Using Methadone To Reduce The Withdrawal Symptoms In Heroin Addicts

As a narcotic analgesic, Methadone is a synthetic pain reliever used to treat various conditions and relieve pain, as well as treating the addiction of heroin in users. Methadone is comparable to the characteristics and effects of morphine; in fact, it is extremely similar in the way it acts, as well.

The major difference is that Methadone is introduced gradually and its action is mild upon onset. This prevents the patient from feeling euphoric or high when taking the medication.

The dosage will be determined based on various aspects including their tolerance level and their weight. For example, as the patientís cravings for heroin decreases the dosage of Methadone is decreased as well. However, even though Methadone is used to treat addictions, some addicts choose to use the drug as a way to get their fix. As a result, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has defined Methadone as a Schedule II drug.

There are three forms of Methadone, injection, tablets, and oral solutions. It is made with the active ingredient called Methadone hydrochloride. Dosage is set again by weight and addiction to heroin, however, no person should exceed the maximum daily recommendation of 100 milligrams. The drug is used to curb the effects of withdrawal symptoms that occur when a user quits using heroin.

There are several side effects that can come with using Methadone. It is important that your physician monitors the use of Methadone closely and that any changes be reported immediately to him or her for evaluation. Some short-term side effects of this drug could include vomiting, restlessness, slowed breathing, nausea, pupil contraction, itchy skin, constipation, severe sweating, sexual dysfunction, and even death.

Methadone could also have long-term use side effects that include respiration or lung problems. Women could also have specific side effects that may lead to lapsing menstrual cycles or changes. Furthermore, women could experience complications in pregnancy if the dosage levels are reduced while the woman is pregnant.

In general, the risks of these side effects can be reduced by keeping in close contact with a physician and having them monitor the use. Illegal uses of Methadone have been identified as causes for death among abusers. Because people have no real idea of the effects of Methadone, overdosing by abusers is on the rise.

If not carefully monitored by a physician a Methadone patient could become addicted to the drug, which would lead to tolerance and addiction. This would all subsequently lead to withdrawal symptoms when the dose is decreased or stopped. Be sure to keep all appointments with your doctor, while taking Methadone and report any changes immediately.

Disclaimer - The information presented here should not be interpreted as or substituted for medical advice. Please talk to a qualified professional for more information about Methadone.

[Copyright © 2007, Heather Colman. Find more of Heather's articles at eBook Palace. Her articles are available for syndication. Reprinting individual articles is permissible provided no changes are made.]