We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Symptoms of Methadone Withdrawal?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Methadone is a prescription medication that may be used to treat chronic pain. This medication may also be prescribed to reduce withdrawal symptoms associated with illicit drugs such as heroin. Unfortunately, discontinuing the methadone can also cause withdrawal symptoms. Some potential symptoms of methadone withdrawal may include anxiety, high blood pressure, and insomnia. Since some of these symptoms can be particularly difficult, it is often recommended that the patient undergo the withdrawal period at a treatment center where there is a medical team present to assist with the process.

Varying degrees of pain are among the most difficult symptoms of methadone withdrawal that a patient will face. This may include abdominal pain, muscle pain, or joint pain. Muscle spasms may develop anywhere in the body, often making it difficult to perform normal everyday tasks. Psychological disturbances such as anxiety or irritability are also common symptoms of methadone withdrawal. Some patients may experience extreme fatigue, excess sweating, or runny eyes or nose.

Many symptoms of methadone withdrawal begin to develop within one to two days of discontinuing the medication. These symptoms often become progressively worse during the first week of withdrawal. After the first week, the severity of the side effects usually begins to subside. Within two weeks, symptoms of methadone withdrawal are generally mild. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe, and the patient may be encouraged to stay at a treatment facility during this phase of withdrawal to prevent him or her from returning to illicit drug use in an effort to escape the pain.

Patients may experience some symptoms of methadone withdrawal for up to six months following discontinuation of the medication. These symptoms are typically a general feeling of weakness or fatigue, insomnia, and loss of appetite. Many of the symptoms of methadone withdrawal may be reduced by slowly decreasing the dosage instead of abruptly discontinuing the medication. The patient will be closely monitored during the treatment process, and therapy or counseling may be recommended as part of the treatment plan.

Methadone should not be considered a cure for drug addiction. Instead, this medication works by reducing some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with ceasing illicit drug use. Methadone treatment may continue for several months or even up to two years in some patients. The longer the treatment with methadone, the more likely the patient is to remain drug-free once the medication is discontinued. During this lengthy treatment process, the dosage may be slowly reduced as tolerated by the patient in an effort to also reduce the symptoms of methadone withdrawal.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.