what is Methadone?
Methadone is a narcotic analgesic used to treat moderate to severe pain that is not relieved by other pain medicines. Methadone HCl is also used in treating narcotic addiction as part of a treatment program. Methadone HCl may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor: THE MEDICINE MAY CAUSE SEVERE AND SOMETIMES FATAL HEART AND BREATHING PROBLEMS. These problems may occur some time after you take a dose. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any new or worsening symptoms such as slowed or shallow breathing or irregular heartbeat. Your doctor will perform heart and lung function tests to check for side effects while you take this medicine. Keep all doctor and laboratory appointments. Talk with your doctor and be sure to understand the risks and benefits of using this medicine. DO NOT EXCEED THE RECOMMENDED DOSE OR TAKE THIS MEDICINE MORE OFTEN THAN PRESCRIBED. THIS CAN LEAD TO OVERDOSE AND POSSIBLE DEATH. Some medicines or medical conditions may interact with this medicine. INFORM YOUR DOCTOR OR PHARMACIST of all prescription and over-the-counter medicine that you are taking. DO NOT TAKE THIS MEDICINE if you are also taking sodium oxybate. ADDITIONAL MONITORING OF YOUR DOSE OR CONDITION may be needed if you are taking carbamazepine; efavirenz; HIV protease inhibitors (such as ritonavir, nelfinavir); lopinavir; naltrexone; narcotic antagonists (such as naloxone); nevirapine; narcotic agonists/ antagonists (such as pentazocine); phenobarbital; phenytoin; rifampin; St. John’s wort; barbiturate anesthetics (such as thiopental); benzodiazepines (such as midazolam); cimetidine; MAO-B inhibitors (such as rasagiline, selegiline); quinolones (such as ciprofloxacin); calcium channel blockers (such as nifedipine); diuretics (such as furosemide); neuroleptics (such as haloperidol); tricyclic antidepressants (such as desipramine); zidovudine; efavirenz; nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (such as abacavir); fluconazole; fluvoxamine; ketoconazole; macrolide antibiotics (such as clarithromycin); sertraline; voriconazole; cisapride; dofetilide; H-1 antagonists (such as astemizole); or streptogramins (such as quinupristin). DO NOT START OR STOP any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval. Inform your doctor if you or a family member have a history of mental or mood problems (such as anxiety, depression), suicidal thoughts or attempts, or alcohol or substance abuse. Inform your doctor of any other medical conditions including a history of heart problems (such as an enlarged heart) or an irregular heartbeat; asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); sleep apnea; other lung or breathing problems; stomach or bowel problems (such as bowel inflammation); liver problems; curvature of the spine; kidney problems; thyroid problems; Addison disease; seizures; narrowing of the urethra; trouble urinating; enlarged prostate; increased pressure in the head; recent head injury; lesions or tumors in your head; low blood oxygen levels; low potassium or magnesium blood levels; low blood volume; low blood pressure; recent surgery; allergies; pregnancy; or breast-feeding. USE OF THIS MEDICINE IS NOT RECOMMENDED if you have taken a monoamine oxidase-B inhibitor (MAO-B) (such as rasagiline, selegiline) within the last 14 days, or if you have a stomach or bowel blockage, certain severe bowel problems (such as paralytic ileus), diarrhea due to food poisoning or antibiotic use, slowed breathing, severe asthma, or if you are having an asthma attack. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about using this medicine. Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. An additional patient information leaflet is available with this medicine. Read it carefully. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist any questions that you may have about this medicine. This medicine may be taken by mouth on an empty stomach or with food. THIS MEDICINE IS FOR ORAL USE ONLY and must not be injected. This medicine must be administered under close medical supervision. Take this medicine regularly to receive the most benefit from it. It is more effective in preventing pain than in treating pain after it occurs. STORE THIS MEDICINE at room temperature 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) in a tightly-closed container, away from heat, moisture, and light. Brief storage between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. IF YOU MISS A DOSE OF THIS MEDICINE, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. DO NOT take 2 doses at once. DO NOT TAKE THIS MEDICINE if you have had an allergic reaction to it or if you are allergic to any ingredient in this product. BREATHING PROBLEMS MAY OCCUR SOME TIME AFTER YOU TAKE A DOSE OF THIS MEDICINE. Tell your doctor or seek medical care immediately if you notice trouble breathing (including slowed or shallow breathing) while you take this medicine. DO NOT EXCEED THE RECOMMENDED DOSE or take this medicine for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor. Exceeding the recommended dose or taking this medicine for longer than prescribed may be habit-forming. When used for an extended period of time, this medicine may not work as well and may require different dosing. Talk with your doctor if this medicine stops working well. DO NOT SUDDENLY STOP taking this medicine without your doctor’s approval. If you suddenly stop taking this medicine, you may experience WITHDRAWAL symptoms. Tell your doctor if you experience anxiety; diarrhea; fever, runny nose, or sneezing; goose bumps and abnormal skin sensations; nausea; vomiting; pain; rigid muscles; rapid heartbeat; seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not there; shivering or tremors; sweating; and trouble sleeping. Laboratory and/or medical tests, including liver function, lung function, and heart function, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. KEEP ALL DOCTOR AND LABORATORY APPOINTMENTS while you are taking this medicine. This medicine may cause constipation. Constipation may be avoided by using a stool softener or fiber laxative. BEFORE YOU HAVE ANY MEDICAL OR DENTAL TREATMENTS, EMERGENCY CARE, OR SURGERY, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using this medicine. DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL while you are using this medicine. This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol and other depressants. This medicine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or vision changes. DO NOT DRIVE, OPERATE MACHINERY, OR DO ANYTHING ELSE THAT COULD BE DANGEROUS until you know how you react to this medicine. Using this medicine alone, with other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks. THIS MEDICINE MAY CAUSE DIZZINESS, lightheadedness, or fainting. Alcohol, hot weather, exercise, and fever can increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Also, sit or lie down at the first sign of dizziness, lightheadedness, or weakness. BEFORE YOU BEGIN TAKING ANY NEW MEDICINE, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. CAUTION IS ADVISED WHEN USING THIS MEDICINE IN THE ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the medicine. FOR WOMEN: THIS MEDICINE MAY CAUSE HARM to the human fetus. IF YOU PLAN ON BECOMING PREGNANT, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medicine during pregnancy. THIS MEDICINE IS EXCRETED IN BREAST MILK. IF YOU ARE OR WILL BE BREAST-FEEDING while you are using this medicine, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.SIDE EFFECTS that may occur while using this medicine include constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, increased sweating, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, and weakness. If they continue or are bothersome, check with your doctor. CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY if you experience confusion; excessive drowsiness; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; loss of appetite; mental or mood changes; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness or lightheadedness; shortness of breath; slow heartbeat; slow or shallow breathing; swelling of the arms, feet, or legs; trouble sleeping; trouble urinating; or unusual bruising or bleeding. An allergic reaction to this medicine is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your healthcare provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. 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