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Methadone And The Heart....

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Pain Medications
For anyone taking Methadone here, I have a question. I have read in several medical journals that Methadone can weaken the heart muscle, and that patients taking Methadone for chronic pain, need to be monitored by their Doctor's.

Questions Are:
If you are in Methadone, is your heart been monitored? Monthly EKG's anything like that?

Have you noticed any heart palpitations, chest pain, or anything like that since you started taking Methadone?

I am not only curious, but I have been having some palpitations lately and I am about to see my PM later this month and I will talk to him about it. I just want to know anyone elses experience with it.




  • Yes, methadone can cause problems with the heart, and has been reported to contribute or even cause heart arrhythmias. Monthly monitoring is not necessary or even suggested , but there should be one ordered at the start of methadone treatment or if there is a history of heart problems in the family or in particular the patient.

    That is a report of a study about methadone and heart problems.
    It is usually reported in patients taking higher doses of methadone too, 100 mg or more a day.
  • What a great article! Very informative.
  • I haven't posted for a while, but wanted to reply to this one as I have experience. I would say yes, yes, yes, absolutely request an ekg when going on methadone. I had one after about one month on, and found that I have prologned qt syndrome, which methadone can greatly worsen. Had it not been found, this drug really could have killed me. I suspect that a lot of methadone 'overdoses' are heart problems. It is difficult to identify electrical heart problems during autopsy, as they leave no mark. Prolonged qt can be caused by several medications, and it can also be congenital, but worsened by methadone to the point of death. Mine appears to be congenital. I am obviously not a doctor, but methadone is a powerful drug (did great for pain relief, I really was sad when I had to go off) and can cause these problems and in my opinion an ekg is a quick test to run that could save your life.
  • I've only taken Methadone for a few months but my dose is low and I should be cutting down soon since I have a pain pump now. I have had arrythmias in the past but I haven't experienced any episodes since I started on Methadone. They also say to report any signs of palpitations at once to your doctor when you first start taking it. I guess this is one reason why they won't prescribe Methadone unless you've tried other narcotics first and they didn't work out. It's almost like last resort pain med in a way I think.
  • Oh yes meydey, this is my drug of last resort! I have been through everything in the book in all of my years with issues. I went to see my PM Doc today and he did an EKG after I brought up my issues... My ticker is fine, so I have no problems there.

    I am supposed to go for a trial of an Intrathecal Pain Pump sometime in February. How are you liking your pump? Please let me know, I am interested in talking to folks that already went through the trial and permanent placement. Thanks everyone for you help!

  • I have been on methadone for nearly 18 years. Never once did I have an EKG in Indiana at clinic I went to, until 8 weeks ago when I moved to Minnesota. It was found my PT waves were lengthened, which could potentially cause heart arrhythmias. 
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