Taking Methadone and sleeping too much

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Joanie60
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:48 pm

Taking Methadone and sleeping too much

Postby Joanie60 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:09 pm

Hi guys,

I have been on 15mg methadone for the last two years plus. It handles my symptoms very well (85-90% I'd say). I take 10mg in the morning and 5mg in the late afternoon/evening.

For the last month or so, I simply CANNOT sleep enough. I take naps, I sleep and sleep and sleep. This was the reason I had to get off Requip (I was taking between 3-4 mg by the end of that nightmare!!). I have a FitBit and it appears I am getting good solid sleep. My ferritin is low (33) but was 24 last summer so that has actually improved. (history: I had an iron infusion a couple years ago..got ferritin up to 150 but did not affect RLS).

I had the flu in early Feb but I should certainly be over that. I drag myself out of bed after 9 hours during the week so I can get to work, fall asleep for an hour or so in the evening, then am sacked out from 11pm-8am but on the weekends??? I sleep and sleep and sleep.

I know most of you have "alerting" on methadone. And I am sincerely grateful beyond words to have found medicine that works. I have appt with my doc next month and won't complain to her for fear she will take me off methadone. So I am throwing this out to my peeps!! Any ideas? Anyone wrestle with this?

Thanks for your thoughts! I pray for a solution for all of us :-)

Joanie

Rustsmith
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Re: Taking Methadone and sleeping too much

Postby Rustsmith » Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:52 pm

Maybe your sleep problem isn't associated with your RLS and methadone. It's a very long story, but I had to discover for myself that the problem that I was having with not being able to sleep was being caused by the very low dose of L-Thyroxine that my GP said I needed to take. At my last visit, I told him that I was going to stop taking it because I was almost certain that it was causing issues with anxiety and was preventing me from getting enough sleep. Turned out I was right. Shortly after stopping, I went from 5-6 hrs/night to over 8 hrs and the anxiety went away. He requested another blood test last week and it came back about the same as when I was taking the meds. So, I was right.

So, in your case, maybe it is a different body chemistry issue or even some sort of low level infection that is telling you to get more sleep. It might also be an indication that you need to see a sleep specialist to figure out what is causing your hypersomnia.
Steve

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

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.

Joanie60
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:48 pm

Re: Taking Methadone and sleeping too much

Postby Joanie60 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:08 pm

My RLS doc IS a sleep doc haha. I am just afraid to "rock the boat" on my meds because, after years and years of hell, I am finally in a great place.

I only take 20mg lexapro (been on it for many years, originally for depression, then it was helping with hot flashes, now I don't think it does anything) but your explanation of low level infection is one that rings true. This started when I was diagnosed with influenza and accompanying asthma. So perhaps I need to give it another month or so. And be grateful that I am empty nester and can spend my weekends sleeping :-)

Thanks Steve!

legsbestill
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Location: Dublin Ireland

Re: Taking Methadone and sleeping too much

Postby legsbestill » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:59 pm

It can be daunting to need so much sleep but I would not be inclined to worry unduly. A flu can really take it out of you and you might just be taking longer to recover than you expected - perhaps it was a more severe infection than you thought at the time. I had pneumonia years ago and it took at least six months before I felt my energy levels return to normal. I hope things start to improve soon but in the meantime try to enjoy the fact that you are able to sleep!

Joanie60
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:48 pm

Re: Taking Methadone and sleeping too much

Postby Joanie60 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:13 pm

Good point! Thank you :)

ViewsAskew
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Re: Taking Methadone and sleeping too much

Postby ViewsAskew » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:03 pm

This has almost always been my issue with methadone. It is alerting initially, and then I sleep 10-12 hours. I loved it at first - I was SO tired and had averaged about 2 hours of sleep for 16 months. But, after awhile it got ridiculous. And, for me, it doesn't matter my dose. Not sayin' this is you - just what happened to me.

A couple of notes..take them for what they are worth.

First, I need my ferritin around 200-220 to work. Not saying it would work for you, just that 150 wouldn't do much for me. When I had the first infusion, I only had 7 days of reduced meds as the iron plummeted. At 170, when the ferritin test was taken, I'd already lost the benefit a couple weeks before. Had my third infusion a few months ago and for close to two months, I've been able to reduce my meds about 50-60%. That is good! I did take a complete break from both drugs - a month off each - while waiting for the infusion to work and that may have also helped.

Second, after 12 years of trial and error with methadone and other drugs, my absolute favorite is 50% methadone and 50% pramipexole. Then I stop the pramipexole for awhile to prevent augmentation, then stop the methadone to prevent tolerance (which is also an issue for me). Currently, I am trying the following:
5 days blend while increasing the pramipexole/decreasing methadone each day
2 days taking about 15% methadone 85% pramipexole (am trying not to completely stop it, but seeing if constantly reducing it will prevent tolerance)
5 days blend while decreasing the pramipexole/increasing the methadone each day
2 days only methadone

I get a complete break from the pramipexole every 12 days. Not sure if it is enough to prevent augmentation - this is a new mix for me. Also not sure if I will prevent tolerance if I do not stop it completely. BUT - I've gone through withdrawal several times; if it isn't enough, once a year I can always take a month off.

I have no doubt that my schedule is very specific to me...but I do think that many of us who augmented and need opioids but have issues with them would benefit from some sort of blend with breaks from the DA. I've gone over 30 days on the pramipexole without augmenting, but then I need longer breaks from it, which is more disruptive - a week off means a week of sleeping 10-12 hours a day. I was going to disrupt my weekend, but am thinking of doing Friday/Saturday or Sunday/Monday. Will see. This is only my first week trying this.
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.

Joanie60
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:48 pm

Re: Taking Methadone and sleeping too much

Postby Joanie60 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:22 pm

The iron infusion doc told me that since my ferritin was 24 last summer, insurance wouldn't pay for infusion. He rushed me out the door so fast, I didn't get the chance to ask how much it would cost out of pocket. Since ferritin is "stored iron" it made sense it could perhaps cause fatigue?? But then again I have been told that the only time low ferritin would cause a problem (other than RLS) would be during a serious accident where I lost a lot of blood all at one time. Who knows.

I am scared to death of DAs but I know you do the balancing act, Ann, and I've given it a lot of thought. For now, I am not subject to tolerance so I am not motivated to cut back on methadone. I have been warned that at some point in the future, methadone may no longer be an option because of the opioid crisis. I have a stash going but that will only take me so far if my doc can no longer prescribe it.

I am relieved to hear that you "oversleep" as well. I thought most people "alerted" on methadone :-). I guess at this point I will sleep away my weekends and hope it is an aftereffect of the flu. I do know in the past, if I slept from 6:00pm-8:00pm, there is no way I could have fallen asleep at 11:00pm!!! I guess I just think everything that goes wrong with me is because of RLS :-)

ViewsAskew
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Location: Chicago

Re: Taking Methadone and sleeping too much

Postby ViewsAskew » Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:32 am

I am not sure I remember the oversleeping being so bad initially. By years 2-3, though, I remember thinking - wow, I really like this sleep, but I have no life! And, oddly, the alerting became worse over time. If I do not time meds perfectly, I am often up into the wee hours. Then I sleep a minimum of 10 and upwards of 12-13. And, THAT became nuts. It wasn't until year 4-5, I think, that I tried every other opioid along with other things because I couldn't take the oversleeping anymore. The alerting is bad, too, but if I could wake up after 8 hours, I think I could have lived with it. When nothing worked, I finally started the pramipexole. Believe me, it took a LOT to get me to consider it! Initially I never went more than 2 days because I was so fearful of augmentation - you know how bad it is.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I've changed - many times - in how I react to these meds. And each time requires an adjustment. I WISH I was just able to take something and be done...but seems not to work that way.

Hope that you are simply getting over the infection and that all goes back to how it was.
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.

debbluebird
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Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 3:27 pm

Re: Taking Methadone and sleeping too much

Postby debbluebird » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:53 am

Lately I've been sleeping probably 12 hours. Before I was having leg jerks in the middle of the night, which would keep me up for an hour sometimes. Since I cut out the sugar, etc, I'm sleeping well. Actually it feels good. I tried to cut back on my methadone, but leg jerks came back in the middle of the night again. I was just thinking tonight, I wish I could cut back on the Methadone. I take 5 mg around 5 pm, and another 5 mg during the night.

Joanie, I would give it a little more time to see what happens.

badnights
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Re: Taking Methadone and sleeping too much

Postby badnights » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:14 am

It's so hard to tell - if it's the meds causing the sleepiness or if you just really need the sleep. I sometimes feel as if, when the symptoms subside for whatever reason - maybe my medication actually works for once or the cosmos decides to give me a break -, then I suddenly feel all the tiredness that was there before but not noticed because I was wired from the symptoms. So maybe the flu knocked the crap out of you, and you're recovering, and thankfully without symptoms.

On the other hand, it could be the methadone. I forget how long you've been on it? Maybe as for Ann it took a while before becoming sedating. If you decide that's the case, then you could try stopping and re-starting. Or, you could try adding a medication for alertness, like modafinil (Provigil, Alertec) or armodafinil (Nuvigil). I take modafinil, but I wonder sometimes if I should just be sleeping instead. Well - - hahaha - I know I should be. I wonder if I'm killing myself faster. That said, I can still sleep after I've taken it; it doesn't feel like it makes me more alert, and I only know if does by comparison with when I don't take it. Without it, I can barely keep my eyes open after the first 2 hours of the day.

I think the opioids cause alerting but only while they're in effect in my body, pretty much identical to the time during which they're effective against my WED symptoms. As they wear off and until the next day's evening dose, they cause grogginess.
Beth - Wishing you all restful sleep tonight
WED/RLS AUGMENTATION:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=6532&p=61601#p61601
Discussion Board Moderator's posts don't reflect the RLS Foundation's opinion & are not medical advice

Joanie60
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:48 pm

Re: Taking Methadone and sleeping too much

Postby Joanie60 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:33 am

Lots of great information guys! Thanks so much :-)

QyX
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Location: Berlin / Germany

Re: Taking Methadone and sleeping too much

Postby QyX » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:34 pm

I also had hypersomina. I never could get enough sleep. Then finally my doctor tested my blood and it turned out I did have severe Vitamine D deficiency. Supplementing Vit D turned my hole life around so probably there is an easy explanation for your desire to sleep all the time.


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