methadone-anonymous

Methadone HCL Tablet, Soluble. ... This medication is used to treat addiction to opioids (such as heroin) as part of an approved treatment program. Methadone belongs to a class of drugs known as opioid (narcotic) analgesics.

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Friday, December 20, 2019

Methadone - Purpose, Uses, Side Effects, and Risks

Methadone - Purpose, Uses, Side Effects, and Risks
Methadone

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Methadone is a powerful synthetic opioid. It is mainly used to alleviate moderate to severe pain (Dolmed® 5 mg tablets), as well as opioid substitution therapy (e.g. Methadone Martindale Pharma® solution 2 mg/ml). Like other opioids taken for drug intoxication, methadone causes physical and mental dependence.

Throughout the world, methadone is still a drug widely used as a powerful painkiller. The applicability of methadone for the treatment of heroin addiction was first shown scientifically in 1965. Methadone is the most common opioid substitution treatment in Europe. In Finland, 40% of opioid substitution patients receive methadone, which is more than 700 patients. In Finland, there are approximately 4-6 thousand people who abuse opioids, and often they use different drugs. There are no exact numbers for methadone abusers.

Mechanism of action

Methadone acts primarily through the µ-opioid receptor of the central nervous system. Methadone is also able to prevent the transport of both serotonin and norepinephrine into the cell. Prevention of transport into the cell increases the effectiveness of the painkiller.

When taken by mouth, methadone is absorbed quickly and well, although significant individual abnormalities occur. The action of methadone begins within 30-60 minutes. The single-dose used to alleviate pain lasts about 4 hours, but significant individual deviations can occur. With constant use, the drug lasts longer due to its accumulation in tissues; for example, with opioid substitution therapy, methadone is given only once a day. The estimated half-life is about a day. The preparation tastes bitter.

Influences and harmful influences

In people not used to opioids, methadone acts similarly to morphine. Methadone suppresses the function of the central nervous system, causing clouding of consciousness and a feeling of pleasure, which is what addicts seek. Nausea, vomiting, and bowel obstruction are common harmful effects, like lack of appetite, dry mouth, sweating, and fatigue. Sexual dysfunctions, decreased blood pressure, slow heartbeats, and muscle cramps can also occur. In addition to blurred consciousness, methadone can cause respiratory depression, which is considered one of the most serious harmful effects. Due to exposure to the serotonin system, methadone use increases the risk of so-called serotonin syndrome.

With prolonged use, the body gets used to methadone, so the consumer must take more and more significant doses to achieve the desired effect. The body also gets used to most of the harmful effects, with the exception of some (obstruction of the intestines and miosis, narrowing of the pupil of the eye). With prolonged use, methadone no longer causes a feeling of pleasure, but most likely prevents the occurrence of withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal syndrome

The rapid cessation of prolonged use of methadone often causes withdrawal symptoms (table 1). Due to the long half-life of methadone, withdrawal symptoms are less pronounced than with short-acting opioids, but they last longer. Symptoms appear with a delay and worsen only 4-6 days after the termination of reception. Usually, symptoms last for 10-12 days but can last longer. Symptoms are rarely life-threatening.

Table 1. The main symptoms of withdrawal symptoms caused by opioids, including methadone.

Symptoms
Yawning, weakness, depression, loose stools, nausea
Sweating, drooling, watery, runny nose, sneezing
Muscle aches, pains in internal organs, intestinal cramps, vomiting
Anxiety, sleep disturbance, depression, trembling, typical drug search behavior
Lack of appetite, weight loss, dilated pupils, palpitations, goosebumps
Increased body temperature, blood pressure, and respiratory rate, chills


Overdose Abuse and Risk

With prolonged use, the property of methadone to cause a feeling of pleasure weakens, but with intravenous use, this property is preserved to some extent. With intravenous administration, also a sufficiently small dose. For these reasons, methadone is used as an intravenous drug. Intravenous use is more addictive. Methadone, as a potent long-acting opioid, is considered particularly dangerous when given intravenously but is also very dangerous when taken by mouth.

The doses used in opioid substitution therapy are fatal for people who accidentally use opioids and are dangerous for experienced consumers, especially if there were interruptions in use. For those unaccustomed to opioids, the lethal dose is about 50-100 mg. With intravenous administrationhttps://amzn.to/34HXfZJ

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