methadone (generic name)

It is used to treat severe pain
(METH a done)
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What is this medicine?

METHADONE (METH a done) is a pain reliever. It is used to treat severe pain. The medicine is also used to prevent withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to other drugs.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • adrenal gland problem (Addison's disease)
  • brain tumor
  • drug abuse or addiction
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • gallbladder disease
  • head injury
  • frequently drink alcohol-containing drinks
  • kidney disease or problems going to the bathroom
  • liver disease
  • low blood pressure
  • lung disease, asthma, COPD, or sleep apnea
  • mental problems
  • seizure disorder
  • thyroid disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to methadone, other opioid analgesics, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a drink of water. If the medicine upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not take more medicine than you are told to take.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • antibiotics like chloroquine, clarithromycin, erythromycin, grepafloxacin, pentamidine, sparfloxacin, troleandomycin
  • arsenic trioxide
  • cisapride
  • droperidol
  • halofantrine
  • haloperidol
  • medicines for irregular heart beat like amiodarone, bretylium, disopyramide, dofetilide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol
  • pimozide
  • ranolazine
  • rasagiline
  • selegiline
  • sertindole
  • ziprasidone

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alcohol
  • alfuzosin
  • antibiotics like gatifloxacin, gemifloxacin, levofloxacin, mefloquine, moxifloxacin, ofloxacin, telithromycin
  • antihistamines for allergy, cough and cold
  • desipramine
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • medicines for blood pressure
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicines for irregular heart beat like flecainide, propafenone
  • medicines for nausea or vomiting like dolasetron, ondansetron, palonosetron
  • medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
  • medicines for sleep
  • medicines for sleep during surgery
  • medicines to numb the skin
  • muscle relaxants
  • narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain
  • octreotide
  • peginterferon Alfa-2b
  • phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
  • rifampin, rifapentine
  • some medicines for cancer like dasatinib, lapatinib, sunitinib
  • some medicines for HIV like delavirdine, didanosine, efavirenz, nevirapine
  • St. John's wort
  • tacrolimus
  • tramadol
  • vardenafil
  • vorinostat

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Last Updated: August 24, 2012
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