The Methadone Side Effects You Should Watch Out For

Methadone is a popular drug for treating opiate and opioid addiction, withdrawal, and chronic pain conditions along with addiction. It is one of the oldest medications for treating the symptoms of withdrawal. Doctors began using methadone almost 70 years ago. It has been thoroughly tested and vetted through hundreds of thousands of cases. Although methadone is generally considered to be safe, like any drug methadone has side effects that you need to watch out for.

Common Side Effects of Methadone

The most common side effects of methadone usually clear up in a few days to a week after you begin methadone treatment. Some of these side effects are:

  • Anxiety
  • Changes in weight
  • Confusion while you are on the drug
  • Constipation
  • Distorted color perception
  • Drowsiness
  • Erectile disfunction
  • Halos around lights
  • Irritability
  • Loss of strength
  • Loss of vision or blurry vision
  • Missed menstruation in women
  • Night blindness or light sensitivity
  • Tunnel vision
  • Unusual sense of wellbeing
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Welts

Most often, these side effects are not enough to make someone stop using methadone.

Severe Side Effects of Methadone

The severe side effects of methadone are less frequent than the common side effects. When you experience these side effects while you are on methadone you should call your doctor immediately or go to the hospital. The severe methadone side effects are:

  • Black stools
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bloody urine
  • Blue fingernails
  • Blue lips
  • Bradycardia
  • Change in color vision or color blindness
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Confusion
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty or painful urination
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Irregular, fast, or slow breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Puffiness or swelling around the face or mouth
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Severe confusion
  • Severe cramping
  • Shallow breathing
  • Tachycardia
  • Tenderness
  • Tiny red spots on the skin
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Trouble going to the bathroom
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Unusual bruising
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain
  • Wheezing

Although these side effects do not seem dangerous by themselves, they can be signs of something very very wrong. In some cases, it may be an allergic reaction to the drug, in others it can be a sign of bowel death, overdose, or severe reaction. These side effects should never be taken lightly.

Overdose as a Methadone Side Effect

Overdose is one severe methadone side effect. Unfortunately, as controlled as methadone is, it is possible to overdose on, particularly if you mix methadone with alcohol or other respiratory depressants. If you follow a doctors instructions exactly, there is almost no chance of a methadone addiction or overdose. It is when your addiction is powerful and you do not follow the doctor’s advice that overdose or addiction becomes possible. A good way to avoid this particular methadone side effect is to make sure that you are very careful while taking methadone.

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