Methadone, as part of a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program, has long been considered the gold standard in treating opiate addictions. If you’re struggling to break an addiction’s hold over your life, this medication alleviates the physical symptoms of withdrawal so you can focus on the other aspects of your recovery journey, like substance addiction therapy.
At MedMark Treatment Centers, we want our patients to be fully informed about this safe and effective medication. Before using methadone as part of your medication-assisted treatment, you may be interested to learn this medicine comes in several different forms. Here is some information to help you understand these various types.
Forms of Methadone
Methadone maintenance involves taking daily medication. Methadone is an opioid agonist that can treat both pain and opioid use disorder. Opioids such as heroin and prescription pain relievers like fentanyl can be highly addictive. Although methadone is in the same class of drugs, it doesn’t work quite the same way. It binds to and activates opioid receptors in the brain, satisfying the need for opioids. However, its long half-life means the effects last longer, often 24 to 36 hours.
One therapeutic dosage in methadone maintenance treatment can help those addicted to opioids fight off cravings and withdrawal symptoms all day. Methadone lessens the painful symptoms of withdrawal while simultaneously blocking the euphoric effects of more harmful opiate drugs.
Because methadone is a controlled substance, this medication can only be dispensed through an Opioid Treatment Program certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Methadone is available in several forms, which should always be taken as prescribed.
When methadone comes in tablet or wafer form, it can either be swallowed whole or mixed in liquid if it’s a dispersible tablet. Dispersible tablets should not be chewed or swallowed. Instead, the whole tablet or part of it is placed in at least 4 ounces (120 milliliters) of liquid, such as water, orange juice or another citrus beverage to dissolve. The entire mixture is then taken immediately.
Another form of methadone medication is a methadone oral solution. This unflavored or cherry-flavored liquid concentrate contains 10 milligrams of methadone per milliliter. Methadone oral liquid can be especially beneficial during the stabilizing period as your doctor works to find the best daily dosage for your needs, making adjustments as needed.
Methadone also comes in an intravenous form that can only be given by a medical professional. Methadone injections generally treat moderate-to-severe pain when a long-lasting option is needed. However, some opioid treatment programs use methadone injections for patients who cannot take oral medication.
Learn More About Methadone Maintenance Treatment at MedMark
As with any medication used as part of an MAT program, methadone is just one component of your comprehensive treatment plan. At MedMark, we use methadone alongside counseling and other support programs to tackle all aspects of the recovery process. We have multiple locations from coast to coast. If you are ready to reclaim your life from opioid addiction, we can help. Contact us today to learn more.