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Does Methadone Make You Gain Weight?

weight gain

Opioid addiction and recovery put your mind and body through many changes. Some patients who take methadone in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) experience weight gain. Does methadone have a direct link to weight gain? How can patients maintain a healthy weight during methadone treatment? This guide will answer these questions to help patients like you stay healthy during MAT.

Can Methadone Cause You to Gain Weight?

Any prescription medication can have side effects, including methadone. The side effects of methadone may include weight gain, but this medicine doesn’t always directly cause the change in weight. Many factors can influence your weight during addiction and recovery, including methadone side effects. By understanding the causes behind weight gain during methadone treatment, you can have an easier time managing your Body Mass Index (BMI).

What Factors Link Methadone and Weight Gain?

Methadone-related weight gain has two common causes:

  • Changes in sugar cravings: Methadone is an opioid medication, though it is effective in treating addiction to other opioids. However, all opioids change how the body processes sugar. With a doctor’s supervision, methadone has a much better safety profile than misused opioids, but it may still cause some of the side effects associated with its class. In short, opioids like methadone can cause you to have more sugar cravings than usual and indulging those cravings can cause weight gain.
  • Situational changes: When you transition to recovery, your body also transitions. Opioid addiction can cause you to lose weight because of appetite changes or situational factors. Gaining weight back after addiction might mean that your health is improving through better, more regular nutrition. Your doctor can help you determine if your weight changes are something to address or if they are a positive side effect of renewed health in recovery.

Weight gain can have many causes that might not have a connection to your methadone treatment. Work closely with your care team to determine the cause of your weight changes.

How Can I Stay at a Healthy Weight During Methadone Treatment?

Tell your doctor if you gain weight during methadone MAT. They can help you adjust the amount of methadone you take or build strategies for maintaining your BMI. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly can also help you manage your weight and improve your overall health. Your doctor can assist with finding a solution for your weight changes that takes your medical history into account.

What Can I Do to Take Care of My Body When I’m Taking Methadone?

Successful methadone treatment involves taking care of every aspect of your health. Coordinating your medical services among all of your providers will allow you to get care that considers all your needs. Let your general practitioner and other doctors know that you take methadone for opioid use disorder. You can also ask them to share records with your MAT clinic. When your doctors and clinic team know your full medical history, they can help you make changes in your treatment and lifestyle for better health.

Methadone-Based Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) at BAART Programs

BAART Programs provides MAT with methadone to patients across the United States. Let us help you take your life back from opioids by contacting us to schedule an intake appointment.

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