How Often Can You Take Methadone?

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

Methadone is a medication for opioid use disorder that is taken daily. When prescribed for pain, it may be taken every 8 to 12 hours. Taking methadone more often than prescribed could lead to adverse side effects, including intoxication and overdose.

How Often Can You Take Methadone?

Methadone is taken in the form of a single, daily dose when prescribed for the treatment of opioid withdrawal and opioid use disorder.

Methadone is also prescribed for pain. Prescribing guidelines for how often you can take methadone may differ for individuals who take methadone for pain that is related to a chronic health condition.

Learn more about methadone maintenance treatment

Taking Methadone Daily

When someone with opioid dependence begins taking methadone, a doctor may provide them with methadone in a single daily dose.

During the induction phase, additional doses of methadone may be administered in very small increments as needed, every few hours.

After a therapeutic dose of methadone has been reached, it can then be taken in a single daily dose. Generally, this requires visiting a methadone clinic or other certified treatment setting.

Why Methadone Is Taken Daily

Methadone is a long-acting opioid agonist that produces its effects slowly. Once ingested, its effects can then last up to 24 hours, depending on the dose and formulation taken.

Taking methadone as directed by a doctor is important to prevent unintended health consequences, including accidental intoxication or overdose.

Risks of taking methadone too often:

  • intoxication
  • methadone overdose
  • severe physical dependence
  • addiction

Methadone is safe when taken as directed by a doctor. Generally, it is required to be taken under direct clinical supervision. Take-home treatment is available for patients who qualify.

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Where Methadone Treatment Is Offered

Methadone for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) can only be dispensed by an opioid treatment program (OTP) that is SAMHSA-certified.

Clinical supervision may be required in order to receive methadone. Methadone treatment can be found at a rehab clinic, or at an addiction treatment center that is SAMHSA-certified.

Find A Treatment Center That Offers Methadone For Drug Addiction

Methadone is a leading treatment for opioid use disorder, a substance use issue that affects the lives of millions of Americans and their families.

If you or a loved one is looking for opioid addiction treatment, call us today to learn more about methadone or to find medication-assisted 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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