What is Methadone?
Methadone is a long-acting synthetic opioid traditionally used in the treatment of opioid addiction. Methadone generates less of a high than drugs such as heroin but curbs the withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. Methadone also is used in the management of chronic pain.
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Uses of Methadone
Methadone is used to treat:
- Moderate to severe or refractory pain
- cough suppression
- diarrhea acute pulmonary edema
- Maintenance programs for heroin addicts
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How does Methadone work?
- Methadone changes the way your brain and nervous system respond to pain so that you feel relief.
- Its effects are slower than those of other strong painkillers like morphine.
- Methadone blocks the high you get from drugs like codeine, heroin, hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone.
How to take Methadone?
- Never use Methadone in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed.
- Methadone given orally is ~50% as effective as the same dose administered intramuscularly.
- Measure liquid medicine carefully.
- Dissolve the dispersible tablet in water or orange juice.
Methadone Price In India
|Strip of 10 Tablets||Rs 88.73|
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Common Dosage for Methadone
- The typical oral dose is 2.5-10 mg, repeated every 8-12 hours as needed depending on the severity of the pain.
- In case of opiate withdrawal range of initial dose is 20 to 30 mg orally; maximum initial dose can be increased to 30 mg also.
When to avoid Methadone?
- Using narcotic pain or cough medications (zolpidem, lorazepam, hydromorphone, cyclobenzaprine, acetaminophen, promethazine, valium and others) together can lead to serious side effects including respiratory distress, coma, and even death.
- Combining buprenorphine and Methadone medications may reduce the analgesic effect of methadone.
- Methadone together with duloxetine may increase the blood levels and effects of both medications.
- Combination of Methadone and fluoxetine can increase the risk of an irregular heart rhythm.
- MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, safinamide, selegiline, tranylcypromine) can interact when taken with methadone.
- Azole antifungals (itraconazole), HIV drugs (ritonavir), macrolide antibiotics (erythromycin), rifamycins (rifampin), drugs used to treat seizures (carbamazepine) can affect the removal of methadone from the body.
Precautions while taking Methadone
- Before taking Methadone, tell your doctor if you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies.
- Tell your doctor if you have brain disorders, breathing problems, kidney disease, liver disease, gallbladder disease.
- When taken during pregnancy, chronic use may lead to neonatal abstinence.
- Methadone may cause a life-threatening heart rhythm disorder.
- Management may require treatment with a long-acting methadone to lessen withdrawal symptoms.
- Methadone is not used widely as an anti-peristaltic agent and should not be used in labor.
- Fatal side effects can occur if you use this medicine with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.
Side Effects of Methadone
Some of the commonly reported side effects of Methadone are:
- respiratory depression
- sphincter of Oddi spasm
- Additive CNS depression with other drugs.
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Effects on organs?
- Nervous system reactions- Sedation, drowsiness.
- Cardiovascular reactions- Edema.
- Gastrointestinal reactions- Nausea, vomiting, constipation.
- Psychiatric reactions- Euphoria, hallucinations.
- Endocrine system reactions- Galactorrhea, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea.
- Eye reactions- Miosis, dry eyes.
- Skin reactions- Transient rash, sweating.
Storage Requirements for Methadone
- Keep it in a dry, air tight container.
- Keep Methadone away from direct heat or moisture.
- Keep it out of reach of the children.
Pro Tips When Taking Methadone
- Methadone can slow or stop your breathing, especially when you start using this medicine or whenever your dose is changed.
- Methadone is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
- All other around-the-clock opioid drugs should be discontinued when starting Methadone.
- Avoid sudden discontinuation of methadone. The dosage of Methadone must be tapered off slowly to minimize withdrawal symptoms.
- When used to treat drug addiction, it is important that you take advantage of any social support and counseling services offered to you.
Is Methadone addictive?
Yes, Methadone is addictive.
Can I have Methadone with alcohol?
Any particular food item to be avoided?
Avoid grapefruit juice.
Can I have Methadone when pregnant?
Can I have Methadone while feeding a baby?
Can I drive after taking Methadone?
What happens if I overdose on Methadone?
Overdosing on Methadone may cause slow breathing and heart rate, severe drowsiness, muscle weakness, pinpoint pupils, and fainting.
What happens if I eat expired Methadone?
Expired medicines may have lost potency and will not be as effective as earlier. Sometimes it can be harmful to the body.
What happens if I miss a dose of Methadone?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. Skip the missed dose, if it’s time for the next dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.