"Nov. 2, 2012 -- Safety steps taken in the wake of the fungal meningitis outbreak have worsened drug shortages, raising questions about whether the U.S. must choose between the safety and the availability of crucial medicines.
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 can 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.
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 moderate to severe pain. 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.
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: Read the 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 as directed by your doctor. 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.
If you are taking this medication for pain, remember that pain medications work best if they are used when the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
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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