Methadone and side effect?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by ourplanet, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. ourplanet

    ourplanet New Member

    I traveled about 600 miles from my home to begin seeing a great doctor and began methadone about 2 weeks ago. The improvements in my levels of pain have been amazing. For anyone else out there with any experience with it, or if you know anyone with experience with it, do you recall any severe symptoms of gingivitis, swollen, painful, bleeding gums? I never had symptoms like this prior to beginning this med? He said it might be a freak side effect? He wants me to stop the dose for a night or two and see and if so we will know and try another drug.....but I just can't bring myself to do that yet. This is the first time in ten years that I have had any relief and I have traveled so far (literally and figuratively) to get here that I am just not willing to believe that the one thing I find that brings me relief would also bring me this. I want to believe that maybe it is the stress of being away from my home and husband and staying with my parents that has brought this on. I am registered dental assistant and a dental hygiene student and know very well that stress can do horrible things to your gums. Any input would be most appreciated. Gentle hugs to all!
  2. bigmh

    bigmh New Member

    Hi ourplanet...I have been taking methadone (10 mg 2-3 times/day) for a little less than a year. I am having dental problems, but believe it to be from other meds that were causing dry mouth (Cymbalta which I have stopped and Nortriptyline which I am still taking). I surely don't like the build-up of plaque (that I never had before).

    For me, too, methadone has been a great help with pain.

    Just a sidebar...I am taking guaifenesen for my fibro. In the book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia by Dr. St. Amand, it talks about dental problems. As a matter of fact, it was because of a patient with lots of plaque that came to his office that he eventually found guai to be a treatment for FMS. It's a good read even if you don't follow the protocol.

    Best of luck to you...Blessings, Ann
  3. StephieBee

    StephieBee New Member

    My father is on Methadone for a serious disability.

    His pain doc has told him that it can cause the your teeth to rot. He has actually lost 2 of his front top teeth.

    Im not exactly sure if it has anything to do with the dry mouth, but there is a toothpaste he uses that is specifically for people who exerience dry mouth. Im not sure of the name of it though.

  4. kellyann

    kellyann New Member

    I took methadone for a whole year. It did pretty good on pain relief, but it turned me into a zombie. I could not stay awake. It is a wonder I didn't wreck my car! I was so relieved to get off that stuff! I'd never want to take it again. I did lose 2 teeth while on it.

    Take Care!
  5. leubie

    leubie New Member

    Hey I too take methdone---------I too have severe dental problems------------------BUT NOT FROM THE METHADONE----------It has been a wonder for me--------------and could not go to work or do anything w/o it-----------------MY dentist.E.N.T., oral surgeonor Neurologists HAVE NEVER SAID ANYTHING ABOUT THE METHADONE causing my Dental probelms------------just ME NOT TAKING CARE OF MY TEETH!!!!!!!!!!! iF YOU DO NOT WANT TO STOP THE MEDS for a couple of days -----------------call your Dentist and see what he says--------------ALTHOUGH THE DOCTORS USUALLY LIKE US TO FOLLOW THEIR ORDERS!!!!!!!!! Hope this helps-----------------LOVE TO ALL ----------------LAURA
  6. joyinga

    joyinga New Member

    Just wanted to let you know that when i went to my first appointment with a pain management specialist he wanted to try me on Methadone. I was taking Lortab 7.5 mg and he said that he would prefer me to be on the Methadone due to it not having tylenol in it and all that. I was really reluctant because the Lortab works for me but i think because i have been on them for so long i needed an increase in dose (i suggested going to the next dose of 10mg-probably my first mistake with a new doctor but i'm wasn't ignorant about narcotics due to being on them for the last 4 yrs) He said that Methadone was stronger and that they lasted longer because the lortab did NOT last the 4-6 hours that most of the labeling stated it did and suggested that i try it at least. I told him that i would be willing to give it a try (although i was hesitant because i was unaware that methadone was even used for pain...had always heard that it was used for heroin addicts). So he gave me a 2 week prescription and said that if it didn't work for me then he would put me back on the Lortab. I did develop a side effect like you describe but my mouth felt like i had scolded it with something hot. Almost like i had ate or drank something that was scalding hot and it burned my mouth and tongue and gums. I already have SEVERE dental problems and have bleeding gums and SEVERE dental decay from I DON"T KNOW WHAT. At my follow-up appointment 2 weeks later the P.A came in first and asked how i was doing and i told him about the side effect i was having with the methadone and he said that it was a rare sided effect and that it evidently wasn't a good drug for me since it was so bothersome for me. Well when the PM doc came in after that he said that it was not a rare side effect and that he'd never heard of that happening??? but nonetheless i asked to be put back on the lortab and he reluctently agreed. ( I later learned that this pm doctor prefers to use either the methadone or duragesic patches for all his pain patients... i assume because he thinks those arent as addictive or those are the ones who "druggies" don't care to use for their recreational drug use-Although read the news lately about the hype about the duragesic patches being misused and killing ppl by lacing them with the other drugs now).

    Anyways, just wanted to let you know that I did have that side effect. It was a great pain medicine but i already have alot of dental problems and i didnt want to add yet another dental problem to deal with so i asked to be put back on the Lortab even though it really doesn't work too well for me anymore. I originally had come to him to get better pain management due to the fact that i'd been on Lortab 7.5 for about 4 years and needed an increase due to tolerance issues but he promptly told me after that, that he would NOT increase my meds for AT LEAST 4 years before he would do anything. So i take my lousy 7.5mg lortab four times a day and live with the pain the rest of the time. He came up with all kinds of excuses why he did not want to up my dose to more a day or even to the next mg which would be the 10mg dose. He used AGE (im 34) and that i would have to be on something the rest of my life and that i HAD to be as conservative as possible and he used my conditions being arthritis, fibromyalgia and other painful disorders that i was LUCKY that he was even willing to prescribe a narcotic to treat my pain issues cause most doctors would not even do that for those issues and he used the tylenol amount in the medicine as another issue saying that too much tylenol was not good for my liver even tho i could take 3 times the amount daily to have been anywhere near the damaging amounts that are recommended to avoid. He could have given me the Norco brand narcotic which only has 325 mg tylenol in them but he is also a pm doctor who is afraid to give the proper pain relief to patients so i have to take what i can get...I dont have insurance so there is NO way i could even afford to try the Duragesic patches which are TOOOO expensive to even try ONE for me. He also stated that I should be grateful that he was even seeing me because i did not have insurance and i had to sign up for the indigent program at the hospital that his office is located in and that since i had no ability to pay him i should just be grateful that i am even being seen. He said that i could gladly go somewhere else if i didn't like the treatment he offered.. but i cant so i have to live with what he is offering for now!!! (btw-i can't even afford the oxycontin that he might have given me either due to the cost of even the generic oxcycontin)

    ANYWAY!! sorry for the book..i guess i got on a rant there...but i did want you to know that i developed those side effects in my mouth... i just don't think my Pain Doctor believed me because i think he thought i just wanted the Lortabs but i'm glad that now i see it CAN BE A side effect of the methadone not that i'm glad its happening to you but he insisted that it had nothing to do with the methadone!!!...i might just print out your post and take it to his office so he could see that i was not the only patient that has ever experience this side effect either!!! BUT i can say that the methadone did give me good pain relief.. i just can't deal with the mouth issues along with my teeth rotting out and not being able to eat due to that and the other side effects the methadone was giving me.(it also made me sooooo drowsy that i could not barely even funtion-i was falling asleep driving down the road taking my son to school and picking him up from school and that scared me more than the other side effect-another reason i did not want to stay on the methadone.)

    Maybe if you give the methadone a few more weeks it might work itself out. I don't know...some side effects go away after you take a medication for a few least thats what i hear from others who experience side effects from medications.....but i wasn't willing to wait those side effects out for me anyways... the drowsiness and the scolded mouth (made it EVEN more difficult to eat or drink anything) was too much to try to manage even for 2 more weeks....

    Hope that everything works out....let me know how it works out for you and if you are still having these side effects and what you did...(change medications? kept taking it??)

    Oh-i was taking 5 mg of the methadone 3 times per many/what mg did/were you taking?? maybe you could try taking less and see if that helps til you get used to the side effects(if they go away with use over time?)

    Take care,

    P.S. sorry so long and sorry for the rant..i tend to let it all out when i get started !! LOL

  7. ourplanet

    ourplanet New Member

    I just realized that you responded to my post. Thank you so much. I went to my dentist yesterday and he put me on a week's worth of antibiotics (clindamycin)since I am allergic to penicillin. I definitely have a gingival infection at this point, but it may have been caused by beginning the methadone. I am just so afraid to admit to myself that the methadone may have the reaction because I have not felt this well in years. It would break my heart. Other than this side effect it has been the answer to my prayers, I have been sick for ten years, seen countless doctors and had to leave my husband and home and travel 600 miles to see this doctor. I am a dental hygiene student and know full well that stress alone that can cause bacterial infections in the mouth, but after reading that you had similar reactions....I am much more suspect that it is a drug reaction. Especially the burnt mouth feeling you refer to.. I felt the same way, like when you burn the roof of your mouth on a slice of pizza. Very odd. Thank you. I guess I really do need to take a day or two off and see if it subsides. Thank you. And take care of yourself. : )
  8. joyinga

    joyinga New Member

    That "scolded" feeling didnt start immediately when i first started taking the medication. I think it was about a week after I took the 5mg- three times per day that it started with that side effect. Thats why I was asking how much you were taking and how often. I think maybe instead of stopping it all together maybe you could cut the dose in half and see if that helps some. If the medication works that much for you maybe you could try to tolerate it for a few weeks at a lower dose and see if you can get past that side effect. I know that some people have side effects that do go away but alot of times it takes a few weeks to a month before it actually does. I'm just so relieved that i'm not the only one who had that feeling!!! My pain doctor made me feel like I didn't know what I was talking about and that I was crazy and it was NOT because of the Methadone!! (even though his P.A. DID) And I already have dental problems and sure didn't want anymore to add to it!! HEHE.... but for me I also didn't like the other side effects of the drowsiness either so i chose not to take it for that reason too.

    It would be a shame to have traveled that far and to have found someone and a medication that helped that much to have that problem stop you from being able to take it. I do know that most pain medicines cause dry mouth(i'm sure you know that too...but that is a mild mild side effect that doesn't bother most people but this wasn't dry mouth that that I was experiencing!!) It felt like I had scolded or burned my whole mouth(gums,tongue, throat-everything...and it changed the taste of food for me too..almost like i had no taste buds left on my Thats why I suggest maybe you could try to cut your dose in half and/or take it less often until your body can get used to that side effect. You know that methadone has a half life a lot longer than regular narcotics where it stays in your system i think around 12-24 hours instead of leaving your body like the hydrocodone/oxycodone where it can be out of your system from anywhere from 2-6 hours. And also it is very tricky titrating up dosing of Methadone to get the desired pain relief. You have to be very careful and SLOWLY increase the dose over a course of several weeks so your body can adjust to the dosage because it builds up in toxicity in your blood unlike the other narcotics do. That is why i say maybe you are taking too large a dose right now for your body to adjust and maybe if you tried to cut back on the dose and/or frequency you might not have that side effect anymore or as severe as to where it is a problem for you to continue the methadone......I hope i didn't confuse you with that information and you understand how i'm trying to explain.

    If you google Methadone you can find out why they do this type of dosing with methadone with increasing doses in SMALL mgs. in pain patients. If you want a nurses perspective on this go to WEBMD Fibromyalgia message board (i'll include the link at the end of this message-if thats allowed) and put in the subject line::
    Annette-please help with Methadone question:
    Annette is a nurse that sometimes gives her knowledge and expertise on medications and things and she has worked in the addiction/rehab field also so she knows quite a bit about Methadone and how it is dosed and the reason it has to be built up in your system slowly in order to acheieve the correct pain relief. She also does volunteer work with her local clinic now and she has fibromyalgia and other issuee so she's pretty knowledgable and up to date on things. I've read in the last few weeks people have been overdosing on Methadone because most doctors are not knowledgable on how to prescribe Methadone correctly. I hope that i'm not scaring you and this is probably irrevelent in your reason for the burning/scolded mouth issue but maybe you need to take a smaller dose more infrequently and this might solve your mouth problems if you want to hopefully continue to take the methadone. And then slowly increase it to see if the problem doesn't continue and when it does you'll know what dose you can take without that side effect. I'm just thinking maybe you are getting too much too soon and it needs to be titrated a little slower with your body and then maybe that side effect won't be bothersome anymore! But Annette can answer that question probably better than me and she can explain it ALOT better in words than I have. I just don't want to scare you or make you stress out over this in case I told you in a way that was not understandable..

    I hope this helps some.... and I REALLY hope that you can fix this problem with the mouth issues so you can continue to take the methadone since it is helping you so much! It is a relief when you find something that FINALLY helps and I can understand your hesitancy on stopping altogether...and maybe you wont have to stop altogether... thats why I wanted to respond back with this information.....Let me know how it all works out for you!! And I'll pray that it will work out for you to continue to take it too!!

    Take care,

    or just go to and then choose message boards and then choose Fibromyalgia message boards if that website doesn't work'll have to sign up before you post a message(like any other message board) but choose start discussion and put the subject line as I stated above with Annette's name in it so she will know you need to ask her specifically a question otherwise she might not respond. She usually only responds to medical stuff and if her name is in the message line.
  9. Valentina

    Valentina New Member

    that taking Methadone could cause dental's a good thing I saw this thread. My dentist found some bone deterioration under 4 of my bottom front teeth when he did a routine x-ray during a check-up. I had been off Methadone for at least a year (probably more like 2, but I can't remember).

    Now I'm beginning to think there might have been a connection between the Methadone and the bone deterioration in my teeth. I only took the Methadone for around 6 months (it helped a lot with the pain, but caused me to sweat constantly (really dripping)...I had to carry a towel around with me).

    My doctor never mentioned that Methadone could cause dental problems. I'm glad I now know that it's a possible side effect.

    I've been able to keep the bone in those 4 teeth from deteriorating further by being meticulous with my oral hygiene. The periodontist I saw was surprised to see someone so young with my problem (I'm in my early thirties), but because it was only the beginning of what could turn into a really serious problem, he thought I had a good chance of preventing further deterioration by taking better care of my teeth/gums.

    Since then, I've been compulsively attentive to my oral hygiene and have had no further problems with bone deterioration. If my dentist hadn't seen the problem when he did, there's a good chance I would have eventually lost those 4 teeth. Scary!

    [This Message was Edited on 08/12/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 08/12/2006]
  10. joyinga

    joyinga New Member

    Bumping for ourplanet to see my last post to her for suggestions!!

    Take care,

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