What Is The Average Dose Of Methadone?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on December 29, 2021

Methadone is an opioid medication that can treat pain, opioid withdrawal, and be taken long-term for opioid dependence. The dose of methadone a person is directed to take will depend on the intended use and other factors related to a person’s substance use history.

What Is The Average Dose Of Methadone?

The average dose of methadone for opioid use disorder varies according to which stage of the addiction treatment process a person is in: induction, stabilization, or maintenance.

Generally, doctors will start patients on a low dose of methadone and gradually increase their dosage over the course of several weeks to reach a target therapeutic dose for maintenance.

Learn more about using methadone for opioid withdrawal

Average Starting Dose Of Methadone

Clinical guidelines for prescribing methadone recommend beginning people who are opioid-dependent on a daily dose of 20 milligrams (mg) to 30 mg.

Following this initial induction, doctors may begin to gradually adjust the dosage, with incremental increases of 5 mg to 10 mg every few days, and no more than 20 mg a week.

During this time, patients are closely monitored for symptoms of sedation or respiratory depression. If these symptoms occur, a dose reduction may be applied.

Average Dose Of Methadone For Maintenance Treatment

According to the guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO), the average effective dose of methadone is between 60 to 120 mg, taken once daily.

Methadone may be taken orally in the form of a liquid, diskette, or powder.

By law, only certified opioid treatment programs (OTP) can dispense daily methadone for opioid use disorder. Take-home treatment options may be available for those who qualify.

Factors That Can Affect The Average Dose Of Methadone

Clinical guidelines recommend a target dose of at least 60 mg per day for people who are being maintained on methadone for opioid dependence.

Various factors, including personal factors, biological factors, and individual responses to methadone may affect the amount of methadone someone is directed to take.

Common factors that might affect a therapeutic dose include:

  • level of opioid tolerance
  • severity of addiction
  • duration of opioid use
  • history of illicit drug or alcohol abuse
  • prior treatment history
  • co-occurring mental health conditions
  • liver and kidney function

Further, prescribed doses of methadone may be influenced by factors such as age, whether a person is pregnant, and other health-related factors.

Call Today To Learn More About Methadone Treatment

Methadone is generally prescribed as part of a full medication-assisted treatment program for opioid addiction, which typically offers individual drug counseling and other support services.

If you’re looking for methadone treatment for yourself or a loved one, call us today to speak to one of our trained staff about finding methadone treatment options near you.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on December 29, 2021
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