Short term Methadone effects
Withdrawal from narcotics can be painful with the worst symptoms occurring within the first 48 to 72 hours following the last dose. Methadone helps reduce these unwanted effects of withdrawal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that methadone blocks the euphoric and sedative effects of the opiates, making relapse less likely and without reward of high. Methadone also blocks the potential effects of future narcotic abuse. The short term effects of methadone include restlessness, vomiting, nausea, constipation, slow breathing, sweating, and restlessness.
Today methadone is best known as a legal substitute for heroin. In addition to that use in addiction treatment programs, methadone is given to adults and children as a pain reliever for surgery, cancer, burns, and other conditions. The substance is used as a cough suppressant and also has calming qualities. In racehorses the drug can promote running ability and is banned from the sport. A human dose can last for 24 hours, rather long for a drug of this type and class. For pain relief a dose of methadone may be roughly 2.5 to 14.3 times stronger than morphine, depending on how and why the drug is administered
Long term Methadone effects
When a person is beginning long-term treatment with methadone, his dose is titrated, or raised incrementally, to a level at which it will stabilize over time. This titration allows the individual receiving treatment to gradually become tolerant to the drug, reducing the occurrence of common physiological and psychological effects such as sedation, nausea, constipation, and altered cognitive function. Dependence is a major effect of long-term methadone use, and its unpleasant counterpart–withdrawal. After long periods of methadone use, a person who suddenly stops taking methadone will begin experiencing withdrawal effects usually 48 hours after the last dose. These effects include sweating, cramps, muscle aches, nausea, chills, runny nose and intense cravings for more methadone
After taking methadone for periods of one year or longer, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most recovering opiate addicts do not report adverse effects. However, lung and breathing problems can still arise after long-term use of methadone, reports the University of Maryland. Methadone, like other opioids, reduces the production of testosterone in both men and women, and can interfere with menstrual cycles in women when used for long periods of time. Additionally, long-term use of methadone can also cause reduced libido and sexual dysfunction in men and women, states the National Cancer Institute. These sorts of effects vary with each individual and dosage amount, yet they have the potential to alter a person’s lifestyle and health, and should be weighed against the therapeutic effect of taking methadone for long periods of time. Read more about methadone