Friday, October 14, 2011

Vitamin D deficiency in patients taking Methadone.

In the 2009 Journal of Addiction Medicine, there was a recent study of patients taking Methadone. The study showed that 36% of these Methadone patients had Vitamin D deficiency and another 16% had Vitamin D insufficiency. For a long time now I have heard patients who are taking Methadone complain that “Methadone gets into your bones” and “Methadone rots out your teeth”. I didn’t quite know what to make of these comments although I have seen a number of patients who have developed very advanced dental decay soon after they went onto Methadone. Lately I have been checking Vitamin D levels in patients who are taking Methadone and it does seem that almost all of them have low levels.

It is interesting that this study found such a high percentage of patients have low levels. It is the kind of thing that we wouldn’t know about unless we actually test for it. We need to test these patients and keep on the lookout for Vitamin D deficiency and other deficiencies. One other question I have is whether patients taking other opiates such as OxyContin get depletion of their Vitamin D as well. I will be looking to see if this is happening as well.

1 comment:

  1. I am currently on 95 mg of Methadone and have lost 2 wisdome teeth and have a root canal on a front tooth. One year later after finding a really good Primary Care Doctor he did a full screen of blood test which showed my vitamin D level was dangerously low as was my B12, So he started me on 55,000 IU of prescription Vitamin D and weekly B12 shots.After 2 weeks on the 55,000 IU of D my levels were back up to where the should be, However I have to take 2,000 IU of D3 everyday while still on Methadone, along with other Vitamins and Minerals. I still don't have half the energy or zest for life I had before getting on Methadone 11 years ago. If I had the money I would definately do the Accelerated Methadone Detox. I have tried 3 times to detox , once in the hospital and also tapering but my body couldn't handle the stress.