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It is possible to experience withdrawal from methadone if you stop taking the drug too abruptly. Potential symptoms include vomiting, rapid breathing, and restlessness. Although these problems can be quite unpleasant, they are not usually life-threatening. In order to limit withdrawal symptoms, you should not stop taking methadone "cold turkey" or adjust your dose without your healthcare provider's approval and supervision.

Withdrawing From Methadone: An Overview

Methadone hydrochloride (Diskets®, Dolophine®, Methadose®) is commonly prescribed for pain relief and addiction treatment. It is a narcotic opioid and may cause withdrawal symptoms if it is stopped too abruptly. While methadone withdrawal can be quite unpleasant, it does not usually cause life-threatening symptoms (unlike withdrawal from alcohol or some other medications).

Symptoms of Methadone Withdrawal

Signs of withdrawal from methadone can vary in intensity and may include:
  • Restlessness
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Yawning
  • Sweating and chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Dilated (wide open) pupils
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Backaches
  • Joint pain
  • Weakness
  • Abdominal cramps (stomach cramps)
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heart rate. 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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