Wednesday June 28th 2017

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Adverse effects of methadone (INFOGRAPHIC)

Adverse effects of methadone (INFOGRAPHIC)

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Methadone affects the whole organism

The major adverse effect of methadone is respiratory depression and other most commonly observed side effects include lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting and sweating. But, methadone also affects how the brain functions, thus changes the way people behave and feel.

Adverse methadone effects on health and life

Through habitual and progressive use, methadone takes a toll on the physical, mental and emotional health, including relationships.

Behavioral effects:

  • loss of enjoyment for the simple things in life
  • indifference towards family, friends and loved ones
  • loss of interest in once enjoyable activities
  • diminished ambitions and professional drive

Physical effects:

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  • loss of appetite
  • loss of restful sleep and sleep disturbances
  • impaired libido
  • menstrual cycle changes
  • difficulty in breathing
  • skin turning cold or clammy
  • urinary retention
  • constipation
  • extremely dry mouth
  • headaches
  • blurred vision
  • liver toxicity

Psychological effects:

  • irritability
  • anger
  • self-criticism
  • feelings of sadness and emptiness
  • depressions
  • mood alterations or mood swings
  • confusion
  • restlessness
  • nervousness

Serious adverse effects and questions

In the case of overdose, emergency medical help should be sought immediately. If people who’ve OD-d are left untreated  they can fall in coma, and experience hallucinations that can lead to self harm or physical harming of other people. In the worst case scenario, death is also possible. Please comment below and share your thoughts or questions, and we’ll try to respond personally and promptly.

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2 Responses to “Adverse effects of methadone (INFOGRAPHIC)
2:10 am September 26th, 2016

I have been on methadone treatment for about 8 months to kick an opiod addiction. I went up to 90mgs but at that dose, I was constantly drowsy. I have started tapering down because I didn’t want to trade one addiction for another. I’m now down to 60mgs per day for the last month. I seem to be having a terrible time with the side effects. I’ve had insomnia pretty much from day 1 of treatment. I’m constantly fatigued. I can never sleep more than an hour without waking and have gained quite a few pounds. To sum it up, I’m just miserable. I previously was on suboxone and had no trouble at all with that particular medication. However, I was kicked out of the program for failing a drug test. In my current methadone program, I have been absolutely clean for 8 months and haven’t failed one drug test. I can honestly say my mental desire to use opiates is under control. It’s getting my body to let go of the dependence that I’m trying to overcome now. I hate the methadone so much, I’d almost consider quitting cold turkey but I’m terrified of ever experiencing withdrawal symptoms again. Does anyone know if going even lower with my dose would help with the side effects? Or what would happen if I stopped completely at this dose with withdrawal symptoms. Perhaps I should try to find another suboxone program. I’m at my wits end. I know I can’t continue with my current quality of life, which is zero quality. I’m also tired of being as much of a slave to the methadone dose as I was previously to pain pills. I just want to put this all behind me but I absolutely don’t want to get sick again. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

8:51 am April 27th, 2017

Bill, I would strongly advise against cold turkey stopping at your high dosage. If you want to detox you should reduce 5 mg every 3 to 5 days until you get down to around 20 mg. Then you should taper more gradually with the final taper taking you fro 5 to 4 to 3 to 2 to 1 mg over a 2 to 4 week period. This 2 to 4 week final taper will be uncomfortable, but not unbearable. I know, as I have done it before when my pain abated for a few years before returning.

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