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Methadone and treatment?
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Methadone and treatment?

Has anyone on this forum been on treatment while being prescribed methadone?  I'd like to hear from anyone who has done this SVR or not.  I'm waiting to get accepted into a trial, the methadone limits my placement also another drug, I'm currently prescribed.  The only one they were really concerned with was the methadone, I'm not in a maintenence program but I would like to hear from anyone.  I don't think it would benefit my treatment but I am in such pain my doctors want me on it, I have back pain, a Tens unit, special shoes.  Trust me I've tried everything for this pain and I'm very ok with taking it.  I'm asking if in your opinion was there any drawbacks or were you glad you had it, and I'm not biased as to what you were getting it for, that's not my concern.  Thanks in advance and God Bless.  
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15 Comments Post a Comment
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408795_tn?1324939275
Glad to hear from anyone SusieQ thank you.  I'm really glad to hear that, I wouldn't think there would be any problems and if they were glad then that's cool, seems encouraging.  I had posted previously on another thread that a new doctor at the trials site asked me why I didn't get on oxycontin.  Maybe he was just thinking that it's a better pain reliever, guess I'll never know on that one.  Anyways I hope to hear from more people, anyone who knows anything about it.  God Bless
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179856_tn?1333550962
I'm on suboxone which as you most likely know is the same function of meth - but I take the months pills home with me instead of having to go to the clinic every day which I could NEVER handle doing!


I was diagnosed with both genotypes 1A and also 1B.  I treated with regular old interferon and ribavirin (alot of riba) for 72 weeks and now I have been SVR for about 14 months.

So you see........it is very possible to take the meth and do treatment and win.  You just gotta fight the fight and learn everything you can so you have every advantage possible in the battle.

Good luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
My husband has been on methadone for about 14 years and he started on it because he had back pain and was beginning to abuse his pain medications.  He went to a methadone clinic for about ten years (at first daily working up to monthly) and now he gets the methadone from a pain clinic monthly.  
At first he was happy to be on it because it did work and he has never abused another drug.  However, if you asked him if you should start on methadone I am sure he would tell you absolutely not!  I would only take it if you have no ther options because once you're on it you can be pretty sure you'll be on it for life.  The withdrawals are severe and last much longer than heroin withdrawals and there aren't many people who are successful in getting off it.  
My husband has gained about 60 pounds on the methadone over the years and that's true of just about everyone who is on it long term.  We'd like to move to another state but we have to worry about getting another clinic to prescribe the methadone.  At methadone clinics you get it in liquid form and they jokingly refer to it as "liquid handcuffs"!  We have to plan any travel we want to do around when he gets his methadone.  He missed his father's death and almost couldn't make the funeral.  He had to drive through a hurricane to get his methadone.  There's also a stigma to methadone and everyone assumes you're a heroin addict.
I suggest you post a question on the Addiction Substance Abuse Forum here on MedHelp.  There are many people on pain medications on that forum who would be happy to give you their personal experiences.
Our personal opinion is that pain patients should never be put on methadone.
By the way, my husband treated for hep c while on methadone and is now SVR.
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408795_tn?1324939275
Thank you for your genuine concern and direction but I am an old IV fiend from years ago, I know all about methadone maintenence programs as I used to be a client for a whole bunch of years.  I've also had the unfortunate opportunity to be forced off my dose by law enforcement, as well.  Rather than go on a war story rant, I will leave it at that, occasionally I've spoken about it in other questions that I've asked but I really don't like to as that was just a very large chapter of my life that is behind me now.  
God Bless you.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey, great question. Perhaps they are worried about the burden of this drug on your liver or how your liver metabolizes methadone. The liver contains an enzyme system that breaks down the drug. There are several drugs that can influence this system and make you a fast metabolizer. I'm not sure if the standard of care drugs or any of the add ons cause this.

Since you are stuck with chronic pain and chronic narcotic treatment maybe the transdermal fentanyl patch is an option. Don't know if you have tried this. The advantage is that the patch lasts 72 hours and doesn't undergo what is called "first pass" metabolism by the liver. Worth looking into if you haven't already been tried on it.

Good luck on your treatment. I hope you get by with minimal symptoms and achieve an SVR. I pray for you to get a complete and speedy recovery of mind, body and spirit.

Jeff
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408795_tn?1324939275
The fetanyl patches, yes I abused them very well in the past, no thanks.  Besides I am through with the opiates period, I know fetanyl is not a derivitive of morphine but it just felt too good for me and I know better.  I really don't want anything that could possibly set me off to an active addiction status or like they say "wake the sleeping tiger".  Thanks for the idea but I trust my doctor and the first doctor who put me on the methadone in the first place, they know that it helps me with my back pain and that it is safest for a person with my drug history and we have talked about what is harder on my liver as well.  The doctor at the trials site doesn't even know me, and he isn't my doctor.  later  
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Avatar_m_tn
I completely respect that point of view. We are brothers in respect to our past. The regular patch contains a gel that can be abused even by smoking it. The new patch Durogesic (note the "o" instead of the "a") doesn't have a gel. Instead the drug is in a plastic matrix. It's mostly in the European market.

At any rate, if fentanyl hits that spot then it's bad for you. I never got that much out of fentanyl or methadone either. I would totally go with your personal doctor on the methadaone issue. I just hope you don't get aced out a trial because of it.

I live in Southern California. I see that you're from California, too. A friend of mine relapsed after 48 weeks of SOC and is looking for a trial. Can you tell me what you've been offered? You can send me a private message if you want.

Keep me posted.

Jeff
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408795_tn?1324939275
Yeah, I really enjoyed the Duragesic never had the Durogesic, must have came out after I got clean.  Anyways, back to my reality yes I used to be an IV user but I absolutely do not indulge anymore in anything.  I don't smoke pot, drink or anything, I don't mind if someone else does but I don't go around that scene anymore.  Anyways I'll be going to UCD in Sacramento for treatment, I called the nurse today and was told that it would be another 6 to 8 weeks before they would call me.  I have a feeling the trial coming up will include Heppers who take other prescriptions, I don't know.  All I do know is that if I'm not accepted in a Teleprevir trial then I have a plan B.  I have insurance from work that is really good so I could always go with the SOC and I may be better off, because I may need some rescue drugs.  Getting clean for me was a monumental task as it would be for anyone.  I have changed almost everything about myself as I am in a professional environment at work.  I started my recovery back in 1987, had one hell of a last run amuck from like 1997 to the end of 2003 and that was it for me.  I finally got away from the IV, Jan. 2004.  Thank God!!  Anyways here's the link to the studies, I think there's some at UCLA but I'm really green when it comes to treatment and I don't know that much, the man upstairs guides me in everything I do.  God Bless     http://clinicaltrials.gov/   Oh, once again if anyone has gone through treatment, study or otherwise and has been on methadone during treatment, please share.  thank you
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the info. I know UC Davis very well. I went to medical school there and did six years of residency at UCD Medical Center. I've got a crazy story just like you I'm sure, but by the grace of God and a recovery fellowship, I'm sober today. It's good, isn't it?

Even being on this stuff for almost a year with at total of 72 weeks coming my way, my life's better than it was by a mile.

Keep us posted on your progress. The people on this board can be very helpful.

Jeff
Facta non Verba (Action not Words)
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233616_tn?1312790796
not to judge the need here, we both have need....my spinal cord Injury left me permanently bent with 6 ruptured discs...

yet still I've been reading in pub med pain killers as they relate to liver metabolism and fibrosis...and they do damage as does alcohol...so the smaller the dose the better.
I have all kinds of tricks to distract my mind now...to give me body time to make it's own endomorphine...

do not use fentyl patches...they are easy to OD on...they break, and you get a 3 day dose and stop breathing....happens in nursing homes every day..almost happened to me.
the more you learn about how fibrosis occurs, the more you'll appreciate finding substances that help but do no harm....unfortunately not many docs are well versed on all these drugs. Apys to do ones homework.
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408795_tn?1324939275
Thank you for your concern and kindness.  We all tolerate pain differently and on various levels, the same goes for how we react to treating that pain.  As for me I am on methadone, but I am decreasing my dosage level as we speak.  I have spoken to quite a few doctors about this issue and most have concurred with me, the safest drug for me at this time is methadone.  That goes for me as an individual and me as having a "damaged" liver.  In my mind if I were to use the fetanyl patches that would be the same as using IV drugs.  The patches would cause me to relapse into my addiction, I haven't stayed clean for over 4 years to throw everything I've worked for away.  It's not happening!  Now, for the sake of keeping some measure of anonymity, that is the end of me speaking of drug use, or medications taken.  God Bless You    
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455394_tn?1207517579
I was on Methadone for 1 year exactly almost to the day. I went in for treatment after abusing pain pills as well as fetanyl pacthes among other things. That was in 2006 and has nothing to do with my Hep C as I just found out I had it this past January. My point is it is defiantly likely not to have you trapped on it for life cause I am living proof that you can get off it you just have to want to not trade one thing for the other. I def feel like opiates had a way more hold on me than Methadone, and the Methadon helped save my life. That is till I found out I had Hep C, but I am fighting it with everything I got and am winning cause I have no side effects so far from Tx.

God Bless and good luck with the Methadone!!
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408795_tn?1324939275
Hey thanks much for your post, I totally agree.  Glad to hear you're not having any side effects, I know some patients get really sick, flu like symptoms, as well as other health issues.  I hope and pray that I will be able to say hey it's not that bad while on treatment.  If not, I'll just have to deal with it "one day at a time", as I don't have time to future trip.  I called the new doctor at UCD a couple of days ago and he said he rec'd most of my paper work but is still waiting on something.  I re-iterated that I was on prescriptions and he said he wouldn't get the protocol for the next study for another 6 to 8 weeks but he would call me back.  Anyways, thanks again.  later
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Avatar_f_tn
It gives us hope when we see others who have been able to successfully withdraw from methadone.  That is my husband's greatest wish and he has started reducing his dose over the last couple months from 120mg to 100mg daily and is planning on a long taper.  I've been researching what vitamins and supplements can help - benefitting from the experience of others.  
We do worry how he'll handle his back pain and chronic headaches without the methadone.  Like you, fretboard, he has a weakness for opiates.  At the moment he has no desire to abuse any drugs.  We'll see how he feels as his dosage is reduced.
Since you've already been on methadone I'm sure I don't need to reiterate the drawbacks.  I agree that for some people it is their only choice and it looks like you know yourself enough to know what's the right thing for you.  
As far as treating while on methadone - he had no problems and none of his doctors seemed to have a problem with it.  He actually wanted to try tapering off his methadone a few years ago, before his treatment for hep c, but decided to do one thing at a time.  Going through a year of feeling miserable on the treatment drugs would have been too hard while trying to withdraw from methadone at the same time.  
Now he's SVR and I wish the same  for both of you!
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455394_tn?1207517579
I only went up to 55mg with the Methadone, and six months into treatment, then started going down 2 mg weekly until I got down to 6mg then just stopped going. I had mild insomnia for about 4 months and a few minor aches an pains first month, but nothing I could not handle. My experience with Methadone had nothing to do with pain strictly addiction, but I hope you all are able to work the program to your advantage.
I am hoping my Pegysis and Ribavirin Tx side effects do not get bad I am working it day to day, and am still young 31, and am in stage one still so I am going to beat this terrible disease and hope and pray for everyone of us with it, especially the ones with bad side effects.
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