How Will Methadone Maintenance Affect My Brain and Body?

Like every drug, methadone has its own side effects, and any individual getting ready to start methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) should understand them, as well as be able to differentiate between common side effects and hazardous symptoms. In general, though, methadone does not create severe or long-term effects on the brain and body when taken as a part of maintenance treatment. Call 800-994-1867Who Answers? now if you or someone you love is looking for a treatment program for opioid addiction.

The Common Side Effects of Methadone

Methadone maintenance, in general, shouldn’t cause many severe side effects, and especially if the drug is dosed correctly, you shouldn’t experience too many issues with it. However, like with all medications, methadone can cause a few side effects, and it is important to be aware of them before you begin MMT. According to the National Library of Medicine, the common side effects of the drug include:

Methadone Maintenance

Headache and vision problems are common side effects of methadone.

  • Headache
  • Weight gain
  • Stomach pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore tongue
  • Flushing
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Mood changes
  • Vision problems
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Constipation

The drug may cause some discomfort, but this is normal. It is especially common for an individual to experience many of these side effects early on in treatment, but usually, after your dosage is chosen and you have been taking the drug for a while, these effects will level out.

However, some side effects can linger and may need to be treated in other ways. Certain home remedies can be used for some of these effects such as drinking more water to prevent dry mouth. You may also be able to use over-the-counter drugs or supplements to treat issues like headache, and insomnia (as long as you make sure these are approved by your doctor). Issues like weight gain or constipation may need to be treated with additional medications if they persist.

The Serious Side Effects of Methadone

Methadone can cause some serious and even deadly side effects, but this usually occurs if one’s dosage is miscalculated or one begins to abuse the drug. Still, it is important for a methadone maintenance patient to understand the risks associated with the drug and to be vigilant in case any of them should appear.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration lists the signs of serious methadone side effects, including

  • Difficulty breathing, lightheadedness, or extreme drowsiness, which could all be signs of an overdose
  • Hives, a rash, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, which could all be signs of an allergic reaction
  • Chest pain or a fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Hallucinations
  • Severe confusion or agitation
  • Severe anxiety
  • Seizures

A person who experiences any of these effects should contact a doctor right away.

How Will Methadone Maintenance Affect My Brain and Body?

In most cases, methadone maintenance does not cause any severe effects to a person’s brain or body, even after long-term use. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “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.”

The drug also does not make any intense changes to the way the body and brain work. When a person starts abusing opioid drugs, the brain will change and begin to crave these substances. However, methadone, when given as a maintenance treatment and dosed so that it does not cause euphoria, merely manages these cravings and does not corrupt or change the functions of the brain.

There is still quite a bit of controversy surrounding MMT, despite the fact that it has been a treatment for opioid addiction for over 40 years. However, it is an effective, safe option for opioid addiction recovery, and most individuals take it safely without experiencing any long-term or intense biological or psychological effects.

Are You Looking for an MMT Program?

We can help you find a rehab center that will offer you the treatment you require for a safe and reliable recovery from opioid addiction. Call 800-994-1867Who Answers? now to speak to a treatment advisor, and they will collect your information, including your insurance plan, in order to find the best rehab facility for the treatment phase of your recovery. Call today; a better life is waiting.

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