Methadone is a narcotic analgesic used to treat moderate to severe pain that is not relieved by other pain medicines. Methadone HCl is also used in treating narcotic addiction as part of a treatment program. Methadone HCl may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor: THE MEDICINE MAY CAUSE SEVERE AND SOMETIMES FATAL HEART AND BREATHING PROBLEMS. These problems may occur some time after you take a dose.
Methadone is a synthetic opioid drug developed in Germany in WWII as an analgesic (pain killer). Today it is most commonly used to treat dependence (addiction) of other opiates, for example codeine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, morphine, fentanyl and heroin. It’s benefit in addiction treatment was first discovered in the 1960’s but the use has become more widespread since the 1990’s. It is not useful in treating an addiction to cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA (ecstasy), benzodiazepines (valium and others), marijuana or alcohol. Note that technically an opiate is a compound derived from the naturally occurring opium poppy and opioids are synthetically created. Most people just use the term opiate to include both.