What Is Methadone Generally Used For?

What Is Methadone Generally Used For?

Methadone is used for pain relief and to assist in drug detoxification programs, says Drugs.com. It is an opioid medication and is only available from certified pharmacies, as of 2015.

Methadone helps reduce the symptoms of withdrawal in heroin and narcotics addicts, says Drugs.com. It doesn't cause the same "high" that is associated with the addiction.

This pain reliever is also used to treat severe ongoing pain that is usually associated with cancer, says WebMD. It works by changing the way the brain and body respond to pain. Methadone is not recommended for mild pains or symptoms.

Methadone should not be used if severe asthma or breathing conditions are present, says Drugs.com. This medication has the potential to slow or stop breathing, especially in the beginning of treatment or if the dose is changed.

Methadone should not be used in large amounts or for longer than prescribed as it can be habit forming, notes Drugs.com. Improper use of methadone can result in an addiction, overdose or death. If someone using methadone experiences a headache accompanied by chest pain and severe dizziness, a doctor should be called immediately. This medication also leaks into breast milk, so it is advised to tell the doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding.