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Article Summary

What You Need to Know about Methadone Overdose

Methadone is a type of opiate used in eliminating moderate to severe pains. Some medical specialists also use the drug in treating people who suffer from addiction to morphine or heroin. The drug may serve as an alternative treatment option to individuals who are addicted to drugs with effects that are similar to morphine. In the United States, methadone is categorized as a controlled and narcotic substance.

Effects of Methadone

The drug immediately binds to the opioid receptors in the brain, and works well in reducing or eliminating painful sensations. When the substance is used for maintenance treatment or detoxification for drug addicts, it may work in several ways such as reducing severe craving for opioids, eliminating symptoms associated with withdrawal from the drug, and ensuring the stability of an individual's moods and thought patterns.

Methadone Adverse Side Effects

As with any type of drug, methadone can lead to side effects such as cardiac arrhythmias, kidney disorder, renal failure, hepatitis, cirrhosis, and other liver ailments. The drug is also linked with several types of cardiac disorders, as well as electrolyte imbalance or extremely low potassium levels in the body. Moreover, some individuals may suffer from head injury, hypothyroidism, lung disease, asthma, enlarged prostate, and chronic or severe abdominal pains due to methadone overdose.

Important Consideration Before Taking the Drug

Since the drug can lead to serious side effects and overdose, it is important for individuals to consult their doctor before they take the drug. Patients should also tell their doctor if they suffer from any health condition or ailment, since methadone may cause serious reactions to their body. Pregnant or nursing women are not recommended to take the drug. Methadone is also likely to affect the brain and body when it is combined with other drugs or substances such as non-prescription drugs, vitamins and herbal supplements.

Overdose to Methadone

Methadone can be quite addictive, and most people become tolerant to the drug even after a few intake of this substance. Those who intend to take the drug in large amounts can suffer from an overdose, which is linked with serious effects. Among the typical side effects of methadone overdose include muscle twitching, fatigue, exhaustion, weak pulse and breathing problems. Some people are also prone to suffer from low blood pressure, cold or clammy skin, drowsiness, dilated pupils, dizziness, and abdominal pains.

With an overdose to methadone, a person may experience poor breathing and insufficient supply of oxygenated blood in several parts of the body. Those who suffer from these conditions tend to have a bluish tinge on their skin, lips and fingernails. A poor or inadequate supply of oxygen in the body can lead to respiratory arrest, stroke, coma and sudden death.

Important Considerations

Those who suffer from methadone overdose need immediate medical attention. Anyone who has ingested large amounts of the drug need emergency treatment in order to prevent fatal effects. However, it is important that a person is not forced to expel the drug by vomiting, as this may cause additional problems and health complications. With prompt treatment and the right medication, an individual may be spared from immediate death due to an overdose. Furthermore, it may be necessary for these patients to be hospitalized or undergo long-term treatment and medical observation, so they can regain their health and overcome pains or alarming symptoms.

There are several health risks linked with an overdose to methadone. For instance, the drug can alter the user's breathing patterns, which may lead to suppressed respiration and brain damages. Those who are possibly suffering from methadone overdose should seek prompt medical help, as this is necessary in reducing the chances of experiencing life-threatening effects of the drug.

As for those who wish to recover from the drug's effects, they may choose from several treatment options available. For instance, they may seek professional counseling from a professional addiction treatment specialist. In most cases, a drug-free form of therapy is the ideal solution, as this can prevent additional problems that side effects from medication may cause. Lastly, these drug addicts will need the unconditional love and support of their families and friends. A support group can help these individuals overcome the difficulties of withdrawing from the drug, so they can start living a better and more meaningful life.

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