Methadone Treatment And Its Dangerous Side Effects
Methadone is a common method of opioid addiction treatment, and has been used in that capacity since the 1960s. For some, it is the most effective and accessible option available. As effective as it is, it unfortunately has some serious side effects that can pose a danger for patients.
When you call 800-891-9360(Who Answers?) for help for your addiction, please keep in mind the dangerous side effects of methadone treatment.
It Can Be Addictive
Under the Controlled Substances Act, methadone is categorized as a Schedule II drug, the DEA states. Its usage is only considered legal when done under a doctor’s supervision and for a legitimate medical purpose.
This is largely because it carries the same effects and traits that other opioids have. As a result, it can be abused and cause dependency. For some, methadone treatment is considered to be trading one addiction for another.
It Interacts Poorly With Other Medications
It is not uncommon for patients to have a serious medical problem with methadone treatment when they are using other medications, regardless of the legal status of those medications. Medications for heart or blood pressure, seizures, diuretics, sedatives, and HIV medicines often have a negative reaction when paired with methadone.
As effective as methadone may be, if you are taking any other medications to treat other conditions, it may not be an option. Some medications that a person may be prescribed might be necessary for other health conditions or as a part of their treatment. Before starting addiction treatment, make sure that your treatment provider is aware of any and all medications and supplements that you take.
It Can Lead to Respiratory Problems
Methadone is a synthetic opioid, so it functions in the same way that naturally occurring opiates do. According to the NIDA, opioids, like heroin, affect opioid receptors that control the body’s response to pain and reward. These receptors are located in the brain stem, which controls life-sustaining functions like respiration and blood pressure.
Opioids, synthetic or natural, can impair the brain stem’s functions. It is not uncommon for methadone to cause a patient to have shallow breathing or difficulty breathing. Hypoxia is also a common problem as a result of respiratory issues, where there is tissue damage due to a lack of oxygen.
It Affects Pregnant Women and Their Children
Methadone is often considered to be safe for pregnant patients, as it prevents withdrawal symptoms that can trigger premature birth or miscarriage. However, the drug can pass through the mother to the fetus in utero, and expose the child to all of the same side effects that methadone has.
When the child is born, it will often be dependent on the drug and will quickly begin withdrawal—which can be fatal for newborns as they often do not have the strength or stamina to handle such a task.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please know that help is available. Call 800-891-9360(Who Answers?) for the opportunity to speak with one of our caring specialists about your treatment options.