Author: James Anderson

Methadone: MedlinePlus Drug Information

is methadone addictive

This medicine may cause a life-threatening heart rhythm disorder. MISUSE OF METHADONE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Avoid drinking alcohol or taking illegal or recreational drugs while taking methadone. Methadone is sometimes used to reduce cravings for other Opioids, but Methadone is also an addictive substance in its own right.

People being treated for opioid use disorder take methadone under close supervision to ensure their safety. Your providers will give you the dose that should work best for you. Many drugs may affect methadone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. You may have a fatal methadone overdose if you start or stop using certain other medicines. Never share opioid medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug addiction.

  1. A person caring for you should give naloxone and/or seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.
  2. A person caring for you can give the naloxone if you stop breathing or don’t wake up.
  3. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your response to methadone.
  4. Methadone acts on the same Opioid receptors as Morphine and Heroin to stabilize patients and minimize withdrawal symptoms in the case of an addiction.
  5. If symptoms of an overdose occur, a friend or family member should give the first dose of naloxone, call 911 immediately, and stay with you and watch you closely until emergency medical help arrives.
  6. Approximately 82 percent of those deaths were listed as accidental, and most deaths involved combinations of methadone with other drugs (especially benzodiazepines).

If you experience pain during your treatment, your doctor may increase your dose or may prescribe an additional medication to control your pain. Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment with methadone. Do not take extra doses of methadone or take doses of methadone earlier than they are scheduled even if you experience pain. Methadone comes as a tablet, a dispersible (can be dissolved in liquid) tablet, a solution (liquid), and a concentrated solution to take by mouth.

The respiratory depression of an overdose can be treated with naloxone.[41] Naloxone is preferred to the newer, longer-acting antagonist naltrexone. Despite methadone’s much longer duration of action compared to either heroin and other shorter-acting agonists and the need for repeat doses of the antagonist naloxone, it is still used for overdose therapy. As naltrexone has a longer half-life, it is more difficult to titrate. If too large a dose of the opioid antagonist is given to a dependent person, it will result in withdrawal symptoms (possibly severe).

Related treatment guides

Before having any laboratory test (especially those that involve methylene blue), tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking methadone. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your response to methadone. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking methadone for your condition. Grapefruit may interact with this medicine and cause side effects.

Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law. In the United States, deaths linked to methadone more than quadrupled in the five-year period between 1999 and 2004. National Center for Health Statistics,[52] as well as a 2006 series in the Charleston Gazette (West Virginia),[53] medical examiners listed methadone as contributing to 3,849 deaths in 2004. Approximately 82 percent of those deaths were listed as accidental, and most deaths involved combinations of methadone with other drugs (especially benzodiazepines). Methadone withdrawal symptoms are reported as being significantly more protracted than withdrawal from opioids with shorter half-lives. Note that this list is not all-inclusive and includes only common medications that may interact with methadone.

Ask your pharmacist about a drug take-back program, or flush the unused medicine down the toilet. When a person abuses methadone, they are choosing to do so. This is the only way that use of the drug can lead to addiction. A person could still become dependent on methadone even if they take it as directed, but this issue is not the same as nor is it as problematic as addiction. Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use methadone only for the indication prescribed.

is methadone addictive

Methadone is a Synthetic Opioid prescribed for moderate to severe pain. It is also commonly used to treat Opiate addictions, especially addiction to Heroin. Treatment for methadone use disorder usually includes medical detox and therapy. They may put you on another medicine to help you stop taking methadone. It may be a tablet, oral dispersible tablet (disket), or liquid.

Can I Overdose on Methadone?

Follow the directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Never use this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you feel an increased urge to use more of this medicine. Methadone may cause a life-threatening heart rhythm disorder. Call your doctor at once if you have a headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, and fast or pounding heartbeats. Your heart function may need to be checked during treatment.

Call your doctor or go to the ER if a breastfeeding infant shows unusual sleepiness, weakness, or breathing problems. When you’re ready to wean your baby off breast milk, talk to your doctor about how to do it slowly and safely to avoid methadone withdrawal. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

If an individual who is being treated with Methadone attempts to get high by using Heroin, the Methadone will block the euphoric effects of the Heroin (and of all other Opioids). They are limited; however, they are also great enough that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has indicated that Methadone users aren’t “fit to drive” due to the side effects of Methadone. Some people take methadone illegally, without a prescription. Most of them inject it, which can expose them to diseases like HIV and hepatitis C.

is methadone addictive

Addiction to Methadone can be a bit of a taboo topic, as many people in the medical community see the drug as a necessary aid in helping Heroin addicts recover. But as with any Opiate, addiction is an all-too-common side effect. An addiction to Methadone can come about because the drug eases a user’s pain. As time goes on and tolerance builds, more of the drug is needed for the same effect. Methadone acts on the same Opioid receptors as Morphine and Heroin to stabilize patients and minimize withdrawal symptoms in the case of an addiction. If you’re taking methadone or any opioid, ask your doctor if they can prescribe you naloxone.

Before taking methadone,

It is a powerful Opiate with potentially addictive qualities. People who start using Methadone to overcome their Heroin addiction are at a higher risk of abuse because they already have a history of Opioid dependency. Some addicts, in fact, prefer Methadone as their substance of choice.

The bioavailability and elimination half-life of methadone are subject to substantial interindividual variability. Adverse effects include sedation, hypoventilation, constipation and miosis, in addition to tolerance, dependence and withdrawal difficulties. The withdrawal period can be much more prolonged than with other opioids, spanning anywhere from two weeks to several months.

Your doctor will keep this in mind when deciding on a treatment plan. It’s important to be honest with your doctor about your methadone use.