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8 Replies
Stacey373 - January 13

Hello Everyone! I went to a new doctor the other day and he explained to me how methadone actually works. so I thought I would pass this information on to everyone who is taking this medication or might want to try it in the future.

My first doctor prescribed me Norco and then gave me methadone as a "break through" pain med. I kept complaining (and said it on here a few times too!) that the methadone was like taking Tylenol and it didn't help at all.

Turns out that Methadone is NOT that type of's an accumulative pain med that you have to take every day so it can build up in your system.

So my new doctor is having me take the Norco the same way I usually do (6-8 pills a day) and then also wants me to take 1 methadone in the morning and 1 at night. We are hoping that by doing this, in a couple of weeks my overall pain levels will actually come down a little.

I hope I've explained this good enough that it makes sense! If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask me to explain this better!

Take Care, Stacey :o)


Auvonto - January 13

my drs have never mentioned methadone. i'll ask about that one. hope this works for you stacey


Fantod - January 13

Stacey - Thanks for sharing that information. Sounds like your visit with the new doctor went a lot better than you expected. Hopefully his recommendations will help you feel better.


Lee2010 - January 13

Hi Stacey,
Thanks so much for the info. My doc said the same thing and I'll be starting the protocol in early February. She's convinced that we will be able to slowly get me off of the Norco (I take 8 pills per day with extra for break-thru pain) and that the Methadone will help get rid of the gnawing pain. I am so lucky to have a doc that has actually studied FMS at a major clinic in LA where people who have tons of money go for a three month treatment protocol. She brings that knowledge back to her practice and is willing to go the extra mile with her FMS patients. Please, please, please let me know how it works for you! We seem to have such similar issues with our FMS that it will be wonderful for me to hear how it works for you. That's what makes this site so amazing - almost every day anyone can come on here and find answers and suggestions. Frankly, I'd be pretty lost without it as I know you and everyone else would be.
Thank you, Stacey, for your post, and I'll be waiting eagerly to hear how Methadone works for you. I really hope it's a wonder drug. You have so much on your plate with two young children. Mine are grown and in college, but the memories of the hard work are still very fresh. My fingers are crossed.
Good luck and I'm sending you a cyber hug!


Stacey373 - January 18

Hello! Sorry I haven't been on here since I posted satellite internet don't work so well when the weather is bad.

So far, I think the methadone is working. The only problem I've noticed is that it makes me break out into a horrible sweat like I'm having hot flashes or something. That's not much fun, but I'm hoping this side effect will wear off the longer I take the meds.

The only other thing I worry about with this is that I took this medication before and it only helped for about a week or two. Grant it, I wasn't taking it the "right way", but I still worry that it won't last long and then I will have to figure something else out.

Lee2010 - You said that your doctor is wanting to start you on the methadone and take you off the norco? Honestly, I don't think the methadone is strong enough to get rid of the Norco all together. My doctor gave it to me as an "added" medication....not a replacement. I still take 8 Norcos a day, but I am adding in 1 methadone each day too. You really shouldn't be taking more than 8 norcos a day anyways, because of the tylenol that's in it can hurt your liver (or kidneys, can't remember which one!)

Anyways...just wanted to tell you that...maybe you can talk to your doctor about adding the methadone in and not taking you off the Norco. Hopefully with the methadone you won't need to take more than 8 pills a day.

Take Care, Stacey :o)


Stacey373 - January 18

Fantod - I forgot to say that YES! my doctor appointment went really good with this new doctor! All my worries were for nothing (as usual!) he's a great doctor and totally understood everything I talked about. Didn't get the "stupid" questions having me explain what kind of pain I'm having and those sorts of things. I think I will be seeing this new doctor from now on....we'll see...


Noca - January 18

Lee2010 - for proper pain management through opioid analgesics(narcotic pain killers), you need to be on a long acting pain medication as well as having some short acting pain medication for breakthru pain. That is the best treatment for managing chronic pain through opioid analgesics according to various pain physicians I have seen as well as own experiences.

For example, I take Fentanyl patches for long acting relief and take Dilaudid occasionally when needed for breakthru relief of pain. It works much better so that you don't have spikes in your pain levels and you don't have a roller coaster effect in them either.




I wish my doctor read this and would treat my pain cycle this way. I have the long acting pain meds, but my doctor doesn't "believe" in short acting narcotics. Even for breakthru pain.. I don't get it. But he will up my Morphine to the max. Doctors, don't get them! lol

Just though I would drop my two cents in.


Lee2010 - January 18

Thank you for your post. I'm not sure what else my doc has in mind for me with regards to the Methadone and Norco. I'm putting myself in her hands since she actually worked at the FMS clinic in LA for quite some time. She has never steered me wrong and I feel she is quite knowledgeable in this area - more so than many doctors I've seen, including my Rheumy. But thank you so much for your insight, and I will definitely ask her about it when I go in.

I have a very unusual medical condition involving the part of my brain that accepts opioids. It does not work properly so pain meds do not have the same effect on me that they have on other people. I have been maxed out on Dilaudid, Fentanyl patches, Ultram, Norco, Oxycodone, Morphine, and the list goes on. My pain management doc said that it's pretty rare, but it does happen. People with my issue do not receive help from pain meds. I have also gone non-medicinal routes such as massage, acupuncture, p/t, etc. and they also did not have an effect on me. Any one of those drugs, taken in the max dose, is like taking one advil for me. I have been working closely with my doc to try and find something that does work. I take the amount of Norco that I do because that is the only drug that seems to temporarily take the throbbing out of my legs. It is not the only thing I've tried, nor will it be the last. Right now it's the only thing that can offer me a moment's peace in the middle of the night when I simply can't sleep because the pain and throbbing in my legs makes me want to chop them off. It never goes away, just subsides enough that coupled with my exhaustion, I finally drift off for an hour or so of sleep until the pain wakes me up again. And not only do I have raging FMS, but I also have a bulging disk for which I've had three spinal shots with very little help for the pain, and severe arthritis in my left ankle which has resulted in me needing to have my joint removed and my ankle fused together. I will have this surgery sometime this summer when my boys will be home from school and can help out on their lunch breaks from work if I need them. So, you can see how that little issue with my brain not accepting pain meds, or non medicinal forms of treatment, might cause my situation to be a little bit different from a lot of the people who post here. I just thought that a little bit better understanding of my pain and what is causing it, and my inability to process pain meds, might help people understand my situation a bit more. I'm also hoping that someone else on the site may have what I have and can offer some suggestions that I haven't already tried. Thank you though, Noca, for your insight, too. I know that you've been through a lot as well, and have a strong knowledge base, and if you have any other suggestions now that you know a little bit more about me, I'd love to hear them.
Oh, and Stacey, I watch my intake of Norco very closely. I calculate the Acetaminophen constantly, drink a ton of water, and have my liver checked several times per year. I am still well within the healthy limits. Thank you for mentioning that because I really don't think that most people pay very close attention to the amount of ingredients they ingest.
Again, thanks a lot for your help, and I look forward to hearing if the Methadone works long-term for you, Stacey.



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