Withdrawal From Methadone Symptoms
Methadone is a long acting, synthetic opioid. For the non-scientifically inclined among us, that means it’s perfect for something called Opioid Replacement Therapy. This is also known as methadone maintenance.
Some advocates tote methadone as a wonder drug. There’s no shortage of evidence that, for certain people, methadone has helped greatly improve their lives. However, for most addicts, methadone is simply another addiction.
The complex case of this drug is complicated even further when looking at methadone side effects and symptoms related to withdrawal from methadone. Simply put, methadone has a lot of unintended side effects. It also puts users through an extended, hellish detox.
So, what are these methadone side effects? How do they impact methadone withdrawal symptoms? Find out below.
Methadone Side Effects
Methadone is a member of the opioid family of drugs. It’s side effects are comparable to other opioids like heroin, oxycodone, Vicodin, etc.
What are the effects of methadone on the body? That’s a very important question to ask so you know what treatment could entail. Methadone side effects are generally broken down into two categories, serious and not so serious. This first category, not so serious, includes the following:
• Nausea and Vomiting
• General weakness
• Short Periods of Unconsciousness (nodding out)
• Decreased Sex Drive
• Weight Gain
While none of the above methadone side effects are pleasant, none are incredibly dire either. Then we get to the point that many want to know: What are the serious effects of methadone on the body? These serious considerations are uncomfortable at best and life-threatening at worst.
• Chest Pain
• Respiratory Depression
• Hypotension (dangerously low blood pressure)
• Pulmonary Edema (fluid in the lungs)
• Bradycardia (dangerously slow heartbeat)
• Low Levels of Potassium and Magnesium in the Blood
• Cardiac Arrest
Suffice it to say, nobody wants any of the above happening to them. It’s for these reasons, and many more, that methadone has become such a controversial drug and side effects to methadone have been under scrutiny.
Not least among methadone’s side effects is the difficult detox it produces. Methadone withdrawal symptoms have been known to last for up to six months. Before we talk about the length of detox, find common withdrawal from methadone symptoms below.
Withdrawal from Methadone Symptoms
Remember, methadone is an opioid. So its withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of heroin, Percocet, and other opioids. These include:
• Nausea and Vomiting
• Hot and Cold Sweats
• Restless Leg Syndrome
• Body Cramping
• Extreme Depression
• Extreme Anxiety
• Bone Pain
• Muscle Pain and Cramps
• Drug Cravings
Those are the more common symptoms of methadone withdrawal, but what about the length? Well, this is where things get unpleasant. Methadone withdrawal symptoms have been known to last for as long as six months.
Some people claim that the side effects to methadone are so unpleasant because “methadone gets into your bone marrow.” This is a myth. However, methadone is metabolized and stored by the body’s fat cells. In turn, this leads to a longer withdrawal than from other opioids.
Methadone withdrawal symptoms that last for months are generally less severe than these initial ones. However, insomnia, decreased appetite, shaking, and extreme depression have been known to linger.
Due to the severity of methadone withdrawal symptoms, it isn’t recommended that anyone stop “cold turkey.” Rather, you should reach out to professionals! Drug and alcohol treatment centers have safely detoxed people from methadone for decades.
If you or a loved one have experienced any of the above methadone withdrawal symptoms, call Lighthouse Recovery Institute today at 1-844-I-CAN-CHANGE or 1-(561)-381-0015. We’re here to help you or your loved one quit drugs for good!