Methadone: Information on the Drug


Methadone: Information on the Drug

What is Methadone?

Methadone is a medication used to treat withdrawal symptoms in individuals addicted to narcotic drugs. It is also prescribed by doctors to manage moderate to severe pain. Methadone works on the brain and central nervous system to provide pain relief. It is available in oral tablet and injection forms and can only be obtained with a valid prescription.

What to Know Before Taking Methadone?

Prior to taking methadone, it is important to inform your doctor if you have any allergies to the medication or its components. Additionally, individuals with certain medical conditions such as severe asthma or intestinal blockage should consult their doctor before using methadone. It is crucial to disclose any history of heart problems, breathing difficulties, head injuries, mental illness, or liver/kidney infections to ensure the safe use of methadone. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid taking this medication as it can harm the child and lead to dependence on medical drugs.

How to Take Methadone?

Methadone should be taken exactly as prescribed by the doctor. It is important to follow all instructions provided on the prescription label and medication packaging. Misuse or abuse of methadone can have fatal consequences, so it should not be used more frequently or in higher doses than prescribed. Any unusual symptoms experienced while taking methadone should be reported to the doctor. Sharing methadone with others, especially those with a history of drug addiction or abuse, is strictly prohibited. Prior consultation with a doctor is necessary before discontinuing methadone treatment to avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Leftover medication should be properly disposed of with the assistance of a nearby pharmacist or by flushing it down the toilet.

Methadone Dosage

The dosage of methadone varies depending on factors such as age, weight, symptoms, severity of the condition, and other medical conditions or medications being used. The following are average dosage guidelines:

Dosage for Pain Ranging from Moderate to Severe

For adults (18 years or above): An initial dose of 2.5 mg every 8-12 hours, with potential adjustments by the doctor. The total daily dosage should not exceed the prescribed amount.

For children (below 18 years): The dosage will be determined by the doctor after a thorough examination.

For patients switching to methadone from another opioid medication:

For adults (18 years or above):

The doctor will prescribe a dosage based on the current opioid medication being taken. The prescribed dosage should be taken every 8-12 hours, with potential adjustments by the doctor. The total daily dosage should not exceed the specified amount.

For children (below 18 years):

The dosage will be determined by the doctor after a thorough examination.

Dosage for Opioid Addiction

For adults (18 years or above):

An initial dose of 20 mg to 30 mg once a day, with potential adjustments by the doctor. The total daily dosage should not exceed 40 mg.

For children (below 18 years):

The dosage will be determined by the doctor after a thorough examination.

Overdose

In case of overdose symptoms, immediate medical help should be sought by consulting a doctor or calling the poison helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Methadone overdose can be life-threatening and should not be ignored. Symptoms of overdose may include severe drowsiness, muscle weakness, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, and prolonged breathing.

What to Avoid While Using Methadone?

Alcohol and other alcoholic beverages should be avoided while using methadone due to potential dangerous interactions. Activities that require attention and alertness, such as driving, should also be avoided until the effects of methadone are known.

Methadone Side Effects

Common side effects of methadone may include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, increased sweating, and pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site. These mild side effects are generally tolerable, but if they become bothersome, medical advice should be sought. Any allergic reactions to the medication should be immediately reported to a doctor. It is important to consult a doctor if experiencing shallow breathing, severe constipation, lightheadedness, rapid heartbeat, shortness

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