METHADONE ORAL CONCENTRATE SIDE EFFECTS

  • Generic Name: methadone oral concentrate
  • Brand Name: Methadone
Last updated on MDtodate: 10/7/2022

SIDE EFFECTS

Heroin Withdrawal

During the induction phase of methadone maintenance treatment, patients are being withdrawn from heroin and may therefore show typical withdrawal symptoms, which should be differentiated from methadone-induced side effects. They may exhibit some or all of the following signs and symptoms associated with acute withdrawal from heroin or other opiates: lacrimation, rhinorrhea, sneezing, yawning, excessive perspiration, goose-flesh, fever, chilliness alternating with flushing, restlessness, irritability, weakness, anxiety, depression, dilated pupils, tremors, tachycardia, abdominal cramps, body aches, involuntary twitching and kicking movements, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, intestinal spasms, and weight loss.

Initial Administration

The initial methadone dose should be carefully titrated to the individual. Too rapid titration for the patient’s sensitivity is more likely to produce adverse effects.

The major hazards of methadone are respiratory depression and, to a lesser degree, systemic hypotension. Respiratory arrest, shock, cardiac arrest, and death have occurred.

The most frequently observed adverse reactions include lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, and sweating. These effects seem to be more prominent in ambulatory patients and in those who are not suffering severe pain. In such individuals, lower doses are advisable.

Other adverse reactions include the following: (listed alphabetically under each subsection)

Body as a Whole: asthenia (weakness), edema, headache

Cardiovascular: arrhythmias, bigeminal rhythms, bradycardia, cardiomyopathy, ECG abnormalities, extrasystoles, flushing, heart failure, hypotension, palpitations, phlebitis, QT interval prolongation, syncope, T-wave inversion, tachycardia, torsade de pointes, ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia

Digestive: abdominal pain, anorexia, biliary tract spasm, constipation, dry mouth, glossitis

Hematologic and Lymphatic: reversible thrombocytopenia has been described in opioid addicts with chronic hepatitis

Metabolic and Nutritional: hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, weight gain

Nervous: agitation, confusion, disorientation, dysphoria, euphoria, insomnia, seizures

Respiratory: pulmonary edema, respiratory depression

Skin and Appendages: pruritis, urticaria, other skin rashes, and rarely, hemorrhagic urticaria

Special Senses: hallucinations, visual disturbances

Urogenital: amenorrhea, antidiuretic effect, reduced libido and/or potency, urinary retention or hesitancy

Maintenance on a Stabilized Dose

During prolonged administration of methadone, as in a methadone maintenance treatment program, there is usually a gradual, yet progressive, disappearance of side effects over a period of several weeks. However, constipation and sweating often persist.

Drug Abuse And Dependence

Methadone hydrochloride oral concentrate contains methadone, a potent Schedule II opioid agonist. Schedule II opioid substances, which also include hydromorphone, morphine, oxycodone, and oxymorphone, have the highest potential for abuse and risk of fatal overdose due to respiratory depression. Methadone, like morphine and other opioids used for analgesia, has the potential for being abused and is subject to criminal diversion.

Abuse of methadone poses a risk of overdose and death. This risk is increased with concurrent abuse of methadone with alcohol and other substances. In addition, parenteral drug abuse is commonly associated with transmission of infectious disease such as hepatitis and HIV.

Since methadone may be diverted for non-medical use, careful record keeping of ordering and dispensing information, including quantity, frequency, and renewal requests is strongly advised.

Proper assessment of the patient, proper prescribing practices, periodic re-evaluation of therapy, and proper dispensing and storage are appropriate measures that help to limit abuse of opioid drugs.

Methadone, when used for the treatment of opioid addiction in detoxification or maintenance programs, may be dispensed only by opioid treatment programs certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (and agencies, practitioners or institutions by formal agreement with the program sponsor).

Infants born to mothers physically dependent on opioids may also be physically dependent and may exhibit respiratory difficulties and withdrawal symptoms.

 

SRC: NLM .