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  #1  
Old 11-01-2011, 20:20
cboo74 cboo74 is offline
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Heart Cond. requires stopping Methadone

My pet goldfish entered the Methadone Maintenance Program in December.
Prior to starting MMT the clinic sent my goldfish for standard blood work and an EKG
I took my goldfish for her appointment at her clinic today and they informed her that the results of her tests have come back, and that she has a condition called Long QT Syndrome.
(Long QT Syndrome- from what she has been told is a delay in the recovery in the electrical activity in the heart- so that the heart doesn’t recover as fast and the next beat may occur at a time when the heart has not completely recovered from the last beat- this creates an electrical instability in the heart that can give rise to extra heart beats, arrhythmias and sudden death.)

The Methadone doc told my goldfish that Long QT is something that can be brought on by certain medications including Methadone. (as well as other factors i.e. genetics)

The doc has discovered that my goldfish has Long QT -prior to starting the MMT and so Methadone is not for them- as it can cause sudden death- and my goldfish is not into death.

My goldfish is very upset; the doc wants her to taper down form her current dose - 60mg of methadone daily, down to 30mg of methadone daily, then switch to Suboxone, the doc has told her she will have to detox for 72 hours off the methadone before making the switch.

My goldfish has been doing so well with the MMT, and she is feeling much better, and after 15 years severe opiate abuse has finally had a bit of the mental and physical clarity that she was so desperately seeking.

My goldfish is seeking any advice from people that have experienced the same thing as her- either the long qt syndrome/ or being forced to switch from methadone to suboxone due to heath problems?

My goldfishies doc says that the Long QT problem has contributed to many deaths of people (and fish) that have gone on Methadone Maintenance Programs, but I haven’t been able to find very much info on the net for her- a few medical papers, but nothing from real people (or fish). Does anyone know of a friend who may have had a similar experience?

Your advice would be appreciated.
  #2  
Old 13-01-2011, 06:52
catPlatonics catPlatonics is offline
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Re: Heart Cond. requires stopping Methadone

Not a lot of folks know about Long QT, doctors included.

About 15 years ago this cat watched his dad almost die from it. It was terrifying and very real. Recently SWIM himself took a genetic test and has the gene for Long QT as well but has never had any related issues.

There are varying degrees of 'risk' which can be determined by getting an EKG and measuring the the length of the QT interval. In SWIM's case the doctor put him on beta blockers ( which this cat usually forgets to take ). There is also an over the top long list of medications which should not be taken.

If you're a long time user, SWIM thinks you've probably already survived the worst.

Last edited by Dickon; 18-01-2011 at 21:56. Reason: Removing the quote of the whole of the last post.
  #3  
Old 13-01-2011, 17:29
cboo74 cboo74 is offline
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Re: Heart Cond. requires stopping Methadone

Thanks Cat for the counsel- My goldfish met with her Methadone MT Doc. again this am… Goldie had done additional research since the original post and prior to today’s appointment so she felt pretty well informed going in.

After all of the anxiety she has been experiencing about being booted out of the MMT program (even though she has been a good fishy), I am happy to report that my goldfishies MMT doc has agreed that she can continue to stay on the MMT program for the time being, but needs to repeat the EKG now that she has been on the program to see if the Long QT results have changed.

And yes Cat, as you pointed out; there is a large list of medications and med combo’s that can cause Prolonged QT. So my fish will ensure when she re-takes the EKG on Monday, that she is not taking anything including caffeine, just in case.

As an interesting side note, my fishys’ MMT Doc, said that they are in the early stages of conducting an in-depth study at the clinic where she goes- and from what my fishys’ Doc inferred, they will be “encouraging” (a.k.a., compelling with an rx pad) everyone with Long QT syndrome to change to/ or start with Suboxone rather than Methadone. I sure do hope that they get the results of the EKG and start on the Suboxone BEFORE they start them on the MMT program.

My fish is still anxious about the near future and the process of being switched to Suboxone from MMT, as she is scared about going through yet another detox, I mean, that is why my fish made the decision (not without alot of trepidation) about going on MMT it was her absolute last resort.

So thanks cat for the response and encouragement! My fish appreciates it!
  #4  
Old 13-01-2011, 22:38
catPlatonics catPlatonics is offline
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Re: Heart Cond. requires stopping Methadone

Cboo,
SWIM is secretly excited to have met somebody else who has even heard of Long QT. It's a very elite club these days.

To put things in perspective, this cat has Long QT but has survived a decade of doing every drug under the sun ( often in speedball fashion ), being randomly attacked by 3 thugs while walking in the park, getting hit by a car on his motorcycle, having a stranger enter his house while he slept, been strangled by a deranged housemate ( ended up putting him in the hospital and many other odd / unfortunate events.

All of these would have qualified as something that could trigger a problem in an individual with Long QT. The truth is, in the vast majority of cases nothing happens. SWIM's doctor told him he's about as likely to die from a piano falling out a window on him as he is from Long QT.

That said, if you do have Long QT you need to talk to a cardiologist separate from the MMT issue. At the least it is recommended us QT freaks go on beta blockers ( a harmless pill which keeps yer pulse from getting to high, no biggie ). In extreme cases a pacemaker or defibrillator is required, mostly for people who have experienced arrhythmia or heart attack.

Keep up the good work. SWIM had great success with Suboxone and stayed clear of all substances for the 19 months he was on it. Just understand that like methadone, there is a long and very painful WD process. But that's better than being a dead junkie in the gutter any day.
  #5  
Old 14-01-2011, 02:16
salgoud salgoud is offline
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Re: Heart Cond. requires stopping Methadone

I'm sorry about your Goldfish. It is a much smoother transition to Suboxone if it is from a short-acting opiate.

Methadone is a little different. When your GF starts taking Suboxone your Goldfish may become a little discouraged at first. The main thing is to stick with it. Suboxone is not euphoric, however since my friend has been on it after being on methadone, he is much healthier, has more energy, isn't nodding out all the time and he says with Suboxone, after he stablelized for 4 months he found that the less he did, the better he felt. He went from 16mg, to 8mg, to 4mg, 2mg and is staying on that for awhile before he goes lower. Your GF may need 24mg - 36mg to strip those opiate receptors of the methadone at first. Then stablelize and get to a dose that keeps your GF straight.

It also will depend how long your Goldfish has been on MMT. The less time the better.

It seems like many clinics are encouraging there clients to switch to Suboxone. Mainly, because it is hard to abuse.

It metabolizes to norbuprenorphine which is an opiate agonist. Buprenorphine is an antagonist. So that's why there are W/D's with Suboxone. I've heard of many people who have detoxed relatively symptom free by cutting down slowly over a long period of time. After awhile, 2mg will keep you good all day.

Believe me, my friend cold turkeyed from 140mg of methadone, and almost died. Better for GF to get off it now, for a better and healthier life later.

Also, my friend goes to a doctor once a month and gets his script. They also can call it in to the pharmacy in the States.

Clinics are the pits. They have complete control of your GF's oxygen supply, and they are known to squeeze the Oxygen out of you.

Just hang in there, it will be a little rough, but GoldFish will succeed and make it.

Good Karma
salgoud
  #6  
Old 15-01-2011, 15:33
Spucky Spucky is offline
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AW: Heart Cond. requires stopping Methadone

@ Cboo74

you will find further Information in the Df. Document Archive,
a real Treasure of Resources:https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/lo....php?catid=147
  #7  
Old 18-01-2011, 17:59
cboo74 cboo74 is offline
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Re: Heart Cond. requires stopping Methadone

So much great guidance- thanks to you all.

My fish is still waiting for the results of the second EKG- (which she did without anything in her system just in case incl. caffeine in the coffee & Benadryl- which she took at bedtime to aid in sleep).

In the interim, she did meet yet again with her MMT doc and to quote you Cat:

“All of these (Cat’s past) would have qualified as something that could trigger a problem in an individual with Long QT. The truth is, in the vast majority of cases nothing happens. SWIM's doctor told him he's about as likely to die from a piano falling out a window on him as he is from Long QT.”

Her doc said about the same thing. - So thanks Cat for your guidance.

My fish will not be able to meet with her MMT doc until next week, so she is going to continue business as usual. She’s now up to 70mg daily on the MMT, and seems to be stabilizing at that dose.

Salgoud- My fish just started MMT in December, and the reluctance to change on her part, is mainly because she has finally found some peace and fears that the suboxone won’t work.

*Another Sidenote* My fish was given Bupronex back in 2001 for her opiate addiction, and didn’t find that it worked- although when the Bupronex was given, it was by a doctor that did not offer any education in regards to what it was- and the internet- with it’s vast amount of information and Forums were not as prevalent the either, so my fish was without the support information necessary to stick with it, and went back to using in about 3-4 months.

My Goldfishies doc also informed her about the ability to wean off the methadone and onto short acting opoids again for a short while if necessary before starting on the Suboxone. My fish was very surprised that he would be supportive of this as his goal is to keep you off the opiates, so that might be a consideration for my fish if she has to detox off the Methadone.

The Suboxone (in Ontario, Canada- where my fish lives), is also less controlled, and my fish would not no longer have to travel to the clinic daily, and deal with the “process” and that would be a great bonus for changing- however, my fish is a bit concerned, because there is a positive benefit for my fish in having to go to the clinic daily and being accountable for her use/using right now, because my fish knows that she is incapable of handling her addiction on her own; and really needs the Therapy part of the MMT.

Thanks, also to you spucky for the link to the Archive. She will be reviewing some of the information contained herein with her MMT doc.

I will continue to Journal as my fish proceeds on her MMT journey with Long QT syndrome, and thank you all for your invaluable contributions.
  #8  
Old 18-01-2011, 18:23
salgoud salgoud is offline
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Re: Heart Cond. requires stopping Methadone

My dog Buddy has been using opiates for the last 38 years. He
s been on Methadone Clinics 5 different times and has done every opiate under the sun including levorphanol and tilidine.

Since your GF has only been on MMT for a couple of months, your GF should have no problem transitioning to Suboxone. When Buddy was placed on Suboxone during the Induction he had an Epiphany, yes a true spiritual experience. It had to do with, this is going to work and what a relief he doesn't have to deal with Methadone anymore.

Your GF won't experience euphoria. IMO there is euphoria related to Methadone, according to Buddy.

Just give it a try, at least for 1 month. If you can do that, you can make the world a better place.

Good Karma,
salgoud
  #9  
Old 26-01-2011, 18:40
cboo74 cboo74 is offline
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Re: Heart Cond. requires stopping Methadone

Thanks Salgoud for the advice!

I completely understand about your dog Buddy not wanting to deal with the Methadone, even though my fish has only been in the MMT program for a short while, she already dreads the daily trips to the clinic, she hates sitting in the waiting room listening to the other "patients" talking about getting messed up, trading "things" right there while in the waiting room, and the peeing in front of strangers is pretty yucky too.

My fish would also (in theory) like the freedom of the Suboxone, however, at this point she is really scared that she will mess up if she is sent home with a month of meds and no daily supervision- (even though she does not like it at the clinic), she does have to do two drops a week, drink there daily, see the nurse every other week and the doc has been at least once a week if not twice-(because of the long QT).

Her MMT doc' said that with the Suboxone, she gets it a month at a time, she can even get it from her regular doctor with no more clinic, no more drops and rules, and fishy is scared beacuse she lacks any self control when it comes to opiates.

So frustrating, fishy needs an epiphany too.

And yes Sal, your dog is correct, fishy agrees there is a euphoric feeling with the methadone, and the healing part of fishy wants that gone, and the addict part of fishy is scared that if it wasnt there, she might go back to other, much worse options. I am sure that there are many people who would see this as "bad" but fishy is just being honest.
  #10  
Old 27-01-2011, 05:14
salgoud salgoud is offline
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Re: Heart Cond. requires stopping Methadone

I found out that if you are legally prescribed a medication, one does not have to worry about self-incrimination according to Alfa the Administrator.

Do not worry about abusing Suboxone. Suboxone has a "ceiling effect", which is usually 36mg. By taking large amounts of Suboxone, you can actually go into withdrawals. Suboxone takes awhile to get used to. However, I take 4mg a day and sometimes 2mgs a day. It keeps me well all day. It also has anti-depressent effects and since it binds so strongly to the opiate receptors in your brain, other opiates cannot be felt. So if one needs "Surgery", he would stop taking Suboxone for three days, then have Surgery. You will be happy that you will finally be able to not abuse an opiate, Suboxone.

If I were you, I would taper to 15mg of methadone, and wait till you are in full W/D's. Some methadone patients experience withdrawal symptoms while being inducted. The doctor will increase the dose until the buprenorphine overtakes the methadone (which binds very strongly to the opiate receptors also).

Google Suboxone, and read up on it. If you are serious about getting off opiates for good, Suboxone is a good medicine to take. Because of the lack of euphoria, it is easier to get off than most opiates. A slow taper is a must. Even jumping off at 2mg will result in W/D's for about 12 days. Best to switch to 2mg Suboxones, and go to 1mg, 0.5mg, and then 0.3mg. Then have the doctor prescribe some meds that will help you sleep and make the final cleansing of the body easier.

When I go to the doctors office, I go to the bathroom (by myself) pee in a cup and the results are given to the doctor while talking to him.

You will read horror stories about Suboxone, but for me it has given me back my life. It is strange, but the lower the dose, the better I feel. If you get severe headaches, you might need to switch to Subutex.

You are doing the right thing for your health and your life.

salgoud

Last edited by salgoud; 27-01-2011 at 05:25. Reason: spelling

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buprenorphine, heart concern, heart palpitations, methadone, methadone deaths, methadone detox, methadone maintenance treatment, suboxone after methadone

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