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Anxiety and Methadone

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Many people who have opioid addiction also have a co-occurring mental health condition like anxiety. Some patients who take methadone for opioid addiction have anxiety after taking the medicine or as a separate condition. If you have anxiety while taking methadone, you have options for reducing your symptoms. Discover more about anxiety and methadone and how to manage this symptom.

Can Methadone Cause Anxiety?

Methadone and the process of recovering from an opioid addiction can cause mood swings as one of its side effects. These differences in mood may include experiencing symptoms of anxiety sor you might experience anxiety as a separate, but related, emotional symptom. Anxiety symptoms related to methadone do not cause immediate harm unless you have a severe case. If you experience agitation, confusion or hallucinations while taking methadone, get medical help right away.

Anxiety can also happen as an opioid withdrawal symptom. During methadone treatment, your body adjusts to different amounts of opioids in its system. Some patients go through withdrawal symptoms during recovery such as sweating, restlessness, insomnia and anxiety. If you have unexplained anxiety while you take methadone, your doctor may need to change the amount you take. Remember to talk to your addiction clinic before making any changes in your treatment.

Does Methadone Work Adversely With Anxiety Medication?

A class of anxiety medication called benzodiazepines can increase the side effects of methadone. Both methadone and benzodiazepines depress the central nervous system. Combined, they can cause too much central nervous system depression and result in an overdose or death. Any patient on methadone that wishes to take benzodiazepines must speak with their addiction treatment provider as well as the doctor prescribing anxiety medication as it can be very dangerous to combine the two.

Benzodiazepine medications for anxiety include:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax®)
  • Diazepam (Valium®)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin®)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan®)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium®)
  • Oxazepam (Serax®)

Tell your doctor if you take any of these medications for your anxiety. Your doctor will also want to know if you take the following types of medicine for anxiety or depression:

  • Selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like escitalopram (Lexapro®), citalopram (Celexa®) or paroxetine (Prozac®)
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) like duloxetine (Cymbalta®) and desvenlafaxine (Pristiq®)

Before starting methadone treatment, make sure that your clinic doctor knows about every medicine you take. You should also let them know whenever you have a change in medication. Keeping your addiction doctor updated on your medications will help you prevent any interactions.

How Can I Manage My Anxiety Effectively During Methadone Treatment?

If you have anxiety and receive methadone MAT, you can take care of your anxiety symptoms with the following strategies:

  • Eat a healthy diet and exercise: Healthy lifestyle habits can improve anxiety symptoms and opioid addiction recovery.
  • Talk to your opioid addiction counselor about anxiety: Make sure your opioid addiction therapist knows about your anxiety so they can give you better treatment.
  • Keep all of your medical providers aware of your treatments: Let your mental health care provider know about your opioid addiction treatment, and tell your clinic team about your anxiety services.

By managing all aspects of your physical and emotional health, you can treat your anxiety and addiction more effectively.

Get Comprehensive Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) at BAART Programs

MAT programs at BAART Programs involve medication, counseling and therapy that account for all aspects of your health. If you want methadone treatment that considers your mental health symptoms, contact our team online. You can use the linked form to learn more about our services or schedule your first appointment.

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