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What is Methadone?

Methadone is a narcotic as well as an opioid pain medication that works through the opioid receptors to reduce pain sensations in the body and treat moderate to severe chronic and acute pain. 

Being an opioid antagonist, Methadone is also an effective medication used to treat opioid disorders. 

Important Information

  • It is a scheduled opioid pain medication, and therefore, its availability is controlled by the health authorities.
  • Methadone is dangerous even if taken at regular dosages. Please consult your doctor before using it. 
  • Methadone is highly addictive and habit-forming; misusing it can b fatal.
  • It can adversely affect your health; therefore, you may need frequent medical checkups while using Methadone.
  • Be careful; Methadone can affect your breathing. 
  • Keep your medicine in your custody and never share it with anyone, especially those with a history of drug abuse or addiction. 
  • You can purchase Methadone online or offline only if you bear an appropriate prescription, as buying or selling Methadone without a proper prescription is forbidden under the law, and authorities may hold you liable for punishment if you do so.

What to know before taking Methadone?

Methadone can effectively treat moderate to severe chronic and acute pain but can adversely affect your health if taken inappropriately. 

We advise you to consider the following things before taking Methadone:

  • Consider all your medical histories and avoid Methadone if you are allergic to it or its components or other medicines containing hydrocodone and acetaminophen. 
  • Taking Methadone is not that safe or effective if you have or ever had the following health disorders:
    • Heart problems 
    • Long QT syndrome 
    • Breathing disorders 
    • Sleep apnea (breathing that stops while sleeping) 
    • Head injuries 
    • Brain tumor
    • Seizures 
    • Liver disease 
    • Kidney disorders 
    • Urination problems 
    • Problems in the functioning of the gallbladder or pancreas 
    • Blockage in the stomach or intestine
  • Please don’t take Methadone if you are an alcoholic or drug addict. 
  • Taking Methadone is dangerous if you have taken any MAO inhibitors in the last 14 days. 
  • Avoid using Methadone during pregnancy and lactation period; it can harm your baby and cause certain congenital disabilities to your child.
  • Before stopping the medicine, please consult your health expert; he will gradually decrease your medicine dose to avoid fatal withdrawal symptoms.
  • You may need regular follow-ups from your doctor while using Methadone.

How to take Methadone?

Methadone can be highly addictive and habit-forming if misused. Therefore, we advise you to take Methadone as prescribed by your doctor. 

It is also essential to take care of all the necessary precautions while using Methadone. 

In addition to this, you should also consult your doctor if you don’t observe any improvement in your health condition even after taking Methadone tablets.

Methadone dosage

Methadone is a synthetic opioid antagonist that has its own working mechanism to treat moderate to severe acute and chronic pain. It is also a prescription medication used to treat opioid dependence.  

Taking Methadone can be more effective if taken appropriately; therefore, you should consult your doctor for suitable Methadone dosages.  

Before prescribing you suitable Methadone dosages, your doctor will examine you thoroughly, and based on the following factors, he will prescribe the appropriate Methadone dosages.

  • Age of the patient 
  • Weight of the patient 
  • The medical condition of the patient 
  • Medical history of the patients 

The usual Methadone dosages for those who don’t have any medical history and other medical complications are as follows:

Dosage for treating pain ranging from moderate to severe

In the form of oral tablets 

  • For adults (18 years or above)

2.5 mg of the medicine after every 8-12 hours or as and when required. 

  • For children (below 18 years)

Using Methadone for treating children is not safe; please consult your doctor before giving it to your child.  

Dosage for detoxification of opioid addiction

In the form of oral tablets 

  • For adults (18 years or above)

20 mg to 30 mg of the medicine once a day or as and when required. 

  • For children (below 18 years)

Using Methadone for treating children is not safe; please consult your doctor before giving it to your child.  

Dosage for maintaining opioid addiction

In the form of oral tablets 

  • For older adults (65 years or above)

Doctors should be extra careful while determining methadone dosages for older adults. 

  • For adults (between 18 years to 64 years)

80 mg to 120 mg of the medicine twice a day. 

  • For children (below 18 years)

Using Methadone for treating children is not safe; please consult your doctor before giving it to your child.  

Overdose

Methadone is an effective opioid pain reliever that can turn out to be fatal if taken in excess. Using it more than prescribed can cause its overdose and cause you the following overdose symptoms:

  • Severe drowsiness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Prolonged breathing
  • Coma

You should immediately consult your doctor or seek emergency medical assistance by calling the poison helpline of your country if an overdose happens.

What to avoid while using Methadone?

Methadone affects the brain and nervous system that impair your thought process, and causes dizziness or drowsiness. Therefore, you should be careful while driving, operating machinery, and performing activities that can cause you severe injuries or accidents.

Consuming grapefruit or its juice, herbal products, vitamins, and other nutritional supplements while using Methadone is not safe. Taking these together with medicine can cause severe interaction between the two.

Alcohol tends to interact with Methadone dangerously; please avoid taking them together.

Methadone side effects

Methadone reduces the pain sensations in the body and mind to treat moderate to severe pain and may cause the following side effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness 
  • Nausea and Vomiting 
  • Increased sweating 

In addition to this, you should observe your health and stop taking Methadone and consult your doctor if these side effects are bothering you too much.

Please tell your health expert if you experience the following health disorders while using Methadone:

  • Shallow breathing or feeling breathlessness while sleeping 
  • Severe constipation 
  • Lightheadedness
  • Pounding heartbeats
  • Shortage of breath 
  • Fluttering in chest
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Tiredness or weakness 
  • Serotonin syndrome causing fever, hallucination, twitching, agitation, loss of control, etc
  • Any other severe allergic reaction to the medicine 

What drugs can interact with Methadone?

Methadone can dangerously affect your health if taken along with other medications. It may cause severe interaction if you take Methadone simultaneously with the following medicines:

  • Narcotic drugs 
  • Opioid pain reliever 
  • Prescription cough medication
  • Sedative medicines
  • Sleeping pills 
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Anti-depressants
  • Anti-psychotic medications
  • Stimulants 
  • Migraine headache medicines 
  • Medicines for nausea and vomiting
  • Medicines used to treat Parkinson disease 

To avoid the life-threatening interactions between Methadone and other medicines, we advise you to tell your physician about all the medications and therapies you are currently taking.