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Article Summary

Methadone Effects

Those who use methadone report a wide range of methadone effects. What is Methadone? It is a narcotic pain reliever, similar to morphine. This drug also used to reduce withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to heroin or other narcotic drugs without causing the "high" associated with the drug addiction. Methadone is used as a pain reliever and as part of drug addiction detoxification and maintenance programs.

However, methadone is not an innocent substance; 'one's methadone maintenance dose is another's poison'. A regular user of opiates develops a certain tolerance. Therefore, it is possible that a tolerant person can function normally with dosages which can be fatal to a non-tolerant person.

When this drug is used during pregnancy the methadone effects cross the placenta to the unborn child. Many of the babies born to methadone-dependent mothers go through withdrawal at birth. Their symptoms vary in length and severity and can be successfully treated while the baby is still in the hospital. Overall, women using methadone have fewer problems during their pregnancy than those who continue to use heroin. Small amounts of methadone may be passed on through breast milk, mothers that are on a methadone program are often encouraged to breastfeed in order to help ease the baby's withdrawal from methadone.

Methadone Side Effects

  • abdominal cramps
  • aching muscles and joints
  • back and joint aches
  • below normal drop in body temperature
  • constipation
  • cravings for the drug
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty sleeping and
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness/nodding off
  • feeling physically weak
  • fluid retention
  • goose bumps
  • heart palpitations
  • high temperature but feeling cold
  • irregular periods
  • irritability/aggression/feelings of uneasiness
  • loss of appetite
  • lowered sex drive
  • muscle spasm and jerking
  • nausea/vomiting
  • pinpoint pupils
  • poor blood circulation
  • problems with sexual functioning and
  • runny nose, sneezing
  • sedation
  • shallow breathing
  • skin rashes and itching
  • slow blood pulse, lowered blood pressure
  • sweating
  • tears
  • tooth decay
  • tremors
  • yawning

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