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Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline

methadone withdrawal symptoms timeline - withdrawal words - great oaks recovery centerMethadone is a prescription opioid that can be used to treat addiction to heroin and other opioid drugs.

Although methadone is not as addictive as other opioids, it can still lead to dependence and addiction, making withdrawal potentially difficult. If you’re working with a doctor, the doctor will supervise your withdrawal to help minimize the symptoms.

Just like withdrawal from any addictive substance, the timeline for methadone withdrawal varies based on circumstances like the overall physical condition of the person, how long they have used the drug, if they are using other drugs or alcohol, what the buildup of the drug is in the body, and whether they are medically supervised or going “cold turkey.”

Methadone withdrawal symptoms can last up to 6 weeks in those with severe or long-term addiction. Although there are many methadone “withdrawal kits” available, there is little data so far to support or deny their efficacy. Professionals recommend that medical detoxification be used to protect the patient from life-threatening situations.

Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline (varies with each person)

Symptoms will begin within 24 hours to three days. The most severe symptoms begin within the first few days, and most symptoms will subside between three and six weeks.

  • 1st 24 hours: chills, fever, and nausea
  • 2 to 12 days: intense cravings, insomnia, paranoia, hallucinations, extreme irritability. and anxiety
  • 13 to 22 days: less severe symptoms, but cravings may still be strong; depression may develop
  • After day 22: depression and cravings may linger but with less intensity; overall, people feel much better at this stage and can begin recovery

After withdrawal, residential treatment is recommended to deal with recurring depression issues and intermittent cravings. Most people who do not attend twelve-step meetings or complete intensive treatment will relapse. For that reason, methadone symptom withdrawal is seen as the first step in recovery, after which the person can begin building a drug-free life.

Needing confidential help for you or a loved one?
Contact us today at (877) 977-3268.


Going Through Methadone Withdrawal. (n.d.). Retrieved June, 2016.

Methadone: Uses, Side Effects & Warnings – (n.d.). Retrieved June, 2016.



  1. Andrew

    It is an absolute nightmare of a drug. I was on a small dose of methadone for over five years (30mls) generally and always trying to detox myself. The process is so uncomfortable and lasts for months as you detox and then months after you detox. It took me around 6 months after finally detoxing for my body and mind to start to feel a sense of normality. The sleep deprivation as I detoxed and then after I detoxed is the main cause of relapse. I think health care professional should come together and find out what medications can help the process. Two weeks after detox I used 200 milligrams of pregabalin, This really helped as my central nevus system was shot to pieces with methadone use. People need to sleep find out what works

  2. Manuel Gongalez

    Took my last 10 mg dose of methadone on the 15 of feb. 2019.Today is the 19th . Lost of sleep because I have a bad case of Restless Leg Syndrome . Was taking 10mgs 3 times a day. Does anyone have a clue on how long this will take to go away? Was taking methadone for the last 18 years . At one time I was taking 10mgs 8 times a day. I went down to 3 a day on my own a year ago . Dr. stopped me cold turkey.I thought he would ween me off. he said it was because of a bad EKG reading. Did he do the right thing?

    • greatoaks

      Hi Manuel,
      we can’t give medical advice but we suggest that you get a second opinion if you are questioning your doctor’s decision.

  3. Karen Skala

    My daughter is doing a 21 day detox from a out patient rehab she is on day 7 and down to 72 mil. I’m just trying to b prepared for after the 21st day will she have any bad symptoms. That we can maybe b prepared for.

    • greatoaks

      Hi Karen, has the outpatient center advised on what to expect past day 21? They should be working closely with your daughter to prepare her for any side effects or symptoms.