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Methadose Treatment: Administration, Benefits, Risks, and Side Effects

Written by Thomas Christiansen

& Medically Reviewed by Dr. Bonnie Bullock, PHD

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Last Updated - 12/29/2022

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Updated 12/29/2022

Key Takeaways

  • The active ingredient in Methadose is Methadone
  • Methadose is used to treat opioid dependence or as part of methadone maintenance treatment
  • Methadose, when used correctly, is effective at reducing opioid dependence
  • Methadose can ease withdrawal symptoms from other opioids
  • Methadose comes in tablet form (which must be manually suspended in a liquid), or as an oral concentrate

Methadose is a form of methadone that is commonly administered to treat addiction. Learn more about methadose treatment, administration, benefits, risks and side effects.

Methadose is an oral form of methadone, a Schedule II controlled substance and an opioid agonist. Methadose is commonly used to treat opioid addiction. Methadose has several risks, benefits and side effects associated with its use. Many different treatment facilities administer methadone in the form of Methadose. Alternatively, an individual may receive the drug at a methadone clinic.

What Is Methadose?

First, what is Methadose and how does it work? Methadose is a liquid form of methadone. Most pharmaceutical labels describe Methadose as an oral concentrate or tablet that must be dissolved in an appropriate liquid. As an opioid agonist, Methadose works in the same way as other forms of methadone. Methadone is the active ingredient in all iterations of Methadose.

Methadose Administration

Methadose oral tablets are dissolved in a liquid before being administered to patients. Pills are dissolved in 40 mg, 20 mg or 10 mg doses as necessary. Some pills may be white, while other pills will be orange.

The 40 mg pills may be broken in half to administer 20 mg doses, or broken into quarters to administer 10 mg doses. Methadose can be dissolved in approximately four ounces of water, orange juice or other acidic fruit beverage. Multiple doses may be dispensed to each patient per day. Full doses must be taken and if there is any residue left behind additional liquid can be added to dissolve the remaining Methadose.

Alternatively, liquid suspensions of Methadose are available in either cherry-flavored or unflavored suspensions at a concentrated dose of 10 mg per milliliter.

Methadose requires a prescription or clinic licensure for administration.

Methadose Versus Methadone

Is Methadose different from methadone? The answer is that Methadose contains methadone and thus can be considered the same drug for all intents and purposes. In the past, there have been different formulations, but all formulations contain methadone as their active ingredient.

Methadose FDA Approval for Opiate Addiction Treatment

Depending on the pharmaceutical company, the earliest approval of Methadose as an oral concentrate for treating opiate addiction occurred in 1973 by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, methadone’s pain-relieving properties were known as early as the 1940s. The therapeutic efficacy of methadone for treating opiate addiction was not realized nor studied until decades later.

Methadose Use in Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

Methadose, an oral form of methadone, is often prescribed during substance abuse treatment for opioids. What is Methadose used for? Methadose has two main uses. The first is for individuals to detoxify or rid their bodies of opioids like heroin or similar opioids. The second use is for maintenance treatment along with social services support. The goal of maintenance treatments is to prevent individuals from seeking out addictive opioids and avoiding severe withdrawal symptoms.

How is Methadose used? Methadose is used to treat patients in recovery centers or patients that go to daily methadone clinics. Methadose acts on mu receptors found in the brain, nervous and digestive systems. This subtype of receptor binds opioids like heroin, fentanyl and Methadose. In contrast to morphine and other similar opioids, withdrawal from Methadose is less intense and slower. This factor is a great advantage for individuals addicted to opiates, as they can take methadose less frequently than other opioids and have less severe withdrawal periods, which makes them less likely to seek out opioids for relief.

When is Methadose used? Methadose may be used in a variety of clinical settings including but not limited to:

  • Hospitals
  • Psychiatric facilities
  • Substance treatment, recovery or addiction centers
  • Methadone clinics (methadone maintenance clinics)

Who Is Prescribed Methadose?

Who is typically prescribed Methadose? Methadose prescribing information only details that Methadose is used for detoxification or maintenance purposes. Nevertheless, individuals are typically prescribed Methadose under certain circumstances. Scenarios where people are typically prescribed Methadose include:

  • When individuals have a severe addiction to opioids
  • To block the “highs” associated with other opioids
  • To decrease withdrawal symptoms from other opioids
  • To detoxify from other opioids
  • As part of methadone maintenance treatment

Effectiveness of Methadose in Treating Opiate Addiction

Is Methadose effective at treating opioid dependence or in methadone maintenance treatment? In 2009, a large study was conducted comparing methadone treatment for opioid dependence versus placebo controls who received psychosocial treatment. Compared to the control group, methadone reduced opioid use, transmitted disease due to opioid use and crime. Statistics on the effectiveness of methadone include:

  • Compared to control groups, patients on methadone had 33.3% fewer drug tests that were positive for opioids
  • Compared to control groups, patients on methadone were more than four times more likely to stay in treatment
  • In five different studies conducted between 1991 and 2003, patients treated with methadone over placebo controls had a decreased percentage of opioid positive drug tests

Therefore methadone via Methadose administration is effective for treating opioid dependence.

Misuse and Abuse of Methadose

Like other opioids, there is potential for Methadose to be misused or abused. Though Methadose is only available by prescription, it does not mean that someone cannot attain this drug through alternative or illegal means. When Methadose is abused, the typical warning signs are not always present as Methadose withdrawal is generally less intense than other opioids. Nevertheless, a person misusing Methadose may:

  • Frequently feel nauseous or vomit
  • Profusely sweat
  • Have decreased breathing
  • Appear tired or groggy
  • Exhibit insomnia symptoms
  • Have problems urinating
  • Have trouble concentrating or performing daily tasks

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Methadose Side Effects

Methadose comes with a few side effects given that it is an opioid agonist. There are many different side effects that have been reported after using Methadose. Side effects range from extremely serious to less severe. Side effects of taking Methadose may include:

  • A general feeling of weakness
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Headache
  • Heart abnormalities (fast heartbeat, slow heartbeat, irregular heartbeat)
  • Stomach issues (diarrhea, vomiting or constipation)
  • Decreased breathing
  • Skin rashes
  • Changes in urination
  • Visual disturbances


There are several risks associated with taking Methadose. For example, it is never recommended to combine other drugs (whether they are prescribed or obtained illegally) with Methadose without the prior approval of a medical professional. Other risks of taking Methadose may include:

  • Caution should be taken if Methadose must be taken with Cytochrome P450 inhibitors or activators (enzymes important for proper metabolism)
  • Caution should be taken if Methadose is used with agents that affect the heart (e.g., calcium channel blockers or blood pressure medications)
  • Caution should be exercised when taking Methadose in combination with central nervous system depressants or serotonergic drugs

If a patient must stay on another medication that is known to interact with Methadose, a physician or other medical health professional should be consulted.


Is it possible to overdose on Methadose? Unfortunately, since Methadose is an opioid itself, it is possible to overdose, particularly if this drug is abused or misused. However, if a person uses their Methadose prescription correctly and does not mix it with other drugs, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur.

View Sources

Greer, Alissa; et al. “Patient perspectives of methadone formulation change in British Columbia, Canada: outcomes of a provincial survey.” Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, January 14, 2016. Accessed July 19, 2019.

Institute of Medicine. “Federal Regulation of Methadone Treatment.” NCBI Bookshelf, 1995. Accessed July 19, 2019.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “How effective are medications to treat opioid use disorder?” June 2018. Accessed July 19, 2019.

National Institutes of Health. “METHADOSE DISPENSABLE-methadone hydrochloride tablet.” April 19, 2018. Accessed July 19, 2019.

United States Food and Drug Administration. “New Drug Application (NDA): 017116.” Accessed July 19, 2019.

United States Food and Drug Administration. “METHADOSE™ Oral Concentrate (methadone hydrochloride oral concentrate USP).” December 2016. Accessed July 19, 2019.