lol.) Good luck. I am still having some withdrawal issues from methadone at 6 weeks!!!!!!!!!!!! Really! Plus it does effect your heart in some instances. Procede with caution. Best regards. Kathy
  • hi your comment about methadone is scaring me. I am on 83 liquid methadone and cant imagine what the pain would be if I didn't have it.i talk to a lot of people down at the clinic and it is so sad and scary how potent this drug is. there are several pregnant women(girls) at the clinic. a friend tells me her baby is still in the icu combatting coming off methadone. it saddens me that this happens and the best news for these moms is "he is down to only 1 dose of morphine a day". it did save my life, but my pain laughs at it. im ready to be off of it, but cannot imagine what the pain would be without it. surgery cannot come to soon for me, regards, kathy
  • aruzinskyaaruzinsky Posts: 40
    edited 06/26/2015 - 5:51 AM
    I can't help you with your sedation problem because every opioid that I have tried slightly stimulates me, similar to what I would experience with 100 mg. of caffeine. However, I suggest that you subjectively rate the euphoria/analgesia ratio of tried opioids and choose the one with the lowest ratio because it will probably have the least potential for addiction and the least potential to cause you to make irrationally optimistic decisions. In my experience, methadone has a relatively low ratio whereas hydrocodone has a relatively high ratio.
  • Hi,

    My name's Gary, just joined today and am eating breakfast so won't write much now. Methadone... I have read all of you guys posts regarding Methadone and I found all the posts interesting. I have used most of the NSAIDS and many types of narcotics. Also acupuncture, massage, yoga, marijuana, hypnotherapy... I am on 50mph Fentanyl patch and taking two to four 10/325 Endocets a day -- the pain remains between 5 & 8. The meds that I am on hardly work! But without them the pain would stay at  around 7 to 9. These numbers are estimates and they change slightly as time passes.

    I am going to see a pain management doctor three days from now, what we will be looking at is Methadone. He has three patients on it, and all three say that it works to different degrees. My GP will give me the RX script and my insurance may pay for it. I am going for it. I am desperate. And, I believe that it will work better than any other pain med that I have used in the past.

    I am 78 years old and have been in the chair since 1979. (37 years so far and not much longer,:-)  At my age I am not concerned about side affects or long term problems. I just want a few years of relative peace.  

    I have three different pain areas and all three are chronic. I have had 24/7 chronic pain for the past 15 years. Before that I had pain (5 -10) off and on since about five years post injury.  Yes, the first five years were virtually pain free. I fell 40 feet and landed on an iron railing breaking apart my L-1 vertebrae -- I have a plate attached to the T-12 and L-2 vertebras. Some of the numbers here are estimates, but THE PAIN IS THERE ALL THE TIME!
    Any ideas, suggestions, thoughts on pain control that you could offer? I need help.

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