Taking methadone improperly will increase your risk of serious side effects or death. Even if you have used other narcotic medications, you may still have serious side effects from methadone. Follow all dosing instructions carefully.
Like other narcotic medicines, methadone can slow your breathing, even long after the pain-relieving effects of the medication wear off. Death may occur if breathing becomes too weak. Never use more methadone than your doctor has prescribed. Call your doctor if you think the medicine is not working.
Do not stop using methadone suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Call your doctor if you miss doses or forget to take this medication for longer than 3 days in a row.
Do not drink alcohol while you are taking methadone. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with methadone. Check your food and medicine labels to be sure these products do not contain alcohol.
Methadone can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.