Methadone Side Effects: Constipation, Respiratory Depression, Sedation, Sleep-Disordered Breathing, and the Endocrine System
Methadone is an effective analgesic for the relief of moderate-to-severe pain unresponsive to non-opioid treatments . However, candidates for methadone therapy must be carefully selected and closely monitored for side effects. The primary risk with methadone is death from respiratory depression, particularly when initiating therapy or changing doses, and clinicians who prescribe methadone should understand its unique pharmacologic properties. Nowhere are educated prescriber practices and precise patient adherence to medical direction more vital than in methadone therapy for chronic pain.
KeywordsContinuous Positive Airway Pressure Respiratory Depression Methadone Maintenance Treatment Sleep Study Central Sleep Apnea
Dr. Webster acknowledges the contribution of medical writer Beth Dove of Dove Medical Communications in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the preparation of this manuscript.
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