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Will Opana work with Methadone?
  1. #1
    denman is offline New Member
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    Oct 2008
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    Default Will Opana work with Methadone?

    Hi all, I'm pretty new here, and this is my first real question for everybody, so any and all input would be very much welcomed. OK, I will try to keep this short and sweet for ya, so I'll skip most of the medical background and get to the question as quick as i can.

    I have had 3 back surgeries, including one for a ruptured disk, and have many forms of disk problems - one bulging, too many slips to count, the ruptured disk, etc- I had two fractured vertabre, I have scoliosis and severe arthritis in the lumbar spine relating to it. This is the basic layout anyway, LOL, there is more naturally.

    But as for the medicine question, I have been on Methadone for 10 years now, originally i began methadone to detox from opiates, now I am on methadone as well as opiates for pain control. Go figure! Anyway, as most people know, methadone block many opiates from working properly in the body. Things like vicodin (hydrocodone) and codiene are completely useless. Morphine itself is almost completely blocked and I get barely any pain relief at all from it. So I will get to what does work - high Instant -release oxycodone works the best. I am currently taking 60 mgs roxicodone at 4 X daily, with 10 mg oxycodone IR for break through. This is on top of a single daily dose of 55 mg of methadone i take first thing in the morning. I have been on oxycontin, but for whatever the reason, the IR works MUCH better than the ER version of the oxy, even though it means taking it more often. My doc says it could also be related to methadone interferance.

    Now I know most of you are thinking the same thing I would be - Why not just get off the methadone? Well i tried, and tried, and then tried some more. No matter how much morphine, hydromorphone, or oxy they put me on, my body simply will not function correctly without a small level of methadone anymore. I have been told this can happen to people like myself who have been on methadoen maintenance for long periods of time, that it simply changes your body chemistry, and that there are some people that will never be able to function normally again after long term methadone use with out it. I was shocked when I heard this, of course noone told me that at the clinic!

    Ok sorry I am rambling. My Doc just switched me today from the roxycodone (which is just instant release oxycodone, zero tylenol) to Opana ( Oxymorphone).
    I have NOT filled the script yet, as I am honestly not sure I want to.If morphine didnt work, will oxymorphone be able to overcome the methadone barrier? Untill recently I was comfortable on this dose, but in the last few months the pain has skyrocketed, and my doc is simply scared/ unwilling to prescribe me a higher dosage of oxycodone, hence the switch.

    So my question is this: does anyone here have experience with Oxymorphone (Opana) and in particular will it be strong enough to provide adequate pain relief , at least the same level as what I was currently taking. I have enough of my meds left for 2 more days, and wont fill the script untill then, because i'm concerned it wont be effecive, and it is EXPENSIVE! I forgot to mention i do NOT have health insurance anymore, so i am paying out of pocket for everything now. I am 35 now, and i guess i'll be in the poor house before i turn 36 in a few months, lol.

    Thanks so much for your time, and please feel free to comment. Any and all input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again,

    Den

  2. #2
    jrneuberger is offline Banned
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    Default Will Opana work with Methadone

    Den,
    You speak as though your past addiction has no bearing on your situation and that the fault lies in the methadone because "it simply changes your body chemistry...as every body knows." This is wrong. It's your past addiction that has changed your body chemistry, not your exposure to methadone. The fact that you are having such a hard time ceasing the methadone use is an indication of this. This because methadone is the TREATMENT for this chronic condition -- because long term illicit opioid abuse will cause an imbalance in the endorphin system that for most addicts is a life-long condition. That the level of other opioids you are taking is not satisfying this endorphin imbalance is another indication that yours is severe. So its not the methadone that's caused this, in fact the methadone is treating this. It's your past addiction to opiates that has caused this.

    As to your initial inquiry regarding Opana and whether it will work with methadone, I don't know.
    J.R. Neuberger
    National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery

  3. #3
    denman is offline New Member
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    Oct 2008
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    Default

    Hi J.R.,

    Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it and respect your expertise. I couldn't agree with you more about past opiate abuse being the reason for having a higher tolerance to opiates, or as you stated "That the level of other opioids you are taking is not satisfying this endorphin imbalance is another indication that yours is severe."
    Perhaps I skipped stating that specifically because I figured it was basically a given that anyone who abuses drugs of any kind will develope such problems, and that opiate receptors would be looking for more of the drug to satisfy it's hunger- if you will.
    However, just to quickly quote and reply to ONE statement inparticular, I believe you misunderstood what I said.
    Quote Originally Posted by jrneuberger View Post
    Den,
    You speak as though your past addiction has no bearing on your situation and that the fault lies in the methadone because "it simply changes your body chemistry...as every body knows." This is wrong.
    I actually did not say that. What i said was many people know methadone can block many other oiates from working properly. Thats all. At least to the statement of "as everybody knows". If you re-read my post you will see this, and my appologies if it came out to be misleading that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by denman View Post
    Anyway, as most people know, methadone block many opiates from working properly in the body. Things like vicodin (hydrocodone) and codiene are completely useless.
    Den
    However, there have been several studies done outside the United States reagerding Methadone specifically, and it potential effects on the body and brain chemisty. I am not a doctor so I am using those terms (body/ brain chemisty) in general terms.

    There were several studies done in France and Canada by a group of doctor's relating directly to this point. The studies concluded that in the patients studied, those with daily methadone use extending over 2 years, as many 66% of patients were unable to function regularly again without it. In patients under 2 years the results were quite different and varied widely from patient to patient, but in general most were "back to normal", if you will, within six months of tapering off the methadone. The other 66% had a wide variety of symptoms as well, ranging from sleep disorder to full blown withdrawls that persisted beyond the six month period, and if I remember correctly, some continued to live with these symptoms as long as 3 years before returning to methadone use, and returning to a "normal" state of function. The reason given in this conclusion was that Methadone Alone after prolonged can cause permanent changes in the person's body/ brain chemistry. will add however, that I can NOT remember exactly how these patients were seperated during the study period, but do remember that some had a pre-existing addiction or at least pre-exposure to opiates, while others had no previous addiction or exposure to opaites.

    Now, I may be mixing this next statement with another study, but to further show that methadone is simply a whole different animal when compared to most other "basic" opiates, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, even >>>>>>, I'd like to add something else. This was even stated by alomst every doctor i've spoken to as well. Methadone is one of, if not the Most physically addictive drug available (regarding opiates/ opiods). Physical addiction to methadone can begin in as little as 5 to 7 DAYS, as opposed to the months worth of daily exposure generally required to produce real physical addiction symptoms. Please take note that I am speaking in generalities.

    I'm not responding with this because i'd like argue with you, not at all. In fact, quite the oppposite. I think a healthy and friendly discussion/ debate can be very helpfull. I would be very interested as to what you may think of such a study.
    I will close this post with a direct quote from a doctor at my methadone clinic. I will never forget these words. I was coming near the end of a 3 month detox routine, and decided I wanted to stay on the program longer and go on MMT. The doctor told me then not to stay on the methadone any longer than I had to, to detox as needed, and be off the drug as soon as I was comfortable going back to the world totally sober. That methadone was different than what i have been using (>>>>>>) and I was way too young to consider MMT because, and I quote, "the methadone will take control of your life. You will become a slave to it."

    I will never forget those words. Perhaps I should have listened. and perhaps I should never have used >>>>>> either. No arguements here...
    Thank you for taking time to reply, and for the expert opinion and facts you were able to provide. A post all of us can learn from. Take care, and again, please don't take my response as an arguement or a dispute over any of the facts you stated. I just feel there is more to be said about methadone than what is generally said.

    Be well,
    Den

    PS- I am going to do my absolute best to find and post the studies I mentioned. I had them saved years ago, but on a different computer that is long gone. I will spend as much time as i need to find them on the internet again as I found them last time. The bits and peices I posted were only a small fraction of the publication, but are still the facts that I can remember best without having to begin to insert my own wording or insights.
    Sorry all for the long-winded post.

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