Methadone is a narcotic used as apainkiller, similar to morphine and some other medications of thistype. However, another important feature of this medication is itsability to reduce the intensity of withdrawal effects that peopleundergo once quitting their heroin or other narcotic addictions.
Methadone is praised for its power torelieve one of pain without triggering any side-effects which lead tointoxication. Also, apart from the above mentioned purposes, thisdrug can also be used for something else. More information aboutmethadone can be found in the remainder of this article.
Methadone Treatment for Opiate Abuse
Methadone was created in 1937. It helpspeople overcome drug addictions of theirs by affecting the samereceptors as other narcotic drugs do, without triggering the symptomsrelated to feeling “high”. Methadone is also popular due to thefact that it is very cheap and easy to obtain, while having a verystrong and prominent effect. Since lower doses of methadone canstabilize patients by mitigating opioid withdrawal syndrome, higherones can even inhibit the euphoric effects that heroin, morphine orsome other, similar drugs can lead to, thereby helping an addictovercome his/her addiction.
However, as far as the generalrecommended usage of methadone is concerned, it varies from onecountry to another.
Yet, methadone, when not takenadequately and with caution, has been known to lead to deaths. Infact, in the US, between the years of 1999 and 2004, the number ofpeople who died due to their exposure to methadone has become 4 timesgreater. In 2004 only, about 3,849 people have died in the US, duringtheir methadone treatment, according to the US National Center forHealth Statistics. If we are to mention the number of deathstriggered by the same cause in 1999, we are bound to notice asignificant difference, since only 790 people lost their lives tomethadone back then.
Therefore, you are to be extremelycautious when using this medication for any of the above mentionedpurposes. Also, while on methadone, you are advised to refrain fromoperating vehicles or machinery. Methadone is known to slow one'sbreathing, especially in cases of overdose. Thus, never take largerdoses of this drug unless your doctor tells you to do so and neverdrink alcohol while on this medication.
Additionally, prior to taking methadonefor the first time, inform your doctor about your medical history.Basically, if present, mention family or personal history ofsuffering from long QT syndrome, asthma, COPD, sleep apnea or someother breathing disorders, liver or kidney disease, hypothyroidism,spine curvature, history of brain injuries or tumors, epilepsy,seizures, hypotension, gallbladder disease, Addison's disease,adrenal gland disorders, prostate or urination-related issues, mentalillness or drug and alcohol abuse.
While it is not certain whethermethadone can or cannot harm a baby while he/she is being breastfedor while he/she is still inside the uterus, you should not take thismedication while pregnant or while breastfeeding unless you doctorconfirms that this is a safe step to take.
All in all, before using methadone,read all the information found with the medication and do not forgetto tell your doctor everything about your medical history, makingsure you avoid getting exposed to any of the side-effects, since manyof these can result in death or some other, serious health problems.
Side-Effects of Methadone
Some of the most common side-effectsrelated to methadone, being considered less dangerous, are dizziness,constipation, drowsiness, nausea, urination problems, contentment,skin rashes, flushed skin, vision problems, decreased libido,impotence, missed menstrual periods, weight gain, loss of appetite,pain in the abdominal area and mood swings. Also, some users reportedwarmth sensation, tooth decay and increased perspiration, relating itto the effects of methadone.
If you have been taking methadone overa longer period of time, you are likely to suffer from hives,itching, rashes and even seizures. Additionally, methadone overdoseresults in confusion, low blood pressure, muscle twitching,respiratory problems, weak pulse, blue discoloration of thefingernails, skin and lips, clammy skin, small pupils, fainting andcoma.
You should keep in mind that combiningmethadone with some other medications can lead to interactions whichcause worsening of the side-effects or appearance of some otherproblems. Either way, you are advised to seek medical assistance assoon as possible whenever you experience any of the above mentionedside-effects after taking methadone.
To conclude, this narcotic painkillercan be used for many purposes, the most common of which is helpingpeople addicted to drugs overcome this state of affairs.Nevertheless, to get the most out of methadone and avoid many of itsadverse effects, you need to follow your doctor's instructionsreligiously and use this drug in the prescribed dosages. Any misuseof methadone is bound to result in health problems, some of which mayeven be deadly.