What is Methadone?
Methadone is a narcotic. It is used to reduce the withdrawal symptoms for people who have an addiction to heroin or other narcotics. Methadone is also used as a pain reliever for moderate and severe pain.
What should you know before using Methadone?
Do not use Methadone if you are allergic to it. Do not use Methadone if you have asthma, breathing problems or paralytic ileus. Do not drink alcohol while on Methadone.
Consult your doctor before using Methadone if you suffer from long QT syndrome, heart disease, heart rhythm disorders, breathing problems or any lung disease, urination problems, kidney or liver disease, thyroid problems, history of drug abuse, addiction to alcohol or any mental illnesses.
Consult your doctor if you smoke, because cigarette smoking may decrease the effectiveness of this medication.
Do not use Methadone if you are pregnant, intend to get pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding.
Use Methadone only as prescribed by your doctor. If you are using Methadone as a pain reliever, your doctor may prescribe it every 4 to 12 hours. If you use Methadone for drug abuse, your doctor will make a schedule for you, which you have to follow strictly.
Methadone can come as a tablet, a dispersible tablet, a solution, or a concentrated solution.
Never use Methadone in higher doses than prescribed or for a longer period. Never quit Methadone suddenly. This will lead to withdrawal symptoms.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
If you missed a dose while using Methadone as a pain reliever, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is time for the next dose. Never have a double dose of Methadone to compensate for the one you missed.
If you missed a dose while using Methadone for drug addiction, take the missed dose the next day at the exact time of your schedule. If you missed a dose for more than 3 days, you should consult your doctor. You may need to start again using Methadone at a lower dose. Never have a double dose of Methadone to compensate for the one you missed.
If you overdose on Methadone, seek emergency medical help.
Methadone Side Effects
Seek emergency medical help if you have allergic symptoms to Methadone, like headache, swallowing of the mouth, face and throat, hives, and difficulty breathing.
There are a lot of known side effects of Methadone. They vary on an individual basis. Common side effects of Methadone use are nausea, vomiting, sweating, dizziness, drowsiness, weak or shallow breathing, constipation, appetite abnormalities, weight gain, chest pain, mood changes, vision problems, and sleep problems.
Methadone and Weight Gain
One of the known side effects of Methadone is weight gain. This is believed to be the result of increased appetite, water retention and slow metabolic function. The exact connection between methadone and weight gain is not entirely understood.
Within the first few months of Methadone usage, some patients gain weight even though they have not changed their eating habits. This side effect varies on an individual basis. Patients who do gain weight while taking Methadone might not be able to lose it until their dose is reduced. Most of them will require the help of a dietitian or a physician while trying to lose weight.
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