Methadone is a medicine used to relieve severe pain.
It is also used to prevent withdrawal symptoms in people who are addicted to opiate drugs, such as morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone and fentanyl.
Dolofin and Metadoz are two common brands for Methadone.
Methadone is a drug that works by changing how the brain and nervous system react to pain.
It was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1947.
Methadone can cause serious or life-threatening breathing problems.
The risk of breathing problems is highest during the first 72 hours of treatment.
You should tell your doctor if you have or have ever had asthma, delayed breathing, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or any other type of lung disease; head injury; any condition that increases the pressure in your brain; or obstructive or central sleep apnea.
In addition, you should monitor any symptoms of breathing problems, including slow breathing, long pauses between breaths, or shortness of breath.
Also tell your doctor if you have ever had a slow or irregular heartbeat, heart disease or low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood.
Call your doctor right away if you have a heart attack, dizziness, or fainting while taking Methadone.
Before taking Methadone, you should tell your doctor if you have or have ever had:
- Gut flap (a condition where digested food does not move through the intestine)
- Enlarged prostate
- Difficulty of urination
- Addison’s disease (a condition in which the adrenal gland does not work properly)
- Diseases of the thyroid gland, pancreas, gallbladder, liver or kidneys
Tell your doctor that you are taking Methadone before any surgery, including dental procedures.
Conclusion of Methadone
If you regularly use Methadone for several weeks or more, you may experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it.
Talk with your doctor before stop using Methadone.
If you suddenly stop taking Methadone, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Pain in the muscles
- Extended pupils
- Stomach cramps
- Sleep disturbance
- Decreased appetite
- Vomiting / diarrhea
Methadone and abuse
Taking large doses of Methadone, like many drugs, can cause euphoria.
However, this is an extremely dangerous practice and can lead to overdose and death. You should never take more Methadone than your doctor prescribes.
Methadone can be addictive. Do not take large doses of Methadone or take it for a longer period of time than your doctor prescribes.
Be sure to take this medication exactly as your doctor prescribes in order not to cause an overdose.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly a third of the deadly drug overdoses in the United States include Methadone.
Keep Methadone in a safe place so that no one can take it. Keep this medication out of the reach of children.
You should not stop taking Methadone without first talking to your doctor.
If you are taking Methadone to help yourself with drug dependence, you need to register with a treatment program approved by state and federal governments and follow specific federal laws.
Ask your doctor about registration in this program.
Pregnancy and Methadone
Methadone can harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking this medication.
Your child may also develop life-threatening withdrawal symptoms after birth, if you take Methadone during pregnancy.
Methadone can pass into breast milk and can harm a baby breast-feeding, so talk to your doctor before breastfeeding while taking this medication.
Methadone Side Effects
You should tell your doctor if any of the following side effects become serious or do not go away:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Weight gain
- Abdominal pain
- Dry mouth
- Mood Changes
- Difficulty of urination
- Eye problems
- Decreased sexual desire or ability
- Missed menstrual periods
- Difficulty sleeping
Severe Side Effects of Methadone
You should immediately call your doctor or seek emergency medical help if you experience the following serious side effects:
- Itching or rash
- Severe palpitations
- Severe nervousness or anxiety
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Extreme drowsiness
- Swelling of the eyes, face, mouth, tongue, or throat
Many drugs can interact with Methadone.
Inform your doctor about all prescription, non-prescription, illegal, recreational, herbal, dietary or dietary preparations that you are taking, especially:
- Other narcotic painkillers
- Antidepressants such as amitriptyline, amoxapine, clomipramine (anaphranil), desipramine (norpramine), doxepin (silenor), imipramine (tophranil), nortriptyline (aventile, pamlor), protriptyline (vivatil) and trimipramine (Surmontil)
- Some antifungal agents, such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox), ketoconazole (nizoral) and voriconazole (Vfend)
- Diuretics (water tablets)
- Erythromycin (erythrocin)
- Some laxatives
- Sleeping pills or tranquilizers
- Medications such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone, Nexterone), disopyramide (Norpace), dofetilide (ticosin), ibutilide (Corvert), flecainide, procainamide and quinidine (in Nuedexta)
- Nicardipine (Cardene)
- Risperdal (Risperdal)
- Sertraline (Zoloft)
- Buprenorphine (Suxosone, in Zubsolve)
- Calcium channel blockers, such as carbamazepine (Tegretol)
- Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
- Some anti-HIV drugs, including abacavir (Ziagen, Trizivir), darunavir (Presista), didanosine (Videx), efavirenz (Sustiva), Lopinavir (in Kaletra), Nelfinavir (Viracept), Nevirapine (Viramun), Ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra) , saquinavir (Invirase), stavudine (Zerit), teloprevir (Incivek), tipranavir (Aptivus), and zidovudine (Retrovir, inCombivir)
- Drugs for glaucoma, bowel disease, Parkinson’s disease, ulcers and urination problems
- Naloxone (in Zubsolva)
- Naltrexone (ReVia, Depade)
- Pentazocine (Talwin)
- Phenytoin (Dilantin)
- Rifampin (Rifadine, Rimaktan, in Rifamate, Reefater)
You should also tell your doctor if you are taking or stop taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) in the last 14 days. These include isocarboxyazide (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar) and trinilcipromine (Parnate).
Methadone and alcohol
Consuming alcohol or other drugs containing alcohol can increase the serious side effects of Methadone.
Talk with your doctor about the risks of drinking alcohol while taking this medication.
Methadone and grapefruit
Consumption of grapefruit or grapefruit juice can interact with how Methadone will work in your body.
You should talk with your doctor about this potential interaction or avoid all foods of grapefruit while taking Methadone.
Methadone and other interactions
Methadone can cause drowsiness.
Avoid driving the car until you know how this medicine affects you.
Methadone is supplied as a tablet, liquid, concentrated solution or injection.
Your dose of Methadone can range from 2.5 milligrams (mg) to 120 mg per day, depending on your condition.
When it is used to relieve pain, the drug can be taken every 8-12 hours.
You should take Methadone exactly as your doctor prescribes. Your doctor may change the dose during your treatment.
Overdose with Methadone
Symptoms of methadone overdose may include:
- Sticky, cool or blue skin
- Slow and rare breathing
- Small pupils
If you suspect an overdose, immediately contact a poison control center or an emergency room.
Missed Methadone Dose
If you miss a dose of Methadone for pain relief, take it as soon as you remember.
However, if the next dose comes, skip it and continue with your usual dosing schedule.
Do not take an extra dose to make up for the missed one.
If you miss a dose of Methadone for the treatment of opioid dependence, skip it and take it the next day on schedule. Again, do not take additional doses to make up the missed ones.