Methadone Half-Life

by Phyllis J. Lile-King on Jul. 06, 2016

Accident & Injury Medical Malpractice Accident & Injury  Personal Injury Accident & Injury  Wrongful Death 

Summary: Methadone can cause overdose deaths because of its pharmacology and lng half-life. Doctors need to be aware of the half-life of methadone before prescribing methadone, or patients could die of methadone toxicity.

Methadone Half Life   

           Methadone is a synthetic opioid used for analgesia and in opiate replacement programs, also called methadone clinics.  Methadone is a central nervous system depressant.  Methadone toxicity occurs when the load of methadone in a person’s system, is so great that it slows down the respiratory drive—the drive to breathe.  

           Thousands of patients die each year in every state from methadone toxicity, because methadone can have a variable  half life among individuals.  This means that one patient may eliminate half of the methadone from his body in only 9 hours, while another may eliminate half the methadone from his body only after 100 hours.  If a person has a slow metabolism of methadone, and takes several days to eliminate just half of it, then repeated dosing on a daily basis can lead to a toxic, or poisonous buildup.  

.  For more information about the proper starting dose of methadone, go to or and click on “Contact Us.”  We can provide this information free of charge, or consult with you about the proper starting dose, or whether the methadone dose your family member received was a methadone overdose, and whether there is a legal claim for wrongful death as a result.

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