Side Effects of Methadone

The use of methadone to treat opioid addiction has been around for more than 45 years. Although these tablets have many benefits, it is important to note that there are side effects as well. Like any prescription medication, it is important to be aware of any side effects that could play a role during the treatment process.

Generally speaking, the side effects of methadone are nothing to be concerned about. While there are common concerns, some of which you are likely to face, the benefits of taking this medication are much greater.

Methadone dosing is based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to age, medical condition, and other medications being taken. It is important for you to take the appropriate dose of methadone, ensuring the best results without an increased chance of serious side effects.

Methadone can react negatively with other medications, such as sedatives, muscle relaxers, tranquilizers, and other pain medications.

Before you get started with methadone treatment, be sure your doctor is aware of any other medications you are taking.

Common Methadone Side Effects

Here is a short list of the most common methadone 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

These are the most common side effects of methadone. You may experience some of these, all of these, or none of these.

Severe Side Effects

There are other side effects of methadone that are not nearly as common, however, you should still be aware of these due to the fact that they can be severe:

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

Rare Side Effects

Anybody who goes through methadone treatment is going to respond in a unique way. Most only experience common side effects, but this doesn’t mean there are not others you shouldn’t be aware of.

Here is a list of rare side effects that require immediate medical attention:

  • Increased spinal fluid pressure
  • Complete stoppage of the heart
  • Very rapid heartbeat
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Seizures
  • Rash
  • Shock
  • Bronchospasm
  • Low blood potassium
  • Low blood magnesium

As you can see, there are many side effects of methadone. Some of these are easy enough to deal with during treatment, while others will require the immediate attention of a medical professional.

Before you begin methadone treatment, it is essential to discuss these side effects with your doctor. This will give you a better understanding of what to expect, how to pinpoint any problems, and what you can do to relieve yourself of any side effects that may be posing a problem.

Just like any other prescription medication, there are side effects associated with methadone. What you need to know is this: the benefits of this treatment far outweigh the potential for any side effects.

If you know the side effects of methadone before starting treatment, it is easier to deal with anything that comes your way.