Methadone

Friday, December 26, 2014

Methadone is a narcotic drug used as a pain reliever but it is also used to help people overcome heroin addiction. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this drug in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Methadone is a powerful narcotic drug in the same class as heroin. It belongs to the class of opioids, drugs that mimic the action of some of the bodys naturally occurring chemicals such as endorphins and enkephalines.

Methadone is used to relieve chronic pain in cancer patients and as a maintenance drug to control withdrawal symptoms in people undergoing treatment for opiate addiction.

In addiction treatment, methadone blocks the opioid receptors of the brain that bind drugs such as heroin. Methadone has also been shown to reduce cravings for heroin while not altering a persons mood.

Methadone is a powerful narcotic. It can cause some people to feel drowsy, dizzy or light-headed. People taking methadone should not drive a car or operate machinery. You should not use methadone if you have severe asthma or breathing problems.

Intentional or accidental overdose of methadone can lead to unconsciousness, coma or death. The signs of methadone overdose include confusion, difficulty speaking, seizures, nervousness, dizziness, drowsiness and slowed breathing.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.