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Methadone Withdrawal and Detox Symptoms Timeline (INFOGRAPHIC)

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.

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

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4 Responses to “Methadone Withdrawal and Detox Symptoms Timeline (INFOGRAPHIC)
3:27 am March 19th, 2018

Hi, I have been weaning off of methadone for 5 months. I went from 20mg and am currently at .5 mg. I am wondering if I can just jump off of it now, or if I need to bring it down to closer to nothing. My withdrawals over the past months have been moderate, and tolerated with a lot of help from other pharmaceuticals. My doctor gave me xanax, clonidine, tizanidine. my biggest issues have been RLS and insomnia. Any advice for the last .5mg?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
12:30 pm March 26th, 2018

Hi Kathy. The last dose is the hardest to quit… I suggest that you bring it down closer to nothing.

3:17 am April 1st, 2018

Hi, I have been on Methadone for 14 years. 100 Mlgs. for 5 years been going down slowly ,,I mean slowly since then I am on 74 now. The Methadone clinic where I go does not really push stopping or coming down or off. I am one of many in my shoes here. I only ever took pain medication and took it legally but the doctor gave me to much and I was suggested Methadone I wish I hadnt started it. I live in the south in NC to be exact (Western NC) we had a therapist from up north somewhere came in and couldnt believe I had been there so long and hadnt been told to come down I know others whom have been there 22 to 25 years on same dosage. What would you think as someone not linked to my clinic or doctor or in it for business advantages think I should come down or do.
Thank you for your time.
Jeremiah from western NC

Waismann Method of Rapid Opiate Detox Center
9:57 pm July 9th, 2018

Methadone withdrawal does not have to be this lengthy or brutal anymore. It is amazing how many patients we see that are pleasantly surprised to find out they can come off methadone in a hospital under anesthesia.

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