Methadone (oral)

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Methadone (oral)
Black Box Warning
Adult Indications & Dosage
Pediatric Indications & Dosage
Contraindications
Warnings & Precautions
Adverse Reactions
Drug Interactions
Use in Specific Populations
Administration & Monitoring
Overdosage
Pharmacology
Clinical Studies
How Supplied
Images
Patient Counseling Information
Precautions with Alcohol
Brand Names
Look-Alike Names

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Chetan Lokhande, M.B.B.S [2]

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Black Box Warning

Conditions For Distribution And Use Of Methadone Products
See full prescribing information for complete Boxed Warning.
  • Methadone products when used for the treatment of narcotic addiction in detoxification or maintenance programs, shall be dispensed only by approved hospital pharmacies, approved community pharmacies and by maintenance programs approved by the food and drug administration and the designated state authority.
  • Approved maintenance programs shall dispense and use methadone in oral form only and according to the treatment requirements stipulated in the federal methadone regulations (21 CFR 291.505).
  • Failure to abide by the requirements in these regulations may result in criminal prosecution, seizure of the drug supply, revocation of the program approval and injunction precluding operation of the program.

Overview

Methadone (oral) is an analgesic opioid that is FDA approved for the treatment of drug detoxification - opioid abuse, opioid abuse, maintenance therapy, pain, chronic (moderate to severe), in patients requiring a continuous around-the-clock opioid analgesic for an extended period of time, pain (moderate to severe), not responsive to non-narcotic analgesics.. There is a Black Box Warning for this drug as shown here. Common adverse reactions include cardiovascular: hypotension, endocrine metabolic: diaphoresis, gastrointestinal: constipation, nausea, vomiting, neurologic: asthenia, dizziness, lightheadedness, sedated.

Adult Indications and Dosage

FDA-Labeled Indications and Dosage (Adult)

  • Pharmacokinetic properties and high inter patient variability in absorption, metabolism, and relative analgesic potency of methadone necessitates a cautious an individualized approach to prescribing; careful dose initiation and titration are necessary.
  • Do not abruptly discontinue.
  • Conversion from oral methadone to parenteral methadone; initially use a 2:1 dose ratio (eg, 10 milligrams oral methadone to 5 milligrams parenteral methadone.
  • Conversion from other opioids to methadone; conversion ratios may overestimate dose of methadone; use cautiously.
  • Drug detoxification - Opioid abuse: initial, 20 to 30 mg orally administered when there are no signs of sedation or intoxication, and patient shows signs of withdrawal; Max initial dose 30 mg.
  • Drug detoxification - Opioid abuse: maintenance, additional 5 to 10 mg can be given 2 to 4 hours later if needed; adjust dose cautiously over the first week based upon control of withdrawal 2 to 4 hours post dose; usual total daily dose is 40 mg/day.
  • Drug detoxification - Opioid abuse: short-term detoxification, titrate to about 40 mg/day in divided doses; keep on stable dose for 2 to 3 days then decrease in 1 to 2 day intervals according to response.
  • Drug detoxification - Opioid abuse: maintenance treatment, titrate to a dose that prevents opioid withdrawal for 24 hours; generally 80 to 120 mg/day.
  • Drug detoxification - Opioid abuse: (unable to take oral medication) parenteral methadone may be used.
  • Opioid abuse, maintenance therapy: maintenance doses must be individualized; methadone doses should be titrated to a dose where symptoms are prevented for 24 hours; usual maintenance doses range from 80 to 120 mg/day.
  • Opioid abuse, maintenance therapy: (unable to take oral medication) parenteral methadone may be used.
  • Pain, chronic (moderate to severe), in patients requiring a continuous around-the-clock opioid analgesic for an extended period of time: (opioid naive) initial, no more than 2.5 mg to 10 mg orally every 8 to 12 hours.
  • Pain, chronic (moderate to severe), in patients requiring a continuous around-the-clock opioid analgesic for an extended period of time: (titration and maintenance) titrate slowly to effect; dose adjustment every 1 to 2 days; immediate-release rescue medication may be needed during titration.
  • Pain, chronic (moderate to severe), in patients requiring a continuous around-the-clock opioid analgesic for an extended period of time: (discontinuation) do not discontinue abruptly; gradual downward titration every 2 to 4 days.
  • Pain (moderate to severe), not responsive to non-narcotic analgesics: (opioid naive) initial, 2.5 mg to 10 mg IV/IM/SubQ every 8 to 12 hours; titrate slowly based on individual response (manufacturer dosing).
  • Pain (moderate to severe), not responsive to non-narcotic analgesics: opioid naive patients: (initial) 2.5 mg ORAL/IV/IM/SubQ every 8 hour (guideline dosing).

Off-Label Use and Dosage (Adult)

Guideline-Supported Use

  • Neuropathic pain.

Non–Guideline-Supported Use

  • There is limited information about Off-Label Non–Guideline-Supported Use of Methadone in adult patients.

Pediatric Indications and Dosage

FDA-Labeled Indications and Dosage (Pediatric)

  • Safety and efficacy not established in pediatric patients younger than 18 years of age.
  • Pain, chronic (moderate to severe), in patients requiring a continuous around-the-clock opioid analgesic for an extended period of time: 0.1 to 0.2 mg/kg Orally every 6 hour as needed; Max 10 mg/dose.
  • Pain (Moderate to Severe), Not responsive to non-narcotic analgesics: 0.1 to 0.2 mg/kg Orally every 6 hours as needed; MAX 10 mg/dose.

Off-Label Use and Dosage (Pediatric)

Guideline-Supported Use

  • There is limited information about Off-Label Guideline-Supported Use of Methadone in pediatric patients.

Non–Guideline-Supported Use

  • There is limited information about Off-Label Non–Guideline-Supported Use of Methadone in pediatric patients.

Contraindications

Warnings

Conditions For Distribution And Use Of Methadone Products
See full prescribing information for complete Boxed Warning.
  • Methadone products when used for the treatment of narcotic addiction in detoxification or maintenance programs, shall be dispensed only by approved hospital pharmacies, approved community pharmacies and by maintenance programs approved by the food and drug administration and the designated state authority.
  • Approved maintenance programs shall dispense and use methadone in oral form only and according to the treatment requirements stipulated in the federal methadone regulations (21 CFR 291.505).
  • Failure to abide by the requirements in these regulations may result in criminal prosecution, seizure of the drug supply, revocation of the program approval and injunction precluding operation of the program.
  • Methadone hydrochloride powder is for oral administration only and is used in the preparation of a liquid by dissolving the powder in an appropriate vehicle. This preparation must not be injected. It is recommended that the methadone hydrochloride liquid preparation, if dispensed, be packaged in child-resistant containers and kept out of the reach of children to prevent accidental ingestion.
  • Methadone hydrochloride, a narcotic, is a Schedule II controlled substance under the Federal Controlled Substances Act. Appropriate security measures should be taken to safeguard stocks of methadone against diversion.

Adverse Reactions

Clinical Trials Experience

  • Heroin Withdrawal:
  • Initial Administration:
  • Initially, the dosage of methadone should be carefully titrated to the individual. Induction too rapid for the patient’s sensitivity is more likely to produce the following effects.
  • The major hazards of methadone, as of other narcotic analgesics, are respiratory depression and, to a lesser degree, circulatory depression. respiratory arrest, shock, and cardiac arrest have occurred.
  • The most frequently observed adverse reactions include lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, and sweating. These effects seem to be more prominent in ambulatory patients and in those who are not suffering severe pain. In such individuals, lower doses are advisable. Some adverse reactions may be alleviated in the ambulatory patient if he lies down.
  • Other adverse reactions include the following:
  • Maintenance on a Stabilized Dose:
  • During prolonged administration of methadone, as in a methadone maintenance treatment program, there is a gradual, yet progressive, disappearance of side-effects over a period of several weeks. However, constipation and sweating often persist.

Postmarketing Experience

There is limited information regarding Methadone (oral) Postmarketing Experience in the drug label.

Drug Interactions

  • Patients who are addicted to heroin or who are on the methadone maintenance program may experience withdrawal symptoms when given pentazocine.
  • The concurrent administration of rifampin may possibly reduce the blood concentration of methadone to a degree sufficient to produce withdrawal symptoms. The mechanism by which rifampin may decrease blood concentrations of methadone is not fully understood, although enhanced microsomal drug-metabolized enzymes may influence drug disposition.
  • Acute Abdominal Conditions:
  • The administration of methadone or other narcotics may obscure the diagnosis or clinical course patients with acute abdominal conditions.
  • Interaction with Monoamine Oxidase (MAO) Inhibitors:
  • Therapeutic doses of meperidine have precipitated severe reactions patients concurrently receiving monoamine oxidase inhibitors or those who have received such agents with fourteen days. Similar reactions thus far have not been reported with methadone; but if the use of methadone is necessary in such patients, a sensitivity test should be performed in which repeated small incremental doses are administered over the course of several hours while the patient’s condition and vital signs are under careful observation.

Use in Specific Populations

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category (FDA):

  • Caution shall be taken in the maintenance treatment of pregnant patients. Dosage levels shall be kept as low as possible if continued methadone treatment is deemed necessary. It is the responsibility of the program sponsor to assure that each female patient be fully informed concerning the possible risks to a pregnant woman or her unborn child from the use of methadone.


Pregnancy Category (AUS): There is no Australian Drug Evaluation Committee (ADEC) guidance on usage of Methadone (oral) in women who are pregnant.

Labor and Delivery

There is no FDA guidance on use of Methadone (oral) during labor and delivery.

Nursing Mothers

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Methadone (oral) in women who are nursing.

Pediatric Use

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Methadone (oral) in pediatric settings.

Geriatic Use

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Methadone (oral) in geriatric settings.

Gender

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Methadone (oral) with respect to specific gender populations.

Race

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Methadone (oral) with respect to specific racial populations.

Renal Impairment

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Methadone (oral) in patients with renal impairment.

Hepatic Impairment

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Methadone (oral) in patients with hepatic impairment.

Females of Reproductive Potential and Males

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Methadone (oral) in women of reproductive potentials and males.

Immunocompromised Patients

There is no FDA guidance one the use of Methadone (oral) in patients who are immunocompromised.

Administration and Monitoring

Administration

There is limited information regarding Methadone (oral) Administration in the drug label.

Monitoring

There is limited information regarding Methadone (oral) Monitoring in the drug label.

IV Compatibility

There is limited information regarding the compatibility of Methadone (oral) and IV administrations.

Overdosage

  • Symptoms:
  • Treatment:
  • Primary attention should be given to the reestablishment of adequate respiratory exchange through provision of a patent airway and institution of assisted or controlled ventilation. If a non-tolerant person, especially a child, takes a large dose of methadone, effective narcotic antagonists are available to counter-act the potentially lethal respiratory depression. The physician must remember, however, that methadone is a long-acting depressant (thirty-six to forty-eight hours), whereas the antagonists act for much shorter periods (one to three hours). The patient must, therefore, be monitored continuously for recurrence of respiratory depression and treated repeatedly with the narcotic antagonist as needed. If the diagnosis is correct and respiratory depression is due only to overdosage of methadone, the use of respiratory stimulants is not indicated.
  • An antagonist should not be administered in the absence of clinically significant respiratory or cardiovascular depression. Intravenously administered narcotic antagonists, naloxone hydrochloride, nalorphine hydrochloride, or levallorphan tartrate are the drugs of choice to reverse signs of intoxication. These agents should be given repeatedly until the patient's status remains satisfactory. The hazard that the narcotic antagonist will further depress respiration is less likely with the use of naloxone.
  • Oxygen, intravenous fluids, vasopressors, and other supportive measures should be employed as indicated.

Note: In an individual physically dependent on narcotics, the administration of the usual dose of a narcotic antagonist will precipitate an acute withdrawal syndrome. the severity of this syndrome will depend on the degree of physical dependence and the dose of the antagonist administered. the use of a narcotic antagonist in such a person should be avoided if possible. if it must be used to treat serious respiratory depression in the physically dependent patient, the antagonist should be administered with extreme care and by titration with smaller than usual doses of the antagonist.

Pharmacology

Methadone wiki1.png
Methadonewiki2.gif
1 : 1 Mixture (racemate)Methadone
Systematic (IUPAC) name
(RS)-6-(Dimethylamino)-4,4-diphenylheptan-3-one
Identifiers
CAS number 76-99-3
ATC code N02AC52 N07BC02 (WHO)
PubChem 4095
DrugBank DB00333
Chemical data
Formula C21H27NO 
Mol. mass 309.445 g/mol
SMILES eMolecules & PubChem
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability 41-99% (oral)[1]
Metabolism Hepatic (CYP3A4, CYP2B6 and CYP2D6-mediated)[1][2]
Half life 7-65 hours[2]
Excretion Urine, faeces[2]
Therapeutic considerations
Pregnancy cat.

C(AU) C(US)

Legal status

Controlled (S8)(AU) Class A(UK) Schedule II(US)

Routes Oral, intravenous, insufflation, sublingual, rectal

Mechanism of Action

  • Methadone hydrochloride is a synthetic narcotic analgesic with multiple actions quantitatively similar to those of morphine, the most prominent of which involve the central nervous system and organs composed of smooth muscle. The principal actions of therapeutic value are analgesia and sedation, detoxification or maintenance in narcotic addiction. The methadone abstinence syndrome, although qualitatively similar to that of morphine, differs in that the onset is slower, the course is more prolonged, and the symptoms are less severe.
  • When administered orally, methadone is approximately one-half as potent as when given parenterally. Oral administration results in a delay of the onset, a lowering of the peak, and an increase in the duration of analgesic effect.

Structure

  • Methadone Hydrochloride is a white powder. It is chemically named 6-dimethylamino-4, 4-diphenyl-3-heptanone hydrochloride.

Pharmacodynamics

There is limited information regarding Methadone (oral) Pharmacodynamics in the drug label.

Pharmacokinetics

There is limited information regarding Methadone (oral) Pharmacokinetics in the drug label.

Nonclinical Toxicology

There is limited information regarding Methadone (oral) Nonclinical Toxicology in the drug label.

Clinical Studies

There is limited information regarding Methadone (oral) Clinical Studies in the drug label.

How Supplied

  • Methadone Hydrochloride is supplied in containers of 50 gm., 100 gm., 500 gm., and 1 kilogram.
  • Preserve in tight, light-resistant containers. Store at controlled room temperature (15° to 30°C.) (59° to 86°F.)

MALLINCKRODT MALLINCKRODT INC. St. Louis, Missouri 63134 July 1998 1274111 Printed in U.S.A.

Storage

There is limited information regarding Methadone (oral) Storage in the drug label.

Images

Drug Images

Pill Image.jpeg

Drug Name: Methadone
Ingredient(s): Lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, cellulose, microcrystalline, silicon dioxide
Imprint: 57;55;M
Dosage: 5 mg
Color(s): White
Shape:
Size (mm): 9
Score: 2
NDC:0406-1510-56

Drug Label Author: Mallinckrodt, Inc.

This pill image is provided by the National Library of Medicine's PillBox.

Package and Label Display Panel

Methadone label.png
This image of the FDA label is provided by the National Library of Medicine.

Patient Counseling Information

There is limited information regarding Methadone (oral) Patient Counseling Information in the drug label.

Precautions with Alcohol

  • Alcohol-Methadone interaction has not been established. Talk to your doctor about the effects of taking alcohol with this medication.

Brand Names

There is limited information regarding Methadone (oral) Brand Names in the drug label.

Look-Alike Drug Names

There is limited information regarding Methadone (oral) Look-Alike Drug Names in the drug label.

Drug Shortage Status

Price

References

The contents of this FDA label are provided by the National Library of Medicine.

  1. 1.0 1.1 Fredheim, OM (August 2008). "Clinical pharmacology of methadone for pain". Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica. 52 (7): 879–89. doi:10.1111/j.1399-6576.2008.01597.x. PMID 18331375. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Brown, R (November 2004). "Methadone: applied pharmacology and use as adjunctive treatment in chronic pain" (PDF). Postgraduate Medical Journal. 80 (949): 654–9. doi:10.1136/pgmj.2004.022988. PMC 1743125. PMID 15537850. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
"Rectangular" is not in the list (Round, Oval, Square, Triangular, Capsule, Pentagon, Hexagon, Diamond, Gear, DoubleCircle, ...) of allowed values for the "Pill Shape" property.



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