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IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
METHADONE - ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Dolophine, Methadose
WARNING: Methadone has a high risk for abuse. It can also cause severe, possibly fatal, breathing problems and heartbeat problems. These problems are more likely to happen when this medication is first started, or when you are switching from another narcotic drug to methadone, or when the dose is increased. Breathing problems from methadone may not happen right away after taking a dose. Most heartbeat problems have happened in people using large doses of methadone for pain relief, but this problem can also occur in people taking smaller doses to treat narcotic drug addiction. Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than directed. Get medical help right away if you notice unusual slow/shallow breathing, fast/irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, or fainting.
Before using this medication, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the risks and benefits. Pregnancy may affect the amount of this drug in your body, so tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may slightly increase the risk of birth defects if used during the first two months of pregnancy. Also, using it for a long time or in high doses near the expected delivery date may harm the unborn baby. To lessen the risk, take the smallest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Babies born to mothers who use this drug for a long time may develop severe (possibly fatal) withdrawal symptoms. Tell the doctor right away if you notice any symptoms in your newborn baby such as slow/shallow breathing, irritability, shaking, persistent crying, vomiting, diarrhea, poor feeding, or difficulty gaining weight.
Keep this medicine in a safe place to prevent theft, misuse, or abuse. If a child accidentally swallows this drug, get medical help right away.
USES: This medication is used to treat severe ongoing pain (such as due to cancer). Methadone belongs to a class of drugs known as narcotic (opiate) analgesics. It works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain.
Do not use this medication to relieve pain that is mild or that will go away in a few days (such as pain from surgery). This medication is not for occasional ("as needed") use.
This medication is also used to treat addiction to narcotic drugs (such as heroin) as part of an approved treatment program. It helps prevent withdrawal symptoms caused by stopping other narcotic drugs.
HOW TO USE: See also Warning section.
Read the Medication Guide and Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start using methadone and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth on a regular schedule as directed by your doctor and not as needed for sudden (breakthrough) pain. You may take this drug with or without food. If you have nausea, it may help to take this drug with food. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other ways to decrease nausea (such as lying down for 1 to 2 hours with as little head movement as possible).
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, measure the dose carefully using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as restlessness, watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, sweating, muscle aches) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
This medication may rarely cause abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction). This risk may be increased if you have abused alcohol or drugs in the past. Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lessen the risk of addiction. Stopping methadone maintenance treatment has a high risk of return to narcotic drug abuse.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
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