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What is Methadone?
Methadone is a strong prescription pain medication that contains opioids (narcotic). It helps manage pain severe enough to need daily long-term, around-the-clock treatment with an opioid. It works primarily when other pain treatments such as non-opioid pain medications or immediate-release opioids do not treat your pain well enough, or you are unable to tolerate them.
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How to take Methadone?
Initiate the dosing regimen according to your age, condition, and response to the treatment. In addition, your doctor must consider your prior analgesic treatment experience and risk factors for abuse, misuse, and addiction.
For the initial treatment, doctors usually recommend 2.5 mg orally within every 8 to 12 hours.
Discontinue taking all other around-the-clock opioid medications while using Methadone tablets. There is evidence of death occurrence in opioid-tolerant patients while conversion to Methadone.
Do not suddenly stop taking Methadone, or you may face withdrawal symptoms. Instead, tell your doctor that you are planning to stop taking this medicine when you are ready. Your medical health care provider will help to stop using this medicine properly.
Store Methadone away from heat and light at room temperature.
What to know before taking Methadone?
A long-acting opioid pain drug like Methadone can put your life at risk for overdose and death. Even if you take it under the prescription, you are at risk for opioid abuse, addiction, and misuse that can lead to death.
Methadone is not for pain that is not around the clock. And it also helps manage drug addiction.
You should avoid taking Methadone if you have asthma (severe) or breathing problems or a blockage in your intestines or stomach.
Misuse of an opioid-like Methadone can cause overdose, addiction, or death, especially if a child or someone else takes it without a prescription. Keep this medication at a place that is out of reach from others.
Taking Methadone during pregnancy may cause life-threatening fatal withdrawal symptoms in the newborn baby.
Interaction of Methadone is dangerous or fatal with alcohol or with other drugs that can slow your breathing or cause drowsiness.
Methadone may lead you to a life-threatening heart rhythm disorder. Contact your medical healthcare provider immediately if you have a headache with severe dizziness and chest pain, and rapid pounding heartbeats. Your medical health care provider may need to check your heart function regularly during the treatment.
What are the benefits of using Methadone?
Methadone is a synthetic opioid agonist drug that helps opioid maintenance therapy during opioid dependence and chronic pain management. It is helpful as an analgesic in chronic pain, frequently in rotation with other opioids. One can achieve detoxification using Methadone within a month, or one can gradually get it done as long as six months. For the treatment of opioid use disorder, doctors recommend using it as maintenance therapy or, in a short period, detoxification to manage opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Methadone works on pain receptors in the body and reduces the pain you feel. It may replace other habit-forming opioid drugs. A single dose of this medication has a rapid effect; it can take five days of use to get the maximum impact. The pain-relieving effect lasts for six hours after a single Methadone dose.
What are the side effects of Methadone?
The use of Methadone may cause nausea, constipation, vomiting, dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, dry mouth, or sweating. Some of the side effects of Methadone may reduce after using this drug for a while. However, if any of them persists or worsens, tell your medical healthcare provider immediately.
To prevent constipation, drink enough water, eat dietary fiber, and exercise. Your doctor may also recommend you to take laxatives.
A severe allergic reaction to Methadone is rare. However, take medical help if you notice any of the following symptoms: severe dizziness, rash, trouble breathing, itching, or swelling in your face, throat, lips, or tongue.
Go for emergency medical help if you have allergic reactions due to the use of Methadone. Signs of an allergic reaction include issues with breathing, hives, swelling of your face, throat, lips, or tongue.
Seek medical help if you have serotonin syndrome symptoms, such as agitation, fever, hallucinations, sweating, fast heart rate, shivering, twitching, muscle stiffness, nausea, loss of coordination, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Opioid medication can stop or slow your breathing, and death may occur. An attendant should immediately go for medical attention if you have blue-colored lips, slow breathing with long pauses, or if you are hard to wake up.