Why Don’t Doctor’s Check Methadone Levels in the Blood?

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

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

Summary: My loved one died of methadone toxicity or methadone overdose. The doctor never checked the blood level for overdose. Should the doctor have checked the methadone level in the blood to prevent this overdose death?

After a patient dies from methadone, the question is asked why the physician did not check the methadone levels in the blood to prevent overdose.  While some doctors do use methadone blood levels to help the doctor in adjusting the patient's dose, methadone overdose can be easily monitored by daily assessment of the patient.  This should occur at the dosing window of a methadone clinic, or in the pain physician's office if the physician is giving a dose sufficient to cause death.  The ranges of blood serum concentrations of methadone overlap with some concentrations that are lethal to a new user, being therapeutic for a chronic user who has been using methadone for weeks, months or years.  For more information about the proper starting dose of methadone, go to www.methadonelaw.com or www.overdoselaw.com and click on “Contact Us.”  We can provide this information free of charge, or consult with you about methadone blood levels, methadone blood concentrations and consult with you about whether the methadone dose your family member received was likely the cause of death from a legal standpoint.

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