Methadone Information, Side Effects for Patients fighting Addiction

Known as “Methadone hydrochloride,” Methadone is a narcotic pain reliever, analgesic used to treat moderate to severe pain with people who have not responded to pain relievers. Its main uses also include being given to patients who are battling narcotic addiction or in the maintenance treatment of narcotic drug addiction.

The drug targets the central nervous system and opioid-receptors in the brain to provide analgesic relief from pain. Methadone is a Schedule II narcotic under the United States Controlled Substances Act and has been a vehicle for potential drug abuse, addiction and misuse. There is a definite possibility several patients who take Methadone for withdrawal circumstances may develop a dependence which can lead to further abuse.

Side Effects and Interactions

Several serious side effects may occur when taking the medication. If any of these are experienced, please see a physician as soon as possible:

  • Breathing that slows down
  • Change in heart beat or chest pain
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Drowsiness and faintness
  • Hallucinations
  • Shallow breathing

If methadone is being taken, be sure to speak to a doctor prior to ingesting other medications at the same time. Physicians advise against taking prescribed anti-depressants, antihistamines, muscle relaxers, pain medications, sleeping pills and anxiety medications when taking a regimen of Methadone.

Black Box and Recall Warning Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Black Box warning in 2006 for methadone. This action is meant to alert healthcare professionals, patients and consumers about the chance of cardiac toxicities that may be associated with the drug.

By providing FDA alerts, drug information, interactions and drug side effects about prescription and over the counter medications, we can ensure an environment where patients have the best knowledge on their medical treatment and health.