Sunday, August 17, 2008

Starting Methadone? It could kill you - You must read this!

This is the first time I've heard about this. If you or someone you know is starting on Methadone, you must read this. Methadone deaths are rising because many physicians don't know how to prescribe or adjust the dosage during the critical first week of methadone treatment. There are so many issues that put new methadone patients at risk, that I won't even try to summarize them here. You're better off reading this well-written NY Times article, "Methadone Rises as a Painkiller With Big Risks." For example, contributing risks include: incorrect initial dosage chart, the unique property of the drug that makes it difficult to monitor and adjust dosages during the start of therapy, an FDA-approved package insert, etc . . .

The article is accompanied by a video clip and excellent multimedia presentation of methadone death statistics.

Additional free resources from the FDA about methadone:
FDA Public Health Advisory - Methadone Use for Pain Control May Result in Death and Life-Threatening Changes in Breathing and Heart Beat - a little dated but still good information

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