Is It Safe To Taper Off Of Methadone While Pregnant

Amber Says:

I currently am thirteen weeks pregnant and am taking fifty five mg of methadone for about a month or so now. I no longer want to take this medication since i am no longer having withdrawl symptoms, but the clinic i am currently a attending is telling me that i am not going to be able to cold turkey or start tapering off methadone util i am at eighteen weeks of my pregnancy due to the saftey of my child and possible fetal harm caused by withdrawl stress. I am not entirely convinced that the staff at the clinic im attending is being a hundred percent truthful with me because of rumors floating around about how they staff only wants the money that the people attending bring in. PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ME!!!!! Like i stated earlier, i no long want to take methadone after reading all of the hirrible things it does to you, and the effects it has on my body. I DESPERATLY want my baby to be healthy and have the best chance at life and DO NOT want to harm/endanger its life because of methadone. So, does anybody know if i would be able to stop taking this med cold turkey after being on it for a little over a month if there is the possibility of harming my unborn child or would i have to do whats suggested and taper down 5 mg/wk from 55mg at 18 wks of my pregnancy? PLEASE, again i am extremely confused about the situation i am in, and need advice of any kind reguarding coming off of methadone while pregnant. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

14 Replies

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justanothermom Says:

I detoxed off methadone with 2 pregnancies... I tapered 2 to 5mg each week until the last 5mg with the first pregnancy and the last 2mg with the second. I was probably about 7 months along at the latest by the time I was off completely and we all did fine. Both times the clinic advised against it but based on what I learned about what newborns will go through being born on methadone I wasn't going to allow my babies to suffer cold turkey withdrawals after birth. It seemed more logical that my babies are tapered along with me in small increments while in the womb... no one at the clinic could reasonably dispute my position and logic. Anyway my babies are young adults now and without a doubt I still believe I made the right choice.

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justanothermom Says:

I forgot to mention that I chose each increment drop based on how I felt so if you feel a lot of withdrawal discomfort that should be an indicator that the decrease is probably too much... I had very mild to no withdrawal sysmptoms but if I had more than that it may very well have affected the baby particularly in the earlier stages of pregnancy. You should without a doubt discuss it with your obstetrician since other issues that may affect your pregnancy would likely have an impact on the decision of what to do and how to do it. I had normal pregnancies and was only considered high risk due to the fact I was on methadone... my obstetrician was supportive of my detox plan.

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Lucy Says:

I wish I would have known about this site along time ago. I to had the same question, and wanted off methadone because I wanted my baby to be healthy and I didn't find out until I was 5 months pregnant nd they told me over n over that I would not be able to get off methadone until after I delivered, but the opposite, I'd actually have to increase my dose the farther along I got and the bigger the baby got. Now I am 7 months and the baby is doing very well surprisingly, but where I'm from there is only ONE clinic that takes pregnant woman so they made me go there and I was being harassed by two of the ladies that worked there and eventually they made me miss my dose and I cried and never went back so now I'm trying to find a doctor that will prescribe me methadone tablets until I deliver, because I cannot go back there and I withdrawled very bad and couldn't feel the baby move it scared me so bad and I went to a doc and he gave me a script for one day and told me I'd have to go back to the clinic because he cannot legally prescribe it to me. I have been buying through other means and I don't want to do that. I don't want to risk losing my baby either from getting busted or withdrawal: the doc told me I cannot quit it or the placenta during withdrawal could separate from the uterus and the baby will die. idk what to do is there any docs that can prescribe me methadone tablets until I deliver???? Or will I be forced to go to the only clinic I can go to that harassed me ? I'm thick skinned and dealt with it for months but when they started messing with my dose (oh btw at this clinic I eventually found out after being horribly sick that it's the nurses discretion to drop your dose if they want to without you knowing, so that lady that harassed me all the time was the nurse sometimes that dosed me and when I went to my concealer cause I was so sick, sicker then I'd ever been in my life, she informed me that that nurse had dropped me down 35mg overnight! My counselor was so mad she confronted her and that ladies reason was she thought I looked too "sleepy" and a couple days later she changed her reason to "she missed her group" my counselor told her "I have her permission cause she had doc appt) anyway after they messed with my dose and made Me miss my dose I couldn't go back and I still don't want to ). please help. Oh and what I wanted to say to you was, if your not sick and your early on your pregnancy, see your ob doc and ask him what he thinks, cause if I were you I would just stay off it, I wish I would have known that I could have got off.

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Kathy Says:

I'm 7 weeks pregnant and im at 60mg of methadone n i want to taper off methdone before my baby is born. What's the safest way to do it? Please help me. I dont believe in my baby going through withdraw because of my mistake.. I feel like i messed up.

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Jessica Says:

I just found out I'm pregnant and have been on 60mg of methadone for 4 months, I think I'm about 6 weeks pregnant. The clinic I go to won't let me taper off or even go lower. There telling me I have to stay at 60mg the whole time and I get 4 take homes a week. I don't want to stay onit and want to get off it as soon as I can. I can't stand the thought of my baby going threw withdrawals and maybe something happening. How did you get off it and how long did it take you? Do you have any advice for me on the best way for me to get off it. The only way I can lower is when I get my take homes. So I'm thinking I can take less and less those 4 days a week I get my take homes. I hope to hear from you. I just want to be as heathy as I can for my baby and don't want to go threw this terrible process.

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Mamamia3 Says:

Hi there..I've been searching the Internet for months looking for someone with a success story for a detox while pregnant and detoxing at home..with not a lot of luck..such a touchy subject that a lot of mothers including myself are embarrassed and ashamed about!! I'm currently detoxing myself off a 95ml methadone script and I am currently 30weeks pregnant and been slowly tapering off all through my pregnancy! I found out early about my pregnancy and had already started a slow taper with my drug workers knowledge and consent .I do believe now I was over medicated on the 95ml! I took three 10ml drops every two weeks and then 5ml drops till I got to 30ml..all these drops my worker and midwife knew about and gave me their blessings! Now I get take homes and I slightly altered my dose dwn by just a couple of ml each time(on top of the clinic drop)..if they find out I will have the take homes took away..but that's the price I'm willing to pay in order to get off! The pregnancy has been tough and the withdrawal symptoms bearable but both together isn't a nice combo to feel..Anyway here I am on 10ml..the last little bit to go through n the hardest! My specialist midwife who has 20years experience in the job has told me to stop tapering between 33/34 weeks..I'm hoping n praying that I can finally kick this for my baby girls sake! There have been times where I've felt the withdrawal amount was too much for my I would take an extra 5/10ml' depending on how I felt at the time to try n keep the roughness to a minimum for my baby's sake! I really hope that this reply finds you and your baby keeping well! Just want to say that I am not advising you to anything..only sharing my experience so far! Good luck

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Sick mommy Says:

Omg I'm so glad to come across this. I hope you see this cause I'm seeking some advice very desperately. I'm about 5 weeks pregnant. I have 4 children already. I never did any harsh drugs in my life. When I was pregnant with my fourth child (I didn't know I was pregnant yet) I became very ill. At the time I was a single mother trying to support three little ones. I had a job bartending and needed every penny. I started getting really sick, throwing up constantly, couldn't eat or drink. I lost 50/60 pounds in less than 2 months. I was in a lot of pain too. My side hurt so bad but I kept working. I couldn't find a sitter to work and get my rear-end to the Dr. plus I hate going to Ers or Docs.

Well, I ended up waking up one day in the hospital. Apparently I was in there for 2 days before waking up. I knocked my head on the porcelain tub one morning after puking my guts out and my brother happened to stop by and find me and called an ambulance. I don't remember any of that. When I woke up they explained how I was septic from an "off the charts UTI" and an infected gallbladder, and I was 7 weeks pregnant. I didn't know what to think, I was in shock really. They said they couldn't perform the surgery because I was pregnant and at such an early state that surgery can cause a miscarriage or severe birth defects. So they needed my permission. I had no clue I was pregnant, I didn't know what to do. I stayed in the hospital for 12 days on Antibiotics, Fluids and morphine every 4 hours; while I thought about what I should do.

I finally decided that I would try and wait till I was in the 2nd trimester. The Gastro doc and Ob doc each prescribed me pain killers. I didn't know they were the same thing till later on in the last trimester. They were 750 Norco and 1000 mg Norco, but they said hydrocodone or something (idk), I barely remember. I just knew they were for pain, to get me through. I was getting over 30 a week of each for a while. Anyway my insurance was Medicaid and I didn't have pills anymore, which I didn't think twice of really, till I started cramping, and bleeding. I went to a free clinic and it was a midwife that asked me about my past and I told her and she says (at 7 months preg) "honey what you're experiencing is withdrawals from the pills you were taking". Anyway long story short she tells me about the Methadone clinic and how it could help me not misscarry. I went there the next morning bright and early. The doc there actually advise against me getting on it since I have was only taking 4 pills a day max, but I begged and pleaded till he agreed. Biggest mistake ever.

After having the baby while on Methadone, I never went down. I was so afraid from everything I read online about it and the pain and withdrawals and I didn't want to be that way with a newborn and three others (by this time I was married to my kids father but he was always at work and couldn't help much) so I stayed on it for a year then started to come down. I was on birth control and got pregnant during this time. I was not going to have a baby go through what my last baby went through. I had an abortion at 7 weeks. I regret it every day. Here I am again, on birth control and took the day after pill and pregnant. I'm at 30 mg and am in so much pain. I think I'm having withdrawals, that's what it feels like. I do NOT want to have an abortion but I am also taking Klonopin, Gabapentin, & Flexeril to help with the weaning that I started before I became pregnant. Idk what to do! My husband wants me to have an abortion and my body is so tired and weak it's telling me the same but my heart is begging me not to do it. I've come so far and been through so much, I do not want to stop weaning off and know I will not have a baby on this stuff. I haven't told the clinic cause I'm afraid they will stop my weaning process. How can I safely do this and not harm this baby? I'm so sad, and sick, tired, mentally and physically. Hope someone can offer some hope.

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Leeann Says:

I'm 5 weeks pregnant and was on 120 mg but since I found out I'm tapering 5mg 3times a day I've had a demise last year due to not tapering I can't go through that again I've decided to due the slow taper this time so by the time I deliver I will be off hope all goes well

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Angel Says:

Re: Mamamia3 (# 6) Expand Referenced Message

I am so glad that I saw your post I felt that I was so alone and pregnant on methadone. I am also going through the same thing I am 8 weeks pregnant and at 80mgs. I started at 95mgs when I was 5 weeks pregnant I’ve been at that dose for about 10months and found out I was pregnant at 4 weeks and decided to start tapering down 5mgs per week. I haven’t told the methadone clinic that I’m pregnant yet because I already know they’re going to try to keep me on my dose and make me go up. But I do know that if I feel withdrawals it’s horrible for fetus especially in first trimester. So I’m really determined to have a healthy clean baby that’s not addicted to methadone I couldn’t handle that. I’m taking it easy trying to stay as calm as possible and take my prenatal vitinans everyday. I don’t currently have health insurance so I’ve applied for it and hopefully I will be able to go to the obgyn in the next month to get a ultrasound. I have read so many articles about this topic please let me know how your pregnancy went? And did you have bad withdrawals? How much did you taper per week until how many weeks pregnant? If I keep tapering 5mgs a week I will be down to the last 5mgs while 24weeks pregnant. I hope it all works out. I’m doing everything I can to lessen my withdrawal symptoms naturally and stay calm.

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Angel Says:

Re: Jessica (# 5) Expand Referenced Message

Hi. I am just wondering how your pregnancy is going? Did you end up tapering off the methadone. I’m in the same situation.

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lil bid Says:

It's not a safe idea to not tell the clinic ur pregnant....i TOTALLY understand why ur doing it cuz yes, they'll make u go up as the fetus takes alot of ur dose. But u tapering at ur discretion is unsafe for u and the baby. Remember, anything u feel, ur baby feels. Its ur body and if u don't feel u need to be as high as the clinic is advising, u say no!! Ur baby will be in the level 2 nursery regardless of what ur dose is..... And may not need Phenobarbital, just some morphine for a few days to taper off..... Just some friendly advice from a woman with a healthy 4 year old boy who's been in ur shoes..... Good luck!!

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Sickmommy Says:

Re: justanothermom (# 1) Expand Referenced Message

Wow, I wish I had seen this sooner. I actually stopped taking all my meds after I wrote this post and decreased a big amount from the clinic (10 mg) within the same week. Five days later I started having much pain and ended up having a miscarriage early July / late August. My periods have been screwed up since. In September my period was late by two weeks but I bled horribly for 16 days straight (not alone the almost month after the miscarriage). I also found out I was further along than I thought I was, by at least ten weeks. When I became pregnant that time I did my moon chart to get an idea on the intercourse and it said boy, and it was. I used a strainer and popped the sack and cleaned him up and hurried him and planted a weeping blossom tree. But ya, my periods are so messed up ever since. So it’s Oct 9th I believe and I started my period 2 days later than the 'My Days app' predicted but it was just brownish which it usually is when I start and end but it stayed that way for two days. On the third day I bled heavily and red and it slowed down. At the end of the night my husband and I had intercourse and so my thinking that u don’t ovulate on your period or on the pill, we decided to go condom free!! The next day I just had this feeling. I hoped just paranoia because I do have a drawer full of ovulation and pregnancy tests (who else does that? I have no clue lol). I usually take an ovulation test before we have intercourse but this time I didn’t cause I was on my dang period. So I took it the day after and I couldn’t believe it. I was ovulating ON MY PERIOD! I ordered the Ella pill right away and it came the next day. Ella is supposed to stop ovulation and implantation, the day after pill and plan b does not do that. But checking my moon cycle, it’s a boy again. Like God is trying to tell me something. If I still become pregnant this time I’m going to listen. I’ve been praying for months for God to help me through this methadone bulls*** I got myself into cause I’ve heard even after your completely off that your mental state is just not right for months or years depending on how long you’ve been on it. Maybe this is or was his way of answering a prayer. After all, God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we want them or expect them to be answered but ALWAYS are answered. Thank you for your story, now at 20 mg. Maybe less, went on a blind decrease and well idk, just thank you for sharing your truths with me.

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Kricket Says:

Re: Jessica (# 5) Expand Referenced Message

My suggestion as an addict who has weaned myself off during pregnancy from pain pills not the methadone clinic but since you get four take-homes a week the best thing I would suggest is save your take-homes and taper yourself off with them, pour them into another bottle and take your prescription bottles back dose your normal dos at the clinic and keep getting your take-homes until you have enough to wean yourself off by the time your baby is born. During my pregnancy I stared weaning myself off of pain pills in my 2th trimester of pregnancy, I was completely weaned off by the begining of my third trimester to where when I had my daughter she came home with me from the hospital and I proudly breastfed for 4 months but the best thing to do is take your take-homes and save as much as possible and take as little as possible only when needed until you do not need it anymore because how detox works with pregnancy is however bad you feel during detox your baby feels the detox10 times as bad as you so if you slowly wean yourself off and you feel as little detox as possible than your baby will feel as little withdrawals as possible, so be safe doing it but slowly and safely get off of it that is what I did and my daughter came out safe happy healthy and by the age of 2 saying full understandable sentences and having conversations she is now five years old fixing to be 6 she knows Spanish and graduated first grade I'm very proud of the decision I made. But if unable to do so follow what the methadone clinic says because my sister-in-law had her daughter through the methadone clinic and her daughter is bright and Brilliant safe happy healthy Whole Nine Yards so I wish you good luck and I pray for you and your baby

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cheeky girl Says:

Hi. I am having a child again, having just had 2 girls and I am on methadone 40mg. I tested+ 3 times in my pregnancy so they are in my mother's care. I just found out about my current pregnancy but I really need to get off methadone before my child is blessed into this world. Is it safe to do 10mg, then 5mg every 2 weeks? Someone help me please. I can't do this again.

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