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Methadone/Medical Marijuana
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Methadone/Medical Marijuana

Hi, everybody.  I would truly appreciate your thoughts on the subjects of methadone and medical marijuana.  I see them discussed occasionally, but I've found it hard to get my arms around the positives and negatives.

Up to now, as I've mentionned in my profile, I have continued to work.  This has required me to really stretch my physical and emotional resources, and to continually cut back on the good things in the rest of my life.  I have, I think, reached my limit, and am facing a major quality of life decision.  I think I will soon be going on disability.

I mention all this because it may allow me to shift my thinking on medication issues.  For example, last summer I asked my pain doctor about the possibility of methadone for pain management.  His reply was that methadone is very effective against pain, but that it wouldn't be right for me.  Then he raised a finger and bent it at the middle, which I took to mean that it would be highly soporific.  My existing prescriptions give me enough struggles with sleepiness, and as long as I'm in the workplace, I really don't want more.  However, if I'm out of the workplace, sleepiness is less critical, although it could be awkward in social situations.

In the various discussions of methadone that I have seen in MedHelp, I get the impression of a mixed picture.  It seems to do a pretty good job of dealing with pain, but I sense that people feel a number of negatives.  This has been hard for me to pin down, but the main one I am conscious of is that withdrawal can be very difficult.  I'm not sure how much I care about that, as withdrawal is not part of the intention (but here's the rub--intentions can change). And I'm wondering if the accusation of being soporific is actually true.

The bottom line is that I would be grateful for input about the positives AND negatives of methadone.  At the same time, my ignorance of medical marijuana is huge, and I would like to learn anything I can about it, both experiences and referrals to published material.  My impression is that it is prescribed mainly for cancer pain--cancer is not part of my picture--and I've been wondering if it is prescribed for other kinds of pain...

Everybody, many thanks in advance for your input...fpainestam
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Good Morning,

I am fairly new to the community and I'm on a time crunch this morning so I will spend my time sharing my experience with you rather than reading past posts and such to catch up on your history.  My experience with Methadone is limited to about 5 weeks now, and I'm 24 yrs old currently on a 10mg per day dose.  For the past two years I have taken various non narc meds for my pain; Neurontin, Tramadol, Lyrica, and even tried therapeutic doses of Effexor and Cymbalta.  Eventually this got to the point that it required the addition of narcotics, and was up to 5 10/325 Norco per day.  I was surprised when my PM doc mentioned Methadone to me to control my pain rather than increasing my Norco again.  At that time I was not aware of this resource and made the decision on my own to proceed with that treatment, but I was also very worried about it and hesitant to do it myself.  I will go ahead and say that I do not have any experience with Marijuana, so I cannot provide any insight on that for you.  

I was able to start the 10mg Methadone per day without titrating up to it without too many problems.  I was extremely sleepy for about the first two weeks during the day.  I had problems nodding off at work.  I sit at a computer all day so it is hard enough for me to stay awake.  Even greater than that though, was constipation.  Be sure to start a laxative regimen if you are not on one already if you decide to proceed with the Methadone.  It will completely stop you up!!  I know there are a few years difference in our ages, and there may be a difference with the way we react to our meds based on that, but Methadone does come in a 5mg tablet, so you can start small and work your way up.  I would actually recommend that and do it myself if I could start over again.

I'm not sure what other meds you take and how they will work with the Methadone, but again, my only complaints in my first month of treatment have been the sleepiness during the first couple weeks of therapy, and the constipation.  Other than that, it has controlled my pain better than anything else I have ever tried.  I sleep better at night than I have in months, my depression has improved, and I feel like I am a better person for others to be around as well!  Like I said though, it has only been a month, and I haven't had to come off of it yet, but you also said you weren't worried about that, and neither am I really, so I won't ramble about it.  Hope this makes some sense and helps a little with your decision..  Good Luck!
I think Turbo offered some great input and advice. He sounds typical of those that have found great relief with methadone. There is a good article on it by a physican that I cannot recall. Hopefully someone can enlighten me or I can check our archives.

Methadone has less side effects than most opiates. In some states they prescribe it without hesitation and in others it is impossible to get it prescribed. I truly do not know why. I know that in the past it has had some baggage attached to it.

I did try it for pain control. It gave me a severe headache. I continued to take it for 7 days waiting for the HA to go away, it didn't. Obviously I would not take it again.

Medical marijuana is a subject that I do not have any personal knowledge about though I have opinions. My opinions would only open up a discussion that would be more political than helpful for you.

I have been following your struggle with remaining employed. I know very well what a struggle that can be. I had to give a rewarding and loved career seven months ago. I can provide you with information on SSDI application. Giving up my career was one of the hardest decision I had to make but it was the only decision I could have made.

Again good luck to you. Others will post with their thoughts and suggestions.
Peace, Tuck
Many thanks for your thoughtful responses.

Tuck, what is the SSDI application you refer to?  I don't think I've heard of it...

Thanks again...fpainestam
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