Side Effects and Long-Term Effects of Methadone

Drug effects

Methadone is helpful for people suffering from opioid use disorders, as it helps them avoid relapse when taken as prescribed. When a person uses an opioid, such as oxycodone or heroin, the opioid binds to the opioid receptors in the body, and this binding creates a sensation of euphoria, as well as drowsiness and pain relief. When a person is physically dependent upon opioids, they will go through opioid withdrawal if they stop using opioids. However, methadone prevents withdrawal symptoms from occurring, and it is an opioid agonist, which prevents other opioids from binding to the opioid receptors in the brain, thus blocking the effects of opioids. Furthermore, methadone creates a chemical reaction that mimics the effects of opioids and thus helps to control cravings for opioids.

What Should I Avoid While Using Methadone?

If you are taking methadone, you should avoid taking any form of opioids. Also, you need to consult your doctor before taking any drug that can make you sleepy, such as antidepressants, cough medicine, or antihistamines. In addition, certain types of heart medicine, diuretics, or HIV medications can have potentially serious interactions with methadone, and you should never combine these medications on your own. Always consult your physician as to the safety of mixing other medicines with methadone.

Furthermore, you should exercise caution when driving or operating heavy machinery when you first start taking methadone, as it can make you sleepy. Never take methadone that isn’t prescribed to you, and never take more than you are prescribed by your doctor.

What Are the Possible Side Effects of Methadone?

Some people report side effects when taking methadone, such as vomiting, nausea, constipation, as well as loss of libido, sleep disturbances, and weight gain. These are seldom life-threatening but should be discussed with your physician. Occasionally, serious side effects do occur, which can include a pounding or fast heartbeat, lightheadedness, chest pain, hives, swelling of the face or throat, or having hallucinations. Many of the negative side effects associated with methadone can be avoided if you start methadone under the supervision of a knowledgeable provider who can start you at a low dose, and find the right dose that is strong enough to control your cravings and prevent withdrawal, but not make you too drowsy. While it is possible to overdose on methadone, the risk is the greatest in the first two weeks of treatment, and working closely with a provider during this time can prevent overdoses through constant communication and monitoring.

What Other Drugs Affect Methadone?

Some heart medicines, HIV medications, certain antidepressants, and benzodiazepines can all have negative impacts when taken with methadone. However, if you are on any of these medications, you need to consult your doctor to determine if it is safe for you to take methadone. Benzos can be exceptionally dangerous to use while you are on methadone and benzos are the most commonly noted substances taken by people who overdose while on methadone. A recent study of overdose deaths in Pennsylvania showed that at least one benzodiazepine was involved in 61% of deaths where methadone was involved in an overdose.

Why Is Methadone Used In Addiction Treatment?

Methadone is an effective and overall safe form of medication-assisted treatment to help people overcome and sustain recovery from opioid use disorders. Methadone prevents opioids from binding to the opioid receptors in the brain and controls cravings, as well as preventing people from going into opioid withdrawal when they stop taking other opioids. Methadone is the oldest form of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorders and is the most widely studied of all the forms of MAT. Methadone helps people to stay in treatment, and also reduces rates of HIV infection, as well as deaths from opioid misuse.

If you are looking for detox treatment in FloridaSummer House offers a home-like, safe, and comfortable environment to meet your detox needs. If you are seeking Florida methadone treatment, our goal at Summer House is to assist you with your opioid detox, help you manage your cravings, and reduce your symptoms of withdrawal to give you the best possible chance for recovery from opioid use disorders.

Disclaimer: This post serves a strictly educational use. It does not reflect the services, products, or therapeutic approaches of this establishment or its healthcare practitioners. The purpose of this blog is not to advertise the products, services, or therapeutic approaches of any other establishment that may be associated with this site. On the subject of safe or legal services, products, and appropriate therapies, recommendations ought to be given by a qualified professional on a case to case basis.