Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms When Switching From Methadone To Opana Er

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Glenn Says:
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I am a 55 year old man, and I have been going to a Pain Management facility for lower back pain and now even chronic Osteoarthritic shoulder pain, and have been taking 60mg of Methadone every day (10mg tablets x 2 x 3 times a day -- morning, noon & night) for the past three years. Although I've been doing well on that regimen, perhaps out of more of a psychological concern over the known "qt" (heart) effects of the drug (rather than any "real" ones), I decided to ask my doctor if I could try Opana ER (20mg every 12 hours), which I had taken once before, for a short time, at another Pain Management facility, with great success. All I'm wondering are what the withdrawal effects might be (if any) of stopping the Methadone (60mg) on a Monday, and starting the Opana ER 40mg (in the two 20mg ER, 12 hour divided doses) the very next day on a Tuesday?



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Cats68 Says:
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Hi Glenn! All I can tell u from my experience is methadone withdrawals r HORRIBLE! I got severe flu like symtoms where is hurt 2 touch my skin. My whole body hurt , like I was beaten , nausea, stomach pains and the big D. Chills and feeling hot. Not 2 mention the psychological symptoms . I felt severe anxiety , depression, like I wish I were dead. Insomnia affected me 2. I was on methadone 4 almost. 5 years . At a certain point during my taper , the withdrawals were so bad , my Dr put me on suboxone . Now , I'm not trying. 2 scare you , just telling u what I and others ive spoke 2 went through . But, everyone is different. Let us know how u make out.

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Cats68 Says:
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P.S. Who knows, maybe u won't go through any. Hope 4 the best.

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Glenn Says:
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Dear Cats68, thank you so much for your input. It was not just nice of you to take the time to do so, but it was what you, yourself, experienced, and that's priceless! You can't know what you know by reading a book. You must have firsthand information like you do to "really" "know" what you're talking about! If I may, please let me give you a few logistics as to why I "couldn't" respond to you as quickly as I would've liked to! I stopped the Methadone flat, Tuesday night, after having been on it more than 3 and 1/2 years! Wednesday morning (at 8am 6/04/14) I started the Opana ER 20mg./twice a day. So now, I'll always take it at 8 (whether am or pm). Wednesday night, I wanted to get to bed at 10. It didn't happen. Now mind you, I'm legally disabled from October of '09 because I started off with seven herniated disks, Spinal Stenosis and Osteoarthritis, throughout my whole body! I've had a total of four major surgeries on my back and neck; lost the use of my bladder & bowels, twice; and Monday & Tuesday of the week before last, went to two different emergency rooms (at two different hospitals) because of unimaginable pain in my right shoulder! I'm seeing an Orthopedic Surgeon tomorrow morning at 9:30 (6/07/14) to determine if I need an operation to remove Calcium deposits from the Tendons of my Rotator Cuff! So, although I'm finishing up my second medrol pak of Prednisone and had insomnia last night, but not from that, but rather because I'm 24 hours into my switch from the Methadone to the Opana ER! Now, you wonder if I've felt any withdrawal effects yet? Yes I have! (And "I" think it's the worst kind!) I know there are much worse symptoms than this, but, oh Lord; to me, this is bad! What is it? The "jitters!" That horrible, can't sit still, feeling! So last night, since I couldn't fall asleep anyway, after discovering this awesome website, under the covers, in the dark, and sharing a message with the world, I was so pleasantly surprised to see someone had responded so quickly to me: you! Eventually, I couldn't take it anymore, and knowing why both, I couldn't sleep AND why I was so damned jittery, I reached into my night table draw and pulled out the bottle of OxyCodone I have for breakthrough pain! Took two 10mg. tablets and within 15 minutes began to feel much more relaxed! I continued to answer your message (even though I just switched from T-Mobile "back" to Verizon, with a brand new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (to replace what I was responding to you on: my Samsung Galaxy Tab 7"); and don't you know it!! Having half the power and strength of the Note 3, it vibrated, went to the logo display, and I lost everything I had just written!! Oh was I upset! But it was my own fault!! Why did I use a Chevrolet when I had a Mercedes at my disposal? Well, now it's 3 in the morning, I'm too tired to type. I'm disgusted! So what do I do? I know, I'll watch the new DVD Netflix just sent me: "Gravity," with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney! It was awesome! WOW!! On a 42" HDTV, you felt like you were right there! Movie ends, I fall asleep until 7:24am Thursday (today); stay up till 8am, take all my morning meds (including the Opana ER, and fell asleep, sporadically, until 5:45pm today, at which time I began to answer you in earnest: on my "new" device, this time! It's amazing, because when you're asleep, you don't notice how really bad your body is feeling! All I know is, I had one of the most upsetting dreams anyone could've had about being a pilot and crashing to earth as I was on fire! I'm convinced, the "burning" in the dream was actually being produced by a real sense of burning in my body from the withdrawal! Because, when I woke up at 5:45pm this evening, I was jittery as all HELL! I took two more OxyCodone, and again, 15 minutes later, I'm writing you, no distractions, with the exception of my female cat that wanted attention! I have dinner, and at 8pm, again, I take the Opana ER. Now let me just say this. Unlike a lot of people, I'm very grateful for painkillers, because they make life so much better! What I personally believe is that, if I can stay with the Opana ER, long enough; at least a month, I will be able to taper from that much better than the Methadone! So in a sense, to compare it to the film I saw this morning, I'll be coming through the atmosphere, but at a controlled angle and rate of decent, as opposed to just rocketing downward, out of control, and burning up fast! Don't you think that's a better way? I would love to hear back from you! I really would! At least now you know why you didn't hear from me until now! I'm very sorry about that! Incidentally, I live in Hickory, North Carolina. Please write back soon! Glenn


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Glenn Says:

Cats68, you asked me to let you know how I'm making out on my switch from Methadone to Opana ER; so here's an update. It hasn't been all that bad; but remember, I'm not coming down through the atmosphere in an uncontrolled descent! My personal belief is that, ultimately, it's easier to get off Opana ER than Methadone! So why not make the switch, first? Also, it's a mental thing. If you're really ready to stop a drug (legal or not) I believe your attitude defines your altitude! Now, onto my own experience! I've had to resort to taking some OxyCodone (10mg. tablets) to lessen the blow! What else can I do? I've been taking the Opana ER (20mg. tablets) every 12 hours at 8:00 (am & pm). My body's been "humming" a little (a feeling as though it's vibrating--you probably know what I'm talking about); but aside from that, I feel as though the worst may be over, or am I missing something here? At first I experienced a drop of insomnia; ever so slight chills and a touch of nausea; but otherwise it hasn't been that bad. I think it's been about four days now. Okay that's it. Hope to hear back from you about this! You asked me to tell you, so I did! Glenn

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Cats68 Says:
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Hi Glenn! Just got your post now. I'm sorry 2 hear that u r going through some withdrawals . But, at least the pain meds work. I'm disabled 2. I have bulging discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease and sciatica. But, I can't take pain pills, because of my past addiction. The suboxone helps somewhat with the pain. R u still having withdrawals, or, have they subsided? I remember how bad they were 4 me. Been on suboxone almost 8 years now. If I have 2 stay on it another 8, I'll do it. I don't ever want 2 b where I was 12 years ago. I have a female cat 2. Well, she's a kitten and her name is Ana. I lost 3 elderly cats in the last 4 years. That was hard 4 me. Don't they just give unconditional love in return? Mine is only 11 weeks, so, she runs around the house like a nut. I live in Rhode Island. We t finally getting some warm weather, after having one heck of a winter. Hope 2 talk soon. Cats

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Cats68 Says:
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Hi Glenn! Sorry it took me a few days. 2 get back 2 u . I didn't check 2 c if u would respond 2 my post. I'll b checking every day , now . Talk soon.

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Glenn Says:
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Hello again Cats68 from Hickory, North Carolina! How are you doing? Wow! Was it nice to hear from you again! You have no idea how good it feels to speak to another human being, in my predicament! I say, 'my predicament,' not only because I now feel so bad, physically, but because I live alone and I miss companionship from another human being! Yet especially now, in my current condition, I wish I could just hold onto someone and know that they're there for me! Someone who understands what I'm going through! It's horrible, and I guess because I follow all the rules of this Pain Management facility, they trust me enough to leave all medications within my grasp; but that also means that I possess the power to return to what I know will make me feel 110%! I "could," technically, simply start taking the Methadone all over again, and be free of this agony, but what victory would there be in that? I simply would have "failed" for the second time, and I don't want to live with that! Perhaps a good example of my willpower is the fact that, by trusting God, in a year's time, I lost nearly 140 lbs! I started out at 371lbs. (even having completed my Pre-Op for Gastric Bypass surgery) and decided against it at the last minute! In the same way, I feel I can trust my Lord Jesus to get me through this too! I just wish I could talk to someone when I'm really feeling down or ready to give up! The reason I live alone is because I was married for almost 20 years; my ex-wife divorced me, and I had to find a place where the cost of living would be low! Yet I do enjoy the weather down here, too! Lately, it's been hot as Hell! Close to 90! That's good for my bones and joints, but because I also live alone, I find myself lonely as all Hell, as well! I'm alone and down here in North Carolina because my ex-wife divorced me a number of years ago, and I had to find a place where the cost of living was low! I doubt I could have done any better than where I am right now! At least I have a beautiful, healthy and intelligent (thank God) 11 year old daughter who loves me! Well, I'll end it here, (that's funny, it sounds like I'm going to commit suicide!). No. My dissertation, that is; but let me simply remind you, Cat68, that your communication with me is far more appreciated than you realize! {edited for privacy}. Peace! Glenn

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Cats68 Says:
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Hi Glenn! Don't mean 2 b a pain, but, r u alright? I sent 2 posts and haven't heard back, yet. I hope u r not in the hospital or something. I'll wait 2 hear from u. Cats

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Glenn Says:
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Hello again, Cats. I'm doing alright - I apologize if you haven't been receiving my posts.

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Cats68 Says:
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Hi Glenn, so glad 2 hear back from u and know that u r ok. I know what u mean about having someone 2 talk 2. Someone who understands u and what your going through. I don't know why, but, lately, my schedule has been off. I wake up late at night and then, I'm up 4 a few hours. So, I go on this site and answer. ??? And , now , check 4 your responses. I am now on SSDI, but, am a nurse by proffesion. I know u tried 2 send me your e- mail or something, but , the site edited it out 4 privacy. Congratulations on your weight lost. I've always been a tiny person. But, when I was on methadone , I gained nearly. 50 lbs. once I got off , I lost all the weight . Back down 2 a size 4. I'm short, too. (5'1) I have 2 boys, ages 24 and almost. 26. Both of them r out of the house . They r not married yet and no grandchildren. (I'm. 45) next month I'll b 46. I was married 14 years. Well, I'm going 2 close now and try 2 figure out if there's a way 2 get an e- mail address 2 u. I'll wait 2 hear from u next. Talk soon! Cats

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Cats68 Says:
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Hey Glenn! I'm so glad 2 hear from u. Also, happy u r doing better. Have all your withdrawals gone away yet? Sometimes, it takes awhile. I sent u a post about an hour ago, and, it said,"needs 2 b reviewed" I don't know why, I didn't say anything wrong. Congratulations on your weight lost. I've always been a tiny gal, but, when I was on methadone, I gained nearly 50 lbs. It was terrible 4 me. Once I got off, I went right back 2 my size 4. The suboxone doesn't have that side effect, Thank God. Lately, I've been waking up at night and staying up 4 a couple of hours or so. So, I go on this site and the suboxone site and answer ???. I'm on SSDI now, but, I am a nurse by proffesion. I loved helping all kinds of people and treating them. I have 2 sons, ages 24 and almost 26. They r out of the house. None married yet, and, no grandchildren, yet.(I'm almost 46) So, u r lucky 2 b having warm weather. We hit the low 80's a couple of days, but, mostly 70's. Still chilly at night.(50's) we never have a long summer. But, winter is long and harsh. They edited out whatever u tried 2 send me. ( NOT fair!) well, I'm going 2 get something 2 eat. Hope 2 talk, again, soon. Cats

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Cats68 Says:
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Hi Glenn! How r u? Congratulations, on your weight lost. When I was on methadone, I gained nearly 50lbs. One I got off, I lost all the weight.(Thank God) I've always been a tiny gal.(5'1 and 114lbs) don't want 2 back there again. That's one of the side effects of methadone. Of course, no one tells u that! I have 2 sons, grown and out of the house. Neither married, yet, and, no grandchildren, yet. I'm almost 46.(next month) I don't look my age, but, sometimes, I feel it. I'm glad 2 hear your weather is nice and warm. We hit 80's a couple of days. But, mostly 70's. We have short summers, and, LONG harsh winters. Well, going 2 go now. Have some errands 2 run. Will talk soon. Cats

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Glenn Says:
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Dear Cats, yes, they "did" edit out my information, but it wasn't anything bad! I had simply sent you a Skype username, but in their estimation, it was just too personal! LOL! I was hoping to have an opportunity to speak to you on a slightly more personal basis. I sent them a message asking them to ask you if you wouldn't mind receiving a Skype username from me. I also asked them to please allow you to decide for yourself. Cats, I felt I had no choice, because although I haven't mentioned this to you, I really have been suffering enormously in the arena of Methadone withdrawal! Like you first mentioned to me, I've had some superficial flu-like symptoms, strong feelings of Central Nervous System agitation (as though someone were running a current up and down my spine) along with chills, insomnia and malaise! Not good! Plus, the Opana ER (20mg. every 12 hours) is just not handling my Osteoarthritic pain! So obviously I have to go back on the Methadone where, as my doctor once indicated, more than one pain receptor is "satisfied" (or "hit") by the drug! In other words, it does more good than harm (if there even is any, at all)! I just hope you're not disappointed with me, Cats, but if anyone could understand, you would! I pray a door will be opened by which we will one day be able to communicate with each other, in perhaps a more personal manner! Maybe by phone or Skype (if indeed, you would like to). Only time will tell! I just left two messages on my Pain Management's voicemail, but I always feel so insecure with them, as though, if I leave more than one message, they'll get disgusted with me and kick me out of the program! I don't know why that should happen? I haven't done anything wrong, but people are sometimes fickle! I shouldn't have to feel that way, but they're the vibes I get! Yet who else can I call if I have a problem? I'm "supposed" to call them! Hope to hear back from you soon, honey! Glenn

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Glenn Says:
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Cats, why not give you an update? It's only been 20 minutes since I submitted my last message to you for approval on this website. 5:00 came and went with no return phone call from my Pain Management facility. Finally the phone rings and the verdict is handed down! I cannot be switched to anything (including back to Methadone) until I have my next appointment on July 7th! And since my M.D. is going on vacation the first two weeks of July, a P.A. will see me, instead! My fear is that she won't have the authority to make any changes, at all! Which would then cause me to ask why they even made the appointment for me with her, in the first place! You see, it's times like these (and yes, part of this are the mental withdrawal symptoms I'm going through), but I'm getting very discouraged now! I can't believe that if it's an acute, crisis-like situation like this, that my PM M.D. can't make an exception just this one time! I don't know how I'm going to get through the next 26 more days! I'm sorry, Cats. I'm very upset right now that I'm the victim of a medical machine! The nurse who called me back asked me if I wanted her to speak to the doctor once more? The problem is, he's a brand new doctor I'm seeing (an M.D.), whom I saw for the very first time because the prior one did not participate in Medicare; AND this new doctor is a very nice guy! I am so afraid of giving him a bad impression of me! So I told her, to speak to him if you want, but please not put me in a bad light! I even told the nurse that I have to be one of their best patients because I make it my business to obey ALL the rules! Look how much obeying the rules does for you! I'm sorry I'm so discouraged right now, Cats, but all I can do is trust God for the outcome! Speak to you soon, dear. Glenn

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Cats68 Says:
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Hi Glenn! Good News! Meds Chat has allowed me 2 give u my e-mail address. Did you c the post? We just had 2 give permission, and, I did. I even got a confirmation from them, saying, they sent it. 2 u. As far as your withdrawals and suffering, I was going 2 mention 2 u about the methadone. How, maybe, u should get back on it and increase the dose . There is NO need. 4 u 2 have 2 suffer. And, I'm sure the clinic will get back 2 u soon. If not , I'd call , again in a day or so. Well, hopefully tomorrow we can talk more privately. Hope 2 hear from u soon. Cats (Belinda)

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Glenn Says:
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Belinda, 'yes' I saw that beautiful message (email). I was so happy to receive it! I sent you an email which will explain everything--where I've been for almost the last 12 hours! I love your name! It's beautiful! And it literally means: "beautiful!" Glenn

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Melissa Says:

Hi glen, My names Melissa. Ive been on methadone for 10 years at 160mg a day. Im desperate to know how you managed with the methadone to opana switch. Please let me know.

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Glenn Says:
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Dear Melissa, I'd be more than happy to explain that to you, but first, please let me provide you with a short background so you might be better able to put things in perspective. I'm a 56 year old man, and I've been legally disabled, as a result of my back, since October of 2009. The culprits? Seven herniated disks; Spinal Stenosis; and Osteoarthritis throughout my whole body! I've also had four invasive back surgeries (with metal)! After my wife separated and divorced me in 2009 &10, respectively (taking our daughter with her), I had no choice but to move down to North Carolina from where I had been in northern New Jersey; because the cost of living is so much cheaper here! After I arrived in September of 2010 and got settled; I began to be seen by an Anesthesiologist at a Pain Management facility here in Hickory, who strongly recommended I choose Methadone as my primary pain relieving "prison cell;" since, as he explained; it hits two pain receptors in the brain; instead of just one! (For breakthrough pain, of course, I received Percocet; which is pretty much standard for most PM platforms.) Well from that point on, as they say; "the rest is history;" except for a major blunder, of mine, a year ago! (This is where I begin to answer your question!) You're probably aware, Melissa, (having been on Methadone for 10 years) that you and I are in the "belly of the beast!" Do you know what I mean by that? I think you probably do! In addition to "extremely" dangerous (and deadly) cardiac arrhythmias, called "qt prolongation," caused by the abuse of Methadone; it is also known to have the absolute longest half life of any known opiate; on top of being the absolutely most "powerful" narcotic agent available; legal or otherwise! So finally, with regard to your question (and according to what my doctor "erroneously" told me); "switching from Methadone to Opana ER would 'simply' be a case of going from one opiate to another!" "Short and sweet!" ***WRONG!!*** You may as well try to hold back a Tsunami with a sandcastle!! It "ain't gonna work!" Melissa, initially, after I switched to the Opana ER, I thought it would be a breeze!! It seemed to be working great and without a hitch! I was thrilled! But let's not forget Methadone's "half life!" By the third day, I immediately thought that perhaps, for some odd reason, the Opana ER was too strong for me this time! I didn't immediately associate the horrible way I was feeling with its true source: Methadone withdrawal!! And I actually continued to believe the "lie" until the reality of the situation descended upon me like a ton of bricks!! That's how blind both I and the "doctor" was! Ha!! Well needless to say, Melissa, I "attempted" to switch back to Methadone faster than a frog trying to leap off a hot sidewalk!! The only problem was that my doctor was NOT readily available; and even after he was, I had to convince him that I was truly experiencing Methadone withdrawal symptoms!! What a horrible nightmare!! Incidentally, Melissa; I never told you what my dosage of Methadone is. I take a total of 60mg (10mg tablets) divided three ways over the course of a day. I actually wanted to increase the dosage at one point, but my doctor was afraid of the possible cardiac effects! I guess I can't blame him; yet look how much you're taking and thank God; you're still here!! I'd like to leave you with one extremely important caveat! (Well maybe you already know this!) If you ever, for some reason, stop your Methadone even for a short time, "PLEASE" be "VERY" careful how you continue on it again! After this horrible situation I went through with my switch; I "simply" resumed taking my "normal" amount!! Very dangerous move!! My heart began to beat very irregularly! I thought I was going to die; and had I been asleep (as when most people who have died on the drug, have been), I just might have!! But then again, my life is in the mighty hands of Jesus!! Melissa, if you care to, please respond to me! I would love to know if you read this; and It took so long time to write! LOL! Glenn

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Chet Says:

You can even try Tramadol, in high doses, 200 or 300 mgs q 4 hrs, works for me most of the time, and it's much easier to get. If you're actually in pain the withdrawal from opiates is usually not that bad. I was taking 80 mgs of methadone daily for a little over a year, and I just stopped taking it cold, and aside from lower back pain returning after three or four days, I really didn't get all the bad symptoms. When I was much younger, I am now 58 yrs old, I was taking H, and I went through countless withdrawals, but it was really nothing more than going to bed for two or three days with a bad case of flu. Granted, it was a couple of daze of hell, puking, the runs, sneezing fits, depression so strong you wish you could die, but it was short lived. But, as the other guy said, "everybody is different". Good luck.

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Melissa Says:

Hey Glenn, please post back if you are able to chat more about your whole thing and mine. my email is {edited for privacy}

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