Methadone Side Effects

Methadone Side Effects

Methadone Side Effects

With short-term use, you may notice side effects like:

Upset stomach or vomiting
Slow breathing
Itchy skin
Heavy sweating
Sexual problems
Weight gain
Sleep changes
Appetite changes
Stomach pain
Dry mouth
Mood changes
Vision problems

Some side effects are more serious. Call the doctor if you have:

Trouble breathing
Fainting or lightheadedness
Hives or a rash
Swollen lips, tongue, throat, or face
Chest pain or a rapid heartbeat
Hallucinations or confusion
A hoarse voice
Trouble swallowing
Severe drowsiness
Unusual menstrual periods

Methadone Risks

Some people shouldn’t take methadone. Tell your doctor if you have:

Heart disease
A heart rhythm disorder
An electrolyte imbalance
Breathing problems or lung disease
A history of head injury, brain tumor, or seizures
Liver or kidney disease
Problems urinating
Gallbladder, pancreas, or thyroid problems
A condition for which you take sedatives

Drugs than can affect methadone include:

Other narcotics
Drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing
Drugs that change your serotonin levels

Make sure to let your providers know about any medications you’re taking.

You can become dependent on methadone. Your brain may begin to rely on the pain relief it brings.

Even though the effects of methadone are different from those of other opioids, your body can still get used to it. This means you might need to take more to feel the same effects. This is called tolerance, and it can happen with any opioid.Your body can also become dependent on methadone and other opioids. Your brain relies on the pain relief they bring, and you have withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them suddenly.

People react to methadone in different ways. Changing your dosage on your own can lead to dangerous side effects or an overdose. Overdose symptoms include:

Slow breathing
Slow heart rate
Severe drowsiness
Weak muscles
Cold, clammy skin
Small pupils

Overdose can be fatal. It’s important to be honest with your doctor about your methadone use.

Methadone Storage and Disposal

Keep methadone:

In its original container
Tightly sealed
Out of children’s reach
At room temperature, away from heat and moisture

If your methadone is expired or if you don’t need to take it anymore, find a safe take-back program or flush it down the toilet. Talk to your pharmacist or treatment provider if you have questions.

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