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

Last Updated: November 20, 2020

Authored by Olivier George, Ph.D.

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

The drug Methadone, also known as Methadose and Dolophine, is an opioid analgesic mainly administered for the management of chronic pain and opioid dependence detoxification. Methadone dosing often depends on many factors such as the severity of the case, age, weight, present health condition of the patient, and others. Why does the Methadone dose matter? The drug may be habit-forming and, therefore, should not be abused.

How is Methadone taken? Firstly, this drug has to be recommended by a medical doctor before use, the physician, after proper diagnoses and assessment, may prescribe a strict Methadone dosage pain management schedule. The liquid Dolophine dosage may differ from solid forms.

Methadone Forms And Strengths

The use of Methadose for chronic pain is known to be quite useful as its relief may last from 8 to 36 hours. Methadone comes in different forms and strengths. The drug may be administered orally and rarely through intravenous means. Dolophine dosage for pain comes in liquid and tablet forms. Routes of exposure include the mouth, insufflation, intravenous, rectal, and sublingual.

The strengths are recommended for specific purposes; Methadone 5mg being one of the most popularly used, is often endorsed for pain. Methadone 10 mg is used for moderate to severe pain as well. The therapeutic dose range is usually between Dolophine 20 mg to 200 mg; this exempts opioid-naïve persons.

Dolophine is a schedule II drug in the US. It is considered a controlled drug, and an average dose of Dolophine maintenance medication may depend on the patient’s physical health, history of usage, and other factors. The liquid oral medication comes in 3 strengths; 5mg in 5ml, 10mg in 5ml, and 50mg in 5ml.

Some individuals abuse Dolophine of various strengths to get high. This is harmful, especially when using above average Dolophine dose.

Methadone Dosage Chart

Methadone dosage for opioid withdrawal is easily higher than that of chronic pain. Patients who are on Dolophine require a dosage chart to mitigate the risks that come with the medication. What is the essence of a dosage chart, and what is considered a high dose of Methadose?

The risk of Methadone overdose is often very high, especially with long term users of the drug. A dosage chart provides a structure and exact calculation on total daily opioid doses for specific patients. It helps patients keep track of how to take Methadone. The chart is essential for monitoring blood levels concentrations, and to mitigate Methadone interactions.

Methadone Dosage Chart
Adult (More than 50kg bodyweight) Pediatrics (less than 50 kg body weight)
5 mg every 8 hours 0.1 mg/kg/dose every 8 hours

Dolophine doses can be measured in Morphine Milligram Equivalents (MME). Relatively average doses such as 20-50 MME may increase the risks of an overdose. 50 MME/day measures 12 mg of Methadose while 90 MME/day is about 20 mg.  A typical Methadone dosage chart may comprise of 5 mg oral every 8 hours for adults and 0.1 mg/kg/dose every 8 hours.

The peak and trough Methadone amounts in the system can be influenced by metabolism, abuse of drugs, health conditions, poor absorption, vitamin levels, and even pregnancy.

What If One Misses A Dose?

The best way to take Methadose is to follow prescriptions to the letter. It can be a bit challenging keeping up with long-term medications, especially when they are embedded in daily routines. When a person misses a dose of Dolophine 5 mg pill or more, the first thing to do is to check the schedule for the next dose period.

There is no substantial health problem associated with missing one dose of Methadone for pain. Although, research has shown that tolerance for the opioid may reduce if the persons miss doses for about three days and above. When the dose is restarted, the individual is vulnerable to overdose. Methadone withdrawal symptoms are also another factor of missing daily doses.

Taking a Dolophine 10mg pill at once instead of splitting into a separate 5 mg at different periods of the day is a bad idea and can lead to health issues as well as increased pressure on the organs.

methadone pills in a bottle

Creating a personal drug schedule that is different from the doctor’s prescription to fit lifestyle can be very dangerous. If a person misses a dose for two days or more, especially when on high doses like Methadone 100 mg daily, one should consult a doctor immediately for assessment and a possible change of dosage.

LD50 Of Methadone

Methadone lethal dose is referred to as the concentration of drug that is fatal. The smallest Methadose strength that is responsible for the death of half a test population is called the LD50. Many tests have been conducted to ascertain the specific LD50 value, even though results often differ slightly due to health conditions, pharmacokinetics, and other properties. In mice, the intravenous LD50 is 20mg/kg, while subcutaneously, it is 80-120/kg. Methadone half-life also plays an essential role in the determination of a lethal dose.

As useful as Dolophine may be for cancer pains and treating addictions, the drug, when abused, can lead to severe health issues, withdrawal symptoms, overdose, and possible death. The so-called Methadone mile has been cleaned out by state securities to reduce the illegal distribution of the drug.

Using Methadone Safely

Dolophine use during pregnancy comes with significant risks as the drug can enter the placenta and may expose the fetus to dependence. However, if the mother is on a Dolophine schedule, stopping the medication abruptly as the mother may suffer withdrawal symptoms which may affect the unborn baby as well. Methadone and pregnancy presents a substantial challenge. The priority, however, is ensuring the safety of the fetus.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) declared that Methadose treatment for opioid addiction in pregnant women is safe. The MAT program has been used for decades to ensure the safety of the unborn baby while administering the drug to the mother for opioid use disorder.

If a loved one is suffering from the negative effects of Methadose abuse, seek medical help in rehab immediately.

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Published on: May 14th, 2018

Updated on: November 20th, 2020

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.

Medically Reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.


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  • 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