Thursday, October 23, 2014

Friday, February 27, 2009 randine, Community Member, asks

Q: morphine or methadone

I have been on methadone for 6 years now and was up to 30 mg 4x's per day but having problems with it causing horrible problems with my teeth so I asked last week my dr if I could switch and she said we can try morphine sulfate and gave me a script for 30 which was nothing I still went through the chills,fever,cramping etc so I called her yesterday and now we are up to 60 mg every 8 hours but still no pain relief. I don't want to tell her again there is no reliefe because I feel like i am just asking for medication and I was getting good relief on the methadone but I am 36 and have had to have 3 teeth pulled luckily in the back where no one can see because of the methadone ===anybody else switch betwenn methadone and morphine and what was your reaction or experience with the change was it a good one or bad

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Answers (5)
lipsmcgee, Community Member
3/ 4/09 6:55pm

Methadone,orally, is much more potent than morphine orally, plus methadone is much longer acting.  I don't know the conversion rates between these two, but it would take quite a bit more morphine to equal what the methadone has been giving you.  This explains the withdrawls.

olydale, Community Member
4/13/09 7:33pm

Anytime you  have been on Methadone for a long time and over 30mg a day,you will have a hard time getting any other pain meds to work untill after all the Methadone is out of you ,and that can take up to 30 days.Unless your Doctor wants to give you larg amounts of another drug.As far as Methadone goes it is the best out of the worst for the liver,so if you have to stay on pain meds the rest of your life you are better off w/ methadone ,but try a lower dose, because I know I have problems when they want to put me under for stuff and I woke up in one surgery.Methadone dose not leave the body fast like other drugs,about the only thing you will fell after being on large amounts of Methadone for years is Heroin or  some other large  quantity of pain meds, after you get rid of the Methadone it should you down to less pills!

Lily1973, Community Member
5/11/09 6:15pm

Hi Randine,


I too take Methadone and am looking at changing to another medication due to the incidence of sudden cardiac event associated with Methadone. So I have done heaps of research into my options for alternative drugs, Morphine included.

One of the great articles I found on Opioid medications has the conversion rates which for Methadone is:


Drug                                    Dose/mg

Methadone                               20

Morphine                                  60

Oxycodone                               30

Hydrocodone                            40


The actual chart includes other medications also but as you can see you need three times as much Morphine to equate to the same equivalent dose as Methadone. This dosage conversion chart can be found in an article titled Chronic Pain: 2 The Case for Opioids at the following address:

I hope this helps.



greg, Community Member
10/ 8/09 4:06pm

From what you wrote, it sounds like you where using liquid methadone. If this is not correct, brush more offten. Methadone being so strong a pain killer tooth problems are offten noticed only when the tooth is basicaly dead. Your doctor needs to jump up the morphine  big time otherwise you will feel all the pain that the methadone helped. Good luck!

gloria, Community Member
3/23/11 12:15pm

no releif from extended releif morphine, instant releif yes it works, all the extended stuff does is keep you in pain , if dose is up can make you not function, instant releif 15 mg helps my husband. they want extended releif because it stays in system longer but if your body does not digest it right  it will not work. because it slowly release a little at a time, and if your body frluses it out wont work, but instant releif, that does not happen

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By randine, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/11/14, First Published: 02/27/09