Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Methadose

(Methadone)

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Treats severe pain and drug dependence.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Methadose (Methadone) works well for moderate to severe pain especially nerve-related and complex pain and is effective for maintenance opioid addiction treatment. You need to be careful with dosing.

Prescription opioids are used to treat several kinds of pain - but they carry significant risks, including addiction. Learn more about these drugs and be sure to discuss the risks with your doctor.
  • Relieves pain and treats opioid addiction.
  • Good option for people who don't get pain relief with more-common opioids, have side effects or allergies with other options, or have nerve pain (neuropathic pain).
  • Even low doses are more effective than placebo at treating shooting, burning pain.
  • Less constipating than other opioid medicines to treat pain.
  • Available as a generic medicine.
  • Need to use it “around-the-clock for pain control not “as needed”.
  • Even one dose is too much for child or pet and is a medical emergency so store out of their reach.
  • Can cause slowed breathing, coma and death from overdose, especially if you mix with other nervous system depressants.
  • Has a higher risk of affecting heart rate control especially if you have cardiovascular disease (previous heart attack, stroke, fast/uncontrolled heart rate, or irregular heart beat).
  • Can reduce your ability to focus, think, and react so avoid activities that require you to be alert, such as driving a car or operating machinery, until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Not safe to take if you're pregnant or breast-feeding and can increase the risk of neonatal withdrawal syndrome in women with a history of long-term opioid use.
  • May cause you to become tolerant (more medicine is needed to treat the same pain) and physically dependent if you’ve used it for a while so don’t stop talking it suddenly or you may feel withdrawal symptoms.
  • Can cause your blood pressure drop suddenly if you change positions quickly.
  • Certain prescription and over-the-counter medicines can change the amount of medicine in your body and cause either overdose or withdrawal.

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Side effects for Methadose (Methadone)

Manufacturers don’t say how common these side effects are

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Abnormally fast heart beat
  • Abnormally slow breathing
  • Abnormally slow heartbeat
  • Agitation
  • Antidiuretic effect
  • Asthenia (weakness)
  • Bile duct spasm
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Death
  • Disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Ecg abnormalities
  • Euphoria
  • Extra heartbeats
  • Fainting
  • Flushing
  • Headache
  • Heart failure
  • Heart pounding or racing sensation
  • Hives
  • Hives with blood inside
  • Intense emotional discomfort
  • Life-threatening lack of blood flow
  • Local tissue reactions (pain, erythema, swelling)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low blood magnesium
  • Low blood potassium
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • No periods
  • Other skin rashes
  • Prolonged qt interval
  • Pruritis
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Reduced libido and/or potency
  • Relaxation or sleepiness
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Seizures
  • Severely abnormal heart rhythm
  • Sleep difficulty
  • Stopped heart and circulation
  • Superficial leg vein clots
  • Sweating
  • Swelling and fluid in lungs
  • Swelling due to excess fluid
  • T-wave inversion
  • Tongue inflammation
  • Torsade de pointes
  • Urinary retention or hesitancy
  • Visual disturbances
  • Vomiting
  • Weight gain

What to expect when you take Methadose (Methadone)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Long-acting opioid for moderate to severe pain.
  • May not be the best choice for people who have never taken opioids, or who've only taken shorter-acting opioids for pain.
  • May be part of a complete program to reduce opioid dependence.
  • For short-term treatment of opioid dependence, the target dose is 40mg for 2-3 days, then reduced every 2 days.
  • For long-term drug detoxification treatment the dose is increased until withdrawal symptoms stay away for 24 hours.
  • Dosing can vary widely, but for most people the general range is 80-120mg daily.
  • Take exactly as your doctor instructs and don’t take more than you're prescribed.
  • Can make you dizzy or drowsy.
  • Avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
  • Don't mix with alcohol or other sedating drugs.
  • Constipation is common and may not go away while you're taking this medicine. Drinking lots of water and taking laxatives can help.
  • Talk to your doctor if it doesn't help enough for your pain.
  • If you need to stop taking this medicine, work with your doctor to slowly lower your dose. It'll help you avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Careful reduction from your maintenance dose is important. It shouldn't be more than 10% of the total daily dose, reduced every 10 to 14 days.

Risks and Warnings for Methadose (Methadone)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Start of treatment
    • Age 65 or greater
    • Dose changes and higher doses
    • People with not enough thyroid hormones
    • History of lung problems

    Taking too much Methadose (Methadone) can cause irregular or slow breathing that can put you in a coma and can cause death. Serious breathing effects can happen after pain relief but may last longer. If your lips and fingers start turning blue from low oxygen, see a doctor immediately. In the hospital, doctors can give you a medicine that reverses the effects of Methadose (Methadone). Don't take more than your doctor prescribes.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Methadose (Methadone)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Don't mix with alcohol or other sedating drugs.
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Even 1 dose of Methadose (Methadone) can be too much for a child so store out of reach from children. In adults, raising the dose too quickly, high doses or mixing with alcohol or drugs that interact causes overdose and death. If you suspect a child has taken Methadose (Methadone), or an adult has taken too much, watch them for decreased activity, extreme tiredness small pupils, and lips and fingers turning blue from low oxygen. Call 911 or go to a hospital immediately. Doctors can give a medicine that reverses the effects of Methadose (Methadone) until the effects wear off.
Sleep
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Can make you dizzy or drowsy.
Weight gain or loss
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Methadose (Methadone) passes into breast milk. Women with a history of long-term opioid use increase the risk of neonatal withdrawal syndrome. Symptoms include irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, tremor and lack of weight gain. Opioid withdrawal in infants is a life-threatening emergency and needs medical help right away.