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How long can methadone withdrawal go on?

I have been on Methadone for the last 6 years, all starting with 5mg dose all the way up to 120mg per day. I was put on methadone to get me off of percocet that had been perscribed to treat my Migraine headaches. Finally I had enouugh of the Methadone and asked to be taken off of it. I had already tapered myself down to about 60-80mg perday, then went cold, on the third day I hurt so bad I finally went to the hospital and they treated me with Suboxone for 3 days. Starting with 4mg per day and I started feeling better almost immediately so I asked if we could taper the Suboxone. The one thing that really confused me was that even though i had not taken any methadone for 6 days by the time i got out of the hospital I was still coming up positive for methadone in my urine. Now i have been home for 6 days and the withdrawal symptoms have come back hard and I am really suffering. What advice do you have?
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Avatar universal
morning and welcome....
I dont know much about meth other than its a pain in the ass to come off

All I can suggest is that you change the way you eat, dirnk alot of water and juices, green teas, alot of vitamins and supplements...and a multi vitamin

All of this helps but takes a while fo ryour body to adjust without or a taper......
Exercise helps too get the body moving again....get it used to doing things slowly..babysteps..

Hang in there..and someone will be around evenutally taht has more information on meth...I havent done it so I dont relaly know..

C
Helpful - 0
202347 tn?1189755825
well they sure did that backward. Methadone is supposed to start at around 160-180 mg per day( unless you live on the east coast you can start at as much as 300mg/day) then taper down over the course of one to 3 years. Most methadone patients are on the plan for over 10 years because they are not really encouraged to come down b/c the methadone clinics want their money. Many patients have to take the initiative to speak with their counselors at the clinic to set a plan to wean off properly. Coming down about 3 mg per month is about the right pace to go. Withdrawal from any opiate is hell! low doses of xanax or valium usually help but benzos are a bad way to go unless ur just taking them for a week or two after you've been weaned off the opiate. A little known fact is that xanax withdrawal is much more dangerous than even heroin withdrawal. In the healthiest of people it can cause major seizures and stroke for starters. I have found that 500mg of naproxen really helps with hydrocodone withdrawal for me. Many people also use somas for opiate withdrawal.Stopping methadone at 60mg is dangerous and very hard on your body. If you don't have anything you can take today, get some aleve, it's naproxen just not in the amount that a perscription would be, so take however many aleve add up to anywhere from 250mg to 500 mg depending on how your body responds to naproxen. ( if each aleve is 100 mg taking 5 is the same exact thing as taking a 500mg naproxen. It is the exact same drug just a lesser dosage per pill since it is over the counter) I really hope this helps. Let me know if you need anything. Going to your doctor and working out a plan to take you from 60mg or so a methadone and gradually bring you down (like the program was SUPPOSED to do) would be the best course of action for you. If the naproxen doesnt help take a vicodin or darvocet, tylenol4, lortab, any opiate you have to keep the withdrawal at bay and see your doctor asap
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Avatar universal
The only reason I can think of is that meth as well as suboxone have a long half life and stay inside quite a bit longer.  They hang around and w/d usually don't start until quite a bit later (sadly).  There is a great post about tapering suboxone (and I imagine can be used w/ meth as well).  It is in the reply column and is called  "be careful of suboxone"  i think.  I will go back and look and get the correct thread.
I wish you the best of luck and just remember that it will go away and get better soon.  Are you taking anything while at home?  Tapering with anything?  Just wondering b/c that post did state that even w/d of 2mg of Suboxone can be HORRIBLE.  
I am currently on Suboxone so found it all quite interesting.  Let us know how you continue to do.  

Love, M
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202347 tn?1189755825
oxybliss is definitely right!! exercise and running help your body sweat out toxins and more importantly release endorphins which is what your body is lacking right now. endorphins bind to your opiate receptors which are going nuts b/c you arent taking opiates which is causing the withdrawal. The green teas are packed with anti-oxidants which neutralize toxins in your body so you can excrete them healthfully.
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Avatar universal
You sound like you have quite a bit of medical background....you said your mom is a medical attormey....are you a doctor?  You sound like you really know what you are talking about!!!!!! Thanks for being here and helping. I also have a really dumb ??? Is there caffeine in green tea?  My son loves it and I don't want him drinking too much caffeine....he has an arrythmia! (Sorrry off the subject but thought I'd ask anyway!)
marcie:)
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Avatar universal
If your interested, it is called methadone detox and it is on page 3.  Anchorman10 replied and all he/she has to say is very interesting (at least to me).  I wish you the best of luck whichever way you go.

best wishes, M
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202347 tn?1189755825
that's not a dumb question at all that's actually a great question because unfortunately green tea has about 30 mg. of caffeine (a cup of coffee has 5 times that amount) And even more unfortunately the decaffeination process takes out most of the major health benefits of green tea :(
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Avatar universal
Go to Google and type in The Thomas Recipe for Opiate Withdrawal and read it then start it asap, this is the safest and healthiest way that I have found and followed myself. I am 39 yrs. old and have been on Methadone since 1999 and it was a nightmare! The worst part for me when I tried "cold turkey" was the sleeplessness and my mental state because everything (reality) seemed so surreal and frightening.   Then I found the "T" recipe and it made all the difference! So, hang in there and follow religiously! I wish you all the success. From: Lasherslaugh.
Helpful - 0
228686 tn?1211554707
Suboxone is only good for methadone withdrawals if your methadone dose is below 20 milligrams.
I'm not sure what will happen to you if you keep going as I've never talked to anyone who switched from such a high dose and actually made it past a day or two.

I would guess if you could stick it out you'd be okay in about a week tops (but not sure!)

It takes about two weeks for the worst withdrawals to pass.

(I'd guess the hospital was an easy low stress environment, which is why you didn't feel the withdrawals to badly. Were they giving you anything else?)

I'd suggest not using the suboxone for more than a month or three...I hear it can be almost as hard to get off of for some if you stay on it long term.

I'd try the clonidine taper to help, or perhaps a neurotonin. But I'm not sure what you should do if you wish to stay on suboxone. If you seek help, they will probably suggest gonig back on methadone and tapering down to 20 milligrams before trying suboxone again.
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Avatar universal
I have been on Methadone for the past 2 years and at tops was taking 80mg per day. I have always been into living healthy due to my medical condition. Daily I take a multi vitamin twice as well as a super B complex. I also made sure my body got all the carbs, proteins, and fats that it needed to heal any damage I was doing to my muscle tissue because of not being able to feel when I was over exerting due to the methadones pain killing effects. The past couple days I tapered down to 25mg and am now out of the medicine due to my doctor refusing to fill it regardless of known facts that I throw up my medicine due to the condition I have and end up having to take more. Anyways my question is if I have taken care of myself during the entire time will the withdrawal syptoms be as bad as some posts I have read. I am thinking of using the Thomas recipe to help. Any advice or info would be great. Thanks.
ZDragon
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449409 tn?1206920376
Why did you taper to 25mg from 80mg?

I am on methadone and you need to come off slowly, just as Duchess Golden has said. You're going to have withdrawals and chances are, if you just came down suddenly you won't start feeling them for about 2-4 days since methadone has a long half-life.

If they get very bad you should try taking some of the smaller dose opiates that DG stated earlier in this thread and definitely see your doctor. That's a bit of a jump and it will be quite difficult.

DuchessGolden:

You sound very wise and knowledgeable about opiates. It's a breath of fresh air for this place.
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Avatar universal
My comment is I have been on the methadone program for 17yrs. I started out on 60mgs then I went up to 80mgs. I am know on 10mgs., but my clinic has change the form of medication. I was taking dolophine and was just fine, now they are dispensing the cherry and its horrible. I have been feeling like ****. what should I do? should I just wait it out or just come off. I wake up with anxiety as well as throwing up my guts, its just horrible....
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Avatar universal
I have seen studies that indicate that there is no appreciable difference in c/t from 1mg to 10mg........and from 6mg to 60mg - -   and I do hear you dutchess......I c/t'd 120mg methadone. It can be done.
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Avatar universal
i have been on methadone for 15 year's i have come to the conclusion i want to quite i have read evaery thing there is to read on withdrawl's in my case there's no easy way about it i have recently have went from 250 mg a day down to 20 or 30 i take just enough to keep my stomach in  control i really don't feel bad now but trying to achieve this other 20 or 30 mg is hard to even think about i have thought about saboxon but i had read that suboxon is only good if your on low doses of methadon and the way i see it why substatute one with another and my doctor at the clinic say's i would have to be off methadone for three day's to keep from going in bad withdrawl's but the way i see it if i could do without for three day's i would probaly be in a bad way.it just seem's that this last few mg'sis going to be the toughest.the way i have understood anything over a 100 mg's your body stores and i have come to take that as a fact because at 250 mg i still wanted more the doctor always ask me if i was getting drowse when i ask for a increase i have never had that affect but again i have seen people on as little as 50 mg's haveing the nod's none of it really makes since each person is different so there for every one has different situations but i can say it's a mind over matter thing wilpower and prayer is your best alternative i think you can do whatever you put your mind to but you don't have to be sick as a dog while you do it so if the rest of my journey don't get no worse than it has been i think anyone can achieve there goal if that's what thay really want but i guess i have said enough and i hope everyone the best and good luck
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Avatar universal
Oh my god im living in hell. I am 27 yrs old i have lupus w/ nephrotic syndrome, DJD,osteoporosis and osteonicrosis. two years ago i was put on the fentynal patches. for the past 6 months ive been trying to get of them. i was at 175mcg q every 48hrs. by 30 hrs i would already start to have withdrawls before it was time to change my patches. i desperatly wanted off this toxin. the only thing that anyone wanted to do for me was put me on suboxone. so i went to see a doc on tuesday 5/5/09. i took my 175mcg patches off at 7pm on monday the 4th. he sent me home with a script of suboxone. to take 2 8mg sub pills at 7pm on tuesday. i called them to see if i could take it earlier cause the withdrawls were getting really bad. they said yes, so at 5:30pm on tues i took two 8mg sub. by about 7pm i was in the bath tub trying to console my withdrawls and was literally loosing my mind. i beat my head up against the tub to try and knock myself out. i also bit the **** out of my arm because it felt better than what i was going through. so eventually i dialed 911 and was rushed to the hospital and apparently the wonderful suboxone wasnt working like promised. when i got there all they did was shoot me up with lots of atavain, that caused me to crawl out my skin and sent me home. i took another 4mg of sub that night and it seemed to be ok except for the fact i couldnt sleep for **** and the hot and cold flashes were unbearable. today is friday 5/8/09 i still cant sleep, the sweats are insaine and my attitude *****. i have vailum and xanax to take but they give me acidic type nightmares. im starting to think that this is not the right medicine (the suboxone) for me but i dont know of any alternative. im scared to death of the withdrawls i might face again. my doc talks about putting me in the hospital to detox by using a combination of steriods, vailum, atavain. and im sorry but isnt that what their doing now and i feel like ****. i want more than anything in life to just be normal again the way i was before the toxic patches i was on. please tell my story and give or ask for advice for me i am desperate. thank you all for listening. Liz in Louisiana.
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Avatar universal
Methadone could test positive even at 10 days. It does have to with a long half life and I have heard it accumaltes in body tissues. I am not clear on that. Buprenex-which is what you had has been a big dissapointment for me. Others have made it work. Buprenex has a long half life as well and you felt okay until the half life went down which took DAYS, 3 days sound about right where you would feel withdrawls escalate. I had the the same expirence I think as you have. I had buprenex given for almost a week and left the clinic feeling quite well. High on and looking back and after learning I was just high on Buprenex which did feel good and normal. The longer we are on drugs the longer and harder it is to adjust to no drugs. The body in any event takes time,not daays but weeks and months all depending on variables. I believe I just got addcited to Buprenex in that first week or if that did not occur then I was still addicted or in withdrawls that where managed by the Buprenex and I went straight into withdrawls after a few days of leaving. You need help I think you could consider going back on Buprenex and do a longer short term taper dose schedule. Talk to a Buprenex doctor to see what you think of doing that. I am not very big on Buprenex but i do not see a better course for you from what I know. Which is a lot.
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Avatar universal
Also 60 MG jump from Methadone is way to high to jump from and in my opinion is almost like comiting suicide without knowing you where going too. You are in incredible SUFFERING as you descirbed it. I know and see that. So that is why I say get back Buprenex-Suboxone as fast as you can, and plan a strategy very early on to get off in a fast but more less drastic taper. I thing you thought I feel great, get me off Buprenex and I will have esacaped the pain of w/d and I am back to normal. You could taste it and you overestimated what Buprenex can do.  
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Avatar universal
I think you where overlooked becaus you needED to start a new post, you started a question in the answer part of someone elses ?. I hope and am thinking Subxone put you into withdrawls and it can do that if taken too early. I have taken it early and late and have had troubles with precipated w.d. I think you body had adjusted to Buprenex as it stay for days and you came back from the Hospital and took one more tablet which has helped. Just not enough. If it is getting better then I would continue with your Sub tabs, slowly increase the dose as you feel better. Just hope you do think no one cares, I think most did not see your ? in the answer part of someone elses ?. POST AND LET ME KNOW YOU ARE ALLRIGHT.
Helpful - 0
896129 tn?1243637810
ya that definatly sounds like you were in percipitated withdrawl i had the same problem this last time i took my first dose too early and experinced the worst withdrawls ive ever had! yea and sorry for the late reply you have to keep in mind also its mothers day so there arnt as many people on here as normal! good luck! hope your feeling better
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Avatar universal
You are dispensing terrible information. It would be incredibly unlikely to be initiated on a methadone dosage of 300mg/daily from nothing as this would most likely result in respiratory depression, coma and death. In fact, stopping a dosage of 80mg/daily for several days and then resuming that dose could result in respiratory depression. This is why methadone is so closely monitored to prevent accidental overdose. Withdrawal from opiates (methadone included) is NOT dangerous, even though you feel terrible. Taking Naproxen, an analgesic NSAID with no opioid component, would be a poor decision as this would not eliminate the withdrawal symptoms. If you are not tolerating methadone withdrawal, go see a doctor. They may consider starting you on clonidine, oxezapam (a benzo) and Imodium, only for the duration of the withdrawal.
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Avatar universal
Kind of harsh - not my business I guess. Wouldn't the starting dose be dependent on what you're on? I mean it somebody's doing a gram of IV heroin every 4 hours and goes on methadone, they're going to start on a pretty high dose of methadone I would think. Anyway, I think treating a percocet addiction with methadone was huge overkill to begin with. My advice would be to stick on the suboxone since that helped with the methadone withdrawals, then taper taper taper, and finally wean off of it.
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Avatar universal
it's been 30 days since my last trip to the clinic. gone cold turkey at 70mg. it's been the most horrible time in my life!!! by the 3rd. day just wanted to hang myself, the pains in my legs was so bad. starting on the four day got ahold of  some valium 10, took those for 5days just so i could get some kind of sleep( 4hrs. aday if lucky!!). buy the 2nd. wk had 2 use herion 4 3days, then a friend turned me on to some suboxone. took half a pill 4 a wk 2mg. then some more herion 4 2days. now am finally feel half way normal, still have some pain in my legs but can tolerate it. havent used **** since then, feel like my life is finally get back on track. 20yrs. i was a junkie. it's a beautiful thing to look at your kids with no more shame in your eyes!!!  alot of prayer also part of my journey though the valley of shadow of methadone!!!!!!!!!!!!!      by the way i was on the program a little shy of 5yrs.   i wont need advise anyone to get on this **** ever!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Avatar universal
I have been on methadone four 6 years 80mls on a daily basis , i have spent the past 6 months tapering down but i didnt allow my body to adjust i dropped from 80 to 60 in one go an 5mls aweek there after , i got down to 8 mls (coz at 20mls i changed from dropping 5mls to 2mls a week ) at 16mls i dropped to 8mls and from that to 4mls within a day, two days later i dropped all of it im now 6 days into it and i cannot sleep my legs hurt but not as bad as the first few days  but it hsnt stopped there i am very tired (due to lack of sleep ) and i have no will power i try to move around but my body just  will not let me d too much this whole experience is taking its toll on me as it playing on my mind alot and is depressing me coz because rite now i do not see an end i hope for it all to be over i just want to experience life like have not done in so long  it is worth it an at times that is hard to see that ! i have tried taking sleeping tablets but to no avail but sheer will power and determination will pull me thru i have done this mostly alone and sympathy for my own affliction is not wat im looking for i just want others to know it can be done and it does take time just stick with it ,all the pain is normal due to ur body forcing it out and try not to think too much much coz the last thing u need is regrets and for watever reason u have been on methadone for really does not matter now wats done is done now u can just try and deal with it ! i wish u all the best and good luck x
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Avatar universal
hi and welcome to the forum...you found an old post ...you'll get more responses going to the top of the page where it saize post a question ..(green box) and start a new thread but I look for the ones on methadone...sounds like you got anxious in the end and quick tapered off....I think thats why your feeling so bad but your into it a couple of days now so no turning back now ...you should be past the physical aches and pains in a few more days...I came off 150ml and was on it 6 1/2yrs it took me a good 7 day week to get past the physical part it may take you a bit longer because of the fast taper but you will start to feel better sooner or later..it takes 2 weeks for some but eventualy it will be just the mental part you will have to grind out...the sleep thing is one of the hardest aspects to deal with it comes back slowly sleeping pills will get you to sleep but wont keep you there ...I tryed them and would wake  up at 3 in the morning once I was up I was up for the day...the mental mind screw is hard to deal with but try to keep a positive attitude it helps ...I know right now all looks hopeless to you but it does get better as time goes by...each week you get you will feel a bit better then once you hit a month things start to improve a lot ..I just want to incorage you to stick it out in the end it is so so worth it...I did what your doing 159days ago and have no regrets life is finely getting back to normal now I wish you the best of luck and God bless....Gnarly        
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