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Methadone Side Effects

Methadone is a narcotic pain reliever; it’s very similar to morphine. It was formally known as dolophine and is a psycho-active drug. This means that is affects the mind and behavior of the patient. Its main use is to reduce withdrawal symptoms for patients addicted to heroin or other narcotic drugs.

It is reported to be helpful because it does not produce the high that is associated with the drug addiction. It was used extensively after the Vietnam War as soldiers returned home and sought drugs to help cope with post war syndrome. It is also highly addictive and there will be withdrawal symptoms when the patient is taken off methadone. It is also used to relieve chronic pain in terminal cancer patients.

Methadone has a serious list of side effects. One of the most worrisome side effects of methadone is the risk of addiction. Sometimes the patient ends up replacing one addiction with another. However experts agree that methadone is safer than heroine. Like most narcotic medications methadone can slow your breathing, even after the pain-relieving effects of the medication wears off. Death may occur if breathing becomes too weak and shallow.

Let’s take a look at the less serious side effects:






*loss of appetite

*dry mouth

*weight gain

*missed menstrual periods



*stomach pain


*sleep issues

*decreased sexual desire

*vision problems

*mood changes


*urine retention

If any of the following symptoms occur you should immediately contact

your physician.


*severe itching



These are signs of an allergic reaction.

Methadone and alcohol do not mix. It is important that you check any over the counter medications and make sure there is zero alcohol. Severe reaction can be anticipated with any alcohol.

There are several methods that methadone can be administrated. It is available in tablets, dispersive tablets, oral solutions and injection. It is not safe to mix a pill and liquid form and then deliver and injection of the mixture. If you have never used a dispersive tablet is it made to be dissolved in water or liquid. It is not to chewed or swallowed whole.

It’s imperative that your physician know about all the medications you take and medical conditions you have as methadone can have serious results. If you have had any of the following medical conditions please make sure the physician before you start the medication.

*brain disease or injury

*alcohol abuse


*under active thyroid





*enlarge prostrate

*heart disease

*liver disease

*kidney disease

As with a medication there are pros, cons, and side effects. Open and honest communication is the key to see if methadone is a good option for the patients medical situation. Narcotics are very strong medications and most have serious withdrawal issues. While methadone is often used to help treat withdrawal symptoms it should not be forgotten that methadone has withdrawal factors as well. Use not abuse is the key.ference