I have been on Methadone for over a year for pain control. I have been getting the Mallinckroft (sorry about the spelling) which seemed to work pretty well throughout the day for my pain.. My pharmacy has recently switched generics to Ascend Methadone and they literally are not helping control my pain.. This company just started marketing these in January of 2012 and I was wondering if anyone else has had the same problem with these new generics..??
I just went to my pharmacy TODAY to speak to the pharmacist about this EXACT problem. Not only is it not helping with my pain but I am also experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, sweating, nausea, and a migraine headache. I have been on Methadone for over a year, also have always taken the Mallincroft brand and just received my first prescription of the Ascend brand approximately 10 days ago. My pharmacy told me that this is the first time they got this brand in stock and that they will not be getting anymore of it. I don't know if they have had other complaints as well, but there is a reason that they plan on not getting it anymore. My pharmacist told me to open and check every future prescription of Methadone before I leave the store to ensure that I have not received anymore of this particular brand. It is AWFUL!!!
Same thing with me! ASCEND WORKS 50% or more less than the Roxane Methadone I've been on since 2005. I read many Methadone boards and it's pretty much a fact that manufacturers have an active ingredient lee-way of 20% AND a lee-way on inactive stuff that helps body absorbtion of the Methadone. This means the 140mg twice a day I'm given from one of the Top 3 Pain Management doctors in NY state is actually around 110mg each dose depending on the generic type which is why I've been needlessly suffering more than most could imsgine. Almost every pharmacist I've spoken to deny this, but a couple did agree but made me promise I wouldn't get them involved in any way or they'd be jobless.
In NYC every pharmacy is telling me they can't get Roxane anymore. It seems to me Ascend in much cheaper for the pharmacies, so they will say anything to force patients to take these USELESS PILLS.
I'm a TEN year Methadone user for severe Pain Management & NOTHING ELSE works for my very severe pain. I have the worst stage of General Myasthenia Gravis with a large thymoma tumor which is hyperactive so it completely BLOCKS any new medication introduced to my body since 2009. If it's a medication I've been on, but a different generic: IT NEVER WORKS RIGHT! I've told my pharmacist (Hill Pharmacy, Maspeth, NY) this MANY, MANY times over the past few years and the only two pharmacists both PROMISED they wouldn't change my meds. That was a BOLD lie as they both snuck different generics at least ten times over the last few years and EVERY TIME I call him as soon as I get home and see different pills. If I had a choice to go elsewhere I would have in a heartbeat, but they are two blocks from my apartment & they deliver and the next closest pharmacy is a mile away. I CANNOT WALK OR IT CAUSES EXCRUCIATING PAIN THAT WON'T STOP FOR OVER A WEEK WHEN I HAVE TO WALK & NO ONE CARES!
How can they do this? I thought it was a law that they have to put that sticker on the bottle saying it's a "different generic, but works the same" WHICH IS ALMOST ALWAYS ANOTHER LIE! Most times Hill won't take it back either unless I blow-up which literally drains me empty.
I also have Degenerative Disk/Joint Disease with five ruptured disks in my neck and low back at age 46 now & I've had this since 2001. I have a severe nerve damage everywhere which causes such severe pain I can't even describe it. It's in BOTH legs in the back from the butt to my ankles, plus neck, shoulder and upper righjt back pain from my four neck ruptured disks. I'm legally bed-ridden and homebound but I'm forced to go out & fight these things myself because I have NO HELP. I'm an only child OF AN only child with no family but a Sociopathic mother with dementia. My "friends" all disappeared over six years ago when they realized how sick I was and I can't even blame them. I can't expect them to drop their lives to help me. They all have their own problems as NYC is a TOTAL MESS for several years now.
I was a medical employee as an EKG Technologist for 16-years and with everything I learned I can't get any help. Right now I'm stuck with NO METHADONE but a prescription for (840) 10mg pills that no pharmacy in my whole area carries. Many said "even if we have it we can't tell you because that's company rules". They said I have to go in-person. I can't drive (if I had a car) and have NO HELP as I already stated. My pain is 9 out of 10 right now and all ER's are 100% USELESS for my problem. I know because I was forced to try over TEN times since 2009. They make me sit on a painful thin mattress for 6-12 hours and then send me home with (20) 10mg Oxycodone which does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING EVEN IF I TAKE (20) AT ONCE! What can I do except go into withdrawal which will likely kill me?
I just had the same experience and I've called my pharmacy twice and went by my doctors office and told the nurse what was going on! I haven't had any pain relief since about 2 days after I started these new pills? I've had diarrhea ....yea right have you ever talked to a pain management patient with that problem? NOT! I'm achy ans horrible headaches......My Doctor never called back! I can't do this all month! I* just picked up these funky things last Thursday, I'm not a Happy Camper! anyone with the same problem have any luck getting anyone to listen to them? My pharmacist says it's something that changed with my Body but yet the symptoms literally started within 24 hours of starting these new meds!!!
After the third day you will get use to it. it seems to be a different chemical Compound that is Metobolizing differently in the system. I agree after 7 years of Methadone use, i thought hte Roxies where Weak, these are just Tolerablle. they seem to be more after the Long term effect vs the Strong Ups and downs. I had migrains my first few days then they went away. It seems to be working now.
I worked in the medical field for 16-YEARS as an EKG Interpretation Technologist & Teacher directly working with nurses and doctors on a personal level. Doctors & nurses who became cynical (90% of them) will tell patients ANYTHING to get them to leave them alone because to correct the problem it will cause them to invest more time than they are willing to commit. This all got MUCH WORSE as the medical field prepared for Obamacare over the last 4-5 years.
You may not "GET USED TO IT" as another replied. It depends on your dose and the length of time you've been on the same generic brand. It also depends on what is wrong with you.
For EIGHT YEARS I had a Thymoma tumor (for absolute sure) that NO ONE found until 5-years after my symptoms started- BUT THEY SHOULD HAVE. My Thymus gland has been blocking many medications from working on me MY ENTIRE life & no one will ever know why because it's now a tumor associated with Myasthenia Gravis & all surgery is contraindicated or it will cause me to stop breathing.
I ONLY STATE FACTS, OR THINGS I LEARNED TO BE FACTS FROM HONEST MEDICAL STAFF. DO NOT EVER TRUST ANYTHING SOMEONE HEARD ONCE FROM ONE DOCTOR WHICH IDS THE CASE MOST OGF THE TIME ON THESE BOARDS. I LEARNED THIS PERSONALLY FROM 16-YEARS OF EXPERIENCE: IF I WAS TO BRING AN EKG TO TEN DIFFERENT CARDIOLOGISTS, I'D GET AT LEAST FIVE DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS! THIS IS THE CASE WITH ALMOST EVERY DOCTOR IN EVERY MEDICAL SPECIALITY!
To get your Methadone switched back to the brand that works, you have to get creative- which is almost impossible when you are in WITHDRAWAL which you are!!! Find with the best Pain Management doctor in your area (or get someone to do this for you online by picking the doctor with almost nothing but perfect reviews by patients) & find which hospital that doctor works for.
Then call <<<<911>>>> and tell them you are having severe withdrawal symptoms & CHEST PAIN (tell them ALL the symptoms when they ask) because your pharmacy changed your brand of pain medication. State "without me knowing" if that was the case.
>>>>BRING AN EMPTY BOTTLE OF YOUR METHADONE WHICH SHOULD STATE THE CORRECT BRAND NAME ON THE VERY LOWER RIGHT SIDE OF THE BOTTLE, ALSO BRING THE WRONG BOTTLE THEY GAVE YOU THAT CAUSED YOUR SICKNESS. <<<<
Once you get to the ER, tell them your symptoms and the reason you are in withdrawal as I stated here. THIS IS A FACT AS I WENT THROUGH IT TWICE (once on 80mg a day & once on 200mg a day): WITHDRAWAL FROM METHADONE LASTS 21-DAYS AND CAN CAUSE DEADLY SEIZURES!!! Then tell them you need a referral to see the Pain Management doctor you specifically found within the next day or two. If you can deal with being hospitalized ask if you can be admitted because there's no one to help you at home- if that's the case or if you are in such severe withdrawal that you'd feel safer in the hospital. DON'T BE SHOCKED IF THEY WON'T ADMIT YOU. There have been so many changes regarding the medical field since 2008 alone that almost no one can keep up. There were more changes from 2008-present than there was from 1987-2008 which I know for a FACT.
I hope this helps someone. Feel free to copy this (or print it) & put it anywhere else to help others.
Hello James and Thank You! I'm the one who posted yesterday evening and it's been a week now and finally my doctors office called back after me telling them this is legit and I've read plenty of people experiencing the same thing they said they'd call me back with a new script or not..... I'm still waiting:( I was on Percocet for 4 years ending with 120 mgs. a day before starting on methadone and taking 100 mgs. a day then my heart started wigging out so for now I'm taking 60 mgs. a day but with this Ascend c**p it feels like no mgs.!! I have cervical and lumbar DDD 3 discs low back gone and 2 in neck gone all vertebra fused together on there own and I have horrible nerve damage no strength in arms or hands and it's into my low back and butt as well, I may be getting surgery soon at OHSU in Portland Oregon! I have been in pain management 5 years and things have gotten so much worse it's hard to function at all.........Numb hands 24-7 , no dexterity, and 0 strength. I used to be a super strong tough guy being an iron worker and welder for 30 years and now at 55 fighting for my disability and trying to survive on literally nothing........sometimes if hard to go on but I know there are people such as yourself that have it much worse than I do!!! Good Luck with yourself and Life and thanks again for your words of wisdom and giving me some vindication! Tony
This is fate. I think I was meant to help you. Just as I opened this page, Pink Floyd: The Wall (my favorite band since I was 12, I'm 46 now) came on VH1CL, which I just had on just as a distraction. I'm lucky if I get 2-hours sleep a day, so having the TV on all the time helps distract your brain from pain just enough to make it through the bad days.
Your cause of pain is very similar to mine: NERVE PAIN IS THE WORST & HARDEST TO TREAT! So we understand each other's pain more than 99.9% of the population. I had to recalculate my "1 to 10" pain scale three times over the last 12-years since my pain started. In other words my first 10, is now a 3 out of 10. My pain never goes lower than a 3 on my best days (once day a month maybe).
You are lucky Tony, you have options & more options will present themselves as time goes on. Trust me on this; you stand a very good chance to get to the point where your pain will stabilize to a very bearable level WITHOUT medication. It may require surgery or surgeries, but always get second or even third opinions and trust your instincts which will strengthen as you go on.
My options are all gone, I've tried every procedure (UV heat treatments, corticosteroid injections, Trigger Point injections, massage therapy, pain psychologist weekly visits, and it goes on & on) and nothing helped the pain. Most of my excruciating pain is in my low back, and the back of both legs from my butt to my ankles 24/7. I have neck and shoulder pain too, but the excruciating pain usually cancels out the severe pain.
I going to babble, I hope no one minds...
They tried every pain medication: non-narcotic and narcotic (Dilaudid 100mg, oxymorphone 100mg, or up to 1.6 mg <<<>>> of Fentanyl lollipops every 4 hours) medication and my Thymoma tumor released enough antibodies into my bloodstream to nullify them all. I had to diagnose this issue myself of having Hyperthymusism which is very rare and bring the details to my fairly new EXCELLENT Pain Management doctor and he agreed with me. Now that diagnosis is in my hospital chart. Now only ROXANE Methadone 240 mg- twice a day keeps me able to lie in bed all day/every day and semi-function and that's the best I can hope for since 2009. I'm terminally ill, no technology can or will change that and I'm OK with that. I don't get depressed anymore and all my great memories keeps me going. I play my memories in my head like movies and that always cheers me up.
You worked much harder than I ever did Tony. You have my respect.
I still donate sports cards to hospitalized kids every year and help fight fraud in the sports card & memorabilia hobby when I'm able which is still more than anyone else does because they don't want to risk losing the small profit they are still making off of this hobby which was the best hobby in the country from 1987-2001. I caught two card companies cheating every customer in 2001 and I helped bankrupt them both & they are forever out of this hobby thanks to my work that I did all at my own expense. The sector of this hobby that I promoted: ON CARD Certified Autograph Inserts released by BIG card companies have been the hottest autographs (and most authentic- 99.9%+) in sports and non-sports also. Even hardcore autograph collectors who obtained their own autographs the whole time they collected now appreciate the near absolute authenticity factor of Certified Autograph Insert cards. They are the only autographs with the Authenticity Statement, and year the autograph was signed printed right on the autographed item (mostly cards). Authenticators can be worthless as they are WRONG a good percentage of the time. Card companies have way too much to lose by releasing fake autographs on purpose. If this was ever even implied with some reasonable proof, they'd lose their licensing nearly instantly.
AND I HAVE NO ONE HELPING ME??? But that's OK too because what doesn't kill me makes me stranger.
I truly had a great life- and I never had much money either. I always wanted to be a Marine Biologist/Ichthyologist (study of fresh water fish). So I moved to FL from NYC as often as I could and stayed in FL as long as I could afford to stay: 9-year total. I snorkeled several days a week and swam with wild dolphins within a foot of me dozens of times, 6-foot+ barracudas many times, countless species of fish, and once was lucky enough to have three manatees (dad, mom and baby) swim up to me and swam with me for at least 30-minutes. That was a one in a million chance as it is a Federal Offense to swim up to them. I helped many people my whole life, I accomplished far more than I ever expected and I lived to see nearly every person who hurt me badly without any justification have unimaginably bad things happen to them without me doing a thing (I'd never even wish the things that happened to them, I honestly wish many didn't have those things happen) and I have no regrets.
I've been through everything you've been through more than once. It's HARD-- without question for the toughest of you. The way doctors & pharmacies treat us in situations like this is disgraceful & so unnecessary. I had to leave my pharmacy for good that's two blocks from my house after 8-years because they changed me to Ascend without telling me while still printing ROXANE (the good kind for most) on my bottle labels. That's illegal and I had to report them to the Division of Pharmacy Licensing in NY State to prevent them from doing this to anyone else. They told me I'm no longer allowed to fill my prescriptions there because of this! Now they have to mail my narcotic prescriptions to a pharmacy which is a $40 taxi far (one way) from my house. luckily they deliver, but often mistakes are made and I have to pay for a taxi out of my $1140 a month SSD check which is already nearly gone after my $400 (one room) rent and my $500 a month credit card bills (OOP medical expenses only).
I always felt we have to go through the bad to get to the good and we'd never appreciate the good unless we experienced bad. Now I have to believe that my next life will be UNBELIEVABLY EASY! This is the strangest life I've ever lived so far.
I just keep wondering how come the Docs and pharmacies treat everyone like they are playing them off for drugs? Why would I ask my doctor to give me a new script for the same medication??? I told them they could have these Ascend Tablets and have them checked out or throw them in the garbage, I just need some relief! Well they are still dragging their heels and now I'm suffering through another weekend unnecessarily ? I find it hard to believe that any of them give half a c**p! I wouldn't wish my problems or PAIN on my worst enemy...........It's a horrible way to live! I had the cortisone shots in both my low back and in 2008 in my neck helped for about 8 months .......wore off and was worse than ever! I've personally said "No Surgery" now for a little over 5 years and finally I'm ready to give in but I know people that have had 10 surgeries and it was supposed to be 1.........so seems really risky! I do feel fortunate that at least I do have options and James I'm very Sorry you don't! I to try very hard to stay positive and say positive things because I don't want to bring anyone down:) I have a very tough time typing so much worse now on these bunk meds.......Gonna run but look forward to hearing more! Maybe we should exchange emails? Best Wishes to you James, Tony
3 weeks later and I finally got my meds. replaced!!!! whew.........It was some of the worst days I've had in years! I honestly believe that the Ascend methadone should totally be recalled, I mean how dangerous is it for us pain management people to have our medicine pretty much be changed to placebo? If I felt any pain relief it was very little and the first 10 days I thought I was going to die! now after only 2 days I feel so much better........I think it must take a little while to build back up in your system for full relief but I feel much better :) I hope not too many other folks have to go through what I went through!!!!! I actually online filed a complaint with the FDA, I suggest anyone else who has experienced the same thing to do it as well! Reluctantly looking forward to surgery and prying it does me some good? I've heard my share of horror stories that's for sure! well good luck to everyone out there and I hope anyone on Methadone .......don't ever accept a change in your meds. that involve the ASCEND brand!! BAD NEWS!!!!!!! Take Care, Hi James hope you are hanging in there:) Tony
I"m in the same boat and feel sorry for you. I have had countless accidents and have taken methadone for chroncic pain for most my life. It's the only thing that works. The doc keeps me miserable cause she doesn't understand I actually have a tolerance. I hate doctors. Try to find a pharmacy with Mallinckrodt I'm going to. Hate to cause i gone to this one for years and they give me good deals cause I am self pay.
Good luck to you.
Hi There it's Tony, The Pharmacy just tried to give me the Ascend Brand again and I Left with my scrip. I wasn't taking a chance after what I went through that last time ! I think that company has no business manufacturing Methadone!! Hope everything works out! Good Luck! Tony
Ascend is the worst. How many people need to suffer and complain before cost-cutting pharmacies switch back to Roxane, Malinkroft or other manufacturers whose products actually work, and which are not manufactured in India with a US company acting as a fig leaf for this garbage. I needed 70 mg of Ascend garbage to control pain I easily managed on 30 mg of Roxane branded product. Ascend is a disgrace and should be out of business for the pain they have inflicted due to the inferior manufacture of their lousy medication.