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What Is Methadone?

Methadone hydrochloride (Diskets®, Dolophine®, Methadose®) is a narcotic, opioid medication prescribed to treat moderate-to-severe pain and addiction to heroine or other morphine-like drugs. This medicine is a controlled substance, which means there are strict rules regarding its sale and use.
Methadone binds to opioid receptors throughout the body and produces numerous different effects. It works for pain just like other opioids. For detox and maintenance addiction treatment, it is thought that methadone works in several ways, such as:
  • Reducing the cravings for opioids
  • Relieving opioid withdrawal symptoms
  • Blocking or reducing the euphoria and sedation of other opioids
  • Providing stability (fewer highs and lows), compared with other opioids, due to slow elimination of methadone from the body.
Although most people have no problems with methadone, adverse reactions are possible and may include drowsiness, nausea, and sweating. Because this drug is not suitable for everyone, tell your healthcare provider about any other medical conditions you have and any other medications you are taking before starting treatment.
(Click Methadone for more information on what methadone is and how it can help treat pain or heroin addiction. This article also discusses potential side effects, general dosing guidelines, and safety concerns to be aware of before using this narcotic.)
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