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How Long Does Methadone Last?

Methadone is commonly prescribed for the treatment of opiate dependence and addiction as well as for the relief of moderate to severe pain and pain disorders. As Methadone affects neurotransmission, opioid receptors mediate the effects of the drug on the central nervous system. However, this drug is commonly abused for its sedative and euphoric effects. Drug tolerance, on the other hand, is developed when people abuse methadone beyond the prescribed details and they become physically or psychologically dependent on the drug.

  • Methadone can be orally ingested in the form of tablet or liquid or through intramuscular or subcutaneous injection.
  • The entry port of methadone towards the system can largely affect the intensity of the effects and its length of stay in the system.
  • With parenteral administration, the effect takes place within 10 – 20 minutes.
  • With the oral route, the effect surfaces within 30 minutes to an hour.

The peak methadone concentrations are lower with oral intake; however, the span of activity within the system is longer. After one oral dose, the effects can last from 6-48 hours, depending on whether the user is a chronic user of methadone or not.

Methadone Timeframe In The Body

Methadone half-life is roughly 8 to 59 hours. It has an extensive bioavailability window differing from 40 to 99 percent. Methadone has the ability to mix with blood plasma in as much as 90 percent; however, after recurring usage, the percentage may considerably change. It is because methadone has the ability to build up in the body tissue, undertaking a far-reaching change in the liver.

A synthetic narcotic belonging to the Schedule ll type of medication of DEA prohibited substances, methadone is available in the form of 5-10mg tablets, oral solutions 1-2 mg/mL, and injectable solutions of 10 mg/mL. When taken orally, it is quickly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and can immediately be detected in the blood for half an hour.

How Long Do The Effects of Methadone Last?

Methadone’s analgesic action can last between 6 to 8 hours, while the oral dose effects can last up to 48 hours; again, these statistics rely on whether the user is a chronic methadone user or not. Also, the duration differs between intravenous and intramuscular injection. For instance, the intravenous injection 10mg peak plasma concentrations after 34 minutes, and intramuscular injection of similar dose can peak plasma levels 50 minutes later.

The “high” typically lasts for about 6-8 hours. However, the time frame depends on dosage and medication preparation. The effects of this drug can cause serious sensory and respiratory depression, hence, always remember that methadone’s peak respiratory depressant effects usually occur instantly and have longer extent than its peak analgesic effect, specifically during the first few hours post intake. Methadone’s full analgesic effect usually takes effect 3-5 days after the last intake.

Methadone’s ability to produce euphoria can cause both psychological and physiological effects including drowsiness, dizziness, mood swings and sedation. Methadone can also cause depressed reflexes and can seriously change sensory perception, as well as stupor. In worst cases, the user can go into a comatose state.

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