methadone, Dolophine, Methadone HCl Intensol, Methadose, Methadose Sugar-Free

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Eni Williams, PharmD, PhD

    Dr. Eni Williams graduated from Creighton University in 1988 with a B.S. degree in pharmacy and a Doctor of Pharmacy from Howard University in 1994. She also obtained a Ph.D. in Public Policy in 2009 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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PREPARATIONS:

  • 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.

DRUG INTERACTIONS:

PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING SAFETY: Safety during pregnancy has not been established. Methadone has been shown to cross the placenta, and it is found in cord blood, amniotic fluid and in the newborn urine. Children born to mothers who were taking methadone for a prolonged period may exhibit respiratory depression or withdrawal symptoms. Methadone enters breast milk, and this can cause sedation and respiratory depression in the breast feeding infant. The benefit to the mother of taking methadone while breast feeding should be weighed against the risks to the infant.

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.

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 to 40 mg given every 6 to 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 10 mg 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.

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.

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/21/2016

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