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Methadone side effects

Common side effects of methadone treatment

Methadone does come with side effects.  Here, Dr. Jana Burson outlines how methadone acts in and on the body.  If you have any questions about other side effects of methadone, be sure to send us an email (info [at] addictionblog [dot] org) or respond in the comment section below.

How is methadone absorbed?

Methadone is quickly absorbed from the stomach and intestines, stored in the liver, and released into the bloodstream over time. Plasma levels peak at around two to four hours after dosing.

Opioid tolerance on methadone

Euphoria and drowsiness can be seen if the initial methadone dose is too high, or if the dose has been raised too quickly. Tolerance develops within two weeks to both of these symptoms, and any euphoria felt by the patient subsides. However, patients don’t develop a tolerance to the blocking effects of methadone, meaning that once they get to a stable dose, they do not need to continually increase their dose in order to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay.

Can taking methadone cause excessive sweating?

The most common side effects of taking methadone include sweating and constipation. All opioids can cause both of these side effects, but methadone is more likely to cause both. Tolerance doesn’t seem to build for this, so these effects usually don’t improve with time.

Methadone effects on the liver

Though stored in the liver, methadone doesn’t damage the liver. Medical illnesses that affect the liver may affect the storage and metabolism of methadone, but methadone will not hasten deterioration of liver function. In fact, there are no serious, long term, adverse effects with indefinite methadone treatment. The most common side effects are sweating, constipation, weight gain, and sexual dysfunction.

Low testosterone and opiates

Methadone causes sexual dysfunction, particularly in men.  All opioids, including methadone, suppress testosterone levels. This in turn can decrease sexual desire, and limit the ability to initiate and sustain an erection. Sometimes, as the body adjusts to the presence of a steady level of opioids, testosterone levels may return to normal. If not, some male patients may need to be started on replacement testosterone.

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Methadone and weight gain

Many patients on methadone say they crave sweets. Most people do gain weight while on methadone, but the reason isn’t clear. Some of the weight gain may be due to eating more regular meals, and expending less activity to get illicit opioids.

Methadone discussion

Have you experienced any of these side effects?  What other side effects have you heard about from people who are currently taking methadone.  And do you know the facts from the myths about methadone maintenance.

Leave a Reply

70 Responses to “Methadone side effects
Rehabilitation Centers
1:34 pm November 24th, 2010

Great Topic would like to see more issues surrounding Methadone

Addiction T
1:36 pm November 24th, 2010

Methadone is the most commonly used drug in the world more and more are being exposed to it daily.

Madi
9:32 pm April 25th, 2011

I’ve been on methadone for 3 years. I gained over 100 pounds within the first 6 months of being on it. I’m also a diabetic so my diet is very strict so I really can’t see blaming that for the weight gain. I also was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (under activity of the thyroid) right after I started taking the methadone. I was tested for it 6 months before I started it and my thyroid was within normal range. So I really think due to the timing and everything that happend, that the methadone killed my thyroid. The clinic I go to refuses to even hear me out, They say methadone has no side effects and that I must be sneaking sweets and just not realizing it. I’m really frustrated with the whole situation. If anyone has any advice or is in a simalar situation please comment here.

5:28 pm April 27th, 2011

Thanks for your question, Madi. I will forward it to Dr. Burson and see if she can answer it for you in another post.

sara ford
2:02 pm May 3rd, 2011

Hello I take 195 of methadone every morring by month at 6am for about 3 years now and have been stable on the 195 for 2 years. But for the past 2 years I have been bleeding from fibroids and I never stop. So I had to have a blood transfusion my hemoglobin was a 4.0 1/3 less then what I needed to have. I had this done on the 15th of April and for the first week I was feeling ok but the next week till now I have starting to feel withdraw at around 5pm everynigh. What I would like to know is because my body was so uesd to not have a high hemoglobin for the 2 years when I got all that blood back so fast and my liver,heart,kidneys, started to work better would that make me feel that withdraw. because now my body is working different and more of the methadone is being taken by my blood and by my liver. I dont know what other thing could make me feel like this I have not had withdraw for years and till right after my blood transfusion my methadone was holding me till the next day and sometimes even longer.

chrissy
10:03 am May 7th, 2011

i was on methadone about a year and a half ago,then i had a breast reduction and promised my husband i would get off methadone so i did then got on narcos 10/325 times2 4 times a day and also somas 350mgs 3 times a day,well now i have endometriosis and have had nothing but problems with my breast reduction(sucky plastic surgeon) but also have bad back problems,so i was paying for all these narcos and as costing me over $200 a month so my doctor decided i can take methadone 10mg 3 times a day plus the somas 350mg 3 times a day also,well my husbands ex wife she died while taking methadone,she had hep C,hep A,plus she drank alcohol ALOT she couldn’t go a day without it,well he is telling me that the methadone is going to kill my liver,and other people that have tried in the past to get me to use marijuana instead of methadone say that it makes your brain basically melt and i will start forgetting things,and it will kill me!!! This scares me alot but i have turned to every other avenue but don’t want to ruin my body either i am only 26 years old and please keep in mind i am not on methadone because i am getting off of drugs it is for pain management only,plus i wanted to know how often am i allowed to take methadone i am taking it every 6 hours right now and just making sure i am not overdosing myself,but for some reason the methadone keeps my pain away longer than the narcos, I also am concerned about gaining weight i have already gained about 55 pounds since i had my breast reduction so i do want to loose weight but i want to do it the right way!!!I am also concerned about 2 other things taking the somas with the methadone my doctor says its ok but just need another opinion,and 2nd thing is i am worried that methadone will effect my intimate relationship with my husband is there n e thing i can do to help me in this department?? I really apreciate you answering all these questions i know its alot but i am at a dead end here.
Thank you,
chrissy

chris
12:33 am June 4th, 2011

I have been on methadone steady for over 11 years. my current dose is 70mg daily. I have been as high as 130mg and as low as 20mg. Volume of daily intake has a very little to do with severity of side effects or severity of withdrawl (if abruptly discontinued). Like so many methadone brothers and sisters, I suffer from drenching sweats brought on by the least of physical exertion. I have gained about 80 pounds on methadone (never heavy before). Methadone has lowered my testosterone to a level of virtual sexual disfunction. Other side-effects of “Low-T” that I suffer from are; reduction of lean muscle, depression, lack of motivation, lack of constructive decisiveness. I recently had an EKG disclose “Left Bundle Branch Block” . A heart disfunction brought on from methadone. I am leaving for the Carribean shortly to recieve Ibogaine treatment. If you are not familiar with Ibogaine and wish to break your opiate addiction, I strongly recommend getting informed about this substance. Seek testimonials about the near miraculous power of this humble root-bark extractive. There is no shortage of good info on line but unfortunately, Ibogaine is not attainable (legally) in the U.S. currently. But it has been used with astonishing success in Europe, Canada, Mexico and scores of other fine nations. Until I discovered Ibogaine I was resolved to the dismal proposition of perpetual methadone addiction. And not having health insurance, methadone costs me $400.00 each month. If you are seeking a way out of the insanity of opiate addiction, dont lose hope – look into IBOGAINE

Craig
9:24 pm June 26th, 2011

I am 59yo white male. To look at me you would say I look in my mid 40’s and in good health. I quit smoking many years ago and haven’t had an alcoholic drink(a sip, one sip, of beer doesn’t count) since starting Methadone 31 years ago. I have been on a dose of 80mg. for that many years. I noticed my sexual desire waning about 10 years ago, although my wife and I still have some good “wrestling matches” once or twice a month. I have developed a couple friends who are chronic pain patients so if I want to use a little Oxy on Friday night I can. Yes, only on Friday night. I have a well paying job as a craftsman and an accident while “dirty” would put an end to my employment. I have had three accidents in 31 years and Methadone or any other drugs have never been an issue.
Before Methadone I was involved in many drug store burglaries and a couple, I don’t even want to say, of drug stores. Within two weeks of starting Methadone I had a job, my one year old Son and Wife moved back in with me and I now have built equity in my life, house and possessions.
In England they have Dipipanone. I’ve heard it is half the addiction liability of Methadone and a good stepping off drug for Methadone. I have accepted the fact that I will take Methadone until I die. Given the positive effects it has had on my life that is just fine with me.

chris
5:57 am July 6th, 2011

My last blog was June 4TH. I have since gone to and returned from Jamaica where i recieved ibogaine therapy. Today is July 5 -My last methadone was on june 21. I am now completely drug free !! ibogaine is truly a miraculous substance! I am currently feeling a little weak and sleep is hard to come by By God, NO WITHDRAWL- NO DEPRESSION
I have great mental accuity and have never fealt TRIUMPH like this.
The treatment model in the U.S. for addiction is EFFEED UP! Avoid buprenex-it is a farce! Go to the Dr. you dont really get a health care provider as much as an agent for BIG PHARMA. Wise up truth seekers, get of the hamster wheel and seek release with ibogaine.

chris
9:39 am July 6th, 2011

In response to Craig- june 26-2011
Perhapse methadone is an appropriate therapy for some people. To me it fealt like an unbearable prison. Shuffling into the clinic once a week, to be viewed with a suspicious and jaundiced eye. Made to “share” in those insipid group N.A. setions . I am an Athiest and being instructed by some slack jawed, mouth breathing, county drone that I must embrace my “higher power” and work steps is to me, oppressive and deeply repugnant. I to am a proffesional in my field and have worked hard to gain modest success. The very idea of one of those county trolls making descisions that effect my life and livelyhood makes me dispondent. Thankfully, I will never be condescended to or treated like “bad child” by some troglitic public “servant” FREE AT LAST

craig
6:54 pm August 30th, 2011

I go to a private for profit clinic run by CRC in Portland,Oregon. I go every 27 days. One group for an hour and a one on one for a half hour a month. With Kaiser I pay a co pay of $67 a month. Keep your nose clean and your body and methadone maintenance is no more trouble than getting a haircut or mowing the lawn. I don’t see the jaundiced eye or the “county”.

diane smith
1:19 am September 11th, 2011

is brown teeth a side effect of long term use of methadone?

Tony
7:47 pm September 21st, 2011

Hi I was on methadone for 2 years.Taking 100mg daily I got a testostorone test done last week bcause I started the gym again and thhy say a normal test level is between 8 and 24 and mine is a Wopping 2….Which my Dr said is extremely LOW!…Does anyone else think it might be due to methadone.

Nora
5:48 pm December 27th, 2011

Um…the reason is plenty clear. Patients gain weight b/c methadone makes you fat. They dance all around it at every clinic everywhere, but that’s why patients gain weight. Maybe it’s to keep you from choosing to be a junkie instead of fat. I’ve been tempted to

Michael Sloan
4:42 pm May 5th, 2012

the message is for Tony. Yes Methadone affects your teststosterone, it lowers it a lot. Mine had dropped to four i`m crrently taken replacement hormone treatment.

tina
8:30 am May 24th, 2012

I have a couple questions,my boyfriend has been on methadone for 15 years and recently has increased his dose to 210 mg a day for pain due to amputation,. Does methadone cause depression, weight gain and reproductive disfunction, went to get his testostorone levels checked and no results as of yet. He is depressed and does not want to do anything, he says it is because of the methadone

10:46 am May 25th, 2012

Hello Tina. Yes, methadone can cause adverse side effects which you describe. Methadone can impact the metabolic and nutritional system of the body, causing weight gain. Methadone can also impact the urogenital system and reduce libido. Depression can be a sign or symptoms associated with acute withdrawal from opiates, but is often present and in the background for many people dealing with former drug use.

Is your boyfriend open to seeking solutions for these conditions? Although depression may be caused by medication, we all have a personal responsibility to take ownership of our health, and to try to do something to make our lives better. But if he’s not willing to try, you cannot force him to.

susan moore
7:18 am August 9th, 2012

The constipation is incredibly BAD. You have to find a creative way to fight it. I’ve been on Methadone for nine years, Good Luck.

brian
7:35 pm October 23rd, 2012

i have been on methadone for 20 yrs now ranging from 120 to 14 mls a day ,yes i have had a couple of relapses but in the past few years i have been severly depressed and prone to the odd panic attack and now am starting to feel pain in my ankles( old injury, broke both ). this has all started since i began my de-tox off methadone, they say it does’nt get u high but keeps you stable is a load of bull. i did’nt realise how high i must have been as since i’ve got dwn to 30 mls from 90 my head is muddled my mind has never been so clear and i’m struggling mentally and physically to cope with it, is there anybody who feels or is having the same problems.

mike sloan
9:01 am October 24th, 2012

from michael sloan: methadone is unfornatly known to users as chemical handcuffs. I take 115 mils down from 140 for pain management i was hit by a car at 15 years old as a passenger on a motorcycle.I lost half of the leg and the other half was put on crooked ive taken all kinds of opiates for pain since i landed on my back my spine is finished full of arthritis,broke my nose which i had fixwed and it was painful. Many surgeries one to remove a bent steel plate and replace with a heavy duty plate.the blood i was given was full of hep c and so im just bidding my time waiting.

stephen reed
12:11 pm November 16th, 2012

Hello,
When a patient is detoxing of Methadone say from 50ml, is it safe for him to reduce 5ml every week?

2:31 pm November 19th, 2012

Hi Stephen. The prescribing doctor is responsible for setting up a dosage tapering schedule. No set dosage reduction schedule is established for everyone who takes methadone. Methadone, in particular, poses difficulties in dosing and increases the risk of toxicity when detoxing. But safe tapering from opiates generally follows a 2 to 3 week regimen with these principles:

o Reduce the daily dose by 10%
o Reduce the dose by 20% every 3-5 days
o Reduce the dose by 25% per week
o Avoid reducing the daily dose by > 50% at any given interval

goergie
11:33 pm December 8th, 2012

Hi Addiction

I have benn begging, yes, literally begging my program, of 15 yrs to take me down!! 40 mgs in 6 months?? I’m still on a very high dose of 100. Have been compliant the whole time, except first year,until I was stable. Hate to say it but I really think its the money they get.

I come once every 2 weeks, I get a urine once a month and a session w/ a counselor every few months!! It is a struggle for them to
take me down. Even though I keep telling them my dose is too high. I even tell them I’m afraid of a car accident, I can not handle it.
BTW I’m not the only “compliant” client with this complaint at this faciluty, Thanks……

Loretta Hodges
3:45 pm December 30th, 2012

I live in Huntsville, Al. and i have on the clinic twice, i have been on it for 3 years now, and i go for pain. I finally got my s,s. disabilty so i have medicare and medicaid , before i didnt have insurance. now the clinic that i go to is accepting medicaid only and also give paitents a check for gas, what i dont understand is why they want accept medicaid if you have medicare. i would like to know if anyone could explain to me why this is bc i dont understand what so ever. thanks

9:08 am December 31st, 2012

Hello Loretta. I found some basic information on Medicaid and Medicare here. http://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNProducts/downloads/medicare_beneficiaries_dual_eligibles_at_a_glance.pdf

For additional information, visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid website and look for contact information there:

http://www.cms.gov/MLNGenInfo
http://www.cms.gov

goergie
12:03 am January 6th, 2013

Loretta
I think its because methadone is a prescription. And you have medicare and Medicaid so you get a Medicare scriot card that pays for your meds. I have the same, however, I think they HAVE to work
with you. You recieve the medicaid because you are below the US recognized poverty level.
I dont think the state of NY can differ greatly with Alabama when it comes to government aid. They take my medicare (also provided
by the govt) and they CAN NOT bill me for whatever medicare wont
cover. They usually dont foot the entire bill.

Can you go to your local (county) gov’t center and ask for, or demand (nicely) some assistance with this?? They can help you.

Let us know how it turns out.

Eric
1:57 am March 18th, 2013

I must say Methadone literally saved my life, If I did not get on the clinic in my mid 20’s I would of wound up in 1 of 3 places. Eather Dead in Prison and the best possible outcome a homeless scum bag on the streets of the Bronx still living that miserable addict life style robbing and stealing for my next fix of dope. Every day I wake up and am living a productive lifestyle it’s because of the help methadone gave me to do so. I am 36 now and have been on the clinic for 11 years. I am now down to 18 MGS and hopefully will be off in 3 months with the slow detox cycle I am on. Those first 5 to 7 years I can not even express how important methadone was for helping me stay Sober. Saying all this it should only be used for a last resort when nothing else works.

Frances
9:40 pm March 27th, 2013

Hey I have been on methadone for almost 3 months, I am not worried about what peolpe say about methadone, the reason is because when you hear about people dieing on methadone is most of the time they are takeing other drugs with the methadone, I feel if I dont take anything with it like xanax, which I was on xanax before I started taking methadone… but I am on 60mg and i am going up 5mg, I need to know dose methadone make you forget stuff? Or has it been reported that people started forgeting stuff when starting the methadone? Thank you very much, I look a lot of stuff up about methadone and I can not find anything about forgetting stuff….
Thank you,
Frances Calaway

mike sloan
5:35 pm March 28th, 2013

thx but already knew this.and if stress levels increase the adrenaline destroys methadone causing very bad cramps

Chris
4:31 pm August 9th, 2013

I have a question I have been on Methadone for about 4 months now and I’ve went from 15 mg to 60 mg and I’ve noticed that after I passed 35 mg I began having edema in my feet and swollen ankles reading the side effects I have not experienced the excessive sweating but my libido has dropped I am a healthy 30 yo male and now I feel like I have no interest in being intimate at all is this normal that Edema or swollen feel/ankles are side effects of Methadone maybe I need a decrease?

Jeff
11:47 am August 30th, 2013

I have been taking methadone for about 10 years. As well as oxycodone. I am on disability and take it for my ruptured discs. 80 mg of methadone per day and 90 mg of oxycodone per day. I first began taking it for recreation. Now I really need it. However after I began my prescription form many years ago I continued to snort the drug. It works faster. Obviously there is no high at all. But my habit of insufflation has stuck with me.i REALLY need to know if there is any research about long term effects of insufflation of methadone and or oxycodone. Please. I hope you guys can help with some info. I can’t even talk to anyone else about this.. Thanks

12:28 pm September 2nd, 2013

Hello Jeff. Snorting meds can permanently damage the sinus passage. It can also cause dependence and/or addiction. Check out this article and do a search for “site:.gov opioid snort” to learn more.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2704131/

Debra Rincon
7:27 pm November 26th, 2013

what we need is tips on when your abruptly detoxed in jail, then sent home to cope with Years of Methadone withdrawls. Some people tell me it takes a year to get back to normal, I am going on 3 months & I feel sick as ever. I have other Pain Issues though? THE MENTAL PART IS THE HARDEST TO COPE WITH.

pharmer
1:07 am January 24th, 2014

I appreciate this blog, which contains some valuable information. I’m 58, and have been on opioids most of my life, including the week after I was born when they did an operation on my solid esophagus to save me, and then treated me for post-operative pain with morphine and put me in the incubator to see if I would survive (a “1 in 10″ chance of survival he told my parents in 1955). While growing-up I often got lung infections and coughs, which got me addicted to opiated cough medicine, which made me feel ‘normal’ (addicts know what I mean). Then I became a pharma-junkie and heroin too. The last 15 years I’ve been on methadone, from a high of 90mg. at first, then 40 mg, for the last ten years. I tried to detox five years ago, but did it too fast and wrong, so I failed. This time I’m doing everything right, and having a much easier time titrating me dose down. I’ve gone down quickly to 10mg, by taking smaller doses at more frequent times (4-6 hours). Now I take 1-2mg. in the morning, and the 7-8 mg. about 3-4 hours before bed. I’m taking melatonin, which is really seeming to help, and may be the reason most cold-turkey methadone patients can’t sleep for a month or more. My thyroid level is suppressed, which is likely what makes me so weak when I detox, so I’m researching how to treat it. My doc gave me two blood tests, and prescribed some “levothyroxine” for my hypothyroidism. I like to go holistic though, so I’m researching holistic treatments. Does that make sense: that the pineal gland is what makes us not be able to sleep, and the thyroid (which effects the adrenal gland) makes us weak? I’m going to add maca root to stabilize my endocrine system, and raise my testosterone level. There are many other herbs I’m experimenting with, after researching them, and considering negative synergistic effects. I also want to uses acupuncture and massage, hot baths, etc. Any thoughts about my hypothydroidism issue during detox? Thanks in advance!

Chris
8:46 pm March 29th, 2014

I was on 4 mg of methadone for a few years for fibromyalgia and other chronic pain. My testosterone was low in June and now. Will it return to normal?

john
12:56 pm May 30th, 2014

hi could you please inform myself to your knowledge is it my daily methadone addiction that is suppressing my testosterone levels,i have a reading of 100 bearing in mind normal is 500-1200,i have no lobido atall,i have tapered down to 20mg daily but did not notice any changes in lobido,i am back up to 75mlg daily but I wont to taper of completely to see if my testosterone levels increase,i am at my wits ends regarding this issue as I have tried avidly for the last 4 yrs to increase my testosterone with a testosterone friendly diet,high intend=sity interval training.supplements,wearing a blakoe ball zinger nightly with no results atall in the testosterone department which leads me to come to the conclusion I have to eliminate my daily methadone addiction out of my life completely for my testosterone levels to return to normal as I am so depressed with this issue! many thanx for the support John

Jerry
12:19 am June 15th, 2014

In a UA test will methadone look like saboxone

mike
3:47 pm August 13th, 2014

Ive been on methadone maintenance for a little over two years now and I can say without a doubt it saved my life. I had tried rehabs, and honestly wanted to stop but my brain and body never adjusted. The cravings and wanting were always there. Its such a relief to be stable and not running around daily for money and drugs.
My problem now is the sweating. Irs EXTREME.at work I always look strange because im always swearing. Anyone have any REALLY GOOD tips?
I do know that the methadone does something to my histamine in my body. Is there a med or simple solution? Irs pretty serious. Thx

Mr Dayton
8:42 pm September 21st, 2014

I’ve been taking opiates for 15 years after injuring my back…I now take 50 to 70 mlg methadone and oxcodone for breakthru 20 mlg when need the worst of my symptons is weight gain sweats and the worst is the overwhelming tired feeling in the front of my brain and the closing of my eyes really bizarre dreams it works great for my pain and doesn’t get me loaded or high any one else feel this way thank you

Preston
7:14 pm October 20th, 2014

What are the withdrawal symptoms of methadone

2:34 pm October 21st, 2014

Hi Preston. Here is an article that answers your question: http://prescription-drug.addictionblog.org/what-are-methadone-withdrawal-symptoms/

Bill
6:54 pm November 6th, 2014

I myself use methadone 2 10 mg tabs Five times a day for pain and I want to know because my right lower leg and ankle has necrosis..Is methadone having an effect on my bones?

Deborah
7:09 pm November 22nd, 2014

My husband has been on Methadone 5mg tid for 2 weeks. He then was told to increase it to 10mg tid. He has been on the 10mg tid dose for 1 week. He throws up, constipation, and just wants to come off of it. Since it is such a short time of 3 weeks, how can he come off of it safely?

12:22 pm November 25th, 2014

Hi Deborah. I’d suggest taking your husband to the doctor’s to determine the best and safest course of action. I can’t give you any solid advise since I don’t know your husband’s full medical chart, but for now it wil be safe to lower the dose. Even if the decreased dose makes him feel better, still see a doctor.

G117
8:24 am December 13th, 2014

I was a size 2 at 5″5 weighing 120lbs ( I seem to carry weight easily w/very dense bones. No broken bones…). Within 5 yrs., I weighed 160 lbs. Methadone definitely slows down your metabolism. I know age doesn’t help but, I was 35 at 120. I’m now 42 & am going to apply myself to a program working out. WISH ME LUCK!

Katie
9:49 am January 8th, 2015

I have been taking Methadone 10mg x3 daily for 13 months.. 2 months into I began to suffer from extreme edema from my hips to my ankles. Doc prescribed medication, and it began to slowly disappear, and I have not suffered from edema since June. Next, I started Methadone weighing a a very steady 130. (when I say steady, it is because I have been 125-130 lbs for the past 10 years. Never going below or above.) Yesterday, 13 months into my Methadone daily dosing, I was weighed at 152 lbs. I do not eat more than I did before I began Methadone, nor do I eat any less. I eat the same amounts, and the same type of foods. So, really, there isn’t any reason for the weight gain, .it has to be the Methadone causing the unexplained weight gain. Sweating…GEEEEZ….the amount I sweat is ridiculous. It does not matter what temperature it is, I am sweating. I refuse to wear certain shirts now to avoid showing any wet pit marks. How embarrassing! Another side effect, the lack of interest in sex! This one is a real bummer. Since beginning pain medication 6 years ago (Lortab, and Percocet), ANY sexual desire I had disappeared, so, when I began taking Methadone, it really did not register as a side effect because that was already something I had been suffering with for many years, thanks to chronic pain and the medications they make for it. Anyway, Methadone is a wonderful medication for SOME people…works for some, ruins life for others…and that is all there is to say about that part of the discussion.

ben
8:56 pm January 13th, 2015

Methadone has the same symptoms coming off as anything else but last twice as long. Drink lots of alcohol and eat alot the first week it will help alot. You will have hot and cold sweats, restless leg cramps at night. U can use cold packs for your legs it works great. Sweating was the worst for me but after the first week and a half that should fade. I noticed i lost alot of fluid in my face and arms that the methadone was causing. If u have family and they dont know about your addiction you should talk with them, have them help with cooking or kids if u have them. The first week you will have alot of mood swings so try to stay positive. Take lots of showers even if u feel like your dieing lol it will help also get alot of movies. Drink alot of water, the more water u drink a day the faster and better you will feel. Dont give in cause in the first week thats how your gonna feel. Lots of mindpower getting out of the house helps take your mind off it too even if its just a car ride. If your really going to give in take a couple shots of some hard stuff. You will notice in about two weeks your mind is much more clear and you can sort of laugh again. Although your mind will feel great your body has alot of catching up to do so make sure to drink and eat healthy too. Dont worry all the negitive feelings u have are normal and will pass fast. And yes to some people that have asked all addicts feel depressed thats what those things do to everyone that takes them.everyone feels just about the same when they cant get anything or cant find anything . Shit. Dont talk to people that use or sell them, change your number. To stop you must want to stop. If u dont have much of a life these could be why. Best of luck to u all:-)

john
10:56 pm January 14th, 2015

hi do you know anybody personally or statistically who has been on methadone for 18 yrs,lately over last 5 yrs my lobido has disappeared,i eat a testosterone friendly diet,ive trebled my testosterone levels to a good average for a 49yr old male,ive tried avidly on a daily basis to try & improve my lobido for last 5 yrs ,but no gains,everything points to my methadone being the culprit,im on 70mg daily,but when I tapistent ,which leads me to the conclusion I must abstain totally from methadoneered down to 20mg daily my lobido was still non existent which leads me to the conclusion I must abstain totally free altogether from the drug to see gains in my lobido,could you advise myself on hard facts about length of time I have to be free from methadone altogether for my lobido to return to normal,ive read it can take months?many thanx john

amy
10:07 pm February 3rd, 2015

My mom has been on this I would say 15 years now, I always considered this to be a bad drug I believe she’s addicted when she don’t have it my dad says she turns evil and starts crying. She has nothing wrong with her I mean no pain I believe she takes it because it makes her feel good. There’s 6 of us so I think she had her hands full and thought she needed a little help (methadone) she started off with vicodine norcos, I think oxys and stayed with methadone. I strongly feel that they didn’t do her any good she looks older then her age, she’s balding, her eyes water all the time, and it seems like her hearing is getting bad. I’m just wandering if she should get help?

Morgan
9:55 pm February 13th, 2015

I have been on methadone and clean for 7 years now and started because of the tolerance build up of other pain killers. I have actually never tried herion. Pain killers were my drug of choice. It all started when I was in a horrible horseback riding accident and now have chronic pain and methadone just works for me. Anyway, I wanted to comment on some of your post and ask a question or two:)

First, I defiantly have a sweet tooth!! And have gained 40 pounds since being on methadone!!! Also as far as teeth rotting goes, I think it is the methadone that rots teeth but not in the way you think…many prescriptions, mainly liquid methadone contains a lot of sugar so when drinking it and not brushing your teeth right after causes the sugar to get in between the cracks and crevasses in your teeth and cause cavities. Next, I have been with my husband now for over ten years. He doesn’t take methadone but up to the point I started taking methadone we used to have sexual experiences at least 3-4 times a week…now immediatly after I started taking methadone we only have sex, if he’s lucky, once a month!!! And it’s not because I want it…it’s because he asks me and I feels so bad I just do it!!! So I believe the sexual drive plummets for men AND WOMAN!!! Lastly, sweating is a huge issue with me now being on methadone!!! 8 months out of the year if I slightly move around I break a sweat…mainly just on my face…I would kill to have it under my arms, hidden away!!!

Now finally and most importantly is my Health issue I am conserned about and haven’t found any information on so I don’t know if it’s a methadone side affect or something is wrong with me. Since I started methadone or maybe 6 to a year in, I started to get my period for longer then a week. I am not and haven’t been on birth control or do I have any sort of pain anywhere around there. However, it’s not like a normal period and It’s not heavy at all…just enough to ruin your underwear by days end but really not go through it…so I just use a tampon…ALL THE TIME!! I would say out of 3 months, I have 3-4weeks without bleeding. So if anyone knows about this or can help me that would be great. I have gone to the Gyno and she didn’t see anything wrong with me but I didn’t have the money to get major tests done because I have no insurance:(.

Thanks to all who read…I hope the 1st part helps you & hopefully someone can help me with the 2nd part:)

susan
2:55 pm March 15th, 2015

ive seen side effects in my father in law. i do understand hes in pain from his disintegratng back disks but. after he takes his piill he lays down for a bit then hes up and doing things, i think he shouldnt because of his condton. as the meth. wears off hes
in greater pain, because hes doing things he shouldnt. i am going to talk with his pain mgmt. dr next visit, i know he wont like it but im trying to help him and hes hurting himself. its frustrating.

Kathy Mills
4:21 am April 2nd, 2015

I must admit after 20 years of methadone I have only two side effects, constant sweats and horrible constipation. The sweats are almost unbearable due to the fact that I have become Menopausal. the constipation is so bad that my doctor has triedjust about everything and nothing has worked. My fear is that disgusting constipation will hurt my intestines eventually. in 20 years of using methadone I must admit that I have not had a serious weight gain until the last 5 years. I view this weight gain do to menopause more than methadone. For a long time I was very afraid of the effects of methadone and what it would eventually do to my liver kidneys and Bones.however, after years of use I realize that those fears were unwarranted. as a matter of fact, I think the methadone may have actually saved my life. It certainly brought me back into society and gave me a sense of a desire to live. it gave me my family back my job back, and my home back. But as I stated in my earlier message it’s time for me to get off it now. I think the only problem that I have With methadone itself as a drug as it relates to addictionis that you have such a hard time coming off it. It is three times as difficult to withdraw from as heroin and some people I know even had to go back to heroin in order to get off the methadone. On the other hand, I know people who have actually dosed off going down 5 milligrams to 2 milligrams Per month and say they have not felt any pain.personally, I believe, as a nurse, that no matter how low you goes down the withdrawal symptoms from methadone are of similar severity. I am at the point now where just thinking of drinking one more drop ofmethadone makes me nauseous. every day after I drink my dose I actually have to lay down and settle my stomach. It’s almost as if my system is rejecting it. I no longer feel like I need it.I hope and pray I’m right because I am trying to come off it.

john
7:19 pm April 15th, 2015

I have suffered from a very very low lobido & sexual disfunction & the cause has to be my 20yr addiction to methadone,even when I tapered down to 20mg a day I still suffered from sexual disfunction,i am very curious when I taper completely of methadone will my lobido eventually come back? MANY THANX FOR THE REPLY

Lonnie
5:47 pm April 18th, 2015

I have been on a Methadone program since October 2014. This has been the worse 8 months of my life. I sleep half the day away. My wrists feel weak and my hands shake. Even though I quit smoking cigarettes a month ago, my breathing is horrible. I take breathing medicine but I’m sure the Methadone is the cause for the “panic like” breathing feeling. Even though I have changed my diet, I can’t seem to lose any weight. I weigh 255 and should be at around 195. My Testosterone level was checked two months ago and it was 7! It should be at around 200 for a man my age. I am now on a “blind taper dose” of Methadone. They have been dropping my dose by 2mgs a week. The reason I looked at this site is because I was concerned about my drinking with Methadone. I have been drinking alcohol since I was 14 so, you can say most of my adult life. I went from beer to rum back in the Fall of 2014. I have been drinking “box wine” now for about 4 months. I recently started drinking these “flavored coolers”. I have found myself becoming overly DRUNK very fast. I don’t normally have “hangovers” but for some reason, today, I feel pretty sick. I can only blame it on the alcohol/methadone mixture from last night. I hope this helps someone out there. I don’t want to stop drinking (I don’t drink and drive) but I do want off the methadone bullshit.

Lonnie
6:32 pm April 18th, 2015

After reading most of these replies I have come to a common conclusion; METHADONE IS BAD FOR YOU!!!. I am FAT (255lbs) and should be 195lbs. My testosterone level was 7 and should be 200. I sleep most of the day (and night) because I feel overly sedated. My breathing is horrible (shallow and panicky) even though I quit smoking cigarettes over a month ago. My wrists feel weak and shaky I was on 65mgs a day and now I’m on a “blind taper” dropping 2mgs a week. I’m down to 55mgs but haven’t felt better yet. This has been the worse medicine I have been on in my entire life. OK! So it’s better than sniffing heroin but, I can’t wait to be completely off ALL opiates. I want my energy and libido back. I am 61 yo and I am not ready to cash in just yet. I hope this helps someone out there in Methadone Land! .

Kimberly
10:47 pm May 10th, 2015

I’ve heard a lot of talk about ur sex drive and it declines! However, since I’ve started the methadone clinici my sex drive has been better!! How is that???

posh
8:24 am May 11th, 2015

That is crazy I’ve experienced every single side effect except weight gain and sexual dysfunction wow but still this article was spot on thanks!

Janet
8:46 am May 25th, 2015

my son just started methadone TX for oxi addition (4 days TX so far) his first day at clinic 30mg and then up to 40mg these last 3 days. He is nodding out. His oxi addition was 30 mg x 1 to 3 or 4 times a day (smoking them) And some days he goes a day or two without oxi if he cannot get them. He drinks beer still and said he would smoke a pill if he got one. What I have been reading on line is that there is a danger of overdosing. He has asthma as well. My 1st question is : should he remain on 30 mg methadone to keep tolorence low for this treatment. I have been trying to urge him to go to 12 step program as well…he does not see the need. He is 25 yr old been using opiates of any sort for 10 yrs and is bi polor. Just started lithium 3 per day. He has a high tolorance for oxi but I think it is a mental need as well. He does go through the usual physical withdrawl symptoms nausa, sweats, bowel discomfort and is unable to sleep without oxi.

John
3:51 pm June 16th, 2015

My fiance is currently on 60 milligrams a day of methadone I have concerns because sometimes her body functions and emotions take over without her moving them .she sometimes stands in the kitchen her eyes are rolling around in her head. neck movements and head are uncontrollable she’s up and down on her toes. I guess what I’m asking is long term use of methadone does it affect and change or alter the brain or nervous system of the body.

Philip
3:59 am September 11th, 2015

Yes i have noticed while on only methadone strictly without anything else including illicit that i have gained considerable amount of weight, lost a considerable amount of activity level, and lost a great amount of drive. I now have a problem losing the weight because of my metabolism being so low and my adrenal glands not pumping as usual. Sexually erections will come and go during the act. The fact that now i have supplementd my diet with CLENBUTEROL and CYTOMEL or T3 , my spunk and tenacity is back i have lost alot of weight like i should and my manhood has regained top.

linda
4:07 pm September 22nd, 2015

My son was weaned from Methadone last year after being on it for 3 years. He no longer has cravings for any drugs and is back in college and doing well. My concern now is he continues to have sugar cravings and is 50 lbs overweight. He has tried to control his appetite but has been unsuccessful. I’d rather have him overweight then on drugs but he is unhappy with his appearance. Any suggestions? Thank you!

Bill
6:04 pm October 15th, 2015

Is cold sweats on the forhead and neck .part of taking methadone?

Elizabeth
8:48 am October 19th, 2015

My problem is bad headaches a lot of pain and shakeing.

KOY,35 (Farmer) 5 year methadone user.
3:28 pm February 28th, 2016

What ever people say or how bad methadone sides effect, I just don’t care..from now on.. The important thing to me and other people must to beleiv :
MY LIFE NOW IS MUCH BETTER THAN MY PAST LIFE (BEFORE TAKE METHADONE). This is my true experiences, Methadone has good reason for healthier life. TQ

Kevin
11:16 pm March 12th, 2016

I’ve been on 60mg.of methadone for 12 years now. I’ve been taking the pill form, 2/10mg.x 3= 6 per day totaling 60mg. after being on liquid , 60mg. for 11 of those years… Also prescribed 5mg. oxycodone for breakthrough pain. One every 6-8 hours as needed for pain. Btw.. I’m on these for pain mgmt. under a Doctors care. (* started at a Methadone clinic, and switched to Pain Mgmt Center. ) I guess Methadone works very well with chronic pain management. I have gained weight, and am constipated on occasion. I may want to switch over to something other than methadone, if possible… This is because a newer Dr. doesn’t like prescribing methadone. (* and now I’m fearing the unknown, and getting anxiety and a little depressed because if I have to go elsewhere, I’m not sure they’ll take my insurance, etc…)

John
11:00 pm April 9th, 2016

I have been on 110mgs for about 4yrs now. My energy level is 0. Am I on to high a dose.

Steve
1:12 pm June 14th, 2016

I would like to know why I tested positive for methadone when I didn’t take it I do have hep C a bad liver

john
12:41 pm October 12th, 2016

ive been on daily methadone addiction for nearly 20 yrs,i wake up with no errections,ive no lobida atall,ive got bph,varicoceles on my left sided testicle,can you supply me with any help as I have researched daily for the last 10 years for results to regain my sexual function with no success,i can only ejaculate a tiny amount of semen on average every 2 months,i need help desperately of which my gp prescribed myself with testosterone replacement patches as I was not keen on but took them for several days & it only made my bph worse & had no effect on my lobido? many thanx john

Dj
8:20 pm October 31st, 2016

I have been on MMT program, since June. It has save my life,for real. Nothing work started in rehash age 28 now 60. I wish I knew about this sooner,but better late than never.I am gaining weight and I am getting up every 1 hr. at night. I am sneezing still and very ache. Is this normal I am at 80mgs. Can anyone help me.

zachariah
4:09 am November 18th, 2016

Hello, I’ve been addicted to pain medication for about 20 years. aways pain pills and ending the last year with 30-90mg of oxy a day. I also take bento 1 -3 mg daily. I recently got on methadone for treatment. I started out on 25mg but still continued to use. At 25 I felt great thought soon I’d quit and all would work out. Then I felt a strong desire to drink. I couldn’t not. I was having major problems. Then I realized how scary that was and quickly cut back to two drinks a day max no more Roxy and as little benzo as possible, like 1 a day in the late evening. My anxiety is through the roof. I stay up all night feeling crazy and wanting to go to the hospital. I read so much on methadone, that it makes me scared and crazy. After I dose I get relief and pass out. Its all I can do to get out of bed. My anxiety ramps up and I want to drink to kill it, or to see if something will help. so basically I get tired the first few hours then I’m crazy with anxiety and agitation all night until 4-5:30 am. I hate the way I feel. I put in to go up on my meds to see if i’m in withdraws, but maybe my dose is too high, and thats why? I’m feeling like i have the flu and anxious but the same time headaches and tired and can barely stay awake. I feel like I have nobody to talk to. I used to take methadone in the pill form but with Roxy and it was perfect, I guess my body just wants that?
pp help -z

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About Dr. Jana Burson, MD

Jana Burson M.D. is board-certified in Internal medicine, and certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. After practicing primary care for many years, she became interested in the treatment of addiction. For the last six years, her practice has focused exclusively on Addiction Medicine. She has written a book about prescription pain pill addiction: "Pain Pill Addiction: Prescription for Hope." Also see Dr. Burson's blog here.

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