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What is Methadone?
Methadone is a prescription medication that helps treat addiction to opioids. It is related to a class of drugs known as opioid analgesics.
Methadone helps prevent symptoms of withdrawal caused by stopping other opioids.
Methadone is available in the form of an oral tablet, oral dispersible tablet (tablet that can dissolve in liquid), oral concentrate solution, and oral solution. It is also available in an intravenous (IV) form, which is only given by a healthcare provider.
Methadone is also available under the brand name Methadose, which comes in an oral soluble tablet.
Methadone helps treat moderate to severe pain. You can easily order methadone online. If you want to buy methadone online, make sure that it is genuine.
Do not use methadone if you have severe asthma or breathing problems, or a blockage in your stomach or intestines.
The misuse of methadone may lead to addiction, overdose, or death which is more likely in children or anyone using the drug without a prescription.
Taking opioids while pregnant can result in life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby.
If you combine opioid medications with alcohol or other medicines that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing, fatal side effects can occur.
This drug may cause a life-threatening heart rhythm disorder. If you have fast or pounding heartbeats, a headache with chest pain, and severe dizziness, call your doctor right away. Your heart function may be checked during treatment.
What to know before taking methadone?
Do not use methadone if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- blockage in your stomach or intestines
- severe asthma or breathing problems
To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- breathing problems such as sleep apnea
- heart problems, long QT syndrome (in you or a family member)
- urination problems
- a head injury, brain tumor, or seizures
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- drug or alcohol addiction, or mental illness
- problems with your gallbladder, pancreas, or thyroid
If you take opioid medication while pregnant, your baby may become dependent on it. This can result in life-threatening withdrawal symptoms after the baby is born. Opioid-dependent babies may require medical treatment for several weeks.
Do not breastfeed while using methadone. It can pass into breast milk, causing drowsiness, breathing problems, or even death in a nursing baby.
How to take methadone?
Read all medication guides and follow the directions on your prescription label. Never take more methadone than prescribed or for longer than recommended. If you have an increased urge to take more methadone, tell your doctor.
Never give an opioid medication to someone else, especially if they have a history of drug abuse or addiction. Selling or giving away opioid medications is illegal.
Take methadone oral by mouth. Methadone injection is given as an infusion into a vein or injected into a muscle or under the skin. You may be able to learn how to use an injection properly from a healthcare expert.
Carefully measure liquid medicine. Use the provided dosing syringe or a medicine dose-measuring device.
Dissolve the dispersible tablet in water, orange juice, or another non-alcoholic beverage with a citrus flavor.
Never mix methadone tablets or liquid into a solution for injecting into a vein. The misuse of prescription drugs has resulted in death as a result of this practice.
When taking methadone as part of a drug addiction or detoxification treatment program, your doctor may advise you to have a family member or other caregiver administer your dose.
Do not suddenly stop taking this medication. Instead, follow your doctor’s instructions about tapering your dose.
Store away from moisture, heat, and light and at room temperature. Keep track of the medications you are taking. Methadone is a drug of abuse, and you should be aware if someone is misusing it.
Never keep leftover opioid medication. A single dose of this medicine can be fatal if someone using this medicine accidentally or improperly.
Dosage for short-term moderate to severe pain
The typical starting dosage is 2.5 mg, taken every 8 to 12 hours. If you have missed a dose, you should take it as soon as you remember, then wait for 8 to 12 hours before taking the next dose. Your doctor will increase your dosage gradually every 3 to 5 days or more.
Dosage for detoxification of opioid addiction
The typical starting dosage is 20 mg to 30 mg.
The maximum dosage is of this drug is 40 mg.
An overdose can be lethal, especially in a child or other person using methadone without a prescription.
The overdose symptoms may include muscle weakness, slow heart rate, severe drowsiness, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, very slow breathing, or coma.
What to avoid while using methadone?
Avoid drinking alcohol while using methadone. Doing so may lead to dangerous side effects or death. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you have a better understanding of how this medication will affect you. Dizziness or extreme drowsiness can result in falls, accidents, or serious injuries.
Grapefruit may interact with methadone, resulting in undesirable side effects. Therefore, do not use grapefruit products while using this medicine.
Methadone side effects
The common methadone side effects may include:
- increased sweating
- pain, redness, or swelling at the site of injection
Opioid medication can slow or stop your breathing which may lead to death. If you have symptoms such as slow breathing with long pauses, blue lips, or have difficulty waking up, someone caring for you should seek emergency medical attention.
Call your doctor immediately if you have:
- severe constipation
- a light-headed feeling
- weak or shallow breathing, breathing that stops during sleep;
- loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, worsening tiredness, or weakness
- fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath
This drug may cause serotonin syndrome. If you have symptoms such as fast heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, seek medical attention right away.
The serious side effects may be more likely in older people and those who are malnourished or debilitated.
Long-term opioid medication use may affect fertility (the ability to have children) in men and women. However, it is still unknown whether opioids have a long-term effect on fertility.
What drugs can interact with methadone?
You may experience breathing problems or withdrawal symptoms if you start or stop taking certain other medications. Inform your doctor if you are also taking antibiotics, antifungal medication, heart or blood pressure medication, seizure medication, or HIV or hepatitis C medication.
Opioid medication can interact with many other medications, resulting in dangerous side effects or death. Tell your doctor if you also use:
- sedatives like Valium – diazepam, alprazolam, lorazepam, Ativan, Klonopin, Restoril, Tranxene, Versed, Xanax, etc.
- medicines that slow your breathing or make you sleepy – a sleeping pill, muscle relaxer, tranquilizer, antidepressant, or antipsychotic medicine
- other narcotic medications – opioid pain medicine or prescription cough medicine
- drugs that affect serotonin levels in your body – a stimulant or medicine for depression, Parkinson’s disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting.