What Are the Side Effects of Methadone?

In the sphere of drug addiction treatment, methadone is an opioid medication that is used as a safe replacement for opioids in individuals who have a history of abusing these types of drugs. Methadone, however, can also be misused. This article will discuss what the potential side effects of methadone can be.

Methadone Side Effects

When a doctor initiates a person into methadone treatment, the goal is that the transition is smooth and results in the least number of side effects. If a person takes the advised dose, in the recommended timeframe, side effects should be minimal. However, due to varying physiological factors, some individuals may experience some side effects as a result of taking methadone.

The following are some of the most common methadone side effects:

  • Constipation
  • Mood changes
  • Sweating
  • Flushing
  • Sore tongue
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Problems with vision
  • Trouble with urination
  • A lack of sexual desire or ability
  • In females, missed menstrual cycles
  • Problems falling asleep or staying asleep

Some individuals will experience serious side effects when taking methadone. It is critical to be apprised of what to look out for, which includes but is not limited to:

  • Seizures
  • Pounding heartbeat
  • Fainting
  • Hallucinations
  • Swelling of the eyes, face, or mouth
  • Swelling of the tongue or throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Severe nervousness
  • Severe restlessness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Extreme drowsiness

Methadone Addiction

woman dealing with trauma and addiction

Methadone addiction can also be a side effect of methadone use, but only if a person misuses it. Since methadone is a narcotic treatment, individuals who take this drug will become physically dependent on it over time. Physical dependence is not addiction. Individuals who become addicted to methadone through misuse will develop a psychological attachment to this drug. As a result, there will be changes in their behaviors, such as spending an inordinate amount of time getting, using, or recovering from methadone.

Methadone in the brain acts similarly to heroin. Methadone binds to the same receptors in the brain to which heroin attaches. One difference is that methadone is stored in the body and released over time at a slower pace compared to heroin. Since methadone has a less intense impact on the brain receptors, but occupies the brain receptors, it can help a person to avoid experiencing withdrawal from heroin or another opioid. When a person is in withdrawal from opioids, cravings often emerge and methadone can significantly reduce or eliminate these cravings. This is a critical function as drug cravings can trigger relapse. In short, methadone maintenance can help to prevent relapse.

Methadone can be used as a long-term treatment. If a person in working with an addiction specialist decides to end methadone treatment, a tapering approach will be initiated. A person must be tapered off methadone in order to avoid any uncomfortable side effects, known as methadone withdrawal. Overall, however, methadone is considered a safe drug replacement therapy.

Addiction Treatment in Mississippi

Don’t let the devastating side effects of addiction go on for another day. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and are ready to start the treatment process, call us today at and speak with one of our admissions navigators. Oxford Treatment Center, American Addiction Centers’ drug detox facility in Mississippi, is ready to help you get on the road to recovery.

You can get started right now by filling out our secure .

You aren't alone. You deserve to get help.
Oxford is located in Etta, Mississippi, which is easily accessible from Memphis. Nestled in the countryside, Oxford provides the support you need in a calm and beautiful setting. Take the next step toward recovery: learn more about our addiction treatment programs near New Albany or learn about how rehab is affordable for everyone.