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Is Methadone considered a "narcotic"?

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  • Is Methadone considered a "narcotic"?

    I'm sorry for the stupid question, but is methadone a narcotic?

    Is it stronger than MsContin and Oxycontin? Or about the same? I'm thinking about asking my doctor about it.

    Any info would be great!

    Hugs and Wishes for Pain FREE days!!,
    Kara ~reducing plastic waste one bag at a time~

    Facebook: Kara Kaiser
    Twitter: Love4Earth

    Me and my Guccigirl... she helps me through those painful hours!

  • #2
    It's a synthetic narcotic. I haven't taken it before so I'm not sure on the dosages, but people on here seem to get good pain control from it. If anything happens with the MS Contin I'm on now, Methadone is my next step.
    *IC-- Summer 2004; PFD--October 2005
    *Fibro--Fall 2000; CFS-- Fall 2000
    *MPS--Fall 2000; Crohn's disease-- 1997*IBS,GERD, *Migraines, hypothyroidism, GYN problems *Degenerative Disc Disease/scoliosis

    Total Abdominal Hysterectomy--adenomyosis--9\08

    04/17/09 Crohn's disease almost killed me with a combo of extreme constipation from pain medications. My bowel ruptured, I almost died from peritonitis and spent several days in the ICU then more in a private room on the floor. If you have any questions about severe constipation from pain meds please don't hesitate to send me a message.


    • #3
      syn narcotic

      Well then what is the diff btwn a synthetic narcotic and a non-synthetic narcotic? Anybody know?
      Lee Ann
      Current Rx Meds:
      Atarax, Ditropan, Elmiron
      Prior to pregnancy: The above 3 meds PLUS Neurontin, Topamax, Loratadine, continuous OrthoCyclen, Lidocaine Patches PRN, Temazepam PRN, & Vicodin PRN
      Hooray for babies!
      Misc. lifesavers: Hot baths, ThermaCare Heat Wraps, Ice Packs. The IC Diet has changed my life.
      Didn't work for me:
      Detrol LA, Amitryptiline, Morphine, Percocet, TENS unit, Interferential Pain Stimulator Unit, Hypogastric Plexus Nerve Block
      IC (Mod-Severe) since 1996

      UPDATE: 5/21/08 Pregnancy and breastfeeding afterwards have alleviated my IC symptoms more than anything, EVER. Most days are 100% pain free & I now have normal frequency (as long as I take these 3 meds).

      My little sweetie! Jack weighed 9 lbs 12 oz and was born via c-section on Feb. 28, 2008...


      • #4
        Yes. Natural narcotics, like morphine, are derived from poppy seeds -- like heroin and opium.

        Synthetic narcotics are (1) produced by taking the morphine molecule in the laboratory and "tweaking" it so that it functions differently -- for example, to make oxycodone (Percocet) the morphine molecule was changed so that it binds more tightly to the opioid receptors in the brain, thus making oxycodone 20 times as potent as morphine, and (2) synthesized entirely in the laboratory -- if a biochemist knows the structure of the receptor she wants her molecule to bind to, then it is a relatively easy, though scientifically rigorous, process to create the proper molecular structure, and thus the proper drug, to bind to the receptor.

        Methadone is a synthetic of the second type -- it was originally synthesized by two German chemists in 1937. They were looking for an analgesic that would be superior to morphine, and would cause less tolerance, for post-op pain. It is indeed superior in some ways, but it causes the same tolerance.

        Morphine binds solely to the mu-opiod receptor in the brain and spinal cord. Methadone binds to the mu receptor, but also the kappa receptor and others, which is why in some people, it seems to have a more potent action. In addition, it tends to stimulate the NMDA receptor in the brain.

        As for dosing, I take 10 mg three times a day, and find the pain control from methadone to be better than either MS-Contin or OxyContin BASED ON MY OWN BODY CHEMISTRY. I believe it is worth trying, but my experience with it may not mirror everyone else's -- pain control is very variable, and patients respond differently to different meds. Some people may need more or less medication, and for some, methadone may be ineffective.

        *Diagnosed with severe IC in 2004
        *Also diagnosed with PFD, fibromyalgia, chronic myofascial pain, IBS, migraines, allergies/asthma, dermatographism
        *Kept trying a million different treatments for all these things until I found what works, and I am doing okay these days with the help of a cocktail of medications and the InterStim, which was first placed in 2007. [I have had 2 revisions - one in 2010 when my battery died and had to be replaced, and one complete replacement (lead and generator) in 2012 after a fall on my stairs caused my lead to move.]
        *Current meds include Atarax (50mg at night), Lyrica (150mg twice a day), Xanax (0.5mg at night and as needed), Zanaflex (4mg at night), hydrocodone (10/325, every 6 hours as needed), Advair, Nasonex, Singulair (10mg at night), oral contraceptives, home instills containing Elmiron and Marcaine (as often as I need to do them).

        **I am not a medical authority nor do I offer definitive medical advice. I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.


        • #5
          Thanks Jen for the explanation! That is very helpful. I just wonder if my doctor would be more comfortable prescribing this to me? I may bring it up at my next appointment.

          Hugs and Wishes for Pain FREE days!!,

 ~reducing plastic waste one bag at a time~

          Facebook: Kara Kaiser
          Twitter: Love4Earth

          Me and my Guccigirl... she helps me through those painful hours!


          • #6
            Methadone is a controlled drug like the other opiods. It is great for nerve pain, but one has to be patient while tapering up the dosages. It can build up in the body and changes (increases/decreases) should only be made after waiting a week. One wouldn't typically wouldn't use it as a break thru pain med. The other great thing about it is the price! It is cheap! At least we get a break somewhere... Years ago, the Johns Hopkins Pelvic Pain clinic told me they had seen success with treating pelvic pain. If you have detailed questions, please feel free to send me a private message.

            Best wishes,