What Methadone Treats

What Methadone treatsFor many years methadone was believed to prevent morphine or narcotics like heroin from getting to interact on receptors for painkillers. By ensuring that the effects caused by drugs that have an addictive nature are blocked, methadone reduces the physical craving that is normally triggered off. The use of methadone on a continuous basis may even restore the normal body capabilities comprising immune, adrenal and sexual functions. Having established its credentials as a highly effective therapeutic medicine that can definitely serve to rehabilitate addicts of narcotic drugs, this drug is widely used across U.S., Sweden, Thailand and even Hong Kong. Because it is extremely useful to help an addict pierce the veil of destructive life threatening habit, a majority of the drug maintenance programs make use of methadone in its oral form.

Pain Management

However, don’t overlook methadone as simply a means to reduce withdrawal symptoms from hardcore drugs such as heroin. You should also take notice of its opiate properties used in pain management. It is being used increasingly for patients dealing with moderate to severe pain and often in the setting of a terminal illness. Cancer patients and those dealing with HIV/AIDS have become increasingly aware of the positive attributes to taking methadone for pain related symptoms.

Additionally, life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias have used methadone for treatment purposes. The risk of these arrhythmias increases with frequent high dosages of methadone and the intake of medications which may affect the patient’s level of potassium and magnesium (such as “water pills”). However, some anti-depressant and anti-hypertension medications can also cause irregularity of heart rhythm in patients taking methadone so one must be aware of this when taking it for this reason.

It is important that physicians and pharmacists take an active role in overseeing medication usage in patients with complicated pain. Patients, family members and caregivers must be educated about methadone dosing and what to watch for in terms of monitoring for response—or side effects. In the case of terminal patients in a hospice setting, it is important the patient be able to take the methadone; sometimes this requires changing it to a liquid form, or some other formulation, if a patient has difficulty swallowing. And there are medications a terminally ill patient might no longer need. Once such drugs are discontinued, the patient might require a change in methadone dosing.

Methadone Treatment

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to methadone, help is available. Please call the toll free number at 1 (888) 838-8386 to talk with someone about treatment options. Help is available.