GENERIC NAME: Methadone
BRAND NAME: Dolophine; Methadone HCl Intensol; Methadose; Methadose Sugar-Free
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Methadone is a strong, synthetic (man-made) narcotic that acts on the central nervous system (brain) in a manner similar to other narcotics. It is used in the management of narcotic addiction and for pain control. Methadone was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration on August 13 1947.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
- Oral concentrate: 10 mg/mL
- Oral solution: 5 and 10 mg per teaspoon
- Oral tablet: 5 mg and 10 mg
- Soluble tablet, 40mg
- Solution for Injection 5 and 10 mg per teaspoon: 10 mg/mL
STORAGE: Oral methadone and injection should be stored at room temperature between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F). Methadone injection also should be protected from light.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Methadone is used for the treatment of moderate to severe pain when non-narcotic pain medications have failed. The extended release methadone tablets should be reserved for severe and continuous pain that requires long-term pain treatment after a failed trial of non-narcotic medications and should be avoided in individuals requiring as-needed pain control.
DOSING: The initial dose of oral methadone in patients who require continuous pain control throughout the day can range from 2.5 to 10 mg given every 8 to 12 hours. Those who are seriously ill may need to be started at an oral dose of 10-40 mg given every 6-12 hours. The initial total daily dose for detoxification usually is higher, and this can range from 20 to 120 mg daily. The usual dose for methadone solution for injection when treating moderate to severe pain in patients who require continuous pain control is 2.5 to 10mg given as intravenous (I.V.), subcutaneous (SubQ) or intramuscular (I.M.) injection every 8-12 hours.
The conversion ratio from oral methadone to methadone given as an injection (I.V., SubQ) or I.M.) is 2:1. The total daily amount of methadone that a person is prescribed is not fixed, and it will depend on many factors including the severity of the pain, prior use of methadone, medications that are being taken concomitantly, the response to treatment and other factors that may be specific to a person. Therefore, each person has to be monitored carefully while receiving methadone. When stopping therapy, the dose of methadone should be gradually reduced in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Quick GuideDrug Abuse Pictures Slideshow: Commonly Abused Prescription and OTC Drugs
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.