Methadone Dosage: How Much Methadone Can One Take At Once?

Methadone Dosage

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Methadone can be very useful for opioid addicts to help get off of dangerous opioids, such as heroin. However, when this drug is used as replacement therapy, it needs to be used very carefully. The correct doses must be used. Otherwise, this drug itself can cause many problems. This article will provide information about the average Methadone doses that you should use for this drug. The information in this article can be beneficial for making sure that one is taking the correct Methadone dose and not overdoing it.

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Table of Contents

About Methadone Dosage in General

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Note that only a medical professional can identify the correct Methadone dosage for each individual. The following information is the average data, but each patient shall have individual calculations in accordance to the personal features and the medical conditions. Do not try to self-medicate with this substance or change the dosage without the doctor’s prescription.

Patients who are beginning to take Methadone should be given a low dosage on their first day. The first dosage should be between 10-30mg. If the patient has not used opioids recently, then the dose should not be higher than 10-20 mg. It is essential not to make the first dosage too strong to prevent the Methadone overdose. Overdoses have occurred for the first dose at 40-60mg. So, the first dose should never be more than 30 mg.
The typical Methadone dose or the average methadone dose for the first one is around 20 mg. After the first one, the dosage amount can be gradually scaled up by 5-10 mg every three days. The maintenance dose is typically between 60-120 mg.

Lowest, Average and Highest Dosage

The maximum safe maintenance dosage is between 60-120 mg. But it takes time to build up to this dose. Doses should be lower to start out with. The highest dose of Methadone that should be used for replacement therapy when treating severe opioid addiction is 160 mg. 60 mg is on the lower end for maintenance dosage. However, the lowest dose of Methadone is about 10 mg.
The average dose of Methadone is about 80-120 mg. If one goes above 120 mg of Methadone, then they could be at severe risk of having an overdose. If one takes an amount of Methadone above 120mg, then they could be at severe risk for having an overdose. Such an overdose can be deadly. The chances of having a deadly overdose are greatly increased if one is also taking any other opioid narcotics such as Oxycontin or Hydrocodone.

The Dosage of Methadone by Age and Condition

The amount of Methadone that one takes as a maintenance dosage is highly dependent on the age, the drug one is trying to get off of, and the doctor’s recommendations. If a paetient is younger than 18, then they will need a smaller dose of Methadone as a maintenance dose. This could range anywhere from 5 mg to 40 mg. If a patient a healthy adult, then they may need slightly more. The maintenance dosage may be from 60-100 mg. If a patient is an elderly or in poor health, then the dose may be similar to that of people under 18.
However, if one has developed a strong tolerance to opioids by taking heroin, Oxycontin, or other similar drugs for years, then one may need higher doses. However, the max dose of Methadone should never exceed 120 mg. Otherwise, a person are risking overdose. Always consult the physician as the dose can vary from person to person depending on factors such as opioid tolerance, age, etc.

Occasional and Preventative Use

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Methadone should never be used casually or recreationally to get high. The only cases where it should be used is it if it is prescribed by a doctor for harrowing conditions when the doctor believes that the drug is the only suitable drug, or for replacement therapy for opioid treatment.

People who use Methadone recreationally and who have no idea how much Methadone to take can easily overdose form the drug. For this reason, the drug should never be taken casually.
Only a doctor should always give methadone treatment dosages. So, if one is wondering what the Methadone dosing guidelines are, the answer is that one should ask the doctor. Doses should never exceed 120 mg for anyone, regardless of tolerance.

Final Thoughts

Methadone can often be used successfully to help treat severe heroin and opioid addictions. Many other opioid drugs are far more deadly and dangerous than Methadone is, and that is why this drug is frequently used to wean people off of these other dangerous narcotics. However, if one is thinking about using this narcotic to try to cure heroin or severe opioid addiction, then they should get help from an addiction specialist, or an addiction treatment center. It is crucially important that the patient gets the dosing right, or else they could potentially be risking one’s life. So, always get professional help when using this drug.

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Olivier George

About Author

Olivier George, Ph.D.

Olivier George is a medical writer and head manager of the rehab center in California. He spends a lot of time in collecting and analyzing the traditional approaches for substance abuse treatment and assessing their efficiency.


Leave a comment

  • Joan Norris
    My son had to go from suboxone to methadone due to cost. The clinic is over prescriping as he cannot function now. He falls asleep driving and standing up. He has a job now in jeopardy.I tried to advise the clinic and they would not talk to me. Who can I contact?
    • Scott Davis
      To be honest your son should not be driving around after taking his methadone unless he is used to taking it..Methadone is much better than Suboxone i can tell you that from first hand experience..He should wait to get used to his daily dose of methadone until he is operating machinery and driving a car..I decided to drive when i was taking it and ended u[ running off the road into a ditch and it cost me over a thousand dollars to repair..Luckily it was only material things and not an animal or person i hit!
  • Matias
    only your son since the clinic will have no right to talk to anyone about his treatment