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What is Methadone?

Methadone is an opioid (or narcotic) drug and a controlled substance - this drug has a risk of misuse and may cause dependence.

Methadone is also available as the brand-name drug Methadose. It is used as an oral soluble tablet.  

What is Methadone Used For?

Methadone is used to treat moderate to severe pain. 

It is sometimes prescribed in cases where the patient has an addiction to another opioid. Methadone helps prevent withdrawal symptoms. 

Methadone relieves pain by changing the way your brain and the nervous system respond to pain. It does so by working on the pain receptors.

Methadone relieves pain much slower than other painkillers like morphine.

Side Effects of Methadone

Some common side effects of methadone are:

Some serious side effects are:

Drug Interactions

Opioid medication can interact with many other drugs and cause dangerous side effects. Make sure you notify your doctor if you use other:

Gene-Drug Interactions

UGT2B7 And Withdrawal Symptoms In Methadone Maintenance Patients

Methadone maintenance treatment is the use of methadone for a prolonged period of time to treat pain in patients who have faced addiction issues with other opioids like heroin. 

The UGT2B7 gene is located at chromosome 4q13. It contains instructions for the production of UDP-Glucuronosyltransferase-2B7. 

It is associated with withdrawal symptoms, treatment efficacy, and side effects in methadone maintenance treatment. 


rs4292394 is a single nucleotide polymorphism or SNP in the UGT2B7 gene. It is associated with opioid withdrawal when undergoing methadone maintenance treatment. 

GGMay have increased severity of opiate withdrawal symptoms
CGMay have decreased severity of opiate withdrawal symptoms
CCMay have decreased severity of opiate withdrawal symptoms

CYP3A4 and Methadone Toxicity

The CYP3A enzymes are the most abundant of the CYP450 isozymes, comprising ∼40% of the hepatic CYP450 content. 

The CYP3A4 gene contains instructions for the production of the Cytochrome P 450 3A4 enzyme. CYP3A4 plays a role in the metabolism of 40–60% of all drugs ingested. 

A few studies have reported the role of CYP3A4 polymorphisms in methadone toxicity


rs4646437 is an SNP in the CYP3A4 gene. Studies have demonstrated that the CYP3A4 enzyme expression and activity are increased in females carrying the T allele. 

Increased levels of CYP3A4 result in increased conversion of methadone to inactive metabolites (substances that result from the metabolism of methadone). This increases the risk of fatal methadone intoxication in the female population with the T allele.

Recommendations for Safe Methadone Consumption

Pre-existing Medical Conditions

Notify your doctor of any health conditions you may have, like heart, lung, or kidney disease, as methadone may not be safe to consume in these cases.

Current Medications

Make sure your doctor knows all the drugs you are currently on/have had in the recent past in order to avoid drug interactions.

Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may take methadone; however, methadone can cross the placenta and can go into the breast milk. So seek the advice of your medical practitioner if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

The Correct Dosage

The correct dosage varies according to the purpose - whether to treat pain, for detoxification of opioid addiction, or for maintenance of opioid addiction. 

In case you take too much or experience symptoms of overdosing like slow pulse, cold, clammy skin, slowed breathing, or dizziness, immediately call your doctor or local poison control. If the symptoms are severe, call 911. 

Allergic Reaction

Methadone can cause severe allergic reactions. If you have trouble breathing or experience swelling of your tongue and throat, seek medical attention immediately. 


  1. Methadone is an opioid drug used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is also prescribed to people who suffer from other opioid addictions.
  2. The common side effects of methadone include nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain, and the serious ones include chest pain, increased blood pressure, and seizures.
  3. Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) is used with patients who have had opioid addiction issues. 
  4. People with a certain type of the UGT2B7 gene may have an increased risk for severe opioid withdrawal symptoms than others when on MMT. 
  5. The CYP3A4 gene has been associated with methadone toxicity. Females with a particular type of this gene are at increased risk for methadone toxicity.
  6. While taking methadone, it is important to notify your doctor of your existing medical conditions as well as the list of drugs you are on.
  7. Pregnant and breastfeeding women can take methadone only after consulting with the doctor.
  8. In case of overdose or any allergic reaction, reaching out for immediate medical help is crucial.


Obesity along with diabetes and high blood pressure, are considered as lifestyle diseases

since they can, to a large extent, be prevented from occurring by adopting a healthy way of life.

In obesity excess body weight, in the form of stored fat, has harmful effects on a person’s health. The obesity condition further raises the probability of other diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, cancer and arthritis. Overeating, physical activity and genetic predisposition are most often implicated in obesity. Change in dietary habits and physical exercise are the primary mode of reducing or eliminating obesity.

Obesity-linked genetic variations in the presence of other routine habits such as smoking, physical inactivity and unhealthy food intake may greatly raise the risk of a person developing heart diseases (cardiovascular diseases, CVD). However, further studies are required to clarify the link between diet and genetic variations associated directly with heart diseases.

Three of the nearly 50 genes implicated in obesity are FTO and apolipoproteins APOA2 and APOA5.

Gene Description Genetic Variation (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism, SNP)
FTO Fat mass and obesity- associated gene rs9939609, rs11219980
APOA2 Increases liver enzyme (lipase) activity -265T>C
APOA5 Increases triacylglycerol uptake -1131T>C

Genome-wide association (GWA) studies have established the role of FTO, lack of physical activity, body mass index (BMI) and obesity. One study reported that a variation of the FTO gene, rs9939609, may increase the risk of higher BMI (by nearly 0.4 points) and obesity (by 20%) in children and adults.

FTO may affect body fat storage through appetite since it is highly expressed in adipose tissue and in brain (hypothalamus) areas that regulate food intake. Children (8–11 years old) who carry the FTO gene variation rs9939609 were shown to be less responsive to satiety signals and overeating. A recent study with adults having genetic variation of FTO, and other genes, also found a noteworthy connection between the presence of rs9939609 and reduced responses to hunger and satiety.


[three_sixth][info_box title="" image="" animate=""]Genetic studies have demonstrated that physical activity decreases the FTO gene variation (rs1121980) associated increase in body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC).[/info_box][/three_sixth]

[three_sixth][info_box title="" image="" animate=""]APOA5 is a triglyceride lipoprotein involved in fat metabolism and the presence of APOA5 gene variation (-1131T>C) has been associated with increased total fat intake, triglyceride levels and BMI.[/info_box][/three_sixth]

Several studies have reported the association between APOA2 and saturated fat, obesity, insulin-resistance (IR) and diabetes. People with the (?265T>C) APOA2 gene variation ate a diet high in saturated fat (~10% of total calories) and had a higher mean BMI.A gene-diet interaction study, in European and Asian populations, observed a link between the presence of APOA2 gene variation, high saturated fat diet, increased BMI (by 6.8%), obesity and insulin resistance.

A healthy diet and regular physical activity are essential in obesity treatment or prevention of obesity in those who have a genetic risk of obesity. A healthy diet is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fiber but low in salt, fat and sugar. Some patients may need additional medication support to reduce hunger and fat absorption.


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