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Methadone & Methadone Addiction   PDF  Print  Email 
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Where did methadone come from?

Methadone Hydrochloride is an opioid (a synthetic opiate) that was originally synthesized by the German pharmaceutical company Axis during the second world war. It was first marketed as 'Dolophine' (to honor Adolph Hitler) and was used as an analgesic (a painkiller) for the treatment of severe pain. It is still occasionally used for pain relief.

Methadone is now primarily used today for the treatment of narcotic addiction. The effects of methadone are longer-lasting than those of morphine-based drugs. Methadone's effects can last up to 24 hours, thereby permitting administration only once a day in heroin detoxification and maintenance programs.

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How is methadone taken?

Methadone is usually available as a liquid - linctus or methadone mixture - which should be swallowed. Tablets and injectable ampoules are sometimes prescribed, and like many other medicines some of these prescribed drugs are diverted and become available illegally.

What are methadone's adverse reactions?

Deaths occur more frequently at the beginning of treatment in methadone programs; they are usually a cause of excessive doses (i.e. erroneously estimated tolerance) and they are affected by concomitant diseases (hepatitis, pneumonia). Methadone generally entails the entire spectrum of opioid side effects, including the development of tolerance and physical and psychological dependence. Respiratory depressions are dangerous. The released histamines can cause hypotension or bronchospasms. Other symptoms are: constipation, nausea or vomiting, sedation, vertigo, edema.


 
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