Methadone is a synthetic drug and it belongs to the group of opioids. It is very close to other opioid drugs by its pharmacological properties, such as for example, morphine and heroin. As well as other opioids, Methadone causes drug intoxication, as well as psychic and physical dependence. Its long-term usage is accompanied by the growth of tolerance (the body’s resistance to the drug), which makes it necessary to escalate gradually the dose. But it is worth noting that the Methadone addiction develops slowly.
Stopping of the usage of Methadone by the person with addiction leads to the development of the withdrawal syndrome. It is used as an analgesic and is widely used as a supportive agent in heroin and opiate addiction.
The essential difference between Methadone and other opioids is its long-term effect (about 24 hours after a single usage).
Action of Methadone
Methadone acts from 24 to 48 hours, depending on the dosage and metabolism of the patient. Methadone produces analgesic and sedative effect if it is used in therapeutic doses. This medication affects the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and smooth muscles. The effect is achieved after 20-30 minutes after taking the medication.
Side Effects of Methadone
Methadone can cause the side effects, here they are:
In case of overdose
- respiratory depression,
- suppression of blood circulation,
- pulmonary edema,
- acute renal failure is marked.
After 24 hours 20-60% of the remedy is excreted in the urine.
The usage of Methadone
Methadone is very similar to the opioid receptors and therefore it is sometimes used for other similar analgesic opiates (e.g. in the USA). The usual dose of Methadone as analgetic is 5 or 10 mg in tablets.
Since 1964, Methadone is widely used in many countries for the treatment of patients with opiate (heroin) addiction in the “support programs” (“Methadone maintenance program”), it is also called “replacement therapy” (as Methadone is used for substitution, instead of heroin).
The treatment is carried out typically over an extended period of time (months or even years). It is executed together with the other therapeutic agents and psychotherapy sessions. To prevent the development of physical dependence, the treatment dosage should be maintained at the same level or decrease continuously.
The dosage is determined by a licensed technician. From 20 to 100 mg of Methadone per day is prescribed to treat the opioid dependence (RRT).
Xanax is an anxiolytic, antianxiety medication. It is a derivative of benzodiazepine with intermediate-acting, which is used to treat panic disorders and anxiety disorders.
Who should Take Xanax?
Xanax is prescribed in case of:
- Anxiety disorders and neuroses with anxiety;
- Sleep problems;
- Somatic disorders;
- Mixed antidepressive and neurotic reactive depression accompanied by mood decrease, loss of interest in surroundings, psychomotor agitation, sleep problems, decreased appetite, loss of body weight, and somatic complaints;
- Impaired cognitive activity;
- Suicidal thoughts (the feeling of guilt, inferiority).
Administration and Dosage of Xanax
The optimal dose is determined individually, depending on the degree of severity of symptoms and the severity of the clinical effect. Increasing the dose is better to carry out due to receiving of the bigger amount of medication in the evening (before bedtime). In general, patients, who have never been treated with psychotropic drugs, require lower doses. Elderly or debilitated patients are advised to take smaller doses of Xanax (the active actual substance is Alprazolam), as an overdose can cause the development of excessive sedation or ataxia. It is recommended to re-evaluate periodically the condition of the patient, in order to monitor and correct the dosage of Xanax.
Methadone and Xanax Interaction
In the case of simultaneous administration of Methadone and Xanax can have potentially life-threatening effects in a person, who has never taken opioids, but these problems are unlikely in a long-term user.
One of the effects of Methadone is the decrease in the respiratory drive, which originates from the brain. This drive can be diminished to the point, where breathing stops entirely, that is why the opioid overdose causes death. Benzodiazepines, including Xanax, also may cause respiratory depression, although it will happen through the different mechanism than opioids. When the respiratory depression of opioids and benzodiazepines are combined, the effect is multiplied and the risk of dangerously decreased levels of breathing is greatly increased.