Methadone has traditionally been used to wean heroin addicts off the drug, helping with withdrawal. However, in recent years more and more doctors have started prescribing it to cancer patients and others with chronic pain as a cheap substitute for OxyContin or morphine.
In 2006, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the risk of respiratory and cardiac damage associated with methadone. Additionally, the drug carries a “Black Box” Warning — the strictest warning allowed by law — highlighting the drug’s serious side effects and potential for addiction.
According to a report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2017, deaths from opioid overdoses continue to skyrocket across the U.S. Since 19999, more than 183,000 Americans have died from overdoses related to prescription opioids.
However, the new report details some striking changes in two areas: First, the specific drugs involved in the deaths; and second, the age groups of the people most affected.
For example, while fatal overdoses involving so-called “natural,” “semi-synthetic,” and “synthetic” opioids (morphine, oxycodone, methadone) all fell between 2010 and 2015, the percentage of fatal overdoses involving heroin tripled.
Side Effects of Methadone
- Weight Gain
- Cardiac Arrhythmia
- Memory Loss
- Constricted Pupils
- Difficulty Urinating
- Serious Withdrawal
- Suicidal Ideation
The sharp increase in methadone poisonings has prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a public health advisory. The advisory cautions patients to take methadone exactly as prescribed and to be aware of the signs of a methadone overdose.
Unfortunately, while doctors are trained on how to administer safe doses of methadone, doctors and clinics do make mistakes. They are also responsible for providing complete and accurate information to patients with regard to methadone use. Pharmacies may also fill the wrong dose or medication. These kinds of mistakes, when they involve methadone prescriptions, are all too often fatal.
Do I Have a Methadone Class Action Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in methadone lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new overdose injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you suffered an overdose from a prescription opioid drug, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.