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Can methadone be used for severe back pain, or is it strictly used for people who have a drug problem?

Related Topics: Methadone, Back Pain, Drug

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

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Methadone is used both for treating pain and for treating narcotic addiction. In order to prescribe it to treat addiction, the physician must have special certification from the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). However, any licensed physician may prescribe methadone to treat pain.

Methadone is a very effective drug for treating chronic pain. However, it has unique characteristics that separate it from the other pain pills, which has prompted warnings from the FDA. The FDA has noted that the pain relief from methadone lasts about 4-8 hours, but the drug's elimination from the body is much slower, taking up to a week. This means that if you rapidly increase your methadone dose, the methadone can accumulate in the body with the risk of stopping breathing.

Further, methadone is associated with abnormalities in heart rhythm, potentially leading to death. In addition, the breakdown of methadone in the liver is very complex, and interactions with the metabolism of other drugs can lead to changes in the blood level of both the methadone and the other drugs. Finally, methadone is secreted in breast milk and can be passed on to nursing infants.

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Archived: March 20, 2014

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Read the Original Article: Methadone and Severe Back Pain

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In 1947, Methadone was introduced as a medication capable of treating pain but also as an effective component in addiction treatment.

Although Methadone is an opiate similar to Vicodin, OxyContin and Morphine, it is different in that when it is used it competes with and blocks other opiates at the opioid receptors in the brain and central nervous system. Methadone prevents those drugs from becoming effective.

In addiction treatment Methadone works by tricking the brain and preventing withdrawal symptoms when other opiate use is discontinued. Another component is that Methadone will stay active in the body for nearly 60 hours.

As with other opiate use, chronic use of Methadone can lead to tolerance, dependency and addiction. Increasing the dose (due to tolerance) puts the individual at risk for overdose.

Gallus Detox Center is a private inpatient detox facility that specializes in IV therapy medical detox. If you have questions about our facility or detox method, please call us at 855-338-6929. 

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