6 Situations When Avoiding Methadone May Be a Better Idea
While methadone has helped millions of substance abusers since its inception in the 1960s, it’s not the right choice for everyone.
There’s no shame in admitting methadone might not be right for you. Instead of wallowing in despair and giving up all hope of recovery, simply look into other treatment options.
Need help finding which treatment might be the best for you? Call us now at 800-891-9360 to learn about available clinics, facilities, counseling, and doctors in your area.
You Can’t Follow Dosage Instructions
Methadone is an opioid drug. While it’s commonly prescribed as an addiction treatment, it can become a source of addiction if not taken correctly.
If you think you’ll have problems following your doctor’s dosage pattern, then you should simply avoid methadone altogether. Because methadone has such a long half-life, it can stay in the body for up to 36 hours at a time.
During this period, if you try taking more methadone than your doctor has prescribed, you risk overdosing, which can increase your chances of death.
Instead of methadone, consider looking into behavioral therapy and counseling to help alter your decision-making process.
You Are Taking Certain Medications
Unfortunately, methadone can have an adverse reaction when mixed with certain medications. These can include:
- Certain antibiotics, like erythromycin, clarithromycin, or troleandomycin
- Certain heart medications, like amiodarone, disopyramide, or procainamide
- Certain fungal infection medications, like fluconazole, ketoconazole, or voriconazole
- Certain malaria medications, like halofantrine or chloroquine
- Certain medications for cancer, like sunitinib, lapatinib, or dasatinib
- Certain medications for depression or anxiety
- Certain medications for sleep or seizures
- Certain medications for irregular heartbeat or nausea
If you’re not sure if your medication could pose a problem when mixed with methadone, just consult your doctor.
You Have Certain Medical Conditions
Some medical conditions may limit you from taking methadone. These include:
- Adrenocortical insufficiency
- Liver or kidney problems
- Urethral stricture
- Prostatic hypertrophy
Again, it’s important to communicate with your doctor, as only they know your medical history well enough to determine if your health issues will be a deterrent for methadone treatment.
You Are Having Severe Side Effects
Most patients will experience mild side effects, such as constipation or body aches, when taking methadone. However, for some patients, these side effects can get out of hand.
Signs of a more serious reaction to methadone include:
- Chest pain
- Hallucinations or mental confusion
- Problems breathing or respiratory depression
- Feeling faint or dizzy
- Developing a rash, hives, or swelling
- Fast heartbeat
During your first dose of methadone, you will be closely monitored to ensure you aren’t having any of these side effects.
You Can’t Make Daily Trips to the Clinic
One big drawback about methadone maintenance treatment is that it requires daily visits to a methadone clinic.
For patients without reliable transportation or with jobs that don’t accommodate an hour break in the morning, this can be hard to manage.
If you don’t think you’ll be able to commit to this type of schedule, it’s probably best to seek another type of treatment, such as buprenorphine.
You Can’t Handle Stigmatization
Unfortunately, there’s still a fair bit of stigmatization around the use of methadone as a treatment for addiction.
Many people simply see it as replacing one addiction for another, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.
However, until this public opinion is altered, it may keep people away from methadone due to the fear of being called out or thought less of.
The best way to determine if methadone is right for you is to visit your doctor.
However, if you’re still afraid to admit you have a drug addiction, we can help you over the phone.