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Methadone Treatment Withdrawal Symptoms

Posted on :  June 24th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

While methadone maintenance treatment is one of the most successful and beneficial ways to treat harmful opioid addiction, there could come a time when the former addict has to stop taking methadone. Since methadone is an opioid, stopping the therapy can create unwanted withdrawal symptoms.

Even though methadone does have its own withdrawal issues, the drug helps those who are addicted to opioids live a healthier life away from the dangers of heroin and prescription opioids. It is still a viable option for men and women who want to get away from the forceful cravings that come with opioid addiction.

How Symptoms Will Differ

Men and women who use methadone can develop a dependence on the drug, even though it does take a long time. Unfortunately, there are always some people who take their dependence too far and will abuse the drug that helped them fight the original drug of abuse. The problems come when people try to go “cold turkey” off of methadone. There are withdrawal symptoms that can appear just a few hours after the last dose was taken. Those who are dependent on methadone will need to work with a health care provider who understands the proper method for detoxing from the prescription drugs. With the right program, those with dependency to methadone can overcome the dependency safely and effectively.

The methadone withdrawal symptoms will vary from patient to patient. The symptoms are dependent on the dosage the patient has been taking and what other drugs the patient is also taking. If the patient has other medical issues, like mental health disorders, the withdrawal symptoms can be different than people who do not have other issues. The symptoms can also change depending on whether or not the patient was actually working in a methadone maintenance program or just buying methadone off of the street.

Easy Symptoms to Manage

The symptoms can be easy to manage, like having a runny nose, watery eyes, and restlessness. The symptoms can also become more difficult to manage, like having diarrhea and stomach cramping along with vomiting and nausea. Along with the digestive issues, those who are detoxing can also experience a lack of appetite.

More Uncomfortable Symptoms

Some of the more uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms include having dilated pupils, goosebumps, as well as sweating and shaking. These symptoms are also usually accompanied with the chills and aching muscles. It is also common to have insomnia as well as a noticeable increase in sensitivity to pain. These physical problems are often accompanied by anxiety and irritability. Most people will notice a combination of these symptoms, as well as the lighter symptoms in less than a day after the final dosage of methadone. In many cases, the symptoms will last for a few weeks or months.

Using Buprenorphine as an Alternative

The length and severity of the withdrawal symptoms are the reason why so many people will seek assistance to ease them. Those who are addicted to opioids often take methadone to avoid the painful symptoms that come with opioid withdrawal. They take the drug in a controlled setting with clinicians who follow the maintenance therapy closely. Some physicians will suggest an alternative to methadone called buprenorphine. This drug will help relieve withdrawal symptoms so the former addict has an easier time becoming 100% free of drugs.

Medications to Ease Withdrawal Symptoms

Physicians who are helping patients withdraw from methadone might prescribe some medications that help with specific withdrawal symptoms. If a patient is having difficulty sleeping, a physician might prescribe a safe sleep aid. If a patient is experiencing excessive nausea, there is medication to help keep food down. While medications may not curb all of the withdrawal symptoms, they will help reduce the discomfort of them for a while.

If you have any questions or concerns about methadone treatment options for recovery, please contact us at 905-527-2042 or email at

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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