What Is Methadone

Methadone is an opioid pain reliever and is categorized as a narcotic. It’s often used to lessen heroin withdrawal symptoms. It’s sometimes used for maintenance programs and addiction detoxification.

How Methadone should be used?
Methadone should be used as directed by a doctor and should never be used in larger doses. It should never be used longer than what the doctor has prescribed. Patients who feel ineffectiveness of the drug should coordinate with their doctor for medical advice.  Since this drug is used for maintenance programs and detoxification from addiction, it should be used with guidance from a special pharmacy or clinic.

What Are Its Uses?
Methadone, as of date, is only approved for adult use and is recommended to treat moderate to severe body pain. It’s also prescribed for treatment of heroin addiction. As mentioned, it’s used for detoxification treatment for morphine or heroin or other drug dependence problems.

How Does It Affect the Body?
The drug is known to bind with opioid receptors in a patient’s body and so it produces various effects. It lessens withdrawal symptoms and craving for other opioids. It can also reduce the effects of sedation and euphoria. It gives a patient better stability. Meanwhile, it’s also addictive and is sometimes used for recreation. This drug, when used without medical supervision, is addictive.

Dosage Information
For adult pain, starting dosage ranges from 2.5-10 milligrams, taken every 8 to 12 hours. In several cases, drug administration is made more frequently to keep correct analgesia levels; however, extreme caution is needed to avoid overdosage.
For adult opiate withdrawal treatment, starting dosage is between 15-40 milligrams daily. An oral administration is preferred, except if a patient wouldn’t be able to ingest it orally. For that matter, parenteral administration, which is between 5-10 milligrams, is needed.
For opioid dependence maintenance, patients are required to take 20-120 milligrams, as directed by the physician.

Overdose Symptoms
Overdose effects can vary. Usual symptoms of an overdose can include irregular or slow breathing, coma, constricted pupils, extreme drowsiness, cardiac arrest, clammy skin, low blood pressure, and at worst, death.

Is There an Alternative Drug to Methadone?
Yes. Buprenorphine is an FDA-approved alternative to methadone. It works similar to methadone. It can get rid of opioid cravings and can lessen withdrawal symptoms. It works longer but comes with lesser side effects. It also presents lesser drug addiction potential.

Pain Management and Methadone
Methadone provides soothing pain relief so it’s usually prescribed to ease chronic pain. However, the best results can only be achieved for the sole reason of having active patient participation in pain management, working with his or her doctor or healthcare provider. In the process, a patient, who follows directions closely, is likely to get less pain and a more productive life ahead.

Addiction and Methadone
Methadone, a narcotic, can be addictive when used improperly. However, the effects are not as brutal as other opioids and opiates. But, it affects the nervous system so patients can feel a sense of “high.” When taken longer than what’s prescribed, methadone can cause psychological craving. When used to lessen daily stress, the drug can be extremely addictive.
Methadone should be used with proper medical supervision. Usage, dosage, and overdosage must be known prior to undergoing methadone treatment. A patient shouldn’t use it other than to treat chronic pain, lessen opioid and opiate craving, and addiction detoxification—all with proper medical supervision.