Methadone Perscription Drug Overdose Methadone Perscription Drug Overdose |

Methadone Perscription Drug Overdose

in Health News

Methadone, a synthetic analgesic drug that is commonly used to treat morphine and heroin addiction, is also prescribed by doctors to treat patients with chronic non-cancer and cancer pain. In recent years the number of prescription methadone related overdoses has increased.

The Center for Disease Control’s Vital Signs Report claims prescription painkiller overdoses were responsible for more than 15,500 deaths in 2009. While all prescription painkillers have contributed to an increase in overdose deaths over the last decade, methadone has played a central role in the epidemic.

The CDC has stated that almost one-third of prescription painkiller overdose deaths involve methadone. The study was done in regard to the use of the drug being prescribed as a pain reliever, not as a substance replacement as in the monitored program used to treat patients with an addiction.

Methadone users are at higher risk of death because it is a long lasting drug, and it can build up in the body. It has effects on the respiratory system which can slow down breathing; it also has the ability to cause disruptions with the heart.

As far as long acting drugs, methadone is right up there with Oxycontin, however methadone comes in generic forms and is a lot cheaper than its’ competitor. Because it has a history of being used as a safe way to treat drug addiction, the medication has been listed as a preferred drug with many insurance companies.

There are other methods of pain management that would exclude methadone. Addiction programs are regulated and monitored whereas pain management with this drug is not always the case. Pain regiments should be closely monitored by trained professionals in the pain management field.

Alternate treatments for pain may include other forms of pain medications, non-pharmaceutical treatments such as physical therapy, and/or alternative treatments such as acupuncture and holistic care.

Knowing the facts about your medication, staying within the recommended dosing, sticking with the same pharmacy, and talking to your doctor about any concerns could reduce your risk of accidental overdose and even death.

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