Methadone Withdrawal and Detox Symptoms Timeline (INFOGRAPHIC)

What happens in the days and weeks after you quit methadone? Find out here. A visual guide of methadone withdrawal symptoms and the TIME OF THEIR APPEARANCE.

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What Is Methadone Withdrawal?

Methadone is a synthetic opioid used to treat pain as well as addiction. However, methadone is a psychoactive drugs. It has been scheduled as Class II drug by the Controlled Substance Act. Moreover, it can be a habit forming drug that can lead to addiction.

While people who become dependent on methadone MAY NOT be addicted to it…dependence comes with some really nasty side effects. For example, when the methadone dose is lowered or if you quit methadone completely after a period of regular, daily dosing… you may experience withdrawal symptoms.

Methadone Withdrawal and Detox Symptoms Timeline (INFOGRAPHIC)

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So, when does methadone withdrawal start?

What are the symptoms of methadone withdrawal?

When do specific symptoms occur during the withdrawal process?

Explore our visual guide below for the answers. We’ve created a timetable of when you can expect symptoms of methadone withdrawal to happen…and outline the process from beginning to end. And, if you like it, feel free to print it out for an office wall, or in your clinic. Or, if you’d like to share this methadone infographic on your website, the embeded code is right below the infographic.

Methadone Withdrawal Timeline

Q: What is methadone withdrawal?

A: It is a set of symptoms that you may undergo if you lower the daily dose or totally quit methadone when you are drug-dependent.

Generally speaking, methadone withdrawal starts when the last dose’s effects fade away. The withdrawal symptoms may manifest three days after dose reduction, and could last 7-10 days. BUT, some users experience longer withdrawal. Keep in mind that methadone withdrawal is best managed under medical supervision.

Below is a list of all symptoms of methadone withdrawal with a timeframe of their occurrence:

0-72 hours after last methadone intake:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Agitation
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sleep disorders

3-7 days after last methadone dose:

  • Anxiety
  • Cravings
  • Face paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability

Week 2 Methadone Withdrawal:

  • Anxiety
  • Cravings
  • Depression
  • Lack of motivation
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep disorders

Week 3 Methadone Withdrawal:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Cravings stabilization
  • Depression
  • Feeling better
  • Irritability

How Long Does Methadone Withdrawal Last?

The period of methadone withdrawal symptoms may last from a week up to few months. It all depends on a person’s individual factors. The factors that contribute to the length or duration of any methadone withdrawal case include:

  • the general health of the individual
  • frequency of methadone use
  • amount of methadone dosage
  • level of methadone dependence

All of these factors influence the length of methadone withdrawal. In general, the longer you’ve been using methadone or the higher the doses, the longer the withdrawal will be,

Moreover, long-term users may also experience post acute symptoms of methadone withdrawal:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disorders

Once you have battled the physical symptoms of methadone withdrawal, you may have to deal with psychological symptoms such as cravings, anxiety, and/or depression. Because of this, the safest way to end methadone is to enroll into rehab program that includes a supervised medical detox.

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Methadone Withdrawal Timeline Questions

If you or a loved one is facing methadone withdrawal, GET HELP.
Call us at 1-877-736-9802 TODAY.
You can turn your life around and start over.

Got questions? Please, feel free to post them in the comments section below. We try to respond to all legitimate inquiries ASAP.

Reference sources: NCBI: Methadone withdrawal psychosis
NCBI: Methadone at tapered doses for the management of opioid withdrawal
SAMHSA: Abrupt Withdrawal from Pain Medications — Information and Caution
NHTSA: Drugs and Human Performance Fact Sheets – Methadone
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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