If used properly following under strict supervision methadone is an effective medication for severe pain. As a long-lasting drug, experts use it for Methadone Maintenance Treatment or MMT. For users who have been addicted to opiates such as heroin, MMT can ease the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. The medication also helps the user’s chance of recovery in preventing relapses, a common occurrence during rehab. Even during this MMT, health care providers need to meticulously monitor administering the drug to prevent overdose and further withdrawal symptoms. Methadone contains a long-lasting drug life which stays in the system for as long as 56 hours. If another dose is taken too soon, it can lead to a fatal drug overdose.
Quick facts about Methadone
- Between the year 2001 to 2007, methadone abuse drastically increased seven-fold when doctors begun prescribing it as a pain reliever.
- In a report about drug overdose in Florida that spans over five years, methadone ranks as the second cause of death. Cocaine still tops the list for drug overdoses fatalities.
- In the US, methadone overdose fatalities increased about 400% from the year 2001 until 2004.
- The most common effects of methadone are addiction, drug overdose and death.
- Users typically combine methadone with other drugs and alcohol which lead to drug overdose.
- Any substance that contains the following can increase the dangerous effects of methadone, these are:
Methadone Side Effects
- Weight gain
- Intolerance to heat
- Low blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Loss of sexual interest
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty urinating
- Swelling of hands and arms, feet and legs
A separate study conducted in New Zealand added health hazards which include:
- Sleep disturbances
- Dental problems
- Hay fever
Several symptoms of methadone users
- People who abuse methadone suffers from poorer health condition than the other group of population.
- 42% of methadone users also suffer psychological problems like depression.
- Users tend to have the poor diets, skipping meals for days and have cravings for sweet foods.
- Methadone users also have difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep because of nightmares.
Effects of Methadone in PregnancyWhen a woman takes methadone during her pregnancy, her newborn suffers. The baby may suffer withdrawal symptoms that of adults after birth. However, the mother may not suffer from the withdrawal symptoms.
Some of the withdrawal symptoms include:
- weight gain or weight loss
- over activeness
- poor appetite
- trouble sleeping
- Stomach or intestinal spasm
- Small pinpoint pupils
- Blue lips and fingernails
- Muscle twitches
- Limp muscles
- Cold, clammy skin
- Difficulty breathing
- Stopped breathing
- Shallow breathing
- Slow breathing
- Sudden death
- Activated charcoal medication
- Fluids via intravenous
- Breathing tube
- An antidote to reverse the effects of the drug
- A tube inserted through the mouth into the stomach to wash it out (gastric lavage)
- Induced vomiting
Side Effects of Methadone See more on: www.detoxofsouthflorida.com/