Addiction Treatment

Side Effects of Methadone Use

Written By:

Becky Babb

older woman holding head suffering side effects of methadone use

Opioid addiction is a widespread health crisis impacting families across the country. If you or a loved one is facing opioid addiction, there is help. The Last Resort offers treatment programs for opioid addiction treatment. Prescription methadone detox is a common treatment route for patients needing help to break the cycle of opioid addiction. Understanding the potential side effects of methadone use can help overcome barriers to treatment for you or your loved one.

Short-Term Side Effects of Methadone Use

If you are battling opioid addiction, your doctor at The Last Resort may prescribe methadone for you to use during your treatment. This medical detox helps your body by replacing the opioid in your system. Medical detox reduces the risk of the harsh side effects of complete withdrawal.

Because this is a long-term treatment plan, you may experience short-term side effects at the beginning of the treatment plan. Short-term side effects include:

  • Stomach discomfort, including nausea or loss of appetite
  • A restless sensation in your limbs or a sensation on the surface of your skin. This may feel like itching or other skin discomforts.
  • Fatigue due to slower respiratory rates
  • Increased sweating, even while sleeping

Your physician and treatment team at The Last Resort will work with you to find ways to mediate your short-term symptoms.

Serious Side Effects of Methadone Use

No two patients are identical and no two addictions are the same. Sometimes medical detox for opioid addiction causes more serious side effects that require immediate medical assistance. Methadone is part of the class of opioid drugs but does not generally trigger or cause addictions. Because it is a prescribed pharmaceutical treatment, there is always the risk of a negative or allergic reaction. If you experience any signs of an allergic response, such as a swollen tongue or trouble breathing due to a swollen airway, seek emergency medical care immediately.

This prescription medical detox can also cause side effects that interfere with your breathing or respiration rate. If you feel short of breath, light-headed, or faint, this can be a serious side effect that needs immediate treatment. Feelings of pain in the chest or an onset of rapid or fluttering heartbeat also should be treated immediately.

Special Patient Populations and Methadone Addiction

Patients battling opioid addiction who have pre-existing healthcare conditions must proceed with caution when using medical detox as part of an opioid addiction treatment plan. If you have existing heart disease or a heart defect, your physician may decide that the risks of this treatment are too high for your heart health. If you have any lung structural issues or existing lung disease, the impact of methadone on your breathing and respiratory rates may be too risky as well.

For women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy, methadone treatment may cause problems for the unborn child. You should thoroughly discuss this with your physician as you work together to create a treatment plan for your opioid addiction. Additionally, using this prescription treatment for opioid addiction treatment can alter a woman’s menstrual cycle. Your physician will discuss these risks and what they mean for your overall health with you if you are a woman battling opioid addiction.

For most patients recovering from opioid addiction, the side effects of this prescription treatment are minimal and the ultimate reward of beating your addiction far outweighs them. Don’t let your fears about the side effects of methadone use keep you or your loved one from getting the necessary treatment to overcome addiction. Call The Last Resort Recovery today today to learn more about your opioid addiction treatment options.

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