Methadone has a risk for abuse and addiction, which can lead to overdose and death. Methadone may also cause severe, possibly fatal, breathing problems and heartbeat problems. To lower your risk, your doctor should have you use the smallest dose of methadone that works, and use it for the shortest possible time. Do not increase your dose or use this medication more often than directed. See also How to Use section for more information about addiction.
The risk for severe breathing problems or heartbeat problems is higher when you start this medication, when you are switching from another opioid to methadone, after a dose increase, or if you use the wrong dose/strength. Breathing problems from methadone may not happen right away after using a dose. Most heartbeat problems have happened in people using large doses of methadone for pain relief, but this problem can also occur in people getting smaller doses to treat opioid addiction. Using this medication with alcohol or other drugs that can cause drowsiness or breathing problems may cause very serious side effects, including death. Also, other medications can affect the removal of methadone from your body, which may affect how methadone works. Be sure you know how to use methadone and what other drugs you should avoid taking with it. See also Drug Interactions section. Get medical help right away if any of these very serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, unusual lightheadedness, severe drowsiness/dizziness, difficulty waking up, fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting.
Keep this medicine in a safe place to prevent theft, misuse, or abuse. If someone accidentally uses or swallows this drug, get medical help right away.
Before using this medication, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the risks and benefits. Pregnancy may affect the amount of this drug in your body, so tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may slightly increase the risk of birth defects if used during the first two months of pregnancy. Also, using it for a long time or in high doses near the expected delivery date may harm the unborn baby. To lessen the risk, use the smallest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Babies born to mothers who use this drug for a long time may develop severe (possibly fatal) withdrawal symptoms. Tell the doctor right away if you notice any symptoms in your newborn baby such as crying that doesn't stop, slow/shallow breathing, irritability, shaking, vomiting, diarrhea, poor feeding, or difficulty gaining weight.
This medication is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Methadone is an opioid medication. It acts on certain centers in the brain to relieve pain.This medication is also used to treat addiction to opioids (such as heroin) as part of an approved treatment program. It helps prevent withdrawal symptoms caused by stopping other opioids.
How to use Methadone HCL Syringe
See also Warning section.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet that may be provided by your pharmacist before you start using methadone and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Depending on your product, this medication is given by injection into a vein, into a muscle, or under the skin. Use it exactly as directed by your doctor. Read and learn all of the manufacturer's instructions for preparation and use. If you have any questions about using this medication properly, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Before injecting each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. If this medication is given into a muscle or under the skin, it is important to change the location of the injection site with each dose to avoid problem areas under the skin.
Learn how to store and discard needles and medical supplies safely. Consult your pharmacist for more details.
If nausea occurs, consult your doctor or pharmacist for ways to decrease it (such as lying down for 1 to 2 hours with as little head movement as possible).
If you are using this medication for pain, remember that pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
Suddenly stopping this medication may cause withdrawal, especially if you have used it for a long time or in high doses. To prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have any withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, mental/mood changes (including anxiety, trouble sleeping, thoughts of suicide), watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, diarrhea, sweating, muscle aches, or sudden changes in behavior.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Your doctor may need to increase your dose or change your medication. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Use this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not get better or if it gets worse.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.