iS METHADONE

What other information should I know?

is methadone worth knowing? all appointments with your doctor. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your response to methadone.

Before having any laboratory test (especially those that involve methylene blue), tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking methadone.

This prescription is not refillable. If you continue to experience pain after you finish taking the methadone, call your doctor. If you take this medication on a regular basis, be sure to schedule appointments with your doctor so that you do not run out of medication.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

In case of emergency/overdose

If the victim has collapsed, seizure, has trouble breathing or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

You should talk to your doctor about having a rescue medication called naloxone readily available (e.g., home, office). Naloxone is used to reverse the life-threatening effects of an overdose. It works by blocking the effects of opiates to relieve dangerous symptoms caused by high levels of opiates in the blood.

Your doctor may also prescribe you naloxone if you are living in a household where there are small children or someone who has abused street or prescription drugs.

You should make sure that you and your family members, caregivers, or the people who spend time with you know how to recognize an overdose, how to use naloxone, and what to do until emergency medical help arrives.

Your doctor or pharmacist will show you and your family members how to use the medication. Ask your pharmacist for the instructions or visit the manufacturer’s website to get the instructions. If symptoms of an overdose occur, a friend or family member should give the first dose of naloxone, call 911 immediately, and stay with you and watch you closely until emergency medical help arrives.

Your symptoms may return within a few minutes after you receive naloxone. If your symptoms return, the person should give you another dose of naloxone. Additional doses may be given every 2 to 3 minutes, if symptoms return before medical help arrives.

Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
  • small, pinpoint pupils (black circles in the center of the eyes)
  • slow or shallow breathing
  • difficulty breathing
  • sleepiness
  • drowsiness
  • cool, clammy, or blue skin
  • unable to respond or wake up
  • limp muscles
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). You must immediately dispose of any methadone that is outdated or no longer needed through a medicine take-back program. If you do not have a take-back program nearby or one that you can access promptly, flush any methadone tablets or solution that are outdated or no longer needed down the toilet. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If your doctor has told you to take methadone for pain, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it and then continue your regular dosing schedule. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

If you are taking methadone to treat opioid addiction, skip the missed dose and take the next dose the next day as scheduled. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

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