Methadone, also known as Dolophine among other brand names, is a synthetic opioid. Mainly used for the treatment of severe chronic pain medication, due to its long duration of action and substantial analgesic effect. In some cases it’s also prescribed as a maintenance drug for those suffering from opioid dependence Though it is considered to be useful as a maintenance program for “addicts,” it is not curative and has a high potential for misuse and abuse. Developed in Germany in 1937 by Gustav Ehrhart and Max Bockmühl, the synthetic opioid is also used as an analgesic for pain and an anti-tussive for persistent coughing. It was introduced in the U.S. in 1947. Maintenance therapy came about in response to the drastic increase in heroin abuse following World War II.
Like morphine and heroin, this drug works on the opioid receptors in the brain and produces many of the same effects. Also, it’s long lasting and helps prevent and stop withdrawal symptoms. Lastly, it helps block the euphoric rush from other narcotics such as fentanyl, heroin, and OxyContin. It is available in pill and liquid form as well as sublingual tablets that dissolve under the tongue. The tablets, marketed as Dolophine, are available in 5 mg and 10 mg doses, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.