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Methadone Side Effects

Oct 2019 Methadone Side Effects

Methadone is a drug commonly used for the treatment of heroin or morphine addiction, as well as for pain treatment. But even though methadone is a useful tool, it has some severe side effects. Working with a substance abuse treatment center in Palm Springs, CA, can help you avoid the more severe issues caused by these side effects. Here’s what you need to know.

Why is Methadone Used?

Doctors use methadone because it doesn’t produce the “high” associated with either heroin or morphine, while still reducing some of the withdrawal symptoms. This can help reduce the feeling of dependency while also reducing chemical dependence over time.

The program you’re on will control the length of time that methadone should be used. Methadone itself can be addictive, with side effects and withdrawal symptoms, and addiction treatment plans mostly use it to reduce the impact of psychological addiction.

What Are the Most Common Methadone Side Effects?

There aren’t many serious methadone side effects, which is one of the primary reasons that doctors use methadone as a treatment plan. The most common methadone side effects are as follows:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating

Of these, the most severe methadone side effects are lightheadedness and dizziness. Doctors can treat many of these symptoms. Fiber and stool softeners will treat constipation, and other medications can treat nausea and vomiting.

Some people may never experience any of these symptoms, while others may experience rarer problems. If you experience severe issues with methadone, you can inquire with a medical professional. You may be able to adjust your dose.

When Shouldn’t You Take Methadone?

Methadone itself has its withdrawal symptoms along with methadone side effects. It can take up to six months to detoxify from methadone. The symptoms of methadone withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Exhaustion
  • Insomnia

Methadone withdrawal can kick in within 36 hours after taking methadone and can last up to six months. However, this withdrawal generally isn’t as bad as the withdrawals associated with other, similar drugs. Methadone can also be used to alleviate some pain for those who are addicted to medications due to chronic pain.

Can You Overdose On Methadone?

It’s possible to overdose on methadone, just as it’s possible to overdose on other similar drugs. If you take too much methadone, you can fall to sleep and eventually stop breathing. It’s because of this that it’s essential only to take methadone in scheduled, controlled doses. This is why methadone is generally dispensed at clinics that are designed to support medically-assisted detox.

Is Methadone Treatment Effective?

With withdrawal and side effects in mind, you may wonder how effective methadone treatment is. There is some debate regarding whether methadone treatment replaces one type of addiction with another.

Methadone has been used for decades successfully, but it is a step-by-step process. It has to be done through a rigorous program; otherwise, it’s just a method of quickly dealing with the symptoms of withdrawal.

If methadone treatment isn’t prepared with other therapies, such as therapy, it can become only a stopgap treatment that continues indefinitely. People may end up on methadone for a long time because they don’t want to go through the methadone withdrawals.

How is Methadone Treatment Acquired?

Generally, methadone treatment is acquired through an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. Methadone clinics will distribute the right amount of methadone to individuals who are looking to treat their addiction. But the methadone is only a single part of the overarching treatment plan.

Once you start taking methadone, the goal will be to reduce the amount of methadone that you’re taking slowly. Eventually, you will be able to wean off methadone entirely.

Methadone treatment is one of the methods of addiction detox, and it can be beneficial to those who are starting on their recovery journey. The side effects of methadone are present, but usually not severe. If you want to find out more about the process of recovery, contact the experts at Phoenix Rising.