Methadone Frequently Asked Questions

Like many, you may have an interest in the use of methadone to treat opioid addiction. While this may be the best treatment for you at the present time, it is not a decision you can make on your own.

Overcoming your addiction is nothing to take lightly, and for this reason you need to learn as much as possible about the use of methadone before getting started.

Your doctor, or the clinic at which you are receiving treatment, can discuss the pros and cons of methadone use. Additionally, the medical professionals you are relying on can answer any questions that may be on your mind.

Here are several frequently asked questions associated with methadone treatment:

Can I purchase methadone to use on my own without medial supervision?

The answer to this question is simple: absolutely not. This is a prescription medication that has many potential side effects. For this reason, you should only take the drug if it has been prescribed by a medical professional.

Your doctor will oversee your treatment with methadone, ensuring that you are moving forward in the right direction and not dealing with any major side effects along the way.

What are some of the most common side effects of methadone treatment?

This can and will differ from one person to the next, however, here is a short list of the most common side effects:

  • Anxious or nervous feeling
  • Trouble getting to sleep
  • Drowsiness
  • Weak feeling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Impotence
  • Decreased sex drive

While not as common, there are side effects that can occur which are much more severe. These include:

  • Abnormally low blood pressure
  • Feeling faint
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Collapsed lung
  • Decrease in lung function
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Trouble breathing
  • Feeling of confusion

Can I become addicted to methadone, just like the drug I am trying to overcome?

This is a common concern, especially for those who are not familiar with methadone maintenance.

Through the use of methadone, your goal is to counteract the craving for the drug, such as heroin, that you have been abusing.

Yes, methadone can become addictive but you are using this treatment under the watchful eye of a medical professional.

As you stop using methadone, once your treatment is complete, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. These can last several days, but can be treated by your doctor in a variety of ways.

How long will I need to rely on medication-assisted treatment with methadone?

It goes without saying that you want to achieve results as soon as possible. This is something to discuss with your medical team, but most people stay in treatment for a year or longer. In some cases, patients need to continue with the treatment indefinitely.

Studies have shown that patients who rely on methadone treatment for less than three months typically show no improvement. After several months of treatment, patients begin to see the benefits.

These are a few of the most frequently asked questions regarding methadone treatment. If you have additional questions, speak with your doctor or contact a reputable methadone clinic in your area.