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What is Methadone?

Methadone is a synthetic opioid that falls in the category of narcotic pain relievers. It is similar to morphine in its pain relief properties, but is often used when morphine and other opioid pain relievers have failed to manage symptoms.

Methadone is a helpful drug, but it also comes with serious risk. If used improperly, it can cause addiction and death, so use and side effects must be monitored carefully by a health care professional.

Uses for Methadone

Methadone is used to treat severe or chronic pain, but its other primary use is to treat drug addiction as a form of detox. It bears similarities to the drug heroin, and is therefore used as a method for helping people wean themselves off heroin and other narcotic drugs slowly.

Methadone provides the same "high" effect as heroin, but works slowly, and does not provide the same "rush" feeling that is so highly addictive with drugs like heroin. The high with methadone lasts longer, which means it can help addicts go longer without feeling a need for the drug.

Possible Side Effects of Methadone

Methadone has many serious side effects, including slowing breathing. If too much methadone is taken, it can slow breathing to the point of death. Taking too little methadone (or rather, stopping its use suddenly) can lead to severe symptoms of withdrawal. Methadone is also addictive, so dosage and treatment must be monitored carefully by a medical professional.

Methadone may react to other drugs, such as morphine, codeine, Oxycontin, Percocet and more. It also carries risk for people with certain conditions, such as underactive thyroid, epilepsy, low blood pressure, liver disease, kidney disease, gallbladder disease, mental illness and more. Always provide your doctor with a complete medical history before taking methadone.

Warnings About Methadone

The information listed here regarding methadone is for reference purposes only, and should not be used in place of medical advice. Always consult a doctor before introducing a new medication into your health regimen for correct dosage and treatment information, proper monitoring and further side effects or possible interactions with other medications.

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