The Best Ways to Manage Methadone Side Effects
Like all drugs, methadone will cause certain side effects for those being maintained on it as a part of addiction treatment. Below are some ways to manage these effects while attending methadone maintenance treatment.
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Methadone Side Effects
Methadone is likely to cause some of the same side effects that your opioid drug use caused, although these will be much milder because you will be taking lower doses of a longer-acting drug. According to the National Library of Medicine, the common side effects include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight gain
- Stomach pain
- Dry mouth
- Sore tongue
- Difficulty urinating
- Mood changes
- Vision problems
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Decreased sexual desire or ability
- Missed menstrual periods
If any of these side effects ever become unbearable or keep getting worse, it is important to talk to your doctor right away. For side effects such as seizures, respiratory depression, or hallucinations, call 911 or get to treatment immediately.
Tips for Managing Methadone Side Effects
Different effects can be managed in different ways. For example, the NLM states, “If nausea and vomiting occur” while you are taking methadone, “try taking the narcotic with food.” This can help settle the stomach and make the drug much easier on the body. You can also:
- Drink more fluids to combat constipation and dry mouth. Always carry a bottle of water with you while taking methadone.
- Exercise regularly to increase activity in your body and to smooth out gastrointestinal issues.
- Take more fiber to fight constipation. You can also use stool softeners.
- Combat weight gain by watching what you eat and by exercising more. This will also keep you healthier overall.
Talk to Your Doctor
Your methadone doctor must be able to handle any issues you have with the medication, and it is absolutely necessary to talk to them before considering making any changes to your medication. They may decide to change your dosage, though, if your side effects are intense, or they may prescribe you another medication to treat certain effects.
Ask a Friend for Help
It can be hard to recognize signs of mood swings or irritability on your own, so you may want to ask a friend to stay with you during the early stages of your methadone treatment. If you begin to exhibit signs of these issues, they could make you aware and possibly make it easier for you to control your side effects when you both are able to recognize them.
Seek Addiction Rehab Treatment Today
We can help you find a rehab center that provides methadone medication along with a number of other treatment options that will make up a well-rounded recovery program. Call 866-312-5827Who Answers? to learn more; we can also help you decide which facility is best for your needs and answer any questions you may have about recovery, addiction, and methadone maintenance treatment.