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medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders

Follow Directions - How To Use Methadone Safely

Follow Directions - How To Use Methadone Safely

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Follow Directions

How to Use Methadone Safely

Methadone Is a Proven Road to Relief...If You Keep Your Eyes on the Road

Methadone provides relief to patients who do not respond to non-narcotic pain medications and to individuals who suffer from addiction and dependence on heroin and narcotic pain medicines.

Here are some simple ways to reduce the risks:

  • Know and share your complete health history with health professionals, especially if you are a first-time user. Other medicines may interact with methadone and cause heart conditions.
  • Take methadone exactly as prescribed. Follow your doctor's directions exactly.
  • Never use more than the amount prescribed, at the times prescribed. If you miss a dose or if you feel it is not working, do not take extra.
  • Use caution when taking methadone. Don't consume alcohol. Be careful driving or operating machinery.
  • Take care not to abuse methadone. It can be addictive.
  • Call 911 if you take too much methadone or overdose.
  • Take steps to prevent children from accidentally taking methadone; never give methadone to anyone else.
  • Store methadone at room temperature and away from light.
  • Dispose of unused methadone by flushing it down the toilet.

Take Side Effects Seriously

Some are emergencies. Patients should stop taking methadone—and contact a physician or emergency services right away—if they:

  • Have difficulty breathing or shallow breathing
  • Feel lightheaded or faint
  • Get hives or a rash; have swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Feel chest pain
  • Have a fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Have hallucinations or confusion

Need More Information?

Patients who develop a problem with methadone or have questions should speak with a physician or contact 1-800-662-HELP.

Helpful information can also be found at the following Web sites:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
http://www.hhs.gov

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
http://www.samhsa.gov

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)
http://www.csat.samhsa.gov

CSAT's Division of Pharmacologic Therapies
http://www.dpt.samhsa.gov/methadonesafety

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
http://www.fda.gov

 
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