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Neuropathy and Methadone

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#1
Puppypants

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I just got back from my one year diabetic check up, and my doctor and I discussed the neuropathy that I suffer from. It has got significantly worse, and we have tried Neurontin and Lyrica. He now wants to try treating it with Methadone. Has anyone else here had any experience with this treatment? I'm willing to try almost anything to get some relief to restore some normalcy to my life.
Diagnosed Type 2 February 14, 2007

A1C 2/07 11.8
A1C 4/07 7.4
A1C 9/07 6.5
A1C 2/08 6.4
A1C 2/09 7.0
A1C 05/09 6.1
A1C 11/09 5.9

glyburide 2.5 mg x 2
Metoporol 100 mg x 2
Hydrochlorothiazide 50 mg x 1
Aspirin 81 mg x 1

#2
Kim_in_TN

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I'm sorry your neuropathy is so uncomfortable but I would be extremely concerned with getting on Methadone as a treatment. I think I would get a second opinion!
Type 2 - Dx 9/11/03 - A1c 8.3
2/01/08 - A1c 6.3
4/01/08 - A1c 5.9 :)
10/07/08 - A1c 5.4 :)
2/16/09 - A1c 6.4
2/04/10 - A1c 6.7 :(
8/26/11 - A1c 7.0 :( - Falling off the wagon!
12/02/11 - A1c 6.2

Started Insulin 12.12.2011
Novolog - lunch and supper;
Levemir - bedtime.
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Aspirin - 81 mg.

#3
DOC

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I just got back from my one year diabetic check up, and my doctor and I discussed the neuropathy that I suffer from. It has got significantly worse, and we have tried Neurontin and Lyrica. He now wants to try treating it with Methadone. Has anyone else here had any experience with this treatment? I'm willing to try almost anything to get some relief to restore some normalcy to my life.

Puppypants,
what kind or type of Neuropathy are you experiencing
is it in your hands,feet,arms,what part of your body is it occuring at an what are the symptoms. so we can better understand an give you some tips

#4
notme

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I am so sorry you are experiencing so much pain puppypants. I think you need to do what you need to do sometimes to achieve a quality of life. Pain can be a life wrecker. I know you will think this through carefully. The side effects of methadone can be pretty severe.

I have never experienced dibilitating pain from neuropathy. I have minor neuropathy in my hands, but not enough to take anything more than a low dose of neurontin.

All I can say is make sure you look at all options before you decide on the radical treatment. I am sure you have read about the side effects of methadone.

Good luck!
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#5
TomB

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I'm confused. I thought that methadone was for something other than diabetes. I think we need more info from you before we can help.
Tom

#6
DOC

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I'm confused. I thought that methadone was for something other than diabetes. I think we need more info from you before we can help.
Tom


Im thinking the same thing tom. i thought methadone was used for drug addication to ween people off drugs.but i looked it up on [url=http://www.drugs.com]Drugs.com | Prescription Drug Information, Side Effects & Interactions[/url] an it said it was also used as a painkiller i just learned something new about methadone. I've been suffering with neuropathy for the past couple of months in my feet an i talked to my doc about it an he gave me a script for Capsaicin lotion which is helping out a great deal he also said it could be from my diet of what i'm eating so i'm watching what i eat an see what kind of effects it's doing to me so far i've noticed burning sensations on different types of food i'm eating so i'm taking notes to advoid those type of foods.i've also looked in my local drug store in the foot care section an found a OTC lotion that has Capsaicin lotion in it if anybodys interested in trying it

#7
slipperyelm

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I see you are taking alpha lipoic acid. Have you read what Richard Bernstein says about ALA in the part of his book published on his website, or in the book itself? He says ALA has been used in Europe for neuropathy. But it ideally should be a certain ALA, which unfortunately is the more expensive one.

But for a direct treatment of neuropathy it is evidently given intravenously. It's been a while since I read his book, but I think he said people who take ALA orally also sometimes see their neuropathy reduced.

So what kind of ALA are you taking? I take the recommended kind, r-ALA. You might want to look more closely at r-ALA and whether you could increase your dose.

I have not had to struggle with neuropathy. I've only had a little bit that did get slightly worse as I was getting blood sugars down. Evidently nerves take a long time to heal, when they do at all. So if it has gotten worse since you got those BG numbers down from February last year, maybe that is a sign that things really are getting better. I know it must be awful, though. Maybe in time it is going to get much better since your A!c is so much better.

Yes, I have heard of methadone used for pain. And I have heard of it used for neuropathy. Not anyone that I know personally. My sister who is a nurse in a hospital tends to see diabetics when they are very ill whether with diabetes or something else. She has mentioned to me diabetic patients needing methadone for neuropathy pain.

Certainly I have heard that people who use methadone to get off --what is it heroin?--- function normally.

It does sound scary though. I'd be asking my doctor all kinds of questions about it, including how could I find out whether I didn't need it anymore for pain....because maybe, just maybe, your nerves are going to heal significantly anyway over time. Is there a way to wean from methadone? I thought methadone is forever, but I don't take my word for it. Please do not be shy to ask your doctor what is down the road for you if you do take it.

#8
HelenM

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google methadone and neuropathy. There are several articles . Two I found
Neurology Now - Fulltext: Volume 3(2) March/April 2007 p 36 Your Questions Answered: METHADONE FOR NEUROPATHY.
and an academic paper
which for some reason I cant get the link to appear entitled Use of Methadone for the treatment of Diabetic Neuropathy

#9
Puppypants

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Thanks all for the replies.


My neuropathy has steadily increased over the last year, despite having great control of my bg's. Large areas of numbness make it feel as though I am walking on large pads of extra skin on my feet. Then, there is the burning and shooting pains that come and go all day and night. I also experience moments that I have absolutely no sensation of where my feet are - very scary! It has gotten to a point where it has affected all aspects of my life, both at work and at home. It has become difficult to walk around work to send a fax, retrieve documents off of the printer down the hall, or check on things in the warehouse.

At home, I have stopped enjoying some of the things my husband and I enjoy, like garage saling on the weekends, bargain hunting at the stores, or walking at night for exercise.

I have alsdo gained about 12 pounds in the last 6 months, and part of it is due to the fact I can no longer walk outside or on our treadmill. It seems as if the neuropathy has taken complete control of my life.

I have started a very low dose of methadone. Yes, it is habit forming, but at the low dose I am on, should be easy to stop, if need be. Mhy doctor has another patient he treats that has been on methadone for a year, and has been able to resume alot of activities that he had stopped. I have tried Neurontin and Lyrica, and the Capsacin cream ( the cream caused so much irritation on my sensitive skin, I had blisters). The methadone seems drastic, but I need to do something! I will turn 50 in May, and the thought of living another 20 years with this without relief is over whelming!

Sorry for the long post!
Diagnosed Type 2 February 14, 2007

A1C 2/07 11.8
A1C 4/07 7.4
A1C 9/07 6.5
A1C 2/08 6.4
A1C 2/09 7.0
A1C 05/09 6.1
A1C 11/09 5.9

glyburide 2.5 mg x 2
Metoporol 100 mg x 2
Hydrochlorothiazide 50 mg x 1
Aspirin 81 mg x 1

#10
TomB

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Looks like your neuropathy is much more advanced than mine, and I'm not even sure what I have. But your descriptions and experience with medications gives me a heads up on where I might be headed. And maybe there are some things I can do to avoid or delay that future possibility.

As I said, at the moment I'm not sure if I have neuropathy or poor blood circulation to my right foot. Tingling, coldness and a burning sensation are common to both, I think. I already have a history of CAD and PAD, multiple stents. Got a check-up next week and maybe I'll find out. From what you described, I actually hope my problems is circulation because I think that is fixable.

Sounds like methadone is almost a treatment of last resort. I wonder if nerves can be surgically cut to relieve your pains?
Keep Smiling,
Tom

#11
ricknhouston

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[url=http://care.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/content/full/28/2/485]Use of Methadone for the Treatment of Diabetic Neuropathy -- Hays et al. 28 (2): 485 -- Diabetes Care[/url]

#12
ricknhouston

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TomB ... Riddle me this !! Take a look at your leg hair growth on the lower end (nearest your foot) of the foot you have problems in ... if you are diabetic, the odds are highly in favor of peripheral neuropathy caused by high blood sugar levels that have essentially burnt off the neuroplasmic sheath of the nerves in the lower legs. If you can see a noticeable lack of body hair from about mid-calf down to your toes on that leg then I would be more inclined to suspect a "circulation problem", although, with time diabetes will also have a negative effect on that, which eventually leads to gangrenous tissue and amputations. it occurs in the lower extremities due to gravity, or so they surmise.

#13
DOC

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I know exactly what your talking about now i'm experiencing the same problem with extra skin buildup on your feet this is what i found out or asumming it is by googling around on the internet.it's a form of a calius that builds up on your feet here's a link that will better explain it to you than i can[url=http://www.cms.clevelandclinic.org/ortho/body.cfm?id=48][/url]i hope thats what it is i'm in pain from time to time also i even went to the foot section of my drug store an bought one of those foot scrapers to cut off the extra skin then i put vaseline on my feet to make me feel comfortable [url]http://cms.clevelandclinic.org/ortho/body.cfm?id=48[/url]

#14
Puppypants

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I too have calluses, but only on the balls and sides of my feet. The sensation that I have of thick pads of skin on the bottoms of my feet are large areas of numbness that just "feel" like I'm walking on pads.

This is my 4th day on being on the methadone, and I am starting to have some relief! I hope this continues to improve - my doc said it could take 2 weeks to a month to realize full benefit from the methadone.

Be careful with that foot scraper! The woman who does my monthly pedicures actually cut her foot up rather badly with it (glad it wasn't mine!), but doesn't have diabetes and it healed okay. She does not use the foot scraper on me, but rather a pedicure stone that is less abrasive, and she uses it very gently. I think it is best to have a foot doctor remove those calluses.
Diagnosed Type 2 February 14, 2007

A1C 2/07 11.8
A1C 4/07 7.4
A1C 9/07 6.5
A1C 2/08 6.4
A1C 2/09 7.0
A1C 05/09 6.1
A1C 11/09 5.9

glyburide 2.5 mg x 2
Metoporol 100 mg x 2
Hydrochlorothiazide 50 mg x 1
Aspirin 81 mg x 1

#15
TomB

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If you can see a noticeable lack of body hair from about mid-calf down to your toes on that leg then I would be more inclined to suspect a "circulation problem",


ricknhouston - you're wisdom gices me much relief. Took a look at my lower leg and yep, you said it. No hair, and here all this time I thought my socks were rubbing it off. I also finally read much more carefully the lab results of a year ago. Yep, there it is. Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) on the left is 1.04, on the right is 0.85 Now why didn't the darn doc tell me this when I complained about a cold right foot?

Compared to having nerve damage or PAD, I think it's easier to fix an artery than living with neuropathy. That ABI test is cheap and easy, I'll ask for one.
Thanks for your info.

#16
TrishaAnn

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I just got back from my one year diabetic check up, and my doctor and I discussed the neuropathy that I suffer from. It has got significantly worse, and we have tried Neurontin and Lyrica. He now wants to try treating it with Methadone. Has anyone else here had any experience with this treatment? I'm willing to try almost anything to get some relief to restore some normalcy to my life.


I wanted to let you know that I have had neuropathy in both of my legs and feet for several years now and they are getting worse all the time. I do however use methadone as part of my treatment and it helps me more than anything else I have ever tried. Methadone is a pain medication often used to help addicts get off of other pain meds because methadone does not give you the high that you get from meds such as lortab. I was afraid to use methadone at first and didn't when I was first approached by my doctor about it. Then, after reading more about methadone, I realized it was worth the try to get rid of this awful pain. I am so thankful that I gave it a try. I take 3 methadone 10's and 4 neurontin 300's every day, along with percocet 10/325 twice a day as needed for breakthrough pain. I don't need the percocet very often, but every now and then I am thankful that I have it. Just make sure you take your meds as directed by your doctor so you don't get addicted to anything. I have seen people addicted to methadone and it is extremely painful to get off of it. I take my three a day and no more and I have no problem with it. I have had to wait to go to the doctor due to illness before and gone a couple of days without my methadone and I was fine, so I know I'm not addicted to it. I do advise that you take the methadone if you truly want relief. It truly has helped me more than anything else. I have tried Lyrica as well, but it didn't do me any good at all. I really don't see where the Neurontin is helping me, but the doctor wants me to stay on it. I wish you nothing but the best and hope you find a way to get some relief. I am still in pain now that I have gotten used to the methadone, but I pray that something new will come out soon that will help people like me that have gotten used to everything else. By the way, I am not diabetic. I have neuropathy due to an injury to the L5 S1 disc in my back on two different occasions, both times rupturing the disc and causing me to have surgery. Hopefully you will get the relief you need and be able to have a long and healthy life without pain. May God bless you!!

#17
janice21475

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my husband was given Methadone for his leg pain and it gave him terrible chest pains (heart attack). This is a known side effect of that drug. That was from only taking one tablet. He has had his heart checked out and it is sound as a dollar. His arteries are shot but the heart is sound. He has been taking Lyrica for several years, on and off. It helps with the neuropathy but does not touch the Peripheral Artery Disease that makes his legs hurt. He also gets 3 LorTab 10/500's a day. They only take a little edge off the pain but without them he is a wreck. He has been trying to get the Dr to give him Oxycodone but they treat him as if he is a drug addict. They had also given him Morphine and it did not help with the pain and made him feel terrible. He only took 2-3 of those. The scare factor of becoming addicted was very high with that drug, too. Honestly, it is only by the Grace of God he is able to get anything done. I hope you do well. Please report back with your evaluation of it.

janice & husband

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#18
gregmcbride

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I have PN in both lower extremites and both upper extremities and have had it a long time before it was diagnosed. During all of the different attempts at controlling the pain with NSAID's, low dose steroids and other non-narcotic medicines the only thing that I experienced besides progressively worse pain and the feeling of hopelessness was the attitude from the doctor that I wasn't really having pain and I was just drug seeking! I finally had a doctor start me on methadone and after about 10 - 14 days I began sleeping through the night and I am nearly 100% free of PN pain. Don't be afraid to try it. It worked for me!

#19
justme123

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quitting methadone is what will be the problem if you are taking it more then 3-4 months. Even to ween yourself off of drugs you would not take it for a very long period of time.
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7-30-11 A1c 10.2
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9-22-11 A1c 7.8
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11-10-11 A1c 7.0
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1-10-12 A1c 6.5

Humulin 100 units 3 times a day

#20
sumi

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I have read that drugs like opiates and methadone are not addictive when used to control pain. If by chance that pain were to disappear, you would simply stop taking it. However, since you are taking methandone for chronic pain relief, it is unlikely that you will be quitting it. Years of pain free living seem worth almost any risk to me.
Susan
DX Dec4/08 FBG 19(342)
Dec4 /08 A1C 10.9
Feb.4/09 A1C 7.6
may4 /09 A1C 5.2:D
Sept 4/09 A1C 5.4
Dec 7/09 A1C 5.2
2010 A1C average 5.4
2011 A1C average 5.5
Current meds: 1500mg metformin, 5 mg ramipril, Victoza
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