What Does Methadone Look Like? | How To Identify Methadone Pills

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on March 11, 2023

Methadone is offered in 5 mg and 10 mg tablets that are white, round, and stamped with various imprints. The 40 mg tablets are pink and can be divided into smaller doses such as 20 mg or 30 mg.

Methadone (brand names Methadose and Dolophine) is an opioid prescription drug used to help treat those suffering from chronic pain. Additionally, methadone maintenance is part of a treatment program in which the drug is used to help prevent opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Methadone pills are offered as a regular tablet as well as a dispersible tablet that dissolves once added to a liquid. 

Methadone pills come in several shapes and strengths. Depending on the severity of pain a person experiences, your doctor may prescribe a certain dosage, which can be identified by the appearance of the pill.

What Do Methadone Pills Look Like?

Methadone affects the central nervous system (CNS) by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, relieving severe pain. Methadone strengths may vary depending if the drug is used for pain management, opioid addiction, or opioid withdrawal.

Methadone 5 mg

The brand name Dolophine provides 5 mg methadone pills that are round in shape, white in color, and imprinted with 54/162 on one side of the pill. The Methadose version of 5 mg are round and white with a “Methadose 5” imprint.

The use of methadone for pain management may require 2.5 mg every 8 hours. Your doctor may up your medication if more methadone is needed.

Methadone 5 mg

Methadone 10 mg

For pain management, a person may require 10 mg. The 10 mg Dolophine pill is also round in shape and white in color. However, this pill has an imprint of 54/549 on one side.

The Methadose brand name pill continues with the same shape and color as the others. However, this pill comes with a “Methadose 10” imprint on one side of the pill.

Methadone 10 mg

Methadone 40 mg

A 40 mg tablet is pink in color and can be cut using a pill cutter to break the drug into four sections of 10 mg each. The tablet contains an imprint of 54/883 on one side and comes in the shape of a square with rounded edges.

Methadose pills with 40 mg strength are white, round, and contain “Methadose 40” as an imprint.

Because the 40 mg pill can be divided into 4 separate doses, 20 and 30 mg of methadone may be needed, especially for those suffering from opioid use disorder. Those suffering from methadone withdrawal may require additional increments to help control symptoms.

Methadone 40 mg

Side Effects Of Methadone

Methadone is a Schedule II controlled substance according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This means the drug has a high potential for abuse that can lead to physical dependence.

To provide pain relief, a certain dose of methadone may be prescribed by your healthcare provider. However, those who participate in this type of drug abuse may suffer a range of side effects.

Common Side Effects

Some of the common side effects of methadone according to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may include:

  • sedation
  • drowsiness
  • nausea
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • constipation
  • sleeping problems

Women who are breastfeeding should also avoid methadone as the drug may pass from mother to child through breast milk.

Serious Side Effects

More serious side effects can take place, including withdrawal symptoms. Those who abruptly stop taking their medication may suffer from methadone withdrawal.

When this occurs, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states a person may experience symptoms that include sweating, cravings for the drug, or tremors. Additionally, a person may experience severe changes in mood.

Those who take high doses of methadone may be more at risk of suffering a methadone overdose, which can be life-threatening. Some of the symptoms of a methadone overdose consist of respiratory depression, low blood pressure, or coma. These symptoms can be reversed with naloxone.

Methadone Drug Interactions

Drug interactions and adverse events can occur when methadone is mixed with other drugs.

Certain medications that should be avoided when methadone is taken include:

  • benzodiazepines
  • buprenorphine
  • oxycodone
  • alcohol
  • certain antidepressants
  • antihistamines

Methadone Addiction Treatment

If you live with methadone or opioid addiction, substance abuse treatment programs can help. At Ohio Recovery Center, we offer opioid treatment options that include detox, medication-assisted treatment, behavioral therapy, and more.

To learn more about what we offer, please contact us today.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration — Methadone https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_chem_info/methadone/methadone.pdf
  2. Food and Drug Administration — Dolophine https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2015/006134s038lbl.pdf
  3. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Methadone https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682134.html
  4. National Library of Medicine: StatPearls — Methadone https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK562216/
  5. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — Methadone https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/medications-counseling-related-conditions/methadone

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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