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.
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.
Published on July 9, 2021
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- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — Methadone
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: NCBI Bookshelf — Methadone maintenance treatment - Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings
- World Health Organization (WHO) — Guidelines for the Psychosocially Assisted Pharmacological Treatment of Opioid Dependence