Methadone Withdrawal: Symptoms, Treatment, and More I Psych Central

Methadone withdrawal symptoms are usually moderate and flu-like. The symptoms and duration of withdrawal will vary depending on the severity and length of the user’s addiction. A user’s body chemistry and tolerance will also affect their symptoms and how long the withdrawal process takes. There are highly effective medications, such as methadone, that can help individuals recover from addiction and achieve sobriety. A person should make sure that they are under medical supervision throughout the entire process. Based on your answers, your healthcare team will determine what form of therapy may be appropriate for your needs.


People who use large amounts of stimulants, particularly methamphetamine, can develop psychotic symptoms such as paranoia, disordered thoughts and hallucinations. These symptoms can be managed using anti-psychotic medications and will usually resolve within a week of ceasing stimulant use. Symptomatic treatment can be used in cases where residual withdrawal symptoms persist (Table 3). Generally, benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms fluctuate; the intensity of the symptoms does not decrease in a steady fashion as is the case with most other drug withdrawal syndromes. It is not recommended to increase the dose when symptoms worsen; instead, persist with the current dose until symptoms abate, then continue with the dose reduction schedule.

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Opioid Withdrawal Treatment and Home Remedies

They can also treat trauma and other underlying causes of methadone addiction. Opioid replacement therapy with methadone is effective because it gives people time to receive counseling and therapy for addiction without being bothered by withdrawal. Symptoms of withdrawal from Methadone are similar to those of other Opiates, such as Heroin and Morphine. Many users especially struggle with Methadone withdrawal because the medication stays in the body longer.

  • If you take too much methadone you could be at risk of overdose.
  • Many people find support at local 12-step meetings, such as Narcotics Anonymous.
  • Opioid withdrawal can be very uncomfortable and difficult for the patient.

Management of stimulant withdrawal

Talk to your doctor, midwife or health visitor if you want to breastfeed while taking methadone. If your baby is healthy and you are stable on methadone, you will usually be able to breastfeed while continuing your treatment. Patient care involving methadone is an evolving subject, and healthcare providers must stay informed about regular updates to the literature to establish the best possible care. If you’re pregnant and have a heroin or pain pill addiction, it’s especially important to get treatment to keep yourself and your baby safe.

Alcohol Withdrawal Scale8

It does this by initiating counter-regulatory processes to find a new balance that incorporates the drug. Pain relief can start methadone withdrawal as quickly as 30 minutes after taking a dose. In most cases, some form of methadone remains in the body for up to 3 days.

methadone withdrawal

Gradually tapering the dose under the supervision of a doctor improves outcomes and reduces the risk of experiencing serious withdrawal. Longer methadone treatment increases the length of time that someone is in recovery and may reduce long lasting withdrawal symptoms. The first is if methadone is underdosed (meaning that a person does not take enough of it) and does not counteract withdrawal from other opioids. This causes the body to experience withdrawal from other drugs.

Methadone Treatment

Opioid medicines also can play an important role in treating pain from cancer. Rarely, opioids may be used to treat long-term pain that’s not caused by cancer when other treatments have not worked. The dose must be reviewed on daily basis and adjusted based upon how well the symptoms are controlled and the presence of side effects. The greater the amount of opioid used by the patient the greater the dose of methadone required to control withdrawal symptoms. If symptoms are not sufficiently controlled either reduce the dose of methadone more slowly, or provide symptomatic treatment (see Table 3).

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances. Many drugs may affect methadone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your prescribing doctor about all medications that you take. If you’ve taken opioid medicine for more than 7 to 10 days, it’s likely you need to stop soon — and stop slowly — to keep from having symptoms of withdrawal. The preferred treatment for cannabis dependence is psycho-social care.

  • When used appropriately they are very effective in treating these disorders.
  • You should not use this medicine if you have severe asthma or breathing problems, or a blockage in your stomach or intestines.
  • In almost all cases, an inpatient treatment program will give moderate to severe methadone addicts their best chance at a successful recovery.
  • Methadone is an opioid medication that’s used to treat severe pain.

Methadone Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

Once they reach peak severity, your symptoms will begin to resolve. Some people find methadone withdrawal less intense than they expected. Others think it’s worse than withdrawing from a short-acting opioid like heroin. Do not drive while taking methadone, until your doctor tells you it is safe to do so. Your driving licence may be suspended until you are on a stable dose of methadone.