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Side Effects and Withdrawal Symptoms of Methadane Pain Management Drug

In recent years, the drug methadone has been prescribed by physicians to provide relief from cancer pain. Lesser dosage required to show the effects and cheap availability are responsible for its popularity. Methadene pain management is easier to adopt for cancer patients as spending $50–$70 can provide a week’s supply of this drug.

But, on November 29, 2006, a Public Health Advisory was issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which revealed that the use of this drug in pain control can be fetal by bringing changes in the heart beat and breathing patterns.This article enlists the signs of side effects while it is taken and withdrawal symptoms which follow after the usage is of this drug stopped.

Symptoms of Methadane Pain Management Drug Side Effects:

Physical symptoms:

  • Runny nose
  • Light headedness
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Tearing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe itching
  • Yawning
  • Joint pains and aches in legs
  • High blood pressure
  • High sensitivity to pain
  • Tremors
  • Tachycardia – Heart rate exceeding its normal range

Psychological Symptoms:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depression
  • Prolonged lack of sleep
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Exhaustion
  • Susceptibility to Cravings
  • Increased sense of smell which is real or imagined
  • Significant decrease in sex drive
  • Spontaneous orgasm
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Panic disorder
  • Delusions
  • Delirium
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations seen and heard

Withdrawal Symptoms of Methadane Pain Management Drug:

  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Exhaustion
  • Sleepiness
  • Heat intolerance
  • Increased sweating
  • Nausea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Constricted pupils
  • Hallucination
  • Weight gain
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach pains
  • Itching
  • Flushing
  • Swelling of hands, arms, feet and legs
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Impotence
  • Seizures
  • Impotence
  • Blurred vision
  • Insomnia – Lack of sleep or difficulty in falling asleep
  • Skin rash
  • Seizures
  • Flushing
  • Mood changes
  • Agitation
  • Gynecomastia – Abnormal breast enlargement in men
  • Anorexia – Eating disorder where the person refuses of eat proper owing to excessive fear of weight gain through being dangerously under-nourished
  • Hypoventilation – A condition where less amount of oxygen enters the lungs leading to breathing difficulty or suffocation
  • Cardiac arrhythmia – A state involving disrupted rhythm of heart
  • Thrombus – Formation of a blood clot in the vessels

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of Washington in Seattle reported of gaining further insight on side effects of this drug in March 2009.

The results of this study were published in the March issue of the journal Anesthesiology and in the online version of the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. The research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institute of Health and by an NIH grant to the University of Washington General Clinical Research Center.

What Research Learnt About the Side Effects of Methadane Pain Management Drug?

  • The study found that prescription of the drug’s dosage is vital for its effectiveness.
  • The side effects were mostly caused as the guidelines given by doctors while prescribing this drug were not correct earlier.
  • When prescribed too less, it was ineffective and when told to take in excess, it proved to be fatal.
  • The study also found the packet insert of this drug to be incorrect requiring reevaluation along with the guidelines to take this drug.
  • During the first two weeks of the drug’s intake, the patients were at the highest risk of facing either the side effects or be inadequately relieved from the cancer pain.

Awareness of proper guidelines obtained from further research on this drug can help in correct prescription of its dosage. Cancer pain would be treated better and side effects can also be limited to bare minimum.

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