What are the Common Side Effects of Methadone Treatment?
Like every other medication on the market, methadone can cause side effects. The drug is not dangerous when taken under a doctor’s care, but the side effects that can be associated with its use are important to know and to be able to recognize in case an issue occurs during your treatment.
Common Side Effects of Methadone Treatment
The most common side effects of methadone treatment are similar to those caused by other opioid drugs when taken under a doctor’s care and not abused. However, the National Library of Medicine advises patients to tell their doctor “if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:”
- Loss of appetite
- Weight gain
- Stomach pain
- Dry mouth
- Sore tongue
- Problems urinating
- Mood changes
- Vision problems
- Trouble sleeping
- Decreased sexual desire or ability
- Missed menstrual periods
Most of these side effects are not dangerous. In the event that they occur and do not go away, your doctor can often adjust the amount you are being prescribed in order to help you have a safer, more comfortable experience with methadone treatment.
There are some side effects, though, that can be serious and even potentially harmful. Issues such as seizures, itching, hives, rash, and swelling of the eyes, face, mouth, tongue, or throat are signs that you are allergic to methadone. You must call your doctor or go to the hospital immediately if these issues begin to occur, especially if you begin to feel that your throat is closing up. Rarely, some individuals experience hallucinations, and if this occurs, you should also seek help immediately.
Issues with Methadone Abuse Within Treatment
As stated by the NLM, “In the United States, the most commonly abused opioids are heroin and methadone.” As an unfortunate result, side effects associated with methadone abuse occurring during treatment are more common than they should be. Overdose is particularly dangerous and can lead to respiratory depression, coma, brain damage, and death. If a person stops breathing or is breathing shallowly as the result of methadone abuse, it is important to call 911 immediately and to get them to the hospital. This side effect is serious, and in addition, methadone abuse, just like other opioids when they are abused, can lead to addiction.
Are the Side Effects of Methadone Treatment Dangerous?
Some side effects associated with methadone treatment can be dangerous, and most of these are the side effects caused by methadone abuse. However, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Growing accounts of this medication’s adverse effects… should not overshadow methadone’s proven benefits.” The drug is extremely helpful for the treatment of opioid withdrawal and addiction, as well as for minimizing the chance of relapse, and it is important for patients to focus on these positives. However, certain side effects can be minimized or avoided by talking to your doctor and deciding on a dosage change.
Do You Want to Learn More About Methadone Treatment?
Call 800-891-9360. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about the treatment, its side effects, and its benefits. We can also help you find methadone clinics near you.