Oral methadone is very different than the IV methadone. Oral methadone is partially stored in the liver for later use. IV methadone acts more like heroin.
One of the positive effects of oral methadone is that unlike taking morphine where the morphine user is very uninterested in life and very passive, just basically waiting for their next dose. Methadone users are more engaged in living their life. Without the waiting or craving.
Methadone is not prescribed by your typical physician because of the stigma attached to methadone as a detox medication. If you would like to read input from a pain management physician about the prescribing of methadone read this from Dr. David
In most states and cities you must go to a pain clinic or a methadone maintenance clinic to be prescribed methadone. All physicians are allowed to prescribe methadone for pain. Click here to read about prescribing methadone.
Methadone is not like morphine when it comes to chemical make up. Though it is an agonist opiate. Methadone is more like propoxyphene (Darvon/Darvocet).
Methadone is a long acting pain reliever, that is why it is such a good pain medication for chronic pain sufferers and for helping the addicts get through life without having to spend their misserable existance trying to keep a steady supply of heroin around or nearby, just to physically get through a day.
Almost all the other opiate pain relievers (percocet, lortab, lorcet, vicodin, darvocet, ect) are short acting. They worked quite well at first thou only for a certain amount of time. When I first took Methadone it did not help much until I hit the amount that I needed daily. After that I have done well compared to the missery with the other opiates. When I started it lasted about 6-8 hours relieving pain. Over time Methadone did not have the 6-8 hours relief as in the beginning but it sure is the only medication that has kept on working enough to relieve enough pain where I could finally do some of my daily normal life functions and methadone also enabled me by pain relief to stop thinking of suicide just about every day.
What I mean by hidden is if you by a book on prescription medications from almost any store, you will not even find methadone listed. Here is a pain medication that treats moderate to severe pain and it also is used for detoxification, why would it not be listed in a book that has everything else including morphine, cocaine, ect. Its like it doesnt exist. Now thats what I call hidden....
Methadone is not even known of by many doctors, of how it works compared to other pain killlers. Most doctors think of it as a medication used for only addicts. For some reason, even though methadone is in the PDR as an effective medication for moderate to severe pain, they look at it as a narcotic of bad news. In my library here at home in the Facts and Comparisons book, methadone has been determined to be no more addictive than codeine, and hydrocodone (vicodin) see chart below. This book is used by doctors as is the PDR.
No other pain medication has this action of buildup in the body.
Methadone is a very affordable drug. The cost of methadone is very low compared to almost any other pain medication. There are a couple of meds that cost about the same, this is from my experience paying out of pocket. Generic darvocet, and generic vicodin (hydrocodone).
1- Physical addiction: The body needing a dose at the time of the of the next dose, if no dose is taken then withdrawal begins.
2- Psycological addiction: This is when you just want and have a craving to take pills for the high.
Pain pills do make you feel good (euphoric feeling of well being). Getting high is what you can call it. I found that the more pain you are in the less of a "high" you get. As with any narcotic there is the potential of addiction. The reason doctors do not want you to take pain medication to often, such as 1 every 6 hours is the more you take the closer you get to becoming addicted. Even though your pain needs more medication. If pain pills are taken to often every day & night for about 15-20 days or more your body will start to become physically addicted, meaning your body begins to require the pills just to keep the brain satisfied and to keep withdrawal at bay..
The more pills you take the more you need. This cycle snowballs. The more tolerant you become usually means the more addicted you are becoming.
Methadone if taken for long periods and at large doses can lead to a very long withdrawal period. As compared to other opiates in which the withdrawal period is a week to ten days, heavy methadone users can expect to not recover for up to 5 or 6 weeks. So don't use methadone any longer than needed. If your treatment takes you on a long term course such as myself (used daily for chronic pain) then be sure your doctor knows of this long duration of recovery. If not you could get into a position where the doctor may change drugs or stop the methadone suddenly. According to most medical books withdrawal from opiate addiction should be treated in the hospital. Withdrawal is one of the worst feelings that you can ever go through. This goes for any of the agonist opiates such as percocet/percodan/tylox/oxy contin/roxicet/roxilox=(oxycodone), vicodin/lortab/lorcet=(hydrocodone), codeine, morphine, demeral, demeral=(meperidine), methadone, fentanyl, opium, heroin, dilaudid=(hydromorphone), darvon/darvocet (propoxyphene).
You start by taking opiates/pills for a long duration or take much more per dose than prescribed. For me what I noticed early was after I had taken my last dose for the night I would go to bed then the pain would wake me night after night so I would take a dose relieving pain then go on back to sleep. Then over time I was cut back on my meds. So I no longer had the meds to cover the late night pain. After being cut back I then could not go back to sleep from the usual pain and unbeknowing withdrawal. After being awakened every night/early morning for a few weeks I tried taking another pill. After it started to work I noticed I was feeling more like "normal". I would get the pain relief and I became drowsy enough I eventually was able to fall back asleep. Now after a bit of time I figured out what was going on. My brain needed a dose to hold back withdrawal and the pain.
Now on with withdrawal. When the time comes not having the drug to take early on the first day without then you start getting flu like symptoms. Pain thru-out the body, runny nose, sneezing, fever, insomnia, diarrhea, unable to consentrate , restlessness, anxiety, grouchyness.
Now if you go into the second or third day and are left without treatment or not consuming an opiate (pain pill, shootup) things get worse. You get muscle spasms, nausea, worse case of diarrhea, vomiting, severe backache, stomach pains, hot and cold flashes, insomnia, intestinal spasm, repetitive sneezing, blood pressure rise, bone and muscle pain, you also get very intolerant of life, feelings of suicide along with wanting to jump out of your skin.
Depending on the drug and dosage, your suffering could be tolerable such as until after a few days you can get over it. Though if you are in a condition such as mine where unfortunatly your pain is chronic or you are a heavy user and the only way to have any life is meds. then you fall into the area of horrible withdrawls as stated above.
Every case is different.
This is my personal account of how methadone helped me deal with my back pain.
In the year of 1989 I had a slow attack from a spinal cord tumor which I did not know was there. After the numbing of my right arm from the pinky and ring finger to my elbow I started getting pain in between my shoulder blades. At first the pain was bearable then within 2 weeks I could no longer work. After seeing a chiropracter for a while he sent me to a neuro-surgeon. After taking an MRI the tumor was found. Soon after I was getting a back operation. The tumor had compressed my cord so much in one spot that the doc could see light thru it. To remove the tumor I had to let them cut open 6 vertabrea (like taking a bite out of 6 doughnuts stacked up). The tumor was removed but I had a hemmorage on my spine which did more damage than just the tumor. After getting thru sugery I had this tremendous pain to deal with.
I was on morphine for 6 days in the hospital then when I was released early because I couldnt stand the hospital. I was givin a script for tylenol 3. I had never been thru such pain. I tried to heal up and learn how to walk and write again. Thou when I tried to do something my back would keep me from doing anything. So I dealt with it for about a year with little or no medication. I really did not want to start taking meds but I had no life at all. I visited about 15-20 doctors looking for relief but all I would get was an x-ray, then I was told my back is shot given a script for vicodin or percocet. Then told to come back in a month. The percs/vics worked ok so I stuck with taking the meds because it was all the relief I could get.
After about 5-6 years the meds didnt help anymore even if I took a bunch. So here I was with nothing left to go to because the doctors were afraid to prescribe stronger opiates to me, or to any one. In my eyes that boils down to sorry sir you must suffer even thou there is other meds to restore whats left of your life.
If you take more and more to get high then you may overdose. Leave Methadone for people who need it.
you are the visitor, Thanx