Methadone is unique opioid in its utility for both nociceptive and neuropathic pain but is often underutilized due to lack of familiarity and comfort with its dosing as well as stigma associated with its use for substance abuse disorders. Methadone is not appropriate for all patients due to its drug interactions and variable kinetics but can be very useful in patients with mixed pain and/or experiencing intolerable side effects from other opioids. Frequent pharmacist consults and clinician feedback reveals that (1) many clinicians need assistance with initial dosing and monitoring guidance and (2) multiple dosing regimens are employed with contention that one method is superior than the other.
- Describe the general properties that make methadone unique
- Recognize metabolism-related and cardiac-related drug interactions associated with methadone
- Demonstrate the ability to assess appropriate patient candidates for methadone therapy
- Initiate methadone therapy in a patient and establish plans for titration and monitoring