Author Topic: Methadone Side Effects  (Read 7839 times)

Offline Griffin (OP)

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Methadone Side Effects
« on: August 24, 2015, 11:04:49 PM »
Hey everybody just had a few questions about side effects from MMT mainly about constipation, weight gain, and low testosterone. Has anyone had side effects come up a few years into mmt treatment. That is one thing I worry about because the main side effect I have is weight gain, and it is something I can deal with. I hope it stays like this but have heard some people had bad side effects pop up after a few years and was just trying to get some input on what they were, when they showed up, and how you guys were dealing with it.


I have noticed the higher the dose the more weight people gain, obviously weight gain is very different for everyone. I was on 280mg for the first 18 months I was on methadone and I gained 90 pounds in less than a year. I have been around 135-145 my whole life and jumped up to 225 within a year of starting MMT which is huge for me. I was around that weight until I got arrested and was in jail for 30 days where I lost 15 lbs. I started dieting and doing light workouts when I wasn't on methadone after I got out of jail and got down to 185. I've gained 10 lbs sense I started back up at the beginning of July. My dose is stable at 60 now but I have really bad sugar cravings all the time not as bad as when I was on 280 but its all I want to eat. What have you guys done or noticed about gaining weight while on methadone and is there anything that helps the sugar cravings or weight loss besides just diet and exercise.

I am about to start doing my light workouts and diet again I stopped after I got sick a month ago. I've felt crappy this last month because I got to the point where I was so hungry I felt sick and eating made me more sick and I couldn't eat enough to get back to the normal feeling. I have finally gotten back to normal but I have been eating nothing but junk food and I gained 10 lbs instantly. I am going to try and go back on a diet but I have to find more foods that I like that are easy or fast to make that are good for me as well. If anyone has any recommendation on dieting or weight loss I am all ears because it has effected my self esteem a lot. I was dating a girl for a little over 4 years until right after I got on methadone and haven't had a date sense I gained all this weight.


The next thing I had a question about was sex drive/testosterone. I have very little sex drive and some of it is due to me being fat and having low self esteem. I am very young but was considering asking my doctor to check my T levels. My dad and all my uncles have low T and are on different things to help and a few of the men on my moms side have it as well. How many of you guys have low T and do you attribute it to being on MMT or opiates? How should I go about getting it tested or do you think I even should sense I am so young?  I have a lot of the symptoms of low testosterone and was wondering if it has been one of the reasons that I had such bad anxiety and depression and a lot of the other things that opiates have taken away. Any info would be much appreciated.


Has anyone found anything that helps sweating? I sweat a lot more now and I work as a cook next to an oven so I am usually drenched when it gets really busy and I chug water constantly. Has anyone had any luck with curing or slowing down sweating? Ever sense I was a kid I had terrible arm pit sweat so much to the point where I would have to go through a shirt an hour. I would have sweat rings the size of a basketball that were all the way to the end of my short sleeve t-shirts sleeve. It all went away when I first got on opiates I remember it was one of the reasons I kept taking them and became dependent because it completely cured my arm pit sweat. The time I was clean after getting arrested it was back in full force and it was super embarrassing maybe all the sweat that I was sweating under my arms is just coming out every where else but its not coming out of my arm pits so its definitely a trade I would make.


The last thing I had a question about was constipation, I had terrible constipation before getting on MMT I was going once every week or 2 and was using every thing to help with no results. When I started MMT it completely went away and I have been normal sense except when I have to take flexiril for my neck it slows down a tiny bit but stool softeners clear it up and it isn't an issue. Has anyone else had this happen to them where it completely went away once getting on mmt? It was terrible when I was on subs as well and I am worried about it coming back in the future. Has anyone had it show back up after a few years or months of being on MMT? It wasn't a problem when I was on 280 and isn't now that I am on 60 but the 100 or so days I was clean I didn't have any regularity I was on the toilet constantly and seldom had a solid stool. I attributed it to withdrawal though because I was having quite a few other symptoms the entire time I was clean.

Any info or experiences you guys have had is greatly appreciated and feel free to add any other side effects you are going through and how you are dealing with them.


Griffin

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Re: Methadone Side Effects
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2015, 11:11:08 PM »
i had to get to sub-30 mg. to start to feel better.

Now on 20 mg. Methadone/day + 60 mg. MS-Contin ATM (because i fucked up and double-dosed).

it was easy to get to 25 but trickier going under for my mileage etc.

... so get your dose down to a plateau somewhere around 25 to then feel so much better and basically physiologically normal for at least 16 hours, anyway.
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Offline Griffin (OP)

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Re: Methadone Side Effects
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2015, 11:20:37 PM »
I have been thinking of lowering my dose but I worry about drug cravings getting worse and for the methadone to not block getting high. I am on probation and if I fail a drug test I will likely have to do a year. I am okay with the side effects for that reason but will definitely taper down but more than likely not off when I get off probation but thats another year and a half away. Does your dose hold you the 24 hours or close to it? What were you on before you went down and did you have any w/d symptoms from the drop?


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Re: Methadone Side Effects
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2015, 11:31:32 PM »
I personally believe that most people on very high dose mdone are on it mostly due to the mental part of addiction.  Ill just that at that.

I was exactly like you where i was super constipated on my doc (h) and really had no problem like some do on mdone.  I also had the loose stools when off it and it has somewhat got better with time as long as i eat well.

As far as the sweating,.... good luck.  Something you just gotta deal with ime.

I used testosterone years back when i was on mdone and loved it!!  Not sure how old you are?  I used large doses above hrt as i was also working out at the time and it was a huge boost.  Going to the gym and working out while on testosteron3 will very likely help boost your self esteem and self acceptance as long as you habe time to work out and be committed to it.

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Re: Methadone Side Effects
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2015, 11:40:50 PM »
I have been thinking of lowering my dose but I worry about drug cravings getting worse and for the methadone to not block getting high. I am on probation and if I fail a drug test I will likely have to do a year. I am okay with the side effects for that reason but will definitely taper down but more than likely not off when I get off probation but thats another year and a half away. Does your dose hold you the 24 hours or close to it? What were you on before you went down and did you have any w/d symptoms from the drop?


Griffin

after a week of some misery, my dose holds me for the whole day IF I DON'T THINK ABOUT IT. it's true. if i am anxious about withdrawal then i feel like i need to dose early.

we all have a "plateau" that is a dose that we have to sit on for longer before we keep tapering ... yours might be 35 mg. but it's a complex algorithm based on your mileage and dosage and withdrawal etc.

if you are on 60 mg. then you can easily drop to 40 mg. in 5 mg. decrements every fortnight --- do it in stages like that.
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Offline Griffin (OP)

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Re: Methadone Side Effects
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2015, 11:58:38 PM »
I agree about people on high doses being mental, I feel better at 60 mg than I did on 280. I think someone needs to come to my clinic and let people know that because most people are on 150+. I think a lot of them got caught up chasing the honeymoon period of it and then when they got that high decided to stay from fear of being in w/d but could probably go down 80 mg and not notice if they weren't told. I was thinking the same thing about sweating but was hoping someone had a remedy and as long as I don't have arm pit sweat stains in all my shirts I could care less how much I am sweating because that in itself caused me more anxiety which made it worse. High school was terrible I would have to change my shirt after each period and within 15 minutes my pit stains were noticeable same thing with work and pretty much every other social outing I am so glad opiates cured that for me. It was making me agoraphobic and very self conscious.

I am 25 but am still planning on asking about my testosterone levels. I know that it is more than likely to young for methadone but it has saved my life and given me an amazing life that I wasn't able to do while clean. I had such bad anxiety I couldn't hold down jobs or be in most social situations with out having a panic attack. A lot of it was teenage angst but I had a bad anxiety/panic disorder before I was on opiates and every time I was off it was back in full force causing me a lot of depression. Sense I have been on opiates anxiety and depression was almost non existent until my addiction got so bad that I had lost everything and was homeless or in withdrawal. Being on MMT I have the best quality of life I can imagine, I can work goto school and do everything that I always wanted to do but was to anxious, depressed and scared to do. I can't even count how many jobs I have lost from having panic attacks and having to leave or being to anxious to make myself go to work it was awful. I know that most say that you shouldn't be on methadone until you have been addicted for 10-20 years or more without success on getting clean but I feel that I would of just had that many more years of terrible addiction and criminal charges the longer I went before getting on it if I didn't die.


Griffin

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Re: Methadone Side Effects
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2015, 12:35:33 AM »
Methadone can definately be a much better life than that of trying to score everyday, i hope you didnt get the impredsion i was saying otherwise.  Having to wait 10 to 20 years would be terrible.  The determining factor should be quality of life.  Its just crazy to see people who were abusing hydrocodone or something similar to go on mdone as solution, by and large imo.

The last few times i was on mdone i wanted to stay at the therapeutic dose of mdone, which was 60mgs and didnt feel anything above 80mgs was worth it. 

Offline Griffin (OP)

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Re: Methadone Side Effects
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2015, 11:02:53 AM »
You didn't say anything to imply that, I was just saying that because that is the general consensus of what I've read about people who were thinking of starting around my age. Thank you for the info its always nice talking to people who have been on it, I don't like striking up conversations at my clinic though I just talk to the few I know and stay out of the drama. I know what you mean just last week someone at my clinic said they got on methadone to get off hydrocodone. I had a pretty hard time keeping my mouth shut on that one but I figured there was nothing I was going to say to fix that situation.


Griffin

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Re: Methadone Side Effects
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2015, 11:42:03 AM »
I'm going to voice the opinion I have about MMT that is vastly unpopular, but here it goes.

I think it would be better to get young addicts on MMT sooner rather than later.  Waiting some 10-20 years until your life, health and soul is in the toilet makes no sense to me.  We all know that MOST addicts (most..not all by any means) can get clean but can't stay clean.  We(myself included) tend to occilate between getting high, getting sick, getting clean and then getting high again.  I know for me, I was in a perpetual cycle for almost two decades of using, abusing, being sick, being clean...and I totally fucked up my life and that of those aground me.

Had I started methadone at the beginning of my addiction, I could have gotten stable quickly, THEN been in the shape to do the counseling and life changes I could never do while I was using or in PAWS.  Then I could have tapered...or not. I personally do not see any reason to stop methadone if it is working.  My seizure meds workd too...so why go off something that improves my quality of life and takes nothing away from it!

You mentioned weight gain.  I too gained weight, about 40 pounds, my first year on MMT.  I have since lost the weight.  For me, food replaced the drugs.  It kept my hands and my mouth busy and to some extent occupied my mind.  I had to admit I was using food as compulsively as drugs and it was something I had to work on.  It is all too easy to grab something to eat to soothe whatever uncomfortable thing I was feeling.  I am sure not everyone replaces drugs with food, but a lot of MMT people find they either eat more, or smoke more or gamble more....eh...something to ponder anyway.

I'm so glad that you are out of jail and doing well on your dose!  I still can't believe what you went through!!!  You are one tough dude!!!  props, my friend!
« Last Edit: August 25, 2015, 11:47:32 AM by Lolleedee »
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Offline Griffin (OP)

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Re: Methadone Side Effects
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2015, 11:55:47 PM »
Thank you that is very much appreciated lolleedee! I think a lot of my eating was compulsive and me trying to replace drug use. I wouldn't be hungry I was bored and eating would occupy time plus my boredom and I had no impulse control. I agree it is something that needs to be worked on and maybe mentioned to the newcomers to methadone so they can atleast see why they are eating more, or whatever there new fix is in hopes to nip it in the bud so to say. Impulse control is something that negatively effects a lot of addicts. It's so easy for us to trade addictions and a lot of that is filling the void of no drug use. I have slowly gotten healthier and realized what I was doing when my clinic counselor and I talked about impulsive eating and I traded the ice cream sandwiches for apples, oranges, or strawberries that way I am getting the sugar fix and eating something a lot healthier for me. It has made an improvement on my mental health too, just working out and setting goals is always a good thing to have in place. I find when I have no goals set for myself and feel I'm idling out I become depressed and more anxious because I am not necessarily happy with where I am at but realize its necessary for me to get where I am going. I know I don't want to be a cook my whole life but it is getting me through now and as long as I continue to try and finish my education and find a career path then I am okay with it.

I think that maintenance can definitely be a wonderful thing in a lot of cases. I kind of wish subs had worked for me the way that methadone has because it seems there is less stigma attached to subs. I tried subs for 10 months and couldn't get more than 3 weeks without using. I was constantly in a state of withdrawal because I was either fed up with the cravings, depression and anxiety and was waiting for the sub to get out of me so I could use or I was waiting the 24 hours to take the sub again. I would be in withdrawal for 2 days to get high once and the subs did nothing for my cravings. That was the point where I really began to spin out of control. I hated that I couldn't stay clean on subs and felt that I would never be able to not use and it drove me to the depths. I was getting way to many subs and they were free with my insurance I had through my job at the time so I had a huge amount of extras to fall back on in case something happened. They ended up financing a lot of my drug use and my life quickly deteriorated. I lost my job and insurance and the subs were $600 not including the doctor appointment without insurance. When the doctor wouldn't prescribe me the generic version of bupe/naloxone that were $200 instead of $600 I could no longer afford them and was pissed at the doctor for not prescribing me the exact same thing but cheaper. I decided to go on methadone and It was life changing never had I felt that I could be a person and work 40 hours a week and goto school and do all the things that I had previosly not been able to do due to anxiety, depression, or drug use. I felt like I was given a chance at life and I had the best year of my life. I went from being homeless with absolutely nothing but a hoodie, t-shirt and shorts(thats another long story in itself) to getting an apartment, getting into school with a small scholarship, getting a dream job, and a car within a year. It is crazy how much we can accomplish once the drugs have lost there grip on us. Thanks for putting in your input I am very interested in the stories of people who have been on methadone or are on it now and how they got there, and the effect it has had on there life. I think the best side effect for me is having a wonderful quality of life and I hope I can continue on my route without any more legal issues and continue on the up and up.


Griffin

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Re: Methadone Side Effects
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2015, 09:53:09 AM »
I am on a pretty low dose (40 mg/day), but I definitely am experiencing some of the same side effects you are.  I was like you with the sweating pre-methadone and now that I am on it I literally cannot stop sweating.  Every second at work I am pouring sweat from my head even though it is reasonably cool inside and I'm not even doing very much physical labor.  Definitely the most annoying side effect for me.

As for it affecting my sex drive... Well I would say I had a pretty high sex drive when not on opiates, a decent one when I am using, but I have absolutely no sex drive on methadone.  I'm with a girlfriend of 5 years and it's definitely extremely frustrating for her because honestly I could just completely go without sex ATM which is driving her crazy...  I thought it would be something that would get better over time, but I haven't noticed any improvement in 6-7 months of being on MMT. 

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Re: Methadone Side Effects
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2015, 01:05:15 PM »
For me being on a lower dose has brought my sex drive back a lot. When I was on 280 I had no sexual thoughts, no desire to even masturbate or have sex but I had wet dreams a few times a month. Now that I am on 60 mg My sex drive has definitely come back, not like it was before where I would fuck anything with a pulse but now it is at a good place where I don't have an over active sex drive but it is there and I have sexual ideation, I want to have sex but not all day everyday, and it seems very controlled like it is up to me whether to be horny or not if that makes any sense at all.

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Re: Methadone Side Effects
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2015, 01:58:27 PM »
Methadone's side effect, the ability to chemically castrate to varying degrees can be a useful tool if applied thoughtfully and at the right dose.

Sex is for the young, to quote an old friend who has now since passed.

Opiates can certainly surely mess with your sex drive.

I know exactly what you mean.
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Re: Methadone Side Effects
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2015, 12:57:50 AM »
Griffin you didn't ask so I won't take the time to write one but I lost 80lbs with very little exercise, pretty much all diet, if you would like I can write down my diet plan. The key is that you have to take the joy or pleasure out of eating and take pleasure in looking and feeling better. Plus loosing over 50lbs will give you the self confidence to go out and get a girl. If you are under 30 you should want sex a lot, it's just natural. Let me know if you want me to give you an example of my diet, you eat 5x a day so very little hunger, it's a low carb high fat, medium protein diet.

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Re: Methadone Side Effects
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2015, 04:17:27 AM »
Yes I would absolutely want to know what you did and your diet plan. I have lost 40 lbs from my highest weight sense the end of March. I am down to 185 and have maintained that weight for the last month without diet and exercise. So I think once I get on a healthy regimen again and stick to it I will be able to drop weight quickly.

I was always around 135 my whole life and being on 280 mgs of methadone destroyed my metabolism and made me crave nothing but sweets. I was impulsively eating to fill the void of not using by giving me something to do to not be bored and I was getting some pleasure from eating. I think now that I have an understanding of all that and am on a lower dose that with diet and exercise I will be back to my normal size in no time.

Like you said looking and feeling fit does loads for your self confidence and I hope it can help me land a girl. The only thing besides the weight that I get self conscious about now that my armpit sweating has completely gone away sense being on opiates is that I have a lazy eye. If I am tired or have been staring at something to long my left eye goes its own direction usually way to the left and makes me very cock eyed and I look like crazy eyes on Mr. Deeds.

Unfortunately for me there is no cure for it and my eye sight and depth perception will always be bad. I haven't worn glasses sense I was 10. They helped a little but I got made fun of a lot for having glasses, they gave me headaches, I never liked wearing them and could never do contacts due to a phobia of touching my eye or seeing people touch theirs. I might try glasses out again if eye doctors are free with medicaid or if my uncle could help me for free next time I see him.

My uncle is a multi-millionaire eye surgeon in Miami whose very well known in the medical community mostly for his help during the Haiti earthquake and his book where he completely restored someones eye back to 20/20 vision after it had been destroyed by battery acid. If there is ever a cure or anything that can fix the problem I am sure he will be the first person to let me know and get it fixed for me.



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