Abuse of prescription opioids is a growing problem. The number of methadone pain pills distributed now exceeds liquid methadone used in opioid treatment. Learn about the methadone abuse and effects on the body.
Methadone is part of a category called opioids. It was created by German doctors during World War II. When it arrived in the United States, it was used to treat people with extreme pain. Today, your doctor may use it as part of your treatment for an addiction to heroin or narcotic painkillers.
It works a lot like morphine does. You can take it as a tablet, a powder, or a liquid. It must be prescribed by a doctor. People who take it illegally often inject it, which exposes them to diseases like HIV. Even though it’s safer than some other narcotics, your doctor should keep a close watch on you while you take Methadone. Taking it can lead to addiction or abuse.
Methadone changes the way your brain and nervous system respond to pain so that you feel relief. Methadone helps if you’re in treatment for addiction to other opioids. It can give a similar feeling and prevent withdrawal symptoms. You may hear this called replacement therapy. Methadone replaces the opioids in your system with milder effects.
With short-term use, you may notice:
Some methadone side effects are more serious. Call the doctor if you:
If you use the drug for a long time, it might lead to lung and breathing problems. It can also change a woman’s menstrual cycle. If you get pregnant, talk to your doctor about changing your dose. It can cause complications.
Some people cannot take Methadone. Consult your physician if you have: