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AkiraAAkira Redlands, CAPosts: 82
My PM wants me to take 5mg of methadone at bedtime for nerve pain.  And if it seems to help, another 5mg during the day.  I currently take 10/325 oxycodone 3-5 times daily for pain.  What is your experience with methadone?


  • Can I ask why the jump to methadone when there are so many pain medications in between? I'm really shocked a PM doc would even suggest this, without putting you on an extended release medication first...or really using methadone at all. Plus, if you get released from this doctor, for any reason, it will be really hard to find another PM willing to take you after being on this medication. Can I ask what your diagnosis is? 

    Retrolisthesis C4 of C5 and C5 of C6
    Spondylolthesis C5/C6
    Disc protrusions with Annular Tears C3/C4, C4/C5, and C5/C6
    Disc Material Compressing Spinal Cord C3/C4
    Severe Forminal Stenosis C5/C6
    Ankylosing Spondylitis 
    Annular Tears L3/L4 and L5/S1
    Enlarged Facet Joints/Facet Anthrosis L3/L4/L5
    PLIF with Rods, Cage, and Pedicle Screws-L4/L5
  • AkiraAAkira Redlands, CAPosts: 82
    T8 fracture dealing with nerve pain all around my ribs and mid back pain.  RFA procedure and epidural shot, but still in pain.  PM told me that methadone should help, but I'm not sure of more medication.
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  • AkiraAAkira Redlands, CAPosts: 82
    I have to assume that there's spiney's out there that have experience with methadone.  Just reaching out people for knowledge, thank you for your input.
  • methadone is  a very cheap medicine and can help people in severe pain. anyone with bad insurance or no insurance can't afford er (extended release) medication because a lot of it is hundreds, even thousands of dollars. my fiancé was prescribed methadone one month and 15 mg helped about as much as his 15 mg oxycodone does- (neither help very much, he has severe arachnoiditis) and it really helped in between doses. but the doctor said it was a "dirty" medication and wants him to be on nucynta  ER 200 mg 2x daily. the hoops insurance is making us jump through and the fact that it took 3 weeks for the pharmacy to even get the medicine has made it impossible to get. and its $1200. 
  • AkiraAAkira Redlands, CAPosts: 82
    edited 03/26/2017 - 6:19 PM
      My PM doctor wants me to take just 5mg nightly and he stated that it will help with my nerve rib pain that wakes me up nightly.  I decided to listen to my pain doctor and have been taking it now for a little over 2 weeks.  It has helped me with the nerve pain and I sometimes sleep thru the night without waking up in pain, but it's hard getting up in the morning.  I have been on 10/325 Oxycodonce 3 times daily and 800mg 3 times daily of gabapentin.  Still a little concerned about the methadone and it's side effects, but got to try what gives me relief.  I don't like some of the side effects, but it's a give and take decision of life.  I have had RFA and epidural injection.
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  • Hi, I'm new to the group, but I've been "trolling" through the threads and feeling so much better, knowing that I'm not alone! I'm sorry there are so many of us out here suffering with so many different spinal problems...but I'm happy that we can all communicate! As for the question of methadone...it saved my quality of life for so long! I could function "normally" and not have to take 4 or 5 different medications repeatedly throughout the day and night. I was diagnosed at 15 with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, at 18 with congenital fusion c4/5, at 30 with osteopenia (pre osteoporosis), when I was 32 I was in a terrible car accident and shattered my left asatabulea/ pelvis, and hip...all stainless, titanium, pins, rods, etc..now, and then at 36 fell 23 feet and fractured my right rotator cuff, four places in the pelvis, and 3 bones in my coccyx...no I'm  a dare devil or stuntman, lol. I had been prescribed everything from Norco, oxycodone, morphine, to even antidepressants that were supposed to help with pain...and then one day my pcp AND my pain doctor both retired! At the same time, my insurance was dropped by my ex husband! I found a pain clinic I could afford and was prescribed 5 mg of methadone, 2xday...with a follow up for two weeks later. I was amazed! I still could not make the entire night without waking up with shooting sciatica pain, so the doc changed my dosage to 10 mg twice a day, as tolerated. Ibuprofen for any pain or swelling in between. I was amazed! I was pain free for the first time in a VERY long time if ever! There is a stigma attached to methadone because it has been labeled as only a treatment for heroin abuse/withdrawals for so many years. It's a shame because it can work wonders for those of us with chronic pain. No tylenol, it lasts a lot longer than the standard Norco 4-6 hour routine. It is supposed to be easier on the kidneys, etc..I know everyone is different and reacts differently to different medications..I wish you the best and pray for your pain relief! For all of us to be free from pain! The only drawback I've ever had from methadone, is the stigma. People will ask questions or raise eyebrows..but it is your life and your pain! Good luck! 
  • Methadone is a very good pain reliever. It's analgesic effect can be 6-8 hour of pain relief and also has a very long serum half-life which means withdrawl will not occur within 24 hours of taking it. Like all narcotic pain medications your body will become dependant so when and if your chronic pain subsides, you will need to have an "escape" plan from that medicine whether it be methadone, oxycodone, morphine,  whatever. With methadone you can still take an additional break thru medication like oxycodone or morphine or whatever medication. Tylenol and ibuprofen are fantastic pain relievers but unfortunately can be very toxic to the liver and kidneys unlike most narcotics. When you need 80-200MG of any narcotic to make your pain bearable believe me methadone taken in a RX (3x daily as opposed to addiction purposes 1x daily) is very effective without the "drowsy" effect. Some PM's view it as this but some don't. My advice is read, research, and arm yourself with knowledge because remember that is how a doctor became a doctor. ... By reading and studying! And you have the experience of dealing with the pain. Good luck and keep your head up! P.S. I'm finally getting my surgery this month! 
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