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Methadone Treatment Symptoms

Posted on :  July 22nd, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Being addicted to opioids is no picnic, but there are treatments that work. One of the most successful treatments for opioid addiction is methadone. But, like all prescription treatments, there are side effects that show up as different types of symptoms. Before you commit to a methadone treatment program, like the programs offered at Towards Recovery, it is important to understand what could happen to you while you are involved in a methadone treatment program.

Pain Relief and Maintenance with Detox

Methadone is actually used as a pain reliever to calm the symptoms that occur when opioid addicts go through withdrawal to help with detox and maintenance. There are several side effects that can occur while taking methadone. They include insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and general weakness.

Important Interactions to Know

When a physician prescribes methadone, he or she uses the patient’s age and physical condition. The physician also has to consider other medications that the patient might be taking. Methadone can have interactions with narcotics, muscle relaxers, and sedatives. Methadone will interact with other medications that slow breathing and affect the heart. It can also interact with HIV medication, antibiotics, diuretics, and seizure prescriptions, too. Because of the variety of interactions with so many different medications, it is wise for patients to be very clear with the therapists and physicians at methadone clinics before the drug is prescribed. It can also interact with supplements.

Pregnant Women and Opioids

Women who are pregnant should also inform their therapists and physicians if they are in need of a methadone treatment. Since all opioids can create addiction to a fetus, it is important for pregnant women to inform their physicians of their situation. Methadone is a drug that can pass to a baby through breast milk, too.

When to Get Immediate Attention

Methadone can create symptoms that require immediate medical attention. There have been cases where people have had allergic reactions that have created hives and swelling, like anaphylactic shock. Just like any other serious allergic reaction, it is important to call 911 immediately.

Other instances that should involve an immediate call to emergency include having hallucinations or confusion, shallow breathing, any type of chest pain or dizziness, and/or the feeling of light-headedness and difficulty breathing.

Less Serious Side Effects

The side-effects that are less serious, and more common include psychological problems, sleep-related problems, and sexual issues. Many people who take methadone report a sensation of nervousness or anxiety. They also have difficulty sleeping, but still feel drowsy. Many people also experience digestive issues ranging from dry mouth and vomiting to loss of appetite and constipation. Many people also have a decreased sex drive and may have difficulty orgasm-ing.

Issues with Tolerance

People who do not have a tolerance to opioids are in the highest risk for having adverse side effects. They can include systemic hypotension that can lead to death from respiratory and/or cardiac arrest, as well as shock. This is a danger that can occur when a person takes someone else’s prescription methadone. It is especially dangerous when children do this.

Proper Labeling with Methadone

Methadone should be properly labeled with the categorical side effects. It is important that the drug is labeled to show the problems that can come from addiction and misuse as well as the dangers of respiratory depression. The drug should also be labeled with neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome – which is treatable, but can be painful for the baby and troubling for the mother. The drug should also be labeled with hypotensive effects and gastrointestinal effects. Methadone can also create seizures and it should be clearly labeled.

It is important that patients at methadone clinics know what to expect when they are prescribed the drug. They should also be sure to inform their therapist if any negative symptoms do occur.

At Towards Recovery Clinics, we can help addicts work their way back to a healthy, addiction-free lifestyle. Contact us at 905-527-2042 for more information.

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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