What Does Taking Methadone Feel Like?

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

Methadone is a depressant that can make a person feel drowsy and have other side effects. Serious side effects, including labored breathing or sedation, can be a sign of an adverse reaction or drug overdose.

What Does Methadone Feel Like?

Methadone is a medication for opioid use disorder (OUD) that slows down activity in the body’s nervous system and can cause mild, euphoric effects.

After taking methadone, a person may feel drowsy and experience other acute side effects such as nausea, headache, or dry mouth.

Although methadone is an opioid, treatment doses of methadone do not cause a person to feel high. However, it may cause a feeling of relaxation and positive well-being.

Learn more about taking methadone for opioid maintenance

What You Might Feel After Taking Methadone

Methadone acts in the body as a central nervous system depressant. It slows activity in the brain and nervous system and can alter the body’s perception of pain.

After taking methadone, a person may experience:

  • drowsiness
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • nausea or vomiting
  • changes in appetite
  • restlessness

Methadone doses are carefully calculated for people who take it for heroin addiction or opioid use disorder. This dose may need adjusting over time.

With a proper dose, the side effects of methadone shouldn’t be severe, nor should they disrupt a person’s ability to complete daily tasks.

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Warning Signs: What Taking Methadone Shouldn’t Feel Like

One of the most common questions about methadone is: Does it get you high?

And although methadone can cause euphoria, this isn’t the same as you might feel after using or misusing opioids like heroin, oxycodone (OxyContin), or fentanyl.

Methadone is long-acting, meaning its effects last over a longer period of time, and the onset of effects may be slower than those of opioid drugs like heroin.

Adverse side effects can also occur from methadone, which may be a sign of a drug allergy, adverse reaction, or signal a need for a dosage adjustment.

If you’re experiencing the following side effects from methadone, tell your doctor right away:

  • rash
  • hives
  • severe itching
  • confusion
  • difficulty breathing
  • irregular heartbeat
  • vomiting
  • swelling
  • opioid withdrawal symptoms (e.g. sweating, fever, diarrhea)
  • euphoria
  • hallucinations

Methadone is a beneficial medication for many. If it causes severe side effects, a doctor may recommend an alternative treatment or offer another strategy for symptom management.

Find Treatment For Opioid Use Disorder Today

Methadone is a top treatment for opioid use disorder when prescribed alongside other behavioral health and social support services.

Although highly effective for its intended uses, methadone can also be misused. If you’re looking for treatment for someone addicted to opioids, including methadone, we may be able to help.

Call us today to learn more about methadone or to find addiction treatment options for opioid addiction 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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