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Methadone may be habit forming. Take methadone exactly as directed. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer period of time or in a different way than prescribed by your doctor. While taking methadone, discuss with your healthcare provider your pain treatment goals, length of treatment, and other ways to manage your pain.
Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family drinks or has ever drunk large amounts of alcohol, uses or has ever used street drugs, or has overused prescription medications, or has had an overdose, or if you have or have ever had depression or another mental illness. There is a greater risk that you will overuse methadone if you have or have ever had any of these conditions.
Talk to your healthcare provider immediately and ask for guidance if you think that you have an opioid addiction or call the U. Methadone may cause serious or life-threatening breathing problems, especially during the first 24 to 72 hours of your treatment and any time your dose is increased. Your doctor will monitor you carefully during your treatment. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had slowed breathing or asthma. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take methadone.
Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD; a group of lung diseases that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema , a head injury, a brain tumor, or any condition that increases the amount of pressure in your brain. The risk that you will develop breathing problems may be higher if you are an older adult or are weak or malnourished due to disease.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment: slowed breathing, long pauses between breaths, or shortness of breath. Taking certain other medications during your treatment with methadone may increase the risk that you will experience serious, life-threatening side effects such as breathing problems, sedation, or coma.
Tell your doctor if you are taking or plan to take any of the following medications: antipsychotics such as aripiprazole Abilify , asenapine Saphris , cariprazine Vraylar , chlorpromazine, clozapine Versacloz , fluphenazine, haloperidol Haldol , iloperidone Fanapt , loxapine, lurasidone Latuda , molindone, olanzapine Zyprexa , paliperidone Invega , perphenazine, pimavanserin Nuplazid , quetiapine Seroquel , risperidone Risperdal , thioridazine, thiothixene, trifluoperazine, and ziprasidone Geodon ; benzodiazepines such as alprazolam Xanax , chlordiazepoxide Librium , clonazepam Klonopin , clorazepate Gen-Xene, Tranxene , diazepam Diastat, Valium , estazolam, flurazepam, lorazepam Ativan , oxazepam, temazepam Restoril , and triazolam Halcion ; opiate narcotic medications for pain and cough; medications for nausea or mental illness; muscle relaxants; sedatives; sleeping pills; or tranquilizers.
Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications and will monitor you carefully. If you take methadone with any of these medications and you develop any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical care: unusual dizziness, lightheadedness, extreme sleepiness, slowed or difficult breathing, or unresponsiveness.
Be sure that your caregiver or family members know which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor or emergency medical care if you are unable to seek treatment on your own. Drinking alcohol, taking prescription or nonprescription medications that contain alcohol, or using street drugs during your treatment with methadone increases the risk that you will experience serious, life-threatening side effects. Do not drink alcohol, take prescription or nonprescription medications that contain alcohol, or use street drugs during your treatment.
Do not allow anyone else to take your medication. Methadone may harm or cause death to other people who take your medication, especially children. Store methadone in a safe place so that no one else can take it accidentally or on purpose. Be especially careful to keep methadone out of the reach of children. Keep track of how many tablets or how much liquid is left so you will know if any medication is missing. Dispose of any unwanted methadone tablets or oral solution properly according to instructions.
Methadone may cause a prolonged QT interval a rare heart problem that may cause irregular heartbeat, fainting, or sudden death. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had long QT syndrome; or if you have or ever had a slow or irregular heartbeat; low blood levels of potassium or magnesium, or heart disease.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking or plan to take any of the following medications: antidepressants such as amitriptyline, amoxapine, clomipramine Anafranil , desipramine Norpramin , doxepin Silenor , imipramine Tofranil , nortriptyline Pamelor , protriptyline Vivactil , and trimipramine Surmontil ; certain antifungals such as fluconazole Diflucan , itraconazole Onmel, Sporanox , ketoconazole, and voriconazole Vfend ; diuretics 'water pills' ; erythromycin Eryc, Erythrocin, others ; fludrocortisone; certain laxatives; medications for irregular heartbeat such as amiodarone Nexterone, Pacerone , disopyramide Norpace , dofetilide Tikosyn , flecainide, ibutilide Corvert , procainamide, and quinidine in Nuedexta ; nicardipine Cardene ; and risperidone Risperdal ; and sertraline Zoloft.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: pounding heartbeat, dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you take methadone regularly during your pregnancy, your baby may experience life-threatening withdrawal symptoms after birth.
Tell your baby's doctor right away if your baby experiences any of the following symptoms: irritability, hyperactivity, abnormal sleep, high-pitched cry, uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body, vomiting, diarrhea, or failure to gain weight.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet Medication Guide when you begin treatment with methadone and each time you fill your prescription if a Medication Guide is available for the methadone product you are taking. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
If you have been addicted to an opiate narcotic drug such as heroin , and you are taking methadone to help you stop taking or continue not taking the drug, you must enroll in a treatment program. The treatment program must be approved by the state and federal governments and must treat patients according to specific federal laws. You may have to take your medication at the treatment program facility under the supervision of the program staff.
Ask your doctor or the treatment program staff if you have any questions about enrolling in the program or taking or getting your medication. Methadone is used to relieve severe pain in people who are expected to need pain medication around the clock for a long time and who cannot be treated with other medications.
It also is used to prevent withdrawal symptoms in patients who were addicted to opiate drugs and are enrolled in treatment programs in order to stop taking or continue not taking the drugs. Methadone is in a class of medications called opiate narcotic analgesics. Methadone works to treat pain by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain. It works to treat people who were addicted to opiate drugs by producing similar effects and preventing withdrawal symptoms in people who have stopped using these drugs.
Methadone comes as a tablet, a dispersible can be dissolved in liquid tablet, a solution liquid , and a concentrated solution to take by mouth. When methadone is used to relieve pain, it may be taken every 8 to 12 hours. If you take methadone as part of a treatment program, your doctor will prescribe the dosing schedule that is best for you. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. If you are using the dispersible tablets, do not chew or swallow before mixing the tablet in a liquid.
If your doctor has told you to take only part of a tablet, break the tablet carefully along the lines that have been scored into it. Drink the entire mixture right away. If some tablet residue remains in the cup after you drink the mixture, add a small amount of liquid to the cup and drink it all. Your doctor may change your dose of methadone during your treatment.
Your doctor may decrease your dose or tell you to take methadone less often as your treatment continues. If you experience pain during your treatment, your doctor may increase your dose or may prescribe an additional medication to control your pain. Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment with methadone. Do not take extra doses of methadone or take doses of methadone earlier than they are scheduled even if you experience pain.
Do not stop taking methadone without talking to your doctor. Your doctor will probably want to decrease your dose gradually. If you suddenly stop taking methadone, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, teary eyes, runny nose, yawning, sweating, chills, muscle pain, widened pupils black circles in the middle of the eyes , irritability, anxiety, backache, t pain, weakness, stomach cramps, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, nausea, decreased appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea. This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Talk to your doctor about eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medicine. If your doctor has told you to take methadone for pain, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it and then continue your regular dosing schedule. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule.
Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are taking methadone to treat opioid addiction, skip the missed dose and take the next dose the next day as scheduled. Methadone may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture not in the bathroom. You must immediately dispose of any methadone that is outdated or no longer needed through a medicine take-back program. If you do not have a take-back program nearby or one that you can access promptly, flush any methadone tablets or solution that are outdated or no longer needed down the toilet.
Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication. It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location — one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at While taking methadone, you should talk to your doctor about having a rescue medication called naloxone readily available e. Naloxone is used to reverse the life-threatening effects of an overdose. It works by blocking the effects of opiates to relieve dangerous symptoms caused by high levels of opiates in the blood. Your doctor may also prescribe you naloxone if you are living in a household where there are small children or someone who has abused street or prescription drugs.
You should make sure that you and your family members, caregivers, or the people who spend time with you know how to recognize an overdose, how to use naloxone, and what to do until emergency medical help arrives. Your doctor or pharmacist will show you and your family members how to use the medication.
Ask your pharmacist for the instructions or visit the manufacturer's website to get the instructions. If symptoms of an overdose occur, a friend or family member should give the first dose of naloxone, call immediately, and stay with you and watch you closely until emergency medical help arrives. Your symptoms may return within a few minutes after you receive naloxone. If your symptoms return, the person should give you another dose of naloxone. Additional doses may be given every 2 to 3 minutes, if symptoms return before medical help arrives. Keep all appointments with your doctor or clinic.
Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your response to methadone. Before having any laboratory test especially those that involve methylene blue , tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking methadone. This prescription is not refillable. If you continue to experience pain after you finish taking the methadone, call your doctor. If you take this medication on a regular basis, be sure to schedule appointments with your doctor so that you do not run out of medication. It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription over-the-counter medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements.
You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies. Generic alternatives may be available. Methadone pronounced as meth' a done. Why is this medication prescribed? How should this medicine be used?
Other uses for this medicine What special precautions should I follow? What special dietary instructions should I follow? What should I do if I forget a dose? What side effects can this medication cause? What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication? Brand names. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking methadone for your condition.
Use of methadone to treat opiate addiction: If you have been addicted to an opiate narcotic drug such as heroin , and you are taking methadone to help you stop taking or continue not taking the drug, you must enroll in a treatment program. Other uses for this medicine. What special precautions should I follow? Before taking methadone, tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to methadone, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in the methadone product you plan to take. Ask your doctor or pharmacist or check the Medication Guide for a list of the ingredients.
Also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or receiving the following medications or have stopped taking them in the past 14 days: monoamine oxidase MAO inhibitors including isocarboxazid Marplan , linezolid Zyvox , methylene blue, phenelzine Nardil , selegiline Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelpar , and tranylcypromine Parnate. Many other medications may also interact with methadone, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. John's wort and tryptophan. Your doctor may tell you that you should not take methadone. If you breastfeed during your treatment with methadone, your baby may receive some methadone in breastmilk. Watch your baby closely for any changes in behavior or breathing, especially when you start taking methadone.
If your baby develops any of these symptoms, call your baby's doctor immediately or get emergency medical help: unusual sleepiness, difficulty breastfeeding, difficulty breathing, or limpness. Talk to your baby's doctor when you are ready to wean your baby. You will need to wean your baby gradually so that your baby will not develop withdrawal symptoms when he or she stops receiving methadone in breastmilk.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking methadone. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you. This is more common when you first start taking methadone. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up. Talk to your doctor about changing your diet or using other medications to prevent or treat constipation while you are taking methadone.How long do methadone pills stay in your system
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How Long Does Methadone Stay in Your System