Common Side Effects of Methadone Treatment
Methadone treatment does not have very many intense side effects for patients, and those most individuals experience are side effects they are accustomed to from previous use of opioids. However, it is still important to know and to be able to recognize the common side effects of methadone treatment.
Mild Side Effects Caused By Methadone Treatment
The reason individuals going through opioid addiction recovery are often suggested to take methadone treatment is because the medication can be taken daily without causing euphoria, drowsiness, and other severe issues associated with opioid drug abuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Properly prescribed, methadone is not intoxicating or sedating and does not interfere with ordinary activities like driving a car.” Still, like all medications, it can cause certain side effects of its own, even when it is prescribed and dosed correctly.
As stated by the National Library of Medicine, below are some of the most common side effects caused by methadone treatment:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight gain
- Stomach pain
- Dry mouth
- Sore tongue
- Difficulty urinating
- Mood changes
- Vision problems
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Decreased sexual desire or ability
- Missed menstrual periods
Most of the time, these side effects are minimal. However, the NLM does urge patients to tell their doctor if “any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away.”
Dangerous Side Effects of Methadone Treatment
A few of the side effects associated with methadone can be dangerous, and those who experience them should talk to their doctor immediately or call 911. These are less common than the ones listed above, but it is still important to take note of them, as some individuals may experience them without realizing why.
In certain cases, people have been allergic to methadone, and this issue can cause itching, hives, rash, swelling of the eyes, face, mouth, tongue, or throat, hoarseness, and difficulty breathing or swallowing. If you happen to experience these symptoms, it is important to get to the hospital immediately and then to be switched to another medication once you are able to discuss it with your doctor.
In addition, seizures can sometimes occur as the result of methadone treatment, but this is a very rare issue. Some individuals have also experienced hallucinations. If you begin to experience either of these symptoms, you should be brought to the hospital right away.
Most of the dangerous side effects occur if a person begins abusing their methadone treatment. They could then experience severe respiratory depression as the result of an overdose or other issues. This is why it is so important that methadone must always be taken as prescribed and never in higher doses.
Methadone Treatment and Its Impact on You
As stated by the NIDA, “No one treatment is appropriate for everyone.” However, methadone is a safe and effective medication when taken as prescribed for the treatment of opioid dependency and addiction. Most individuals who take it find it to be very beneficial and do not experience any severe or problematic side effects. If you have more questions about the drug itself or its use as an opioid addiction treatment, call 800-891-9360.