Methadone is an opioid that is used to treat chronic pain. It is also used as replacement therapy for people who are addicted to more harmful opioid drugs like heroin. On the other hand, Xanax is a benzodiazepine used mainly for the treatment of anxiety. If taken together, Methadone and Xanax can have life-threatening effects on a person, especially those who have never taken an opioid before.
Let us see what dangers can a combination of Methadone and Xanax pose:
Although they work differently than opioids, benzodiazepines are known to cause respiratory depression. When benzodiazepines and opioids work together to cause respiratory depression, their effects are multiplied and the risks of decreasing breathing to dangerous levels greatly increase.
This is why, when both drugs are taken in combination, it can lead to a reduction in the respiration originating from the patient’s brain. The respiration might diminish to a point at which breathing stops entirely. This condition may even result in death due to opioid overdose.
Sedation is a major effect caused by the combination of Methadone and Xanax. Although sedation is not seriously dangerous in itself, it becomes dangerous when combined with the respiratory depression caused by both of these drugs.
Semi-conscious or unconscious patients with respiratory depression have more chances of experiencing problems like aspirating vomiting into the lungs or choking.
Benzodiazepines have a high potential of being abused, and Xanax is particularly bad owing to its short action duration and rapid onset. Patients who already have a history of substance abuse have higher risks of becoming addicted to Xanax, even if it was originally used as prescription medicine. Additionally, because Methadone is given to patients with existing abuse issues, it poses significant risks of abuse.
Benzodiazepines should not be given to patients for maintenance therapy, as anxiety can be treated with other better choices too, such as antidepressants. Benzodiazepines are more appropriate for the very short-term treatment of acute anxiety disorders, like panic attacks. As soon as the treatment starts showing effects, benzodiazepines should be avoided as far as possible.
Now that you know what dangers the combination of Methadone and Xanax can create, you must understand that most of these effects are likely only if you are very new to the usage of these medicines. If your body already has a tolerance level to opioids, you may tolerate these medicines too, especially if not taken in very high doses.