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Methadone (Methadone Hydrochloride) - Side Effects and Adverse Reactions

 
 



ADVERSE REACTIONS

Heroin Withdrawal

During the induction phase of methadone maintenance treatment, patients are being withdrawn from heroin and may therefore show typical withdrawal symptoms, which should be differentiated from methadone-induced side effects. They may exhibit some or all of the following symptoms associated with acute withdrawal from heroin or other opiates: lacrimation, rhinorrhea, sneezing, yawning, excessive perspiration, goose-flesh, fever, chilliness alternating with flushing, restlessness, irritability, weakness, anxiety, depression, dilated pupils, tremors, tachycardia, abdominal cramps, body aches, involuntary twitching and kicking movements, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, intestinal spasms, and weight loss.

Initial Administration

The initial methadone dose should be carefully titrated to the individual. Too rapid titration for the patient's sensitivity is more likely to produce adverse effects.

The major hazards of methadone, are respiratory depression and, to a lesser degree, systemic hypotension. Respiratory arrest, shock, cardiac arrest, and death have occurred.

The most frequently observed adverse reactions include lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, and sweating. These effects seem to be more prominent in ambulatory patients and in those who are not suffering severe pain. In such individuals, lower doses are advisable.

Other adverse reactions include the following: (listed alphabetically under each subsection)

Body as a Whole– asthenia (weakness), edema, headache

Cardiovascular ( see WARNINGS, Cardiac Conduction Effects) – arrhythmias, bigeminal rhythms, bradycardia, cardiomyopathy, ECG abnormalities, extrasystoles, flushing, heart failure, hypotension, palpitations, phlebitis, QT interval prolongation, syncope, T-wave inversion, tachycardia, torsade de pointes, ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia

Digestive– abdominal pain, anorexia, biliary tract spasm, constipation, dry mouth, glossitis

Hematologic and Lymphatic– reversible thrombocytopenia has been described in opioid addicts with chronic hepatitis

Metabolic and Nutritional– hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, weight gain

Nervous– agitation, confusion, disorientation, dysphoria, euphoria, insomnia, seizures

Respiratory– pulmonary edema, respiratory depression (see WARNINGS, Respiratory Depression)

Skin and Appendages– pruritis, urticaria, other skin rashes, and rarely, hemorrhagic urticaria

Special Senses– hallucinations, visual disturbances

Urogenital–amenorrhea, antidiuretic effect, reduced libido and/or potency, urinary retention or hesitancy

Maintenance on a Stabilized Dose

During prolonged administration of methadone, as in a methadone maintenance treatment program, there is usually a gradual, yet progressive, disappearance of side effects over a period of several weeks. However, constipation and sweating often persist.



REPORTS OF SUSPECTED METHADONE SIDE EFFECTS / ADVERSE REACTIONS

Below is a sample of reports where side effects / adverse reactions may be related to Methadone. The information is not vetted and should not be considered as verified clinical evidence.

Possible Methadone side effects / adverse reactions in 39 year old male

Reported by a pharmacist from United Kingdom on 2011-12-02

Patient: 39 year old male

Reactions: Epilepsy

Adverse event resulted in: disablity

Suspect drug(s):
Carbamazepine
    Dosage: unk
    Indication: Product Used FOR Unknown Indication

Heroin
    Dosage: unk
    Indication: Product Used FOR Unknown Indication

Xanax
    Dosage: unk

Methadone
    Dosage: unk
    Indication: Product Used FOR Unknown Indication

Gabapentin
    Dosage: unk
    Indication: Product Used FOR Unknown Indication

Dihydrocodeine Bitartrate
    Dosage: 30 mg, 2x/day
    Administration route: Oral
    Indication: Pain



Possible Methadone side effects / adverse reactions in 51 year old male

Reported by a physician from United States on 2011-12-22

Patient: 51 year old male

Reactions: Drug Abuse

Adverse event resulted in: death

Suspect drug(s):
Diphenhydramine
    Dosage: unk
    Administration route: Oral

Alprazolam
    Dosage: unk
    Administration route: Oral

Methadone
    Dosage: unk
    Administration route: Oral



Possible Methadone side effects / adverse reactions in 82 year old male

Reported by a physician from United States on 2011-12-22

Patient: 82 year old male

Reactions: Completed Suicide, Toxicity TO Various Agents

Adverse event resulted in: death

Suspect drug(s):
Pregabalin
    Dosage: unk
    Administration route: Oral

Cyclobenzaprine
    Dosage: unk
    Administration route: Oral

Acetaminophen and Hydrocodone Bitartrate
    Dosage: unk
    Administration route: Oral

Warfarin
    Dosage: unk
    Administration route: Oral

Amlodipine Besylate
    Dosage: unk
    Administration route: Oral

Methadone
    Dosage: unk
    Administration route: Oral

Hydroxychloroquine
    Dosage: unk
    Administration route: Oral



See index of all Methadone side effect reports >>

Drug label data at the top of this Page last updated: 2011-11-29

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