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Methadone withdrawal

How to stop taking methadone?

How to stop taking methadone?

March 7th, 2017

Are you looking for ways to stop methadone use? Quitting methadone use depends on proper tapering, your physical and emotional health, as well as your personality and expectations. More about stopping methadone safely, here.

15 The real dangers of methadone

The real dangers of methadone

March 2nd, 2015

Tolerance to and dependence on methadone can develop with chronic or indefinite use. What are some of the other dangers of long term methadone use? We review here.

19 How to withdraw from methadone

How to withdraw from methadone

January 12th, 2014

The best way to withdraw from methadone is using tapering protocol under medical supervision. More on what to expect as you withdraw from methadone here.

2 What is methadone withdrawal?

What is methadone withdrawal?

December 14th, 2013

Methadone withdrawal is a process during which the body normalizes after a period of drug dependence. Methadone withdrawal symptoms usually mimic the flu and persist for 7-10 days after last use. More on methadone withdrawal here.

19 What are methadone withdrawal symptoms?

What are methadone withdrawal symptoms?

November 5th, 2013

Methadone withdrawal symptoms often mimic the flu and include a runny nose, watery eyes, chills, trembling, aches, and nausea. More on what to expect during methadone withdrawal here.

Methadone withdrawal

Methadone is a synthetic opioids that is used in treating pain and treating addiction. Classified as Scheduled II drug by the Controlled Substance Act, methadone is both habit forming and potentially addictive. More here on methadone withdrawal with a section at the end for your questions.

When does methadone withdrawal start?

Methadone withdrawal starts when the methadone dose is lowered or quit completely. This withdrawal is not like the other opioid withdrawals: it stars a while after the last methadone intake. Usually, methadone withdrawal symptoms manifest three days after dose reduction, and could last 7-10 days. However, because every individual reacts differently to the drug, withdrawal symptoms may be different and could last from several weeks to month on a case-by-case basis.

Methadone withdrawal symptoms

In general, methadone withdrawal symptoms are not as severe or intense as other opioid withdrawal symptoms. They are typically flu-like symptoms. But why does withdrawal occur in the first place? What’s the brain science behind the discomfort?

Methadone affects the brain by blocking areas that cause euphoria while occupying receptors to postpone symptoms of opiate or opioid withdrawal. However, after consuming methadone daily for a certain period of time, the body creates gets used to the presence of the drug. This means that the body has become methadone dependant, has adapted by speeding up some actions and slowing down others. For methadone dependent people, the body can function “normally” only in the presence of methadone.

When you experience methadone withdrawal symptoms, the body is actually seeking homeostasis. Methadone withdrawal is the process during which the human system gets rid of a drug and stabilizes. The reason why withdrawal happens is that the brain is trying to maintain balanced after the body has become methadone tolerant. Moreover, the symptoms are just like flu. The most common symptoms which are reported during methadone withdrawal include:

  • chills
  • pain in the muscles or bones
  • restlessness
  • runny nose
  • sleeping disorder(s)
  • sweating
  • watery eyes

Methadone withdrawal timing

Usually, methadone withdrawal symptoms manifest three days after the last dose. Acute withdrawal usually lasts for 7-10 days, but if the methadone use was long-term, some symptoms can persist for several weeks or months, especially those related to mood and sleep.

Methadone withdrawal tips

Going through methadone withdrawal can be uncomfortable. In one word, be organized. Consult with medical professionals ahead of time. Be prepared with the support, aids, and therapies that you’ll need during this time. And always consult with a doctor and an/or addiction professional to support and guide you through the process. You may require a structured methadone addiction treatment if you’ve been taking methadone for a long period of time or abused it illegally.

Further, creating an individualized tapering calendar and sticking to it can help minimize the severity or intensity of symptoms. Plus, over-the-counter aids are excellent for over passing methadone withdrawal symptoms more easily. Be sure to drink fluids to avoid dehydration. Also, consider the user of body and mind therapies to focus your energies on your recovery and to help motivate you through withdrawal.

Methadone withdrawal questions

This article only covers the basic points about methadone withdrawal symptoms. If you still have any questions and/or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us in the comments section below. All your comments are welcomed and appreciated. We try to respond to all legitimate concerns with a personal and prompt response.

Reference Sources: NCBI: Use of methadone
NCBI: Neurotransmitter mechanisms of morphine withdrawal syndrome
CPSO: When and How to tapper opioids
SAMHSA: Abrupt Withdrawal from Pain Medications- Information and Caution
NHTSA: Methadone
NIH: Methadone withdrawal psychosis
Teen Drug Abuse: The word of the day: Withdrawal

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4 Responses to “Methadone withdrawal
2:32 am November 5th, 2016

Can you tell me your source(s) for your statement “In general Methadone withdrawal symptoms are not as severe or intense as other opioid withdrawal symptoms.”? Do you – or does anyone – know why it is not as “severe or intense”? Thanks

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
12:31 pm November 22nd, 2016

Hi Natalie. Here’s our source to that statement:

11:35 pm January 20th, 2017

I’ve been on Methadone for approx. 10 years for severe back & neck pain after being a Paramedic.
For the past 3 years I’ve been on 40 mg day and I want to get off of it. I turned 60 last year and want to be able to live without it. I weaned myself off of it very slowly and it’s day 24 today. I’m weak, trouble walking & we have stairs in our home. I have clonazepam 1 mg., Baclofen, and Gabapentin but these make me more tired but I’m taking them at different times of the day.
Would you have any idea on how long I’m going to be feeling like this? Any help would be appreciated!
Thank you, Carolee

3:51 pm April 5th, 2017

Carole, methadone is a terrible drug! I’ve been prescribed it as a cheaper alternative for 6 years after being on morphine for many years after an almost fatal accident to my spine. I’m at day four of totally stopping! I would rather morphine withdrawal any day as the pain is so bad! Get off it like I’m doing and try some other alternative. My withdrawal was by accident as the country I now live in (Indonesia) has closed the clinic due to ceremonies and the hospital can not even contact any staff for assistance! So I’ve had enough and sick of the dependence it makes

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