Methadose is a brand name of the synthetic opioid methadone. Methadose carries several risk factors, the most serious being severe respiratory depression. Methadose acts directly on the brain stem to inhibit the patient’s autonomic respiratory drive. Mixing Methadose with other central nervous system depressants, including alcohol, increases the likelihood of severe complications.
In the event of addiction, post-acute withdrawal may be characterized by a wide range of physical and cognitive symptoms. These may include suicidal ideations, anxiety, depression, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lightheadedness, insomnia, apathy, hallucinations, and paranoia.
Methadose is available as an oral tablet with one dose equaling 40 mg. It can be prescribed for pain management, but it is most commonly taken to help wean opioid-dependent patients off of opioids. Many patients continue taking therapeutic doses of Methadose or similar drugs indefinitely.
Methadose is ideal for the management of opioid dependence due to its long duration of action and slow onset. When first beginning Methadose treatment, it can take up to five days for the drug to reach maximal effectiveness. Methadose can remain effective for some patients for up to 30 hours following the time of ingestion. This exceptionally long duration of action means that patients only have to take one dose a day.
Patients taking Methadose are highly likely to develop the psychological disease of addiction, despite the drug’s usefulness in treating opioid dependency. In individuals who are not already opioid-dependent, Methadose can trigger the onset of opioid dependency. The minimum therapeutic dose should be taken both to reduce the risk of addiction and to reduce the severity of side effects. A high percentage of people who take heroin were originally exposed to opioids by taking prescribed pharmaceuticals. Five to six percent of patients who are prescribed opioids will at some point test street heroin.
Due to the high risk of addiction, Methadose is classified as a Schedule II substance in the US, a Schedule I substance in Canada, and a Schedule I substance internationally according to the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. In Russia, methadone-based products are illegal even for therapeutic use.
Methadose has tolerable withdrawal symptoms when compared to morphine and other shorter-acting opioids. When it’s time for the patient to discontinue treatment, they will still have some degree of post-acute withdrawals to face. After many years of taking opioids, avoiding recurrence of use can be a difficult psychological battle.
Some patients may choose to transition from Methadose to another long-acting synthetic opioid such as buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is proven to be similarly effective at mitigating opioid cravings, with one added benefit – buprenorphine reduces the effectiveness of other opioids. Buprenorphine produces what’s known as a “ceiling effect.” Patients who take buprenorphine find it difficult to experience a “high,” even when taking powerful, short-acting opioids.
For patients who feel they are at risk for recurring use, the combination drug Suboxone is another option. Suboxone contains active buprenorphine and dormant naloxone. Naloxone remains dormant unless the patient tries to take a high dose of opioids, at which time the dormant naloxone becomes activated, immediately reversing the effects of opioids in the body.
If you or someone you love is struggling with a opioid misuse, The Recovery Village is available to answer any questions you may have.
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