Methadone Overdose- What to Do

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

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

Summary: Signs and symptoms of methadone overdose often give the family warning signs that the methadone dose was too large, and the patient received a toxic overdose of methadone.

    Methadone is a very strong painkiller. It is also used to treat heroin addiction and addiction to opiates. Methadone overdose occurs when someone takes too much of this medication or takes amount of this medication.

    Methadone overdose can also occur if a person takes methadone with certain painkillers, such as OxyContin, Vicodin, or morphine.

  Signs and symptoms of overdose can include lethargy or feeling tired, and drowsiness.  If a person who has taken a toxic dose of methadone is not given emergency treatment promptly, he or she can go to sleep and die.  If you have a family member or friend who has started taking methadone, and you notice they are unusually tired, drowsy or you find them asleep when they should not be asleep, get emergency medical help.  Families of patients who have died of methadone overdoses have reported the person was sleeping for several hours before he died, and often was not arousable, and had a loud snore, sometimes known as agonal breathing.  If your friend or family member goes to sleep while taking methadone and you notice they are snoring unusually or loudly, call 911 and get emergency help.  Fortunately, if the person who has overdosed on methadone is at risk of respiratory depression, often there is time to get emergency help for them. 

    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 dose your family member received was likely the cause of death from a legal standpoint. 

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