METHADONE "KILLER DRUG" on 20/20

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by ChicagoEmerald, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. ChicagoEmerald

    ChicagoEmerald New Member

    Friday, September 22nd

    This evening I watched the show 20/20. I was shocked to hear what they reported about Methadone. (I am on Methadone 60 mgs daily.) Here are some of the things they reported:

    *Methadone is the leading drug killer
    *Methadone averages one death per day
    *ONE pill can be lethal !
    *Methadone poisoning
    *Methadone is a night time killer
    *Only side effect is loud snoring
    *Methadone can be toxic not only from over dose, but to
    doctor perscribed doses !
    *Methadone is just as serious as heroin
    *Methadone withdrawl is worse than heroin withdrawl
    *Methadone has killed TWICE AS MANY PEOPLE as herion has

    I would like to know if anyone saw 20/20 tonight. (9/22/06) It was very upsetting to watch the show. I know that Methadone is a narcotic, and can be dangerous if a person takes more than the doctor prescribed. However, I never new that people are dying after only taking small amounts. I was also very consered when they said that the only physical side effect of methadone being toxic is loud snoring. My side effects from Methadone are: constipation, dizziness, trouble swallowing, and my husband says that I have been snoring very loudly. (I've only been snoring since I started Methadone.)

    I would love to here any input about 20/20 and or the above subject.

    Thanks in advance!
    Kristi
  2. makezmuzic

    makezmuzic New Member

    I just read about this on another site. Pretty scary. Thanks for posting

    MM
  3. browneyelady48

    browneyelady48 New Member

    I saw 20/20 tonight and was shocked and raged to hear all they was saying. I have taken it before and had no problems, and could not understand and relate to a lot they was saying.

    How could it be considered a recreation drug. It doesnt give any type of high feeling as the other drugs. That's what I liked about it. It worked great for pain, without messing up my mind.

    It upset's me so much when there are so many people in pain and so many people that abuse it.

    I personaly dont understand how the boy could have died from 1 pill. When I toke it I had a hard time sleeping, it sure didnt help me sleep.

    After I leave here I am going to 20/20 and see if I can send a comment about the show tonight. Brenda
  4. StephieBee

    StephieBee New Member

    My father has been on Methadone for maybe 4 years now. He was detoxed over to it from Oxycontin for his severe spinal/neck injury nerve pain.

    He was inpatient at Spaulding Rehab and they said it is easier to get off than Oxycontin. In fact, Methadone was their drug of choice for chronic pain sufferers. If it is one of the most dangerous drugs, why would they be putting so many people on it?!

    He has been on 100 mg daily for a long time. He has never had a problem with it. Sometimes it makes him drowsy, but thats about it. So therefor, I find the 20/20 findings outrageous.

    Sure I have heard that it is easy to OD on...so isnt Oxycontin and Fentanyl Patch (if used incorrectly) which have both made the headlines recently. There is still a lawsuit over Oxycontin.

    I have known people that have taken Methadone in the past, and yes you can experience a high from it.

    I think that they are just trying to scare people. particularly recreational drug users. I have heard that it is fairly cheap to get off of the streets compared to other narcotics. If a doctor offered me Oxycontin and Methadone...I would take the Methadone anyday. I saw what my dad went thought on Oxy, and ive heard of teens and young adults I have known of ODing on Oxycontin. That is just my take on things...not offense to anyone on the board that takes Oxycontin.

    Take Care,
    Stephanie

  5. Bruin63

    Bruin63 Member

    I have a Sister and BIL who have to take Methadone for their Pain.
    I didn't watch the show, but I sure hope that someone sets, 20/20 striaght on the difference in Pain Meds and what they can do,

    They only focus on the bad these day's.
    sharonk
  6. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    I didn't watch 20/20 but from what I have read here it is no different than what I have read on the Internet about this drug. My doctor recently precribed Methadone and I wanted to do some research about it before taking it. On various sites I read most of those things that Kristi listed as being said on 20/20.

    I wonder if the media was just searching for the "next drug" to feature.

    Lolalee
  7. 1975jet

    1975jet New Member

    Hello- I now wish I hadn't read this.... My husband has to take methodone for his liver pain- he originally was on Vicadin but because long term and the tylenol in it(wish affects the liver) the transplant team put him on the Methodone- he has to take it and is being monitored- I have never heard of someone dying from methodone- did they OD?

    Sorry, my curious mind got me on this one...
    Janet
  8. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member


    I watched it for the methodone for chronic pain segment, even though I find 20/20 is kind of like the National Enquirer of documentaries. Keep in mind that this show is kind of sensationalistic and tabloidy.

    The things I remember about toxic methodone use they said was the problem lies w/ it being perscribed for temporary pain by new users. And the fact that the drug effects can be cumulative, so the first pill might not kick in and you might exceed the dosage looking for relief and then it accumulates. They mentioned one sudden death from taking the recommended dose, but they dint' say what the dose perscribed was. The man also could have had a freak reaction. You can find freak reactions to most any drug you care to research. The man that died on the recommended dose seemed to be a more isolated thing.

    the big problem is street use. Junkies od all the time and this has become the hot drug because its cheap and not as regulated as oxy and codeine. Methodone rxing has risen as a backlash from all the crackdowns on oxy, so its now the new oxy. This will pass as word gets out and they regulate the heck out of it and there will be a new hot street drug, there always is.

    They reported no deaths from chronic pain sufferers or those being treated w/ methodone for heroine w/drawal. So if you are taking methodone for pain, I wouldn't worry. Your system is used to painkillers. Think of how a normal person would react to your typical dose, they'd sleep for a long time and might even vomit at what you are used to.


    jeanne
  9. karinaxx

    karinaxx New Member

    Methadone is THE Drug taken when you want to get of Heroin. it is a Heroin substitute for Heroin Adicts and is giving to them on long term basis or to avoid withdrawal symptoms. to get of it, you have to lessen the dose very gradually and slowly, it is adictive!
    it is used for pain, as is Morphin, but as all this drugs, has of cours side effects!
    if you pain is so severe that nothing helps anymore, why not?! But you cant get of it just like that, the withdrawal symptoms will be the same (nearly the same)as with Heroin.
    karina
  10. ChicagoEmerald

    ChicagoEmerald New Member

    First of all I would like to thank everyone for their comments, input and thoughts. I have a doctor appointment Oct 2nd and I will discuss this subject in length with him. I also printed a copy off the web of the same thing I saw on 20/20to show him. I know it was a very scarey subject for all of us on Methadone and those of you that have loved ones on it. After reading one comment that said, "I wish I never read this" I too had the same thought after watching it. Eventhough I do have many side effects from the Methadone, it does help to bring down my pain level several notches. I do experience it if I have not eaten enough before I take the Methadone.(I really can't imagine someone wanting to feel like that. It makes me dizzy and a bit sick to my stomach. Does'nt sound like fun to me!) I previously was on 2 different meds that were removed from the market, and I think put back on? (Bextra and Vioxx) Those were reported to have been linked to heart attacks. It is just so frightening to here that a medication you are on have cause others so much harm.
    Janet, you had asked if the 20/20 report talked about over doses or people just taking a small amount. It reported that both situations had happened. I believe in one case a young man had died and they only found 10-15 mgs of Methadone in his system.
    For those of you that missed watching the 20/20 episode, it is in writing and video on the web. I'm not sure if we are aloud to give out web sites or not here. So, I will just say that if you use your search engines, simply look up the show. (If we are aloud to list web site, if someone can let me know, I would be happy to list it.)

    I think it is important to collect all the information and knowledge we can when it comes to the medications we take for this DD. Then from there, talk to our doctors and make an educated decision in what we feel is in our best interest. For myself personally, I'm sure my decision will be to get off of Methadone. It's not a risk I want to take. However, I do not look forward to getting off this medication, and going back to square one again, as I and I'm sure most of you have.

    I am going on the first vacation since I was diagnosed with Fibro 4 years ago. I am so looking forward to see the Grand Canyon with my husband and daughter. I was already worried about keeping my pain level at a descent level. I guess I will have to make a decision if I want to switch medications before or after our 10 day trip. I was already worried about my pain and having it damper anyone elses good time. I'm also not happy that I will need a wheel chair for all or part of the vacation. I'm only 42 and have such a hard time with having to use my cane, wheel chair or even those scooters at the grocery store. My family always encourages me to use these avenues to help me, but I guess it's just pride.

    Anyway, I do certainly appreciate all your thoughts and wish everyone gentle hugs and a cure to this DD when it is still in our lifetime.

    Thanks so much!
    Kristi
  11. Jgavi

    Jgavi New Member

    I hope the people who got scared reading what 20/20 did have gotton over it- yes it is a drug and yes it can kill- but so can asprin!

    Its TV folks and their job is to enertain- judt because its on TV doesnt mean its a FDA announcement!

    So take your meds! methadone KILLS my pain and the risk of the drug killing me is so low----dont abuse it and you will be fine! to me taken it is worth it because i cant live in horrfic pain....to OVER REACT isnt healthy!

    jgavi
  12. cc0526

    cc0526 New Member

    I have had several patients taking methadone for chronic pain and have all done very well with it. I too have tried it for a time and it was by far the best thing I have had for severe pain. It is much longer acting than others and I didn't have nearly as many side effects as with the lortab, percocet, etc.

    As far as for people using it for heroin withdrawls, the dosages are generally 3-5 times higher than used for chronic pain patients.

    Like others have said... anything can be dangerous. If you have been taking this drug for a while now and have had no problems I can't see any immediate harm, of course discuss concerns with your doctor.

    Most people who have problems with any medications will have problems very shortly after starting treatment. Everyone is different. I was discouraged by the report on 20/20 because it seemed like just when docs were getting brave enough to prescribe this med it will probably be a big step backwards.

    The patients I take are of take anywhere from 5-40 mg two or three times a day. Very little need anything for breakthrough pain. Other patients I am having to give lortab etc every 4 hours. If anything is going to build up in the system it's that and all that tylenol.

    I don't know. Not an expert, just what I've seen in practice. I have a patient who gets dealthly ill with vitamin C tablets. Maybe well see a report on that next week.

    Patty
  13. StephieBee

    StephieBee New Member

    You are right. You DO need to be VERY careful when it comes to narcotics...especially heavy hitters like methadone.

    You must listen to your doc. Do not take more than prescribed.

    Usually doctors are smart enough to start you at a small dose, so a fatality wouldnt be such a high risk. Then grandually increase.

    As it has always been said about medication...take the lowest dose effective.

    But methadone is not this hedonistic drug everyone makes it out to be. It is a miracle drug for many. And like cc said, alot of people do not need breakthough meds while on methadone...I know my father doesnt.

    I just wanted people to know that these are my thoughts on this subject.

    Stephanie
  14. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    I did not see the show but they did one several years back on xanax..Yes, my doc had just prescribed xanax and it really scared me so I went for months and didn't take my meds...Finally I started taking the xanax and for my problems it has been a great drug..Have been on it for five years now..

    Now back to the methadone, my daughter has been on metahadone for about 7 years and it has been a good drug for her..She was non functional without it..due to pain..She swithched from vicodine to methadone..I worry over her taking it as I would any meds as to what they do to your liver..But it has been a good drug for her as well as the xanax has been good for me..

    Just remember its the media so take it with a grain of salt...When we are ill we have to take what helps us..

    God Bless,
    greatgran
  15. KMD90603

    KMD90603 New Member

    The thing to remember is that Methadone is also used for people coming off of heroin. I didn't see the 20/20 special, however, I'm assuming that this is what they are talking about. Methadone is a very potent narcotic and can have some serious side effects and withdrawal symptoms. The dosage is probably different depending whether it's used for heroin or pain management.

    The main and most dangerous side effect of any narcotic, including methadone, is respiratory depression. It depresses the central nervous system and can lead to a dangerous decrease in respirations. Again, I missed the newscast, so I'm not sure this is what they were talking about.

    Any narcotic is dangerous when not taken properly. As long as you follow the dosage instructions set my your physician, it should not be a problem for you. However, I think it's great that 20/20 did a special on a drug that could have some very serious side effects.

    Hope this helps,
    Kim
    [This Message was Edited on 09/25/2006]
  16. starduzt24_07

    starduzt24_07 New Member

    Methadone tablets

    What are methadone tablets?
    METHADONE (Dolophine®) is strong pain medication similar to morphine. Methadone relieves moderate to severe pain. Methadone used as part of detoxification and maintenance programs to help prevent withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to drugs such as heroin or other illegal street drugs. Federal law prohibits the transfer of methadone to any person other than the patient for whom it was prescribed. Do not share this medicine with anyone else. Generic methadone tablets are available.



    What should my health care professional know before I take methadone?
    They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
    •biliary tract disease
    •diarrhea
    •heart disease
    •intestinal disease
    •kidney disease
    •liver disease
    •lung disease or breathing difficulties
    •seizures
    •an unusual or allergic reaction to methadone, propoxyphene, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
    •pregnant or trying to get pregnant
    •breast-feeding



    How should I take this medicine?
    Take methadone tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. If methadone upsets your stomach you can take it with food or milk. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

    Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.



    What if I miss a dose?
    If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.



    What drug(s) may interact with methadone?
    •antiviral medicines such as protease inhibitors, delavirdine, didanosine (ddI), efavirenz, nevirapine, stavudine (d4T), or zidovudine
    •buprenorphine
    •butorphanol
    •clarithromycin
    •erythromycin
    •fluvoxamine
    •grapefruit juice
    •medicines for high blood pressure
    •medicines for seizures
    •nalbuphine
    •naltrexone
    •nefazodone
    •pentazocine
    •rifampin
    •St. John's wort
    Because methadone can cause drowsiness, other medicines that also cause drowsiness may increase this effect of methadone. Some medicines that cause drowsiness are:
    •alcohol and alcohol-containing medicines
    •barbiturates such as phenobarbital
    •certain antidepressants or tranquilizers
    •muscle relaxants
    •certain antihistamines used in cold medicines
    •tramadol
    Ask your prescriber or health care professional about other medicines that may increase the effect of methadone.

    Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.



    What side effects may I notice from taking methadone?
    Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
    •breathing difficulties
    •cold, clammy skin
    •confusion
    •lightheadedness or fainting spells
    •nervousness or restlessness
    •seizures
    •slow or fast heartbeat
    •unusual weakness
    •decrease or difficulty passing urine

    Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
    •blurred vision
    •clumsiness, unsteadiness
    •constipation
    •dizziness, drowsiness
    •dry mouth
    •flushing
    •headache
    •nausea/vomiting
    •pinpoint pupils
    •sweating



    What should I watch for while taking methadone?
    Tell your prescriber or health care professional if your pain does not go away, if it gets worse or if you have a new or different type of pain.

    Use exactly as directed by your prescriber or health care professional. If you are taking methadone on a regular basis, do not suddenly stop taking it. Your body becomes used to methadone and when you suddenly stop taking it, you may develop a severe reaction.

    You may get drowsy or dizzy. Be careful taking other medicines that may also make you tired. This effect may be worse when taking these medicines with methadone. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how methadone affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol can increase possible drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, and can affect your breathing. Avoid alcohol while taking methadone.

    Methadone will cause constipation. Make sure to take a laxative and/or stool softener while taking methadone. Try to have a bowel movement every 2—3 days, at least. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days or more, call your prescriber or health care professional. They may recommend using an enema or suppository to help you move your bowels.

    Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Visit the dentist regularly.

    If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking methadone.

  17. jake123

    jake123 New Member

    they will stick their noses where they do not belong again. I hope they didn't all watch TV Sunday night, that's probably where they get their education from.
  18. ourplanet

    ourplanet New Member

    Be intelligent about taking your medications. Methadone has been very well studied and used for many, many years and with great success! It is not a first choice for pain, but for those of us with long-standing, chronic pain that has not responded to other narcotic medications, it can be a true blessing. Do not let the media scare you into living your life. Gentle hugs and intelligent, informed choices to all!

    ourplanet
  19. 1975jet

    1975jet New Member

    Thanks, I feel better now after reading your posts-sorry I just react like a Nut because this is the only pain med they finally decided to have to put him on- his pain is not only from his liver BUT he has some infection in his Gallbladder- so the pain is twice as severe- We had him admitted in the hospital a few times and they will not take the gallbladder out because there is a 1 in 3 chance he would not survive- when he has the transplant done the gallbladder comes out automatically.

    I feel somewhat better- there has to be more to 20/20 why the people died- and yes methodone has been around for years... Everything they are doing for my DH is bandaiding at this time. We meet with the tramsplant clinic next week- this is always mentally exhausting for me and I know for him - but day by day Janet
  20. petsrme

    petsrme Member

    It was reported today that Daniel Smith, Anna Nicole Smith died from mixing Methadone, Zoloft and another antidepressant. He had very little doses in his system, but it suppressed his respiratory system while he was sleeping. As with all medications, we take a risk, but we have to have most of our medications so we just have to be very careful. If a medication helps me feel better I will take the risk.