Methadone (also known as Symoron, Dolophine, Amidone, Methadose, Physeptone, Heptadon and many other names) is a synthetic opioid. It is used medically as an analgesic and a maintenance anti-addictive and reductive preparation for use by patients with opioid dependency. It was developed in Germany in 1937, mainly because Germany required a reliable internal source of opiates. Because it is an acyclic analog of morphine or heroin, methadone acts on the same opioid receptors as these drugs, and thus has many of the same effects. Methadone is also used in managing severe chronic pain, owing to its long duration of action, extremely powerful effects, and very low cost. Methadone was introduced into the United States in 1947 by Eli Lilly and Company.

Methadone is mainly used in the treatment of opioid dependence. It has cross-tolerance with other opioids including heroin and morphine, offering very similar effects and a long duration of effect. Oral doses of methadone can stabilise patients by mitigating opioid withdrawal syndrome. Higher doses of methadone can block the euphoric effects of heroin, morphine, and similar drugs. As a result, properly dosed methadone patients can reduce or stop altogether their use of these substances.

Methadone is approved for different indications in different countries. Common is approval as an analgesic and approval for the treatment of opioid dependence. It is not intended to reduce the use of non-opioid drugs such as methamphetamine, or alcohol.

A number of pharmaceutical companies produce and distribute methadone. The racemic hydrochloride is the only form available in most countries, such as the Netherlands, Belgium, France and in the United States, as of March 2008. The tartrate and other salts of the laevorotary form (levomethadone, with trade names including Polamidone and Heptadon) are available in Europe and elsewhere. These are more potent opioid agonists compared to racemic methadone because the dextrorotary form (d-methadone) is not an opioid agonist (it is an NMDA antagonist), therefore by using only the laevorotary form instead of the racemate the opioid agonist potency is doubled. Covidien (formerly Mallinckrodt), is the major racemic methadone producer and sells bulk methadone to producers of generic preparations and distributes its own product in the form of tablets, dispersible tablets and oral concentrate under the brand name Methadose in the United States.

Read more about Methadone:  Medical Uses, Adverse Effects, Pharmacology, History, Similar Drugs

Other articles related to "methadone":

Levacetylmethadol - Dosing
... The first dose of LAAM for patients who have not started treatment with methadone is 20–40 mg ... The first dose for patients who have been receiving methadone will be a little higher than the amount of methadone that was being taken every day, but not more than 120 mg ... Unlike methadone, which requires daily administration, LAAM is administered two to three times a week ...
Lofexidine - Use in Opioid Detoxification
... Lofexidine is not an opioid, whereas methadone is ... Some opioid detox programs use methadone in decreasing amounts in their detox protocol, whereas other detox programs use lofexidine ... cannot stop opioid withdrawal and merely eases some symptoms of withdrawal, methadone—being an opioid itself—will completely ameliorate all withdrawal symptoms in a sufficient dose ...
Methadone - Similar Drugs
... See also Heroin-assisted Treatment and Buprenorphine There are two methadone isomers that form the racemic mixture which is more common as it is cheaper to produce ... is isolated by several recrystalisations from racemic methadone, is more expensive to produce than the racemate ... The dextrorotary isomer d-methadone is not commercially available ...
... R-4066 is a drug which is an analogue of the opioid analgesic methadone, where the metabolically labile dimethylamino group has been replaced by a ... Pharmaceutica, it is around 212x more potent than methadone as an analgesic in animal tests, with an effective oral dosage of 0.07 mg/kg, but is slightly ... an analgesic duration of 20.5 hours compared to 8 hours for methadone ...
Adolphine - Pharmacology - Route of Administration
... The most common route of administration at a methadone clinic is in a racemic oral solution, though in Germany, only the R enantiomer (the L optical isomer) has ... Methadone is available in traditional pill, sublingual tablet, and two different formulations designed for the patient to drink ... Methadone is almost as effective when administered orally as by injection ...