|Drug Class||Opioid agonist|
|Working||Works by preventing the withdrawal symptoms
caused by stopping other opioids
|Peak||Peak plasma concentration achieved between 1
and 7.5 hours
|Treatment Period||Over 12 months|
Methadone 20 mg
Methadone 20 mg is a prescription drug and an opioid. It is a narcotic abstinence syndrome suppressant, which means that it can be used to reduce the effects of withdrawal from another opioid. Since Methadone 20 mg can cause dependence and risks of being misused, it is a controlled substance. It can be consumed in the form of an oral tablet, oral dispersible tablet, oral concentrate solution, and oral solution. Methadone 20 mg oral tablets are also used to deal with moderate to severe pain. It is used when other pain-relieving opioids aren’t working as intended or they cannot be consumed by the patient.
How does Methadone 20 mg work?
Methadone 20 mg is a synthetic opioid agonist that reduces or eliminates the symptoms of withdrawal or reduces the cravings for other drugs. It does so by acting on opioid receptors in the brain. These are the same receptors that other opioids and opioid pain medications activate. While it activates these opioid receptors, it does so more slowly than other opioids. In a person dependent upon opioids, this treatment, therefore, does not produce feelings of euphoria as the medicine is designed to do the opposite.
In adults, the initial dosage for Methadone 20 mg would be once a day until the patient no longer experiences any symptoms of withdrawal. The dosage can be changed depending upon the degree of the dependence of the patient. The aim of the treatment would be a gradual reduction in consumption. In the case of elderly or ill patients, doses should be repeated with extreme caution.
The medication may be taken with or without food. If the patient experiences frequent nausea, they should consume the drug with food. Your doctor may be able to advise you in ways to reduce nausea. The tablets must not be chewed or swallowed. Before taking Methadone 20 mg tablets, dissolve them in 120 milliliters or 4 ounces of water. You may also use an acidic food drink such as orange juice. Drink the complete mixture. If you are consuming this medication to treat pain, take it regularly as directed by the doctor and not based upon impulse.
Side effects of Methadone 20 mg
Some common side effects that one may experience after consuming Methadone 20 mg are:
- Dry mouth
Most of these effects will decrease as the patient continues to use the medicine. However, if any of these symptoms persist, the patient is advised to consult with a doctor.
Constipation can be prevented by eating more dietary fiber and staying hydrated. Your physician may also recommend a laxative. Slow movements when rising from a sitting or lying position can help reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness.
Some side effects can cause severe problems. These must be reported immediately to your doctor:
- Interrupted breathing during sleep or sleep apnea
- Fluctuating mood (agitation, confusion, hallucinations)
- Stomach or abdominal pain
- Difficulty while urinating
- Respiratory failure (shortness of breath, chest pain, etc)
- Low blood pressure
- Loss of appetite, unusual tiredness, or weight loss
- Dilated pupils
- Unusual drowsiness or difficulty waking up.
Very rarely does a person have a serious allergic reaction to this drug. However, inform your doctor immediately if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction such as a rash, itching or swelling, extreme dizziness, and trouble while breathing.
Anyone with the following pre-existing conditions is prohibited from the consumption of Methadone 20 mg:
- Respiratory depression or any obstructive airway disease. Use of Methadone during an acute asthma attack is not recommended.
- Acute alcoholism
- Concurrent administration with MAO inhibitors or within two weeks of discontinuation of treatment
- Patients who are dependent on non-opioid drugs.
- Methadone is not recommended during labor as it may increase the chance of neonatal depression.
- Methadone is not suitable for children.
- Raised intracranial pressure or type of head injury.
- Risk of paralytic ileus
Before taking methadone notify your doctor or pharmacist of any pre-existing allergies. This product may have certain inactive ingredients that could cause allergic reactions or other problems after consumption. Make sure your doctor is aware of your medical history especially if it includes:
- Brain disorders
- Breathing problems
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Any mental/mood disorders
- Any personal or family history of a substance use disorder
- Intestinal problems such as blockage, constipation, diarrhea due to infection, etc.
- Difficulty urinating (such as due to enlarged prostate)
- Gallbladder disease.
Furthermore, the drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive or use any machinery without ensuring the safety of the circumstance.
Methadone 20 mg may also cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm. It is known as QT prolongation. QT prolongation can sometimes result in a fast or irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness or fainting). These symptoms need to be treated right away, so the patient is recommended that they notify their doctor immediately. The risk of QT prolongation is increased if the patient also consumes certain other drugs that may result in this same condition.
Before using Methadone, make sure your pharmacist or doctor knows about every other medication you are consuming. The doctor must also be notified of certain heart problems or a family history of heart problems, should there be any. QT prolongation can also be triggered by low levels of potassium or magnesium in the patient’s blood. The existence of conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting further increases these chances.
Older people may be more heavily impacted by the effects of Methadone 20 mg such as confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, or shallow breathing.
Consult with your doctor if you plan on taking this drug during pregnancy. This drug may pass into breast milk and result in undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Make sure to inform your physician accordingly.
Frequently asked questions:
Can I consume Methadone 20 mg with alcohol?
Alcohol may enhance the effects of the sedative and increase the chances of respiratory depression. Alcohol can also enhance certain effects of the drug such as drowsiness or dizziness. It is therefore advisable to avoid cannabis or alcohol during treatment. Consult your physician if you are using marijuana.
Does Methadone 20 mg make you high?
When administered at the right dosage under the recommendation of a professional, Methadone does not make a person high.
Can I become addicted to Methadone 20 mg?
As it is a controlled substance, there is potential for addiction. Patients who are taking methadone to overcome their addiction (of other opioid drugs) are at a higher risk of getting addicted to the drug because as they already have a history of opioid dependency.
Does Methadone 20 mg show up on a drug screening?
A specific test is required to test the presence of Methadone. A regular drug screening during treatment will not cause the patient to test positive.