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Generic Name: methadone

It is used to treat severe pain
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What is this medicine?

METHADONE (METH a done) is a pain reliever. It is used to treat severe pain. The medicine is also used to prevent withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to other drugs.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • adrenal gland problem (Addison's disease)
  • brain tumor
  • drug abuse or addiction
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • gallbladder disease
  • head injury
  • frequently drink alcohol-containing drinks
  • kidney disease or problems going to the bathroom
  • liver disease
  • low blood pressure
  • lung disease, asthma, COPD, or sleep apnea
  • mental problems
  • seizure disorder
  • thyroid disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to methadone, other opioid analgesics, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for injection under the skin, into a muscle, or into a vein. It is usually given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

If you get this medicine at home, you will be taught how to prepare and give this medicine. Use exactly as directed. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • antibiotics like chloroquine, clarithromycin, erythromycin, grepafloxacin, pentamidine, sparfloxacin, troleandomycin
  • arsenic trioxide
  • cisapride
  • droperidol
  • halofantrine
  • haloperidol
  • medicines for irregular heart beat like amiodarone, bretylium, disopyramide, dofetilide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol
  • pimozide
  • ranolazine
  • rasagiline
  • selegiline
  • sertindole
  • ziprasidone

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alcohol
  • alfuzosin
  • antibiotics like gatifloxacin, gemifloxacin, levofloxacin, mefloquine, moxifloxacin, ofloxacin, telithromycin
  • antihistamines for allergy, cough and cold
  • desipramine
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • medicines for blood pressure
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicines for irregular heart beat like flecainide, propafenone
  • medicines for nausea or vomiting like dolasetron, ondansetron, palonosetron
  • medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
  • medicines for sleep
  • medicines for sleep during surgery
  • medicines to numb the skin
  • muscle relaxants
  • narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain
  • octreotide
  • peginterferon Alfa-2b
  • phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
  • rifampin, rifapentine
  • some medcines for cancer like dasatinib, lapatinib, sunitinib
  • some medicines for HIV like delavirdine, didanosine, efavirenz, nevirapine
  • St. John's wort
  • tacrolimus
  • tramadol
  • vardenafil
  • vorinostat

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All visitors to AARP.org should seek expert medical care and consult their own physicians for any specific health issues. Read this disclaimer in its entirety.
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Note: This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects for this drug. If you have question about the drug(s) you are taking, check with your health care professional.
 
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