5 Common Side Effects of Methadone

Methadone is a medication that is provided in the treatment of opiate dependence to help minimize withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. While most of the side effects of methadone are generally non-life threatening and merely uncomfortable or inconvenient, there are some symptoms that should warrant an immediate call to a doctor such as: difficulty breathing, swelling, dizziness or confusion.

The most common side effects of methadone include:

Drowsiness

methadone treatment effects

Methadone may cause you to have an upset stomach at times.

Taking methadone on a regular basis will generally allow the user to adjust to the dose and the drowsiness that is felt will gradually dissipate. In fact, with consistent use of methadone, drowsiness can actually change into patterns of insomnia or difficulty sleeping. Talk with your doctor about any adverse changes in sleep patterns while taking methadone to ensure that the side effects of methadone are not dangerous or that they are not causing other complications in your life.

Upset Stomach

According to MedlinePlus, methadone can cause various side effects associated with upset stomach such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and abdominal pain. Many similar symptoms are associated with opiate withdrawal but while taking methadone, these symptoms are generally less severe and will subside on their own in time. If you experience any side effects that prevent you from holding down fluids for a prolonged period of time you should seek prompt medical attention as this could lead to dehydration and other serious complications.

Mood Changes

People who take methadone will often experience highs and lows similar to the mood swings experienced by an individual who is bipolar. This is often associated with the use of the medication followed by the subsequent wearing off of the medication. Other mood changes such as anxiety, depression, anger or tension should be closely monitored to ensure patient safety.

Constipation

Most people who take methadone report constipation which is a common side effect of any opioid. As the body adjusts to the medication the constipation may subside but not in all cases. Those who experience constipation while taking methadone should discuss treatment options with their healthcare provider. A laxative can be taken to alleviate the constipation and yogurt or other natural stabilizers can be taken to help regulate the body naturally.

Dry Mouth

Methadone will cause dehydration and dry mouth in most users. This can be counteracted by drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding caffeinated beverages. Dry mouth, sweating and dehydration should all be closely monitored to ensure patient safety while methadone treatment is taking place.