Brand names in the United States --
Dosage forms --
Therapeutic classification: Analgesic
Chemical classification: Opioid
DESCRIPTION OF USE
Levomethadyl belongs to the group of medicines known as narcotic analgesics. It is used as a substitute for illegal narcotics in addiction treatment programs. This medicine is not a cure for addiction. It is used as part of an overall program that may include counseling, attending support group meetings, and other treatment recommended by your doctor.
Levomethadyl helps prevent the withdrawal symptoms that may occur when an addict stops using other narcotics. In detoxification programs, the amount of levomethadyl used is slowly decreased until an addict becomes drug-free. In maintenance programs, it is used on a long-term basis to help narcotic addicts stay away from street drugs. With long-term use, levomethadyl may decrease an addict's craving for other narcotics.
Another narcotic, methadone, is also used in detoxification and maintenance programs. Methadone begins to work faster than levomethadyl does when treatment is started, but it has to be taken every day. Levomethadyl starts to work slowly, but it does not have to be taken every day. Therefore, some people may start treatment with methadone and then change over to levomethadyl after several weeks. Other people may receive only one medicine or the other during the entire time of treatment. Your doctor and your counselor at the clinic will decide on the best treatment plan for you.
In the U.S., levomethadyl was available only in government-approved treatment clinics.
The manufacturer discontinued ORLAAM[R] (levomethadyl) in the United States in September 2003.
BEFORE USING THIS MEDICINE
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
In the U.S., the law does not allow levomethadyl to be used for treating addicts younger than 18 years of age.
Older adults --
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