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What Does Methadone Do?

High doses of methadone can give off the feeling of “high”  just like other narcotics. It is advised that you follow your doctor’s exact Methadone prescription. Taking higher doses or in a more frequent manner than prescribed can lead to addiction, overdose, or death.

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved Methadone in 1947.
  • Methadone functions by changing how the brain and sensory system react to pain.
  • Tell your doctor if you or a member of a family who has a background of drinking excessive alcohol, utilizing street drug or having psychological-related behavior.
  • Make sure that you take this medication according to the doctor’s recommendation to avoid overdose.
  • The Centers for Control Disease and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that methadone is one of the causes of 33 percent of dangerous drug overdoses in the US.
  • Always store methadone in a safe place away from children.
  • Do not stop taking methadone without consulting your doctor. Your doctor will gradually decrease your dose before allowing you to cease medication.

Methadone Precautions

Methadone carries a black-box warning because it has the tendency to cause severe to life-threatening breathing issues. The effects peak during 72 hours of treatment and whenever dosage is increased. Therefore, tell your doctor if you have any type of lung disease, slowed breathing, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and head injury or any condition that increases pressure in your brain, or obstructive or central sleep apnea.

Also, make sure to watch out for signs of breathing problems including long pauses between breaths, slowed breathing, or shortness of breath. The drug may likewise deliver a long “QT Interval,” a rare heart issue causing irregular heartbeat, fainting or sudden death.

Informing your doctor if you or a family member has had experience with long QT syndrome is also essential. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience irregular heartbeat, heart disease, or low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood.

Lastly, while taking methadone, immediately call your doctor if you are experiencing pounding heartbeat, light headedness, dizziness or fainting. If a surgery is suggested by your doctor, inform him how long you have been taking methadone and if you had dental procedures done, tell him also.

What To Expect With Methadone Withdrawal?

Withdrawal symptoms may exist if you have been frequently using methadone for several weeks and you stop taking it abruptly. Consult a doctor before you stop using methadone to get the proper dosage before fully ceasing from the medication use. When you abruptly stop methadone intake, you may experience withdrawal symptoms like:

  • Restlessness
  • Runny nose
  • Teary eyes
  • Vomiting/diarrhea
  • Yawning
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Muscle pain
  • Widened pupils
  • Irritability
  • Backache
  • Anxiety
  • Joint pain
  • Weakness
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Decreased appetite

Pregnancy & Methadone

If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, always be alarmed as Methadone contains chemical properties that may harm your unborn baby. When methadone use is not ceased during pregnancy, the baby may develop the most severe forms of withdrawal symptoms after birth. Also, when breastfeeding, Methadone has the potent ability to get into breastmilk, which may cause harm to the breastfed baby.



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