Methadone? UPDATE!!! Pls Read, great pain relief!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by hermitlady, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    I had a Dr appt yesterday to address my pain meds. I've been on Norco 10/325 for a yr. I've been going over my max prescribed dose the last couple of months due to the tolerance and dependence that I've developed. Not good.

    I asked about switching to a longer acting med and he suggested Methadone. I tried MSContin before and didn't like it, so this is the next med he suggested. I just know Methadone has a bad reputation. I need to educate myself once again.

    If anyone can share their experiences/knowledge of using this for pain treatment, I'd really be grateful. The useless "search" feature came up w nothing when I tried, but I know there must be some folks here that have tried or know about Methadone.

    I'm not going to try it until maybe Sunday, after I do some more research. Thanks for any input!

    Or if there are other long acting meds that are working well for you, I'd like to hear about them. Thanks.


    I changed the title and posted an update since starting the Methadone, see last post dated 2/2/09
    [This Message was Edited on 02/02/2009]
  2. kbak

    kbak Member

    I don't use Methadone but my mom was on it for cancer. It worked so well, but.... it is a potant drug not really ment for everyone that has pain. I guess I would ask myself, is my pain so bad that I don't care about the long term effects of this drug. You have no where to go after Methadone. For some people that would not have any life without that powerful a med the answer would be yes. I think your wise to research this. Remember this is a very addicting drug and the withdrawl is brutal.

    Good luck,
  3. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    Personally when you're in that much pain with the likilehood of being on pain meds for a very long time, withdrawl is not the first thing that comes to mind. There are also meds that help with that. Right now you need out of pain and need some quality of life.

    You will notice a big difference with the longer acting meds. I use Oxycontin. It takes away that sudden drop when the shorter acting meds wear off.

    Not one of my doctors has worried about me going through withdrawal because they all know that I'll probably need something for pain for a very long time. Used correctly (with the exception of too much Tylenol etc) my rheumy assured me that they are relatively safe.

    I'm actually glad you are finally going that route. I know the Norco wasn't cutting it for you any longer!!

    I pray that you find something to relieve your pain!
  4. MsE

    MsE New Member

    My main pain is in my legs. Hydrocodone helps, and it also gives me a boost of energy. I use no more than half a tablet or I get a headache. But that seems to be enough to give me relief for a few hours. I don't use it daily. Just when I have something I have to do and I'm hurting a lot.
  5. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    I went to pick up my rx and found out I have to go back and get another one written, he wrote 20mg and it only comes in 10mg. Since it's a controlled med, they have to have it on the original prescr paper. What a hassle, I always have problems like this! Figures, I wanted to try this med over the wkend...oh well, next wk maybe.

    Dr did mention Oxycontin but said it would be even harder to wean off of. I really would like to try and get off these narcotics, I feel they're causing me more problems lately than I need. I've become so dependent on them and it's a horrible feeling, it's messing me up emotionally cuz I'm so worried about it. Just another thing for me to obsess over! :(

  6. SolSerenade

    SolSerenade New Member

    I'd recommend Avinza (morphine sulfate extended-release capsules).

    it's a 'one-a-day' - beats the heck outta a handful of codeine every 4 hours.

    good luck!
  7. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Thanks, I've never heard of that one before. I'll check it out. I wonder if it's like MSContin, sounds similar.

  8. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    My oxycontin is actually the one I forget to take. I know...weird (that's me!) I always have some left over at the end of the month. On the RX 'instructions' it says to take faithfully and doc also told me to keep in my system. I don't - it's my fault. I've had days when I haven't taken it at all. I have managed with my breakthrough meds.

    It is not like getting pain medication - like vicodin (when you first started taking it) or if you were to get morphine in the hospital or something. - at least not for me. I honestly can't even tell I've taken it. I have to write it down. I just know that I don't have that horrible pain in my legs. What I'm trying to say is that you won't feel weird.

    1/2 pill? Wow. I was never able to take that small of an amount - you're fortunate that that helps you!!!!
  9. dragon06

    dragon06 New Member

    I decided long ago that I would let all the emotional stuff and talk about addiction and dependence just roll off my back. I need pain relief now and I need quality of life NOW, not when I am 75! I take Oxycontin for my regular baseline med and I use Vicodin for breakthrough pain. My doctor and I are talking about possibly upping my Oxycontin dose and I am OK with that. It worries some people but knowing people FM for a long time and watching my mom who has had it for 24 years I know that I am going to be on pain medication for the rest of my life so I don't really worry about withdrawal or getting off them...I will be staying on them. If they find a cure for FM and CFS and all my other pain ailments all at once (which will be never) then I will worry about weaning off, and even then they have help for that.

    So what I do and what my mom does is live in the now and take our doctor's advice and take the meds and actually have some quality to speak of.
  10. FibroPastor

    FibroPastor New Member


    After being diagnosed with Fibro (2 years!) I was seen by a pain specialist. He confirmed fibro diagnosis and we began taking a number of pain medications (with the obligatory antidepressant). After some months HE stated that we had tried all reasonable therapies for pain and it was time to use narcotics. Methadone was the choice, since one does not "tolerate" it i.e., once you find a proper dose, your body does not require incremental increases to keep pain under control.

    I have taken methadone for nearly 5 years and it has helped more than other pain meds, but I also have to use tramadol frequently for breakthrough pain. I can get 50-60% relief on a good day. The doctor said I was lucky to get that much as many patients do not. Periodically I have to go on a fentanyl patch for a couple of months when I "hit a wall" with the methadone. Then I resume methadone.

    I would give it a try. If at first it is not heplpful your clinician should up the dose (I went from 15mg (totally inefective) to 30mg. per day, which is better than all I have tried, and probably the cleanest of the narcotic choices. As I said some of us use more medication for breakthrough pain. (I also use an NSAID).

    Methadone is very inexpensive. You usually have to sign a contract, sign for prescriptions each month,etc. The positives outweigh the negatives. I am in so much pain that I feel any help is some help. Methadone's "bad reputation" comes from the fact it is used to treat heroin addiction (at a fraction of the dose used for pain). Do not let that scare you. You cannot be ashamed that you NEED pain control. Uncontrolled pain is the worst thing. Let us know what you decide to do. I will close with a quote from Dr. Albert Schweitzer:

    "We all must die. But if I can save him from days of torture, that is what I feel is my great and ever new privilege. Pain is a more terrible lord of mankind than even death himself."
    - Albert Schweitzer

  11. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Thank you for your reply. I'm glad to hear your good results w the Methadone. I'll be getting mine tomorrow I think. I'll also still have the Norco for breakthru pain.

    I've weaned myself down to 6 Norco per day so far. Hasn't been easy tho.

    Love the quote you included. I know the feeling of "days of torture", it's no way to live! Maybe the Meth. will work for me and I can try it for awhile.

    I just know that at the rate I was going w the Norco, I would soon be off the charts w my dosage required to kill the pain. It's been almost 2 1/2 yrs (longer than I had thought) since I started w 5mg Vicodin, now at 2 10mg Norco at a time! Too much and still hurting!

    Thank you again........xoxo Hermit
  12. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Good for you to have such a great attitude. I felt confident that I was taking the Norco for a good reason until just recently. Since I've had to keep increasing the dose, I just haven't been feeling the "improved quality of life" feeling that I used to get from it.

    When I first started taking it, it was like a miracle for me. I got my life back. Unfortunately now, I feel that it's controlling my life a little more than it's helping. I guess that means it's time for a med change, huh?
  13. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Let's see, I started taking it 1/29 and have been pleasantly surprised by it's positive effects. I'm taking 10mg in morn, and 5 mg in evening. On average, I am now taking only 3 Norco daily along w the Meth. (was constantly taking 8-10 Norco daily the last 2-3 months)

    I immediately noticed the peaks and valleys, crashing and cravings were gone! My legs aren't throbbing w aches anymore (this almost always became intolerable if I went more than 5-6 hrs between Norco doses). I am no longer watching the clock in anticipation of taking my next dose of Norco. This is such a huge relief for me, I am not being ruled by my pain meds anymore!

    Hopefully things will continue to improve for me, I have a renewed sense of hope. I had been wondering if my dependence/tolerance issues w Norco were actually making me feel worse and causing more pain, and I am now confident that this was true. My system needed a change and so far it's been a good change! I plan on eliminating the Norco except for episodes of serious breakthru pain.

    My Dr prescribed 20mg Methadone 1x a day, but said I could break it up and experiment w dosing at first. It takes several days for levels to even out, some of the med is stored in the body and it has a long half life. That's why you can get away w taking it 1x day.

    I may eventually try just 5mg, 2x day, I'll see how it goes. I do know the physical dependence issue is still there w Meth, but developing tolerance and having to increase dosage supposedly doesn't happen.

    I am just amazed how quickly it made the Norco "ups and downs" disappear, and I no longer felt withdrawal symptoms from reducing my daily Norco intake. I just hope it keeps up the good work!

    My hope is that someone here will read this and learn about Meth being another option for pain relief. I really never knew anything about it besides knowing that Drs gave it to heroin addicts, and that poor Anna Nicole OD'd on it!

    I wish I had known sooner, it would have saved me a lot of misery. Just thought I'd share some good news for a change:)

    xxxooo Hermit
  14. Debra49659

    Debra49659 New Member

    Hi Hermit...I have also just started methadone...a very low dose and we may have to adjust to a ween bit higher dose. I have the vicodin for breakthru pain but at my low dose I feel like I would need to take it everyday and I'm not sure if that is what he meant by taking for breakthrough pain...the vicodin that is.

    I too was worried about the dependence issues however my doctor said that getting quality pain control is important. I was feeling really, really overwhelmed by the pain....I feel like I will now be getting a better sense of control:)

    Thanks for the post because you made me feel better about my choice!

    God Bless!
  15. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    I was just wondering what dose you're starting with. I'm not really sure what is a "normal" dose, mine is 15mg per day so far. I just want to try to take as little Meth as possible and still be able to quit the Norco for the most part.

    I know we're all different, but I always want to know what others are taking for their doses. So far today, I've taken 5mg Methadone and then 2-10mg Norco. I'm really tired today from too much activity the last few days, I told myself I needed to take the day off and rest. I also am dealing w pre-meno symptoms, got my period today after barely 3 wks:(

    Glad to hear from you and your experience so far w Methadone. Good luck w it!

    xxoo Hermit
  16. Debra49659

    Debra49659 New Member

    Hi hermit...I am taking 5mg. 3 times daily. So the same dosage as you. I still have lots of pain in my really bad spots like my back, hips...etc. Which still hurt a lot. I'm babbling here...not sure what pain relief I can expect because I've only had Valium in the past.

    Sounds like we are both doing ok =-)

  17. bobbycat

    bobbycat New Member

    Methadone and Oxcontin did not work for me. I take oxcodone.
  18. froggyfog

    froggyfog New Member

    My doctor started me on Methodone. I am on 5mg every 8 hours and take Vicodin for break through pain.

    At the begining I was RX 10mg every 12 hours but that made me too sleepy so he decreased my dose.

    Methodone works really well, you and your doctor will just have to find the perfect dosing that is right for you.

    Good Luck
  19. doc68

    doc68 New Member

    I have suffered with CRPA type 2 with level 3 symptoms for many years after an auto accident where I had my back broken, and suffered a considerable amount of nerve damage. For pain management I have been on a daily dose of 6 Norco 10/325 and 3 to 5 10mg flexaril for the last few years. At that level most days I was not to the point that I was crying, but my quality of life has been a joke. About 6 months ago my Doctor prescribed me 30mg of methadone 10mg three times a day, and I have all but stopped taking the flexaril and my use of Norco has been cut in half or less most days, and my quality of life is so much improved that it is like I have been given a new life.
    For the first time in 12 years, I was able to shower without the need for a chair to sit on after the third day on methadone, a week later I went fishing with my oldest son for several hours with only reasonable levels of pain, I have even been able to start having sex again.
    If this drug were to cut my life span in half, I would still take it, because now I have a life not just and existence. I was even able to leave my scooter at the van and take a short walk down by the river last week.
    This drug is and has been a God send, it gave me a life back. And if I were to become addicted to this drug, I don’t care I would live the rest of my life addicted. As I have now found out, if it gives you back your life addiction is not necessarily a bad thing. Even though I have not seen any symptoms of addiction as of yet, also according to my blood tests this drug is not nearly as hard on my kidney and liver function. And I have not had a bout of cellulitis since starting this drug regiment.

    I hope it workes as well for you, it made me almost whole again. good luck and God bless.
  20. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    What is CRPA? We've had a very tough time w/my Mom lately. Last two months have been horrible. We can't get to the bottom of what is causing such EXCRUCIATING pain. Had to take her to ER yesterday.
    this is not Fibro related - so sorry to post here.
    She has "splaying' nerves - had the run around from neurosurgeon.Such pain that she is immobile. Only thing that gave her a small amount of relief was the morphine they gave her in the ER yesterday.
    We may have to look into pain mgt. She screams when she moves.We can't watch Mom go through this anymore. They sent her home w/Percocet after Norco for 4 days didn't touch her pain. She is not used to pain meds at all.
    It's just nice to hear that someone with back troubles found some relief.

    I'm probably rambling - sorry, we're all exhausted from round the clock care - emotional and physically.

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