Methadone (Methadose) Nursing Considerations

Join to watch the full lesson now.

Included In This Lesson

Study Tools


Generic Name


Trade Name



withdrawal symptoms, pain


Suppresses withdrawal symptoms. Binds to opiate receptors in the CNS and alters perception of pain while producing a general depression of the CNS. This depression also causes a decrease in the cough reflex and GI motility.

Therapeutic Class

opioid analgesic

Pharmacologic Class

opioid agonist

Nursing Considerations

• use caution if patient is receiving MAO Inhibitors
• may cause QT prolongation, hypotension, respiratory depression, dependence, confusion, sedation
• assess pain, vital signs, bowel function
• may increase pancreatic enzyme levels
• assess withdrawal symptoms

Join to watch the full lesson now.


Okay, let’s talk about methadone. Also known as a me dose. This is an oral medication, as you can see here, and it comes in additional forms like the IV form, as well as a rectal form. The therapeutic class of methadone is an opioid analgesic. And remember, this is how the drug works in the body. The pharmacologic class of methadone is an opioid agonist, and this is the chemical effect of the drug. So methadone suppresses withdrawal symptoms because it acts as an opioid agonist with prolonged halflife. It binds two opiate receptors in the central nervous system and alters the perception of pain and produces a general depression of the central nervous system. Depression also causes a decrease in the cough reflex and GI mode. So methadone is used for opioid withdrawal symptoms and also to treat pain. Some of the side effects that we see with the use of methadone are hypertension, respiratory, depression, confusion, and sedation, because remember, these are, there’s a general depress of the CNS. 

Let’s take a look at a few nursing considerations for methadone, be sure to assess the patient’s pain as well as their vital signs and their bowel function. While on methadone, methadone may cause QT prolongation and also may cause dependence methadone may also increase pancreatic enzyme levels, youth caution in patients who are also taking mais. And it’s critical that you teach the patient to use this drug exactly as directed, because remember it can cause dependence. So guys, this is important. Methadone is a very potent opioid agonist. So with this said, if the patient has children at home, they need to be super diligent about keeping this drug away from their children. Because there have actually been reports and instances where children have died after accidental exposure to eat even a small amount of methadone. That’s it for methadone or me dose now go out and be your best self today. And as always happy nursing.

Join to watch the full lesson now.