Information, uses, dosage and side effects of METHADONE HYDROCHLORIDE.
Drug Description of Methadone
Methadone, sold under the brand names Dolophine among others, is a synthetic opioid agonist used for opioid maintenance therapy in opioid dependence and for chronic pain management. Detoxification using methadone can be accomplished in less than a month, or it may be done gradually over as long as six months. While a single dose has a rapid effect, maximum effect can take up to five days of use. The pain-relieving effects last about six hours after a single dose. After long-term use, in people with normal liver function, effects last 8 to 36 hours. Methadone is usually taken by mouth and rarely by injection into a muscle or vein.
Uses of Methadone
- Methadone is used to manage pain severe enough to require daily around-the-clock, long-term treatment with an opioid, when other pain treatments such as non-opioid pain medicines or immediate-release opioid medicines do not treat your pain well enough or you cannot tolerate them.
- Methadone is used for the treatment of opioid use disorder. It may be used as a maintenance therapy or in shorter periods for detoxification to manage opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Dosage and Administration
Consider the following important factors that differentiate methadone from other opioid analgesics:
- There is high interpatient variability in absorption, metabolism, and relative analgesic potency. Population-based equianalgesic conversion ratios between methadone and other opioids are not accurate when applied to individuals.
- The duration of analgesic action of methadone is 4 to 8 hours (based on single-dose studies) but the plasma elimination half-life is 8 to 59 hours.
- Steady-state plasma concentrations, and full analgesic effects, are not attained until at least 3 to 5 days on a dose, and may take longer in some patients.
Initiate the dosing regimen for each patient individually, taking into account the patient’s prior analgesic treatment experience and risk factors for addiction, abuse, and misuse.
Discontinue all other around-the-clock opioid drugs when methadone hydrochloride tablets therapy is initiated. Deaths have occurred in opioid-tolerant patients during convers ion to methadone.
Side Effects of Methadone
- Side effects are similar to those of other opioids. These frequently includes dizziness, sleepiness, vomiting, and sweating. Serious risks include opioid abuse and respiratory depression. Abnormal heart rhythms may also occur due to a prolonged QT interval. Risks are greater with higher doses.
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