Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

Methadone Withdrawal

Hi. I've been on Methadone and Vicadin for chronic pain but decided it wasn't worth being on narcotics. Too many side effects.  I slowly titrated for the last couple months. A week ago I took my last Methadone. So last Friday and today is Thursday.  And I was taking between 5mg and 10mg per day. I know that doesn't seem like a lot.  I went out and stocked up on food and have movies and planned for the withdrawals to set in.  But now I'm just confused and frustrated and after all these days of success, I can't stand the skin crawly feeling. Shouldn't I be through the worst of it? I keeps coming and going so just when I get a break and think it's done it comes back.

I am fortunate that my first two days (sat and sun) were bad but not as horrible as I've seen. Achy horrible. Very weak. But I was mentally prepped for it so I just crawled into bed and watched Homeland. By Monday I took my dogs for a walk and got fresh air but still felt horrible. But I never had much for bowel symptoms.  And yesterday I even took the dogs to a dog park.

But then I got home and my fever went up to almost 100 and I was trembling with chills.  And for the last 3-4 days I've been getting the skin crawly feeling.  But I'm on day 6.  Shouldn't I be through the worst?  Could something else be going on?  I know some symptoms stick around for up to 2 weeks but everything I read here says the worse should be over by now.  If I could just get rid of the skin crawly thing I could deal.  Oh, and I even had a little diarrhea this am.  Is it because it's methadone versus a med that has a shorter half life/  Thank you and I wish you all the best!!!
20 Responses
3197167 tn?1348968606
Hello and welcome to the forum~  And congrats on your decision to get off narcotics and for your 6 days clean!!!

Withdrawals are not the same for each one of us.  Our age and how long we were taking pain meds factor in as well as what drug we are coming off of.  Methadone is one of the hardest because it has a very long half life and it is absorbed into our bones and fat tissues.  

You did good by stocking up on food and movies....are you taking any kind of supplements?  Here are a few things that will help:
Omega Oil
Lots and lots of WATER and a drink to keep your eletrolytes balanced like Gatorade, Vitamin Water, etc.
Many used Hyland's Restless Leg for RLS
Epsom Salt baths or hot showers
Walks....some form of daily exercise even if just around the house
And fresh air and sunshine

It helped me A LOT to read as many threads on this forum as I could.  If you put "methadone" in the search engine, MANY threads will pop up for you to read and it will help to hear how others have made it thru to the other side.
Keep up the fight.....it will get better....not necessarily all at once....and you can have 6 good days and then have a few bad ones....that's just the way it works.  Keep posting, ok?  We're so glad you found us~
Avatar universal
Thank you for your fast reply. Was over here in tears. Nice not to feel alone. Have you heard of a fever goong along with this? I'm wondering if I'm also sick. Coughing from my chest and fever.
Avatar universal
Sorry. I'm new here and thought I tagged you properly on previous message.

Added to that...My husband us supportive but thinks I went from 1 pill to 0 too fast and is pressuring me to go back to 1/2. I keep telling him I've already come 6 days and one day I would just have to get off that pill. But is there anything to going to 1/2 per day and than 1!2 every other day etc.? I can honestly say I have zero mental addiction getting off methadone. It's all physical.
1235186 tn?1549257619
Congratulations. No don't go back keep moving forward.
Methadone withdrawals don't start until 3 days and can take up to 7 days to
Begin. You did great by tapering. That will decease the intensity of your withdrawals. Your body has to go through the detox process. This will take time.
The fever and chills are common. But yes some people also get sick during withdrawal. The opiates have stopped up everything.
Treat your symptoms.

Methadone detox comes in waves. You will have some good and bad days.
The good will outweigh the bad as time goes on.

Keep the faith. Keep on keepin on.

Avatar universal
I got a horrible cold and fever when I was detoxing the first time. It's normal.
Avatar universal
Hi....well methadone is a real mo/fo to kick  as you can see it comes in waves and just when you think it is over it comes back with a vengeance  the phyical withdrawal last around 10 days to 2 weeks  then it is just sleep that is all but impossible and the energy crash that sets in  congrats on 6 days clean your 1/2 way there your doing the right thing just stick with it  it also helps to stay bizzy that way you dont focus on how lousy you feel  keep posting for support  your lucky you where on a low dose so you should get over it sooner then later
3197167 tn?1348968606
Like atthebeach/Debbie said, no don't go back on them.  You've got 6 days under your belt and you have to do this some time....if you went back on even a 1/2 pill and alternated days...eventually....you still have to do what you are already doing and you're doing great.
Our central respiratory systems are SO affected by opioids....and a cough and low grade fever are common for some peeps.  Like Debbie said, treat your symptoms, and if you run a fever higher than 101, you may want to see your dr.  But your ENTIRE nervous system (brain and body) are re-regulating and our opiate receptors are in shock.  Our bodies try very hard to get rid of the toxins any way they can.  Be good to yourself.....take some otc meds for your cough and fever.....Liqui-Gel Advil caps works best for me....but Tylenol or ibuprofen will help.  Be sure to read some posts on this forum....even the older ones are FULL of good information that will help you and also distract your mind from how you are feeling at this moment.
Hang in there.....keep posting......you're doing good!
4522800 tn?1470325834
Hi and We would like to Welcome You to our Forum.

I see that you got some Awesome info from Above.

I too came off the Methadone with 2 other meds and it took me 10days for the w/d to get really bad. Methadone will come in waves and it also is the one that likes to stick around in them cells, muscles and bones. One big reason it takes a while for any Med is because of how it whack's out the Chemistry in our Brain. This will take some time.
When I would get those Bone aches/ any ache, I would go lay out in the Sun or get under a Big Heating Blanket. This will help right along with that Epsom Bath. Just try to Re-direct your self as much as possible and eat/drink Healthy to get those Vit/Min and Electrolytes going again.

Stick around and come back as we will hold your hand all the way!
Proud of You for stopping these horrible drugs.
Time & Patience is the BIG Key here too!
Avatar universal
Oh my gosh. From everything I had read I thought I was getting to the end but are some of you really saying at 6 days the worst hasn't even started Yet?
Avatar universal
Did a recount on the days. 7 days!
3197167 tn?1348968606
Don't panic~  Read gnarly's post again.  You weaned down and you were on a fairly low dose when you jumped.  Each of us "process out" or detox differently.  Depends on how LONG you were on opioids and how old you are too.  I kept a journal during my first 55 days of detox and it helped me a LOT to see which symptoms were getting better.  But the BEST thing you can do is not DWELL on each and every symptom and keep your mind busy....reading, watching videos, watching TV, whatever suits you personally.  Fresh air, sunshine, walking, music and MORE music♫
4522800 tn?1470325834
No just like CIK said, you did a taper and that was a good one. I did not and I was 56 at the time and mixed meds with it. The Benzo is what really made it last so long. You had come off of 2 meds right? It will take time but at 7 days it should be all down here. Waves come & go but these are mostly Mental and they do not hurt! YOU are doing a Great Job!

Just keep your immune system up so you can rid these toxins.
And everything else that was mentioned above.
Avatar universal
Thank you! Sorry to panic. I just had a certain mindset. I knew it wouldn't be over in just 7 days. I just didn't expect I might not have hit the worst yet. I know that I still have a ways to go but I thought the 2nd week would be more weakness etc. Yes I tapered and was mostly just on the methadone. But as I tapered I was going down in meth and then Vicadin and switching back and forth.

Avatar universal
I know you all must answer many of the same questions over and over but there truly is a great level of support in knowing someone is talking directly to you. Thank you. I took the dogs for a walk around the lake and am drinking Boost shakes when I don't feel hungry. Seem to be weak but in a semi ok place right now. Not going to think that might change but I've got season 4 of Homeland set to watch!
4522800 tn?1470325834
Now all you have to do is stick around and get Support while you, in return Support others. This is a nice place to meet new friends too!

We also have other communities A-Z. You have a question or concern just go looking around. Ha! We call it Lurking. You can also Journal along the way and we can come in. Send Notes and put in Pics. We have a Status on here too in our profile. All of this come up on the right side in the recent activity. It can be a lot of fun sometimes. You can also invite a friend and then see what they are doing in your home page. It took me many months to figure this all out and this was 3yrs ago..LOL

Glad you Joined.
Avatar universal
Thank you for the kind welcome!

I have a question that might not have an answer but I will give it a shot!

With methadone withdrawal symptoms coming in waves, did anyone have a moment where they just knew the worst was over? Like a certain amount of time passed without horrible symptoms or something similar?

Avatar universal
Sorry. One other question. To those of you who have gone though a methadone withdrawal, can I ask how many miligrams you were taking when you stopped?
4522800 tn?1470325834
Hi again!
This is a very hard question for me to say. I just know that each day, month and yr was like peeling layers off a onion.(((CIK))) The physical went on for a while but lessened each day. I have a friend on here, that I kept close contract with, because I did not understand some of these things that where going on both Physically and Mentally. He was about 3-4 months ahead and would tell me he felt the same thing at the same time. Like the Anxiety/Anxiousness is with ALL of us but it was the No to Low Motivation that got me. Then the Energy thing. Oh, that took a long time too. Sop much more that I had experienced but it did not hurt..I think there are many factors that play for one to bounce back. One is how long one has used, how many MG in a day, how Old one is and your Health. There are more but these where my big ones. At first it was like I came out of a Comma. Nothing looked real and my personal things seemed to be so strange to me. Just all kinds of Stages as I went along. I was told by a psychologist (if I spelled this right) that I had to see once and only once, he told me it would take about 2 yrs for my Brain Chemistry to balance back and fire up. This has to do with my past drug use and drinking too. Well it did and a couple of yrs later I felt real good. NOT that this will happen to YOU. This is just because of all the Damage I did from using since I was 14 off & on.
The physical should be over soon for YOU! It is the Mental part that comes in waves as the brain heals back. People can go to the Dr and get these pills and have never touched a drug in their life. These meds build up a Tolerance real fast and then one needs more. Addiction is when we use it for all other purposes then what they are prescribed for. Like for me I snorted mine and added a Adderral (do not have ADHD) so it got me so wired up that I was going and going and going. Then running short and the means of getting more and the money that was wasted on these. Fine line between Dependent and Addicted.
I was up to about 80 to over a 100mg plus.. in a day. Then i cut back to 60mg then to 30mg. The 30mg is when I ran short in 2 weeks and then I started to add the Adderral to make it stretch out. So 3yrs ago I just stopped at between 30-60 and also the Adderral with a Benzo. So that right there made a difference because I had 3 pills that pulled the nervous system up & down and all around. Each one hit alot of the same brain chems but each went to other areas of there own too. If you get what I mean.
Just know that the detox will be over soon and it is really the easy part! Yes, it is uncomfortable for awhile, but Working in staying clean is where it all begins. Lots of changes have to be made. I mean LOTS of changes all around you. Just try not to think about it to much and I know this is easier said then done but it will pass I promise. YOU will look back and kind of grin knowing it was not that bad but you do not want to go through it again. I know that I was scared straight. Now I do not like anything made in the pharmaceutical world.
You are on the right track and I am so proud for YOU! You will see and then you can help others with this experience of yours.
Avatar universal
Thank you for sharing!!!!! Today has been rough emotionally for me. 3 days of fever isn't helping. And I am waking up at 2 or 3am every morning and it's tough to get back to sleep. I am on day 8 and hoping the skin scrawl thing is gone for good but had it a bit last night. A bit of diarrhea but nothing major.

Can someone tell me? If I haven't gotten RLS yet might I still get it?

Feeling definitely fragile today. I know a good walk will make all the difference. I guess I am fortunate that I am physically dependent but not mentally addicted. This was for pain. But I can't say there isn't a voice inside me that isn't tempted to just take 1/4 of a pill to get a break. I know. I won't.  And I should destroy what I have. I only kept them because I didn't know how bad it would be and if I would need to go back to pain clinic for another idea.

I am on Disability from my health issues so I am feeling very lonely and isolated. My dogs hekp. My husband is here at night. But 8 days of mostly being alone and watching TV has been a bit rough so thank you all!!!
4522800 tn?1470325834
How are YOU today??
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