Methadone Users

Use this section to discuss your experiences with prescription drugs, iron injections, and other medical interventions that involve the introduction of a drug or medicine into the body. Discuss side effects, successes, failures, published research, information about drug trials, and information about new medications being developed.

Important: Posts and information in this section are based on personal experiences and recommendations; they should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a healthcare provider.
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Helen518
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Methadone - a week since starting

Post by Helen518 »

I hope everyone is having a good holiday season!

Well, it has been a week since I started the methadone. I'm up to 2.5 mg in the AM and 2.5 mg in the evening. I'm gradually stopping the neurontin.

At first I thought the 2.5 mg was working really well for about 4-5 hours in the evening. Now, I am not sure. It definitely is not cutting it in the morning. I'm hoping that this is just because my dosage is still small.

My RLS is so much worse in the 8am-2pm hours than any other time of the day for me (except for occaisional nights). I am sleeping OK when I don't have a stomach virus or a toddler waking up in the middle of the night (what a wonderful weekend I had . . !)

I'm really praying for the pleasant results that some of you have reported with methadone. Please send me some pep talk and reassurance!

I MISS MY BENZOS! They worked so well for me. for anxiety, which aggravates my legs. I am obsessing about cleanliness, tidiness, organization, finances, etc these days, and that is difficult when you live with someone who is very untidy and you have two big dogs, a doggy door, and a muddy yard, AND a toddler who crawls all over the floor. I've got to find time for Yoga to help the anxiety but haven't yet put that into action.

Neco
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Post by Neco »

Hi, I am glad that you seem to be getting some relief from the Methadone and yes 2.5mg is a small dose even twice a day. You might try taking 5mg in the AM when its worse and then 2.5mg at night. Or ask your doctor for a full jump to 5mg in the morning and at night. Is the way you take it now the way it was prescribed? If you have some wiggle room you can play around with my suggestions before going back to the doc.


How are you doing right now? Do you feel some overall relief on some level? Hopefully it is at least consistent once the symptom spikes go away?

I recently received an increase of 2.5 - 5mg per day.. Although I usually just take 5mg and then skip one or two days to balance it out. That seems to work better for me.

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Helen518
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Post by Helen518 »

Well, the doc's verbal instructions were to take 2.5 mg/day for the first week, then 5mg/day for the second week. I guess he probably meant to take it all in the evening, but I get the feeling he forgets that my greatest discomfort is usually in the day. I didn't experience any hazardous side effects like clumsiness or loopiness, so I thought it would be ok to take part in the AM after I get to work.

As long as I don't take more than I am supposed to take in a 24-hour period, splitting it should be oK right? I'm supposed to call him next week and he'll decide if my dosage should be increased again.

I hear what you mean about sometimes needing a bit more on some days. I know there are days for me when things are inexplicably worse than others.

Did you ever hear of nausea with it? I have this low grade nausea but I think I'm probably still getting over my stomach virus.

Neco
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Post by Neco »

Opiates can and do cause nausea in some people, unfortunately. In some cases you simply switch it out for another opiate, although in the case of methadone that's not really possible, or at least as easy to do.

How long have you had the nausea for?

Also, however much you take in a 24 hour period is up to you mostly.. If its an issue of sticking to your docs orders, then no as long as you don't exceed your prescribed daily amount, then I would hope he wouldn't have issues.

In terms of whether or not it is dangerous, not really.. If we're talking about an extra pill or two space out with some hours inbetween, I don't think its much of a problem once you have established a good tolerance.

However if you feel you can give it another week, then go for it, and have faith in that he will most likely raise your dose if you need a little more

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Helen518
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Post by Helen518 »

I had a low grade nausea on and off all day this past Friday, which was day 4 of taking 2.5 mg. Then I got a brutal stomach virus (presumably from my sister who I saw on Thursday) that night that knocked me off my feet for about 36 hours. I've been slowly getting my strength back but the nausea seems to be persisting on and off. If it is the methadone, I wonder if this side effect could wear off, like the itching with the codeine?

Neco
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Post by Neco »

It's possible.. If it didn't show up immediately then I would guess (and hope) it is most likely a slow recovery from the virus.

I've had food poisoning several times over the years, one incident that caused my IBS to surface from then on, I looked lot sicker than I felt, according to others (and I did feel like hell) and that lasted for almost a week I think.

I have gotten nausea from opiates before too, with Hydrocodone it was usually when I had taken too much over a period of a couple days.. The methadone has caused brief periods of nausea that lasted a few minutes but its been very rare..

One tell tale sign of opiate nausea is if it goes away when you lay down.. So if it sticks with you no matter what, I would hope it is most likely just the virus in its death-throws.

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Helen518
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Post by Helen518 »

Aargh. I was just looking up info about the nausea side effect and found that methadone interferes with a woman's cycle! :shock: ARGH. Why don't docs tell these things? If I don't get a cycle than I can't start IVF and they'll have to give me meds to jump-start it. Something else to obsess about . . . !

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Helen518
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Post by Helen518 »

Hmm. I'll have to see if lying down helps. I think it did help when I laid my head on the desk. I'll hope it disappears.

Food poisoning! Ugh. I haven't had that but this was the worse virus I've ever had. I think I lost 5 pounds - and I didn't have 5 pounds to lose. My ribs are showing. Yuck. I hope I get my appetite back or my cycle will be disrupted from being too thin (quitting the remeron and the requip caused me to lose about 7 pounds, too).

So glad we can share all the gory details of our bodily illnesses and dysfunctions!! LOL!

Aiken
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Post by Aiken »

Nausea with opioids can often be reduced or eliminated by taking them with food. You could try a few crackers to start, then work your way up through a piece of bread, or a dinner roll, or other non-fatty stuff like that, until you find a spot where the opioid stops bothering your tummy. You don't want to include more food than necessary, as it'll slow or damp down the effects of the drug somewhat.

By the way, I'm obviously not your doctor, but if I were, I'd say to take the full daily dose a couple of hours before you expect your symptoms to spike. I'm guessing you'd do it as soon as you woke up, given the schedule you listed. Methadone has a crazy-long half-life and the morning dose will still be fairly present in the evening. When I was taking methadone alone for evening/night symptoms, I'd take all 5mg around 8pm and it'd last me through the next morning at the very least.

Like I say, though, I'm not your doctor, so you should check with him.
Disclaimer: I often talk about what I do and what works for me, but these are specific to me and you should always consult a healthcare professional before trying these things yourself, lest you endanger your health or life.

Neco
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Post by Neco »

Yes, I forgot to reitterate that in my suggestions.

Always try to get your dose in before you expect your symptoms to either show up, or intensify.. You have to pay attention to how long it takes for you to start feeling any relief, on average. Then take it at least that amount of time BEFORE you believe things are gonna get worse..

So if you it takes about an hour for it to kick in fully, then take your dose at 7am. I don't know if its because you are simply taking so little and may truly need a higher dose or not, but usually when I take an extra pill at night I can delay taking my usual morning dose the next day, for many hours.. Usually I take an extra between 8:30pm - 11pm or something in that window. I can go from anywhere between 9am - 1pm the next day until taking my usual morning dose. Depends on several factors I'm sure, but its interesting to me anyway.. I would think taking your night time dose and then another one roughly 12 hours later would leave no gap at all.

I am hoping for you that maybe you just need 10 or 15mgs per day or something like that though. 10mg in the morning and then 5mg at night or something like that..

Wasn't aware methadone can mess with a woman's cycle, so I dunno.. Have you started in Vitro yet? If you have remember not to get freaked out if you are late, as you may actually have gotten lucky and be pregnant.

I would think that your fertility doc would not put you on a medication they thought would so severely affect your cycle or ability to get pregnant though? Also, if you do end up giving birth to a wonderful new baby, I read that mothers taking methadone are encouraged to breastfeed, as it is passed through the milk and can help ease the babies withdrawal.

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Helen518
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Post by Helen518 »

Hi - I started taking one 2.5 dose at 5am and the other at 5pm and that worked great for 9 days (until the last two days.) My prescription and my bottle of methadone says I can take 1-2 (5mg tablets) per day, though the doc and I only discussed as far as 1 5mg tablet. I'm having a bad couple of days, and I'm thinking it is OK for me to take another 2.5 mg (half tablet), since the bottle says so. I left a message for the neurologist anyway to check on it. I don't want anyone to perceive that I have not followed instructions.

I think stress and PMS are to blame for the worsened symptoms but it is hard to know. I'm still anxiously awaiting the start of my IVF meds . . . I can't get started until my cycle gets going, and I'm guessing the meds are interfering with it . . . I read that this is very common. How maddening.

I saw a potential new psychiatrist this week. She suggested I start taking Zoloft. I'm not too enthusiastic about another set of side effects to deal with. I don't think I'm going to see her again anyway. She seemed nervous.

ViewsAskew
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Post by ViewsAskew »

I absolutely have worsened RLS starting about 3-4 days before my cycle starts and lasting another 2-4 days after it starts.

So, that could absolutely be it.

Huh, I don't know much about SSRIs. Why did she suggest the Zoloft? It may be fine with your RLS, but it could make it worse. It seems a less than optimal decision given all that you are dealing with already. Then again, maybe she's thinking it will help with all of that...I just hope she understands the possible interaction of any SSRI or similar med with the RLS status.

As you said, you may not continue seeing her anyway.
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Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Neco
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Post by Neco »

Seeing as you got a good period for 9 days simply by changing your dose, I think its safe to say you just need to work out how much medication you need every day and how often you need to take each dose.

If your actual prescription says you can take 1 - 2 per day then I wouldn't worry about it. You are completely justified in doing that. You could take 5mg in the morning and 5mg in the evening.. Or if during one of your current periods you get by fine stick with the 2.5 then, take 5mg at your other dose and then save the 2.5mg for that part of the day when you could use a little extra.

So.. I think you have said your worst time is in the morning.. Why not take 5mg in the AM, 2.5 in the late afternoon/early evening, and then 2.5mg before bed to carry you through some into the morning..

You could also take 5mg in the AM, and then 2.5 around noon if its still bugging you, and 2.5 in the evening near bedtime.

There are a few possibilities to work with at any rate.. How are you feeling in general? Do you think the medication is helping a lot and you just need to find the right dose? Or starting to feel like it makes no difference and you might stop it?

Hang in there, work with your doc to find the right dose and I think you will be fine.. Hopefully it is the whole monthly cycle thing making you worse for now

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Helen518
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Post by Helen518 »

Thanks for the feedback! I think the methadone is helping a lot. You know why? Because when it is bad it feels so much worse than when it is good! So, I think I have a greater contrast between the good and the bad times . . . the good times are so much "gooder"! I did take an extra 2.5 mg this morning after I posted my message. I don't feel great but I feel just under the 'crazy' threshold - enough to get me to the evening. Usually the evenings go OK unless something stressful happens. Pray that I don't do anything to tick anyone off this evening and everyone is in a decent mood.

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Post by SquirmingSusan »

Hi Helen.

I'm guessing that the psych recommended Zoloft for you because it's not known to be harmful during pregnancy. She probably wasn't thinking about how it might affect your RLS. Many of us, though, take SSRIs and have no problems with them worsening our RLS. Apparently there are some people whose RLS actually is helped by taking them. I know that they can do absolute wonders for the mood when they work.

Best wishes with it all. I'm sure you'll get this all figured out and be onto the next IVF cycle in no time.
Susan

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