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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Post by Helen518 »

Yes, I am always very apologetic and express my gratitude every time I speak to him. Most of the time he seems a bit surprised and seems to indicate that it is not necessary to be so thankful/grateful, but I certainly don't want him to think I am demanding or take his help for granted.

I had thought of what you suggest, (you mentioned that another rls.org messager has taken both at the same time). I still don't understand how they can both work at the same time - I thought methadone prevented non-synthetic opiates from having any effect.

THis is day one of the schedule and I am not comfortable this afternoon. I hope it is just stress.

Aiken
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Post by Aiken »

Helen--

I take both methadone and hydrocodone. The trick is to make sure the methadone isn't hogging all of the opioid receptors when you take the hydrocodone. For non-addicts, taking non-addict-level doses, this should usually be possible. The hydrocodone may be somewhat damped down, but should still work, not to mention the fact that there's still some methadone working as well.

I'm sure our RLS cases differ in multiple ways, but here's what I do. You could ask your doctor about it and see what he thinks. I take a dose of methadone in the morning, and then I use hydrocodone for breakthrough symptoms at night. It's sort of a symbiotic thing, actually. The morning methadone covers what few daytime symptoms I have, and keeps me from getting any rebound/withdrawal when the shorter-acting hydrocodone wears off. However, I don't take so much methadone that I'm drowsy all day, the way that I would be if I took enough to cover my evening spike of symptoms. The hydrocodone covers those, but wears off in time for me to be awake all day. I also don't take so much methadone that there aren't enough available receptors when the evening comes around. I just barely top off the tank in the morning and then let it slowly drain so there's room at night.

When I was taking just methadone, I was having a very hard time at work, constantly yawning and wanting to go take a nap. Now I'm okay.
Last edited by Aiken on Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 »

I'd try what Aiken suggests for sure. Although it may take you some time to get used to it, and also because stress seems to aggravate your RLS so much, it may not work out..

The way methadone works is that it has a stronger affinity for opiod receptors in the body.. You can take other substances while on methadone, but for the most part it will block the HIGH that addicts crave. There is still some wiggle room for potential RLS relief if you balance it out. Also, if you take a big enough dose of a competing substance, it will overwhelm the affect of the Methadone and its possible to get high, but only very low dose ranges I think.. I've taken Methadone and a significant load of Hydrocodone before and while the Hydrocodone didn't really do much, I could tell it was having a bit of an effect on me regardless.

What I would do is develop a plan based off Aikens, but tailored to be more suited for your own symptoms.. I would work in as much methadone as you can stand without becoming too tired, and then balance that out with the Hydrocodone..

If it all proves to be too difficult.. You may ask your doc about medications that can keep you up during the day, that might be safe for the baby.. I know they make medicines for narcolepsy, etc that helps keep people up during the day, but I have no idea what class they are, and if they are outright stimulants, you may not be able to take them unless a doctor says it won't affect the baby.

Maria
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Post by Maria »

Helen you are dealing with so much right now. I've thought of you often and hope you’re finding a solution with your team.

My problems are small in comparison, but still I’m mighty confused as I try to work out the right methadone dosage and timing.

I stay on the move pretty much all day and avoid much sitting so have cut out the day time dose. For years I had symptoms starting between 5 – 8 pm and usually took Mirapex around 4:30. Since starting methadone I fine that the afternoon and late evening are not a problem if I take plenty of standing breaks.

I take 7.5 mg methadone about an hour before bed time. I’m sleepy and comfortable when I go to bed at about 9:30. But at about 11:30 my legs start to fizz (and I don’t mind this too much; it doesn’t drive me from bed -- just interferes with sleep). But then at about 12:30 fizzing transitions into kicking, and I have to get up, have a cup of tea, do a crossword puzzle and then try going to bed again. This can happen a couple more times in the night.

What do you all make of this? Do you think I can get to a good night’s sleep on methadone alone? I’m really averse to adding another drug. It’s been a few days since I started taking 7.5 mg all at once. I reckon I’ll ratchet up to 10 mg. Might that work?

And do you think it’s okay to have a glass of wine with dinner if I take methadone?

Maria

SquirmingSusan
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Post by SquirmingSusan »

Maria, it sounds to me like the methadone isn't covering your symptoms adequately. Increasing to 10mg should give you better relief? It shouldn't be wearing off that quickly, so I'm thinking you're just not taking enough. It sounds like you don't have problems with insomnia otherwise, so if your symptoms are covered by the methadone, you'll probably be able to sleep.

As for having a drink with dinner - alcohol can make RLS worse in most people. Also, because alcohol depresses respiration, it's really a bad idea to drink with methadone in your system at all. And since methadone has a half life that's measured in days, and not hours, it's going to be in your system at dinnertime. You can ask your doctor, but he/she will likely tell you the same.
Susan

Neco
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Post by Neco »

A very small glass... like 2 - 4oz is probably the most I would ever drink, if I still could.. Methadone is pretty strong and even when you aren't conciously aware of it, and feel normal, you can still have depressed breathing.. My mother has commented on it before when I used to take larger doses

Spiticus
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Post by Spiticus »

Hi all. I'm fairly new to the forum. I just switched to methadone for severe day time and night time RLS. I've been through the usual suspects and was last taking 2 10mg lortabs each evening. While they worked, it was only while I was asleep and taking more during the day seemed like a bad idea. I'm taking 2.5mg twice a day. Once when I wake up, once before I go to bed.

I'm on the 3rd day now of switching over and it's been an odd experience to say the least. I feel tired most of the time but I have an incredibly hard time falling asleep. When I'm up and around I feel quite tired, like I could go to sleep fairly quickly if I lie down. When I do lie down to go to sleep, however, my body is at rest but my mind will not relax. I end up reading for hours in bed while feeling incredibly sleepy but knowing that my brain is still chugging away. It wasn't like this with the lortab.

I also tried Lyrica out but that only helped marginally with the RLS, primarily making me feel dizzy and unfocused.

The methadone is definitely taking care of the RLS during both the day and night considering how long it works, but this bout of sleepy insomnia is strange and becoming frustrating.

Anyone else had experiences like this?

Oh, and glad to be here. I've read a number of threads and many, many posts already.

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woodsie357
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Post by woodsie357 »

I started Methadone 2.5mg on Feb 11 2009. I've basically been up the whole time. I've probably gotten 5 hours of sleep in the last 5 days. This is however not new for me. For the last 7 months I've been awake for 4 to 5 days then crashed a day then up for 4 to 5 days and so on. I feel more mentally alert but I'm pretty sure 2.5mg a day is enough to do much of anything. LOL I don't think my brain is working to well right now.

P.S. Welcome to the Forum good group of people here. I'm new myself.
Someone cares about your sleepless nights

ViewsAskew
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Post by ViewsAskew »

Hi spiticus - saw your other post, too., Welcome.

All opiods can be a bit energizing for some people. I can't say it makes my mind whir, though. It did that long before the methadone! You might not need to take it twice a day, FYI. Many of us can handle one daily dose and it works for us the 24 hours period. But, not all of us. I have some brief RLS during the day, but so mild it's not worth taking the methadone twice.

I wonder if taking 5 mg at one time, though, would make you more alert at night, or if it would take the edge off and you'd sleep.

Does your doctor have any input?
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

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.

Spiticus
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Post by Spiticus »

ViewsAskew wrote:Hi spiticus - saw your other post, too., Welcome.

All opiods can be a bit energizing for some people. I can't say it makes my mind whir, though. It did that long before the methadone! You might not need to take it twice a day, FYI. Many of us can handle one daily dose and it works for us the 24 hours period. But, not all of us. I have some brief RLS during the day, but so mild it's not worth taking the methadone twice.

I wonder if taking 5 mg at one time, though, would make you more alert at night, or if it would take the edge off and you'd sleep.

Does your doctor have any input?


Well, I started this new treatment on Friday. He's not in the office today because of the holiday, so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to get his opinion on it.

I moved to methadone from lortabs and when I think back on it, it seems like there was something similar to this but it didn't seem nearly as bad. It may just be swtiching over to a new medication and I have to get used to it. It just seems odd that it would make me feel as tired as I do while also keeping me from sleep.

This might sound weird, but I feel like I'm in a constant struggle to stay awake AND go to sleep. One thing I absolutely feel is exhausted. LOL.

Neco
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Post by Neco »

I often experience this side effect when I take too much. However I'm not saying that is the problem with you, but I certainly understand.

It may be that you need to adjust to the meds, or it may be a lasting side effect. Rest assured that it is not uncommon however. Usually people end up having to find a balance between a dose that doesn't make them sleepy, and takes care of the symptoms, and treat any additional symptoms with a weaker opiates like Hydrocodone (Lortab) during the times when they can't afford to be fogged up during the day.

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Helen518
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Post by Helen518 »

Hi -

Has anyone been told that they are mentally not as sharp since they started methadone?

My husband thinks that my logic and thinking processes have been a little off the wall since I started taking "all these drugs." He might have meant opiates in general, but I just assumed he meant methadone.

I guess I have been a little out of it, but I just put it down to the winter "brain fog" I usually experience. I think my brain tries to hibernate.

ViewsAskew
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Post by ViewsAskew »

No question I am not as sharp. And, I am pretty sure some of it is the sustained lack of sleep. But, I also believe that the methadone does contribute, too.

Aiken has gotten around this by the timing of when he takes it. I'm still trying to figure out how to do it...
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

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.

Aiken
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Post by Aiken »

Pretty much every drug we take for RLS slows us down in some respect. That's sort of the nature of the treatment for RLS. It wouldn't be the slightest bit surprising if you or your husband have noticed something like that.
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 »

I think I am not as sharp as I used to be. I haven't noticed a single big drop across the board, but certain things here and there trip me up on occasion.. Forgetting to grab a soda on my way back upstairs even though I came down for one and stopped for a cigarette, going to get something on one side of the kitchen but starting out towards the other side before remembering it's the other way.. At work I'm notorious for leaving my box cutting knife in the isle in front of my face (and looking for 5 minutes) or leaving it at the store and having to go back, although I have improved that a lot and I think it's a separate issue..

I blew through a red light this past Sunday and didn't realize until I was halfway through the intersection, but I'm not sure if that was just a mistake as I don't do that often.. I was looking for pedestrians on the sides of the crosswalk and its a small downtown two-way street so I think I simply missed the light because it was on yellow or just changing to red, and the crosswalk flashing light is also yellow.. Thankfully no one was rolling through the intersection, so I am guessing it had to have just turned red as there was traffic on all sides...

I do miss stop signs once in a while though, even though they are in areas I know where they are with certainty.. I know my vision is slightly bury when the Methadone or most other opiates are at their peak, as distant signs have to be squinted at, etc..

In general this stuff doesn't bother me in the long term however. Are you doing any better with your Methadone? Haven't seen you posting anymore troubles with symptoms, so was hoping you managed to work out a proper dose and schedule..

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