Generic Name: methadone (METH a done)Brand Names: Diskets, Dolophine, Methadose
Methadone is a narcotic pain reliever, similar to morphine. Methadone also reduces 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.
Methadone may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Like other narcotic medicines, methadone can slow your breathing, even long after the pain-relieving effects of the medication wear off. Death may occur if breathing becomes too weak. Never use more methadone than your doctor has prescribed. Call your doctor if you think the medicine is not working.Do not stop using methadone suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Call your doctor if you miss doses or forget to take this medication for longer than 3 days in a row. Do not drink alcohol while you are taking methadone. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with methadone. Check your food and medicine labels to be sure these products do not contain alcohol. Methadone can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using Diskets (methadone)?Taking methadone improperly will increase your risk of serious side effects or death. Even if you have used other narcotic medications, you may still have serious side effects from methadone. Follow all dosing instructions carefully. Methadone may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Methadone should never be given to another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. Do not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a narcotic medicine (examples include codeine, morphine, Oxycontin, Darvocet, Percocet, Vicodin, Lortab, and many others). You should also not take methadone if you are having an asthma attack or if you have a bowel obstruction called paralytic ileus.
Before taking methadone, talk to your doctor if you have:
a personal or family history of "Long QT syndrome";
asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders;
curvature of the spine;
a history of head injury or brain tumor;
epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
low blood pressure;
Addison's disease or other adrenal gland disorders;
enlarged prostate, urination problems;
mental illness; or
a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
Older adults and people with debilitating conditions may be more sensitive to the effects of this medication.
Use methadone exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use the medication in larger amounts or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Like other narcotic medicines, methadone can slow your breathing, even long after the pain-relieving effects of the medication wear off. Death may occur if breathing becomes too weak. Never use more methadone than your doctor has prescribed. Call your doctor if you think the medicine is not working.
When methadone is used as part of a treatment program for drug addiction or detoxification, you will receive the medication through a clinic or special pharmacy.
Your doctor may recommend that methadone be given to you by a family member or other caregiver. This is to make sure you are using the medicine as it was prescribed as part of your treatment.
Additional forms of counseling and/or monitoring may be recommended during treatment with methadone.
Methadone is available in tablets, dispersible tablets, oral solution (liquid) and as an injection. The pill and oral liquid forms of methadone must never be used to make a methadone injection.
Measure the liquid form of methadone with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
The methadone dispersible tablet (Diskets) is made to be dissolved in water. Do not chew, crush, or swallow the tablet whole. Place the tablet into a 4-ounce glass of water, orange juice, or other citrus-flavored non-alcoholic beverage and allow the tablet to disperse in the liquid. The tablet will not dissolve completely. Drink this mixture right away. To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more liquid to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away.Store methadone at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Keep track of how much of this medicine has been used. Methadone is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if any person in the household is using this medicine improperly or without a prescription.
Use the medication as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.If you miss your doses for longer than 3 days in a row, call your doctor for instructions. You may need to restart methadone at a lower dose.
Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.An overdose of methadone can be fatal, especially if you take it with alcohol or other narcotic medications.
Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, pinpoint pupils, confusion, cold and clammy skin, weak pulse, shallow breathing, fainting, or breathing that stops.
hallucinations or confusion;
chest pain, dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeat; or
trouble breathing, feeling light-headed, or fainting.
Less serious side effects may include:
feeling anxious, nervous, or restless;
sleep problems (insomnia);
feeling weak or drowsy;
dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite; or
decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
a diuretic (water pill);
antibiotics such as azithromycin (Zithromax), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E-Mycin, Ery-Tab), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), metronidazole (Flagyl) or voriconazole (Vfend);
heart or blood pressure medication such as diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac) or verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan);
HIV medicines such as abacavir (Ziagen), amprenavir (Agenerase), didanosine (Videx), efavirenz (Sustiva), lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra), nelfinavir (Viracept), nevirapine (Viramune), ritonavir (Norvir), stavudine (Zerit), or zidovudine (Retrovir);
an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), or selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam);
other narcotic medications such as pentazocine (Talwin), nalbuphine (Nubain), buprenorphine (Subutex), or butorphanol (Stadol);
rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater); or
seizure medication such as phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton) or phenytoin (Dilantin).
This list is not complete and there are many other medicines that may cause serious medical problems if you take them together with methadone. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.