Drugs A - Z
Methadone Hydrochloride Solution for injection
Generic Name: methadone
What is this medicine?METHADONE (METH a done) is a pain reliever. It is used to treat severe pain. The medicine is also used to prevent withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to other drugs.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- adrenal gland problem (Addison's disease)
- brain tumor
- drug abuse or addiction
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- gallbladder disease
- head injury
- frequently drink alcohol-containing drinks
- kidney disease or problems going to the bathroom
- liver disease
- low blood pressure
- lung disease, asthma, COPD, or sleep apnea
- mental problems
- seizure disorder
- thyroid disease
- an unusual or allergic reaction to methadone, other opioid analgesics, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?This medicine is for injection under the skin, into a muscle, or into a vein. It is usually given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.
If you get this medicine at home, you will be taught how to prepare and give this medicine. Use exactly as directed. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
- antibiotics like chloroquine, clarithromycin, erythromycin, grepafloxacin, pentamidine, sparfloxacin, troleandomycin
- arsenic trioxide
- medicines for irregular heart beat like amiodarone, bretylium, disopyramide, dofetilide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- antibiotics like gatifloxacin, gemifloxacin, levofloxacin, mefloquine, moxifloxacin, ofloxacin, telithromycin
- antihistamines for allergy, cough and cold
- MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
- medicines for blood pressure
- medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
- medicines for irregular heart beat like flecainide, propafenone
- medicines for nausea or vomiting like dolasetron, ondansetron, palonosetron
- medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
- medicines for sleep
- medicines for sleep during surgery
- medicines to numb the skin
- muscle relaxants
- narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain
- peginterferon Alfa-2b
- phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
- rifampin, rifapentine
- some medcines for cancer like dasatinib, lapatinib, sunitinib
- some medicines for HIV like delavirdine, didanosine, efavirenz, nevirapine
- St. John's wort
What should I watch for while using this medicine?Tell your doctor or health care professional if your pain does not go away, if it gets worse, or if you have new or a different type of pain. You may develop tolerance to the medicine. Tolerance means that you will need a higher dose of the medicine for pain relief. Tolerance is normal and is expected if you take this medicine for a long time.
Talk to your family or others you live with about the side effects of this medicine. Tell them to get you medical help right away if you are having trouble breathing, unusually loud snoring, or are too sleepy.
Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a non-medical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medicine. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
There are different types of narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain. If you take more than one type at the same time, you may have more side effects. Give your health care provider a list of all medicines you use. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. Do not take more medicine than directed. Call emergency for help if you have problems breathing.
This medicine will cause constipation. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2 to 3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your doctor or health care professional.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- breathing problems
- chest pain
- cold, clammy skin
- feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
- loud snoring
- unusually fast or slow heartbeat
- unusually weak or tired
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- irritation at site where injected
- nausea, vomiting
- pinpoint pupils
Where should I keep my medicine?Keep out of the reach of children. This medicine can be abused. Keep your medicine in a safe place to protect it from theft. Do not share this medicine with anyone. Selling or giving away this medicine is dangerous and against the law.
If you are using this medicine at home, you will be instructed on how to store this medicine. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date on the label. Discard unused medicine and used packaging carefully. Pets and children can be harmed if they find used or lost packages.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.