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Chronic Lyme's disease sufferer/methadone?

BrookiCookieBBrookiCookie Posts: 2
edited 10/13/2015 - 9:08 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi everyone. I became ill in 2013. Found out I have lyme and two co infections. I went undiagnosed for 5 months so the infections spread to my heart, brain Nervous system and organs. I have awful pain everyday. I see a PM doc. He has me on 7.5mg hydrocodone 4x's a day and 15mcg butrans patch. Lately my pain has become so severe he wanted to switch me to 5mg methadone a few times a day. Just methadone nothing else.

I turned the methadone down bc I was scared I know it can be awful to get off and wasn't sure if it is better or more potent than the Vicodin. Anyone have good experiences with methadone for chronic awful pain? I'm trying to figure out what's better. Also anyone have bad experiences with methadone?

Thank you

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Liz.Spine-health Moderator


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Presently, I have no experience with methadone and none with Lyme Disease.

    In your other post, I noticed you said you have had the medication and the patch for about one year.

    When I first started pain management, my doctor told me I'd be switching my daily medications about every year or year and half, so as to try not to become resistent to their relief.
    I started with fentanyl patch, then OxyContin, back to fentanyl patch, and so on. So far both continue to take edge off pain.

    Doctor did use the word methadone, as he spoke to me about plans B,C,D....as time goes on.

    All that to say, how did your PM doctor respond when at this time you turned down taking the methadone?
    Did he say or did you ask about other medications to control the pain? And or a rotation of meds?
    Did he mention a plan if methadone becomes ineffective, or otherwise bothersome?

    You may want to use the search on this site, upper right on page. Type in your concerns, ex: methadone, and may lead you to discussions on older posts, articles and or videos.
    The information may be helpful to you, and may lead you to questions you may want to jot down for doctor.

    Others with more experience may come by with useful information for you.

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • I am sorry that you are suffering with Lyme's but I am so glad you shared your concerns. I have some thoughts I would like to share with you as I have walked a similar path. First - the 7.5 hydrocodone is paired with either 500 or 325 mgs of acetaminophen. By now, everyone knows the damage this drug causes to the liver. It is so easy to ignore until you have a blood work up only to find out your liver enzymes are off the charts. Depending on how long and how much acetaminophen you took, it may or may not return to normal levels. After 6 years of getting off hydro's, my liver enzymes are still high. (and I don't drink or do other drugs that would harm my liver).

    Second - Just like hydrocodone, morphine, codeine and butrans, methadone is an opioid. It behaves much like any other opioid with one key difference - it has a very long half-life. That means that once you take it, you will not feel the need for another dose for at least 24 hours (36-48 for me). For this reason, it is quite often used to help people off other opiates since the short half life of other opiates creates constant highs and lows. As long as the dosage of methadone is correct, you should have absolutely ZERO withdraw symptoms from the other opiates. On the contrary, the first couple of doses may prove to be very pleasant.

    Most doctors will not prescribe methadone (my GP wouldn't). I can only surmise it is due to the close monitoring the patient requires initially. Often, the dose starts at 20-30 mg and after a couple of weeks increases 10 mgs or so until an appropriate dosage is obtained. It is incredibly easy to lethally overdose on this if you don't take the prescribed amount. This is not a medicine to party on or mix with other drugs. However, taken correctly, it can change your life.

    I have been taking methadone for 6 years and it has helped me get my life back. I am not constantly thinking of my next dose, my business is doing better and above all, I am a better mother to my son.

    Share your thoughts with your doctor. His is not going to let you suffer or leave you hanging. Ask if you can sit in his office after taking the first dose in case you need more to manage the withdraws. My methadone clinic starts patients off on 20 or 30 mg a day so 5mg might be low for you. Be honest with him/her and explain your concerns. It does not take a doctor to know if someone has been taking opiates for as long as you have that your going to have fears about changing your meds. It's nothing to be ashamed of.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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