Methadone Is Used To Treat Pain

Methadone is also prescribed by pain management clinics and primary care settings for persistent pain.

12/26/20222 min read

Methadone is also prescribed by pain management clinics and primary care settings for persistent pain. Methadone has a higher risk of overdose fatality than most other opioid drugs, even when taken as prescribed. Taking greater doses than advised or combining methadone with another narcotic or sedative is also extremely harmful. Methadone is a powerful painkiller that is made from synthetic opioids. Although it is most usually connected with the treatment of opiate addiction, it can also be recommended for analgesia by certified family physicians. Methadone's pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics make it an effective treatment for cancer pain and other chronic pain conditions, such as neuropathic pain. When adverse effects have limited further dosage escalation, it may be a good alternative to opioids. Each patient's metabolism and response to methadone differs. The transition to methadone and dosage titration should be done gradually and under close supervision. The current daily oral morphine equivalent dosage should be used for conversion. Systemic toxicity may not appear for several days after starting methadone therapy or increasing the dosage. Because some drugs affect methadone absorption or metabolism, taking them together may necessitate dose modifications. Methadone is less expensive than other opioid formulations with a long half-life.

Methadone is an opioid that has been synthesized. Methadone has substantial analgesic properties, despite its structural dissimilarity to morphine (MS Contin). Methadone was not utilized clinically for several years because to the high dosages employed in preliminary trials, which caused significant side effects. 1 Methadone was first used to treat opioid addiction in the 1950s, and it has been the principal treatment for the disorder for more than 40 years. Methadone has recently been utilized to treat cancer pain and other chronic pain conditions. Methadone is a beneficial choice because of its unique pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, but clinicians should be cautious of potential side effects. Methadone is classified as a controlled substance under Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act. Its use was first restricted to "detoxification treatment" or "maintenance treatment" in narcotic addiction programs licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration. 2 This prohibition was lifted in 1976, and now any physician with the proper Drug Enforcement Administration registration can prescribe methadone for analgesia. 3 To clarify the aim of the written prescription, an indication such as "for chronic pain" may be added. This documentation need is governed by state legislation. Because of its link with the treatment of heroin addiction, not all pharmacies stock methadone.

Methadone has been investigated as a treatment for cancer pain and other forms of chronic pain.

It's a good substitute opioid if your pain isn't getting better or if other opioids' negative effects prevent you from increasing your dosage. Methadone appears to be useful in the treatment of cancer pain and has a similar analgesic efficacy and side effect profile as morphine. 13 In a study of cancer patients with uncontrolled pain or considerable opioid side effects, 80% of patients reported pain relief and a reduction in bad effects after switching to methadone. 14 Because methadone is synthetic and has no cross-allogenicity, it can be administered in people who are allergic to morphine. However, a 2004 Cochrane Review outlined numerous factors to consider when evaluating methadone for cancer pain trials. 13 The bulk of the studies looked at only compared single doses or used them for a short period of time, which does not accurately reflect clinical practice. As a result, there is a strong risk that the trials do not accurately reflect the long-term negative effects of methadone accumulation after chronic administration. According to the same analysis, there is no trial evidence to support the idea that methadone has a special function in neuropathic pain caused by cancer. 13 The current indications for the use of methadone in the therapy of chronic pain are listed in Table 1.