Liquid methadone is a medication frequently used in opioid addiction management. However, there are some potential risks and uncomfortable side effects involved.

Methadone is a medication that’s often used to ease withdrawal symptoms in people struggling with opioid addiction. Methadone works by “blocking” the high that opioid drugs like heroin create, and it also relieves common withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, depression and nausea. With the help of methadone, it’s less tempting to use illicit drugs as a way to cope with withdrawal symptoms, and it can be easier to begin the road to recovery.

Methadone can also be used for pain relief, particularly in seriously ill people who are in palliative or hospice care.

It’s important to note that methadone itself is an opioid, and as a Schedule II controlled substance, it can lead to abuse, dependence and addiction. In addition, methadone in liquid or pill form can cause a variety of side effects, including:

  • Insomnia
  • Muscle weakness
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness

More serious side effects may include hallucinations, chest pain and fainting.

What Color Is Liquid Methadone?

Liquid methadone is available as a red, cherry-flavored liquid under the brand name Methadose. It is also available as a clear, unflavored liquid under the brand name Methadose Sugar-Free. These drugs are intended to be taken orally.

Can You Inject Liquid Methadone?

Methadone prescribed for oral use should never be injected. It is not meant to enter the bloodstream; instead, it is meant to pass through the stomach and be digested by the body. Drugs that are meant to be digested and drugs that are meant to be injected are formulated quite differently. As such, serious complications like overdose and even accidental death can occur from injecting liquid methadone that is meant to be taken orally.

This occurs because methadone liquid for oral use is not a pure substance; it has a variety of fillers and additives. Further, it is not a sterile substance, meaning that it can increase the risk of infection.

Liquid Methadone Dosage

With controlled substances like methadone, it’s incredibly important to get the dosage amount correct. This is the primary reason why patients typically must obtain methadone from approved clinics.

When determining the correct dosage of methadone, the person’s age, general condition and medical status will all be taken into account. The methadone dose can also vary based on the person’s reason for taking the drug. In those seeking to come off other opioids, a common starting dose of methadone is 10 mg to 30 mg, while a common maintenance dose is 60 mg to 120 mg.

Although methadone can help you on the road to recovery, it still comes with its own set of side effects and challenges. If you or a loved one could be struggling with a substance use disorder involving methadone or other drugs, The Recovery Village is here to help. Contact us today to speak with a compassionate, well-trained representative who can discuss treatment plans and programs that can work well for your needs.

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Editor – Jonathan Strum
Jonathan Strum graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Bachelor's in Communication in 2017 and has been writing professionally ever since. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more
Sources “Methadone.” July 31, 2020. Accessed August 26, 2021.

McPherson, Mary Lynn; Walker, Kathryn A.; Davis, Mellar P.; et al. “Safe and Appropriate Use of Methadone in[…]onsensus White Paper.” Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, March 2019. Accessed August 26, 2021.

American Society of Addiction Medicine. “National Practice Guideline For the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder: 2020 Focused Update.” December 18, 2019. Accessed August 26, 2021.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.