Can Methadone Make You Sick?
Every medication can cause side effects, but because of the long-term nature of methadone maintenance treatment, many individuals worry that the drug is dangerous or could cause serious side effects over a long time. Can methadone actually make you sick?
The Long-term Use of Methadone as a Maintenance Drug
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Studies of the long-term administration of methadone confirm that it’s a medically safe drug. Long-term methadone maintenance treatment at doses of 80 to 120 mg per day is not toxic or dangerous to any organ system after continuous treatment for 10 to 14 years in adults and 5 to 7 years in adolescents.” While the research beyond these periods is a bit hazier and has not been undertaken to the extent that earlier research has, it can be said with strong certainty that methadone will not make long-term users sick.
Contrary to popular belief, methadone use does not cause heart problems, lung problems, psychological issues of any kind, or any other serious issues with any organ system when taken as prescribed in the long-term. Doses of 80 to 120 are the approved amounts given to maintenance patients, and those who do not abuse their medication will not experience any dangerous, long-term side effects.
Short-term Side Effects of Methadone
Methadone, like any other opioid, can cause a number of short-term side effects while the individual is taking it, such as:
- Dry mouth
- Problems urinating
- Sleep disturbances
- Missed menstrual periods
- Sexual dysfunction
- Weight gain
- Mood changes
- Blurry vision
Issues like nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain can also occur, but most of these will usually only become problematic when an individual’s dosage is being changed. Most people complain of sexual dysfunction and constipation, though these issues can be treated with other medications. The short-term side effects of methadone do not usually have any serious repercussions for patients, and it is important to remember that any side effects noticed by patients that worsen over time or do not begin to subside on their own should be brought to the attention of their doctor.
Methadone Maintenance for Opioid Addiction Treatment
Methadone is a safe option for opioid addiction treatment that will not cause long-term sickness or issues with any major organ system. Usually, when a person first starts taking the drug, they are likely to experience nausea and vomiting, which can be extremely uncomfortable, but these symptoms will subside when the person becomes accustomed to the drug. According to the NIDA’s Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D., “For more than 30 years, methadone has been used safely and effectively to treat people with opioid addiction.”
If you are concerned about any side effects or issues associated with methadone maintenance treatment, don’t hesitate to call 866-312-5827Who Answers? for 24/7 help. Get help finding treatment centers in your area and learning about your treatment options.