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Tapering off Methadone after 15 years of Chronic Pain


I am a former health professional who was forced into retirement due to chronic pain after fusion surgery to correct herniated discs in my neck.  Up until 3 years ago, I was taking 60 mg daily for pain relief.  My pain started easing about 5 years ago, but forgetting to take a dose caused pretty severe withdrawal symptoms.  3 years ago, my doctor retired, and his successor didn't wish to continuing prescribing as before, so I voluntarily started tapering my dosage.  I am now taking under 10mg daily, taking 1/2 tablet one day, then alternate 1/2 tablet twice the other day.  I have been reluctant to be completely forthcoming to my doctor, taking less than prescribed, afraid that he may cut my dosage even further.

Along with the typical withdrawal side effects, I have absolutely no energy, and even worse, I am having short term memory loss, which I understand is common.  I rarely leave the house, and except my family, have pretty much become a recluse.  I feel embarrassed that I am in this situation through no fault of my own, but am proud that I have been able to suffer with withdrawal, and hope to finally taper off completely.

I was wondering if other chronic pain patients who have been on long term Methadone have been able to get off the stuff completely, and if so, how long before I get any energy back.  I know if I were to take a 10mg tablet daily, I would start to feel like a human being and have some energy.  Thus, the dilemma.  My doctor doesn't have a problem continuing to prescribe it, but I would like to be completely off of it, switching to something non-narcotic.

How long will the withdrawal and depression last after I quit completely?  Will I regain my short term memory?  My testosterone levels are so low, my doctor prescribed injections, which I self administer every 3 weeks. I suppose that is permanent.



  • Hi bmw633

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    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
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