Methadone is a drug which was developed in Germany in the late 1930′s. It was designed to be a strong analgesic for use in the relief of severe chronic pain. The drug is a synthetic opioid that shares many of the qualities of morphine and heroin but does not produce the same high. It has proven to be effective in reducing drug dependency for those who are fighting addiction. Taking methadone in prescribed amounts lessens withdrawals symptoms allowing patients to cut down their dependency without much suffering. However, extreme caution must be taken as it is prone to abuse and overdose can be lethal.
Methadone Side Effects
People who take methadone may experience several cognitive issues after a prolonged period of usage or after taking more than what was prescribed. It is common for patients to report having difficulty sleeping and feeling anxious throughout the night. This may be punctuated by hallucinations with people seeing and hearing things that are not really there. They could feel jumpy and agitated, consumed by a paranoia that something bad is about to happen. They may also feel an inexplicable sense of panic when confronted with certain triggers. Their sense of reality may be altered by frequent delusions about the world they live in.
Patients report intense and frequent cravings that are difficult to shake off. Their sense of smell is heightened, though some of the odors they perceive may actually be imagined. Sex drive may be pushed to polar extremes. They could have a vastly reduced appetite for sex, but others go the other way and yearn for it. In fact, there have been instances of spontaneous orgasm among those taking methadone. Depression is another common side effect and in the worst cases, people may contemplate taking their own life. The drug may cause reduced breathing which could be fatal.
To minimize these methadone side effects, patients must strictly adhere to the doctor’s recommended dosages and other instructions. Administration may be undertaken by family members or a caretaker to prevent an overdose. Methadone should never be taken with alcohol as they enhance each other’s effects on the body which could prove disastrous.