What is this medication?

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.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Dolophine, Methadose

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

How should I use this medication?

Take this medicine by mouth with a drink of water. If the medicine upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not take more medicine than you are told to take.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medication?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Visit your health care provider for regular checks on your progress. If you are using this medicine for pain, tell your health care provider if your pain does not go away, if it gets worse, or if you have new or a different type of pain. If you are using this medicine for opioid use disorder, attend counseling or support groups that your health care provider recommends. Do not try to overcome the effects of the medicine by taking large amounts of narcotics. This can cause severe problems including death. Also, you may be more sensitive to lower doses of narcotics after you stop taking this medicine.

Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. Your health care provider will tell you how much medicine to take. If your health care provider wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.

If you take other medicines that also cause drowsiness like other narcotic pain medicines, benzodiazepines, or other medicines for sleep, you may have more side effects. Give your health care provider a list of all medicines you use. He or she will tell you how much medicine to take. Do not take more medicine than directed. Get emergency help right away if you have trouble breathing or are unusually tired or sleepy.

Talk to your health care provider about naloxone and how to get it. Naloxone is an emergency medicine used for an opioid overdose. An overdose can happen if you take too much opioid. It can also happen if an opioid is taken with some other medicines or substances, like alcohol. Know the symptoms of an overdose, like trouble breathing, unusually tired or sleepy, or not being able to respond or wake up. Make sure to tell caregivers and close contacts where it is stored. Make sure they know how to use it. After naloxone is given, you must get emergency help right away. Naloxone is a temporary treatment. Repeat doses may be needed.

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 up 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.

Wear a medical ID bracelet or chain, and carry a card that describes your disease and details of your medicine and dosage regimens.

This medicine will cause constipation. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your health care provider.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your health care provider if the problem does not go away or is severe.

Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of breast-feeding while using this medicine. This medicine does pass into breast milk. Talk to your doctor if you plan to begin or stop using this medicine while breast-feeding or if you plan to stop breast-feeding.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

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 is against the law.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed.

This medicine may cause harm and death if it is taken by other adults, children, or pets. Return medicine that has not been used to an official disposal site. Contact the DEA at 1-800-882-9539 or your city/county government to find a site. If you cannot return the medicine, flush it down the toilet. Do not use the medicine after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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