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Facts About Methadone

Introduction: Facts about methadone

Definition: Methadone

Methadone also known as; Methadose, Physeptone, Amidone, Dolophine among other names is a narcotic pain reliever that is similar to morphine. Methadone is usually used to treat withdrawal symptoms experienced by hard drug addicts i.e. heroin addicts. Methadone is also used to relieve pain in drug addiction maintenance and detoxification programs.

Basic information and facts about methadone

Methadone is a serious drug which can lead to serious side effects or even death when abused. In fact, Methadone is one of the strongest narcotic medicines which means it has more serious side effects compared to other narcotic medicines. Methadone should therefore be taken only when prescribed by a doctor and not from self administration.

It is important to note that Methadone slows breathing drastically after being administered for pain relieving purposes. In some cases, breathing may be slowed for a prolonged time which can result in serious consequences i.e. severe weakness or even death. Methadone should therefore be used only according to doctor's directions. In case of you experience very slow breathing during Methadone use; you should contact your doctor immediately. You should never stop using Methadone drastically. This is because Methadone has very severe and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Also, Methadone patients should not drink alcohol while undergoing medication. Methadone is bound to increase alcohol effects to dangerous levels thus it is always advisable to check all foods and drinks to ensure that they don't contain alcohol. It is also important to note that Methadone can impair thinking. It is therefore advisable to avoid operating machines or driving while under medication.

Considerations before taking methadone

There are a number of things that must be considered before taking methadone because improper usage/dosage can result in serious effects or even death. For instance, you should not take Methadone if you are using any other narcotic medicines. You must also follow the recommended daily dosage strictly because Methadone can be very addictive.

Also, you must never share Methadone medication with anyone especially those individuals with drug addiction/abuse history. Methadone medication should also be kept far away from the reach of children or other adults. It is important to note that Methadone shouldn't be used by individuals with allergic reactions to the following narcotic medicines; Codeine, Oxycontin, Darvocet, Morphine, Vicodin, Percocet, Lortab e.t.c. Also, asthmatic individuals or individuals suffering from bowel obstruction should not take Methadone.

It is also important to disclose to your doctor if you have previously suffered from any of the medical conditions mentioned below to help your doctor treat you better. Patients should reveal if they have or have suffered from; kidney disease, liver disease, asthma, sleep apnea, underactive thyroid, brain tumour, spine curvature, epilepsy, seizure, low blood pressure, gallbladder disease, urinary infections, alcohol addiction, mental illness or enlarged prostate. Patients with a history of the above medical conditions should avoid Methadone.

Methadone administration

As mentioned earlier, Methadone should be taken like a prescription drug which means that it should be taken exactly the way it is prescribed by your doctor. Patients should also stick to the recommended dosage even when they develop tolerance. In such instances, patients should notify their doctors to get guidance. It is important to note that Methadone is more effective when additional treatment methods are incorporated i.e. counselling.

Methadone is usually available in oral solutions or tablets. It is also possible to administer Methadone as an injection. It is however important to note that the oral solutions or pills should never be used to make methadone injection/s. When administering Methadone, patients should use special measuring spoons/cups as opposed to using regular tablespoons.

Methadone storage

Methadone should be stored in a cool dry place at room temperature. After a patient has finished taking Methadone, excess medication should be thrown away immediately. The best disposal means is flushing the pills/solutions down the toilet. This disposal method is highly recommended because it eliminates chances of Methadone abuse i.e. accidental overdose which can cause death.

Methadone should be stored in a lockable cupboard away from the reach of children as well as adults. Because Methadone is highly addictive and habit forming, storing it in a lockable cupboard reduces chances of abuse by other parties i.e. drug addicts.


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