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Wales Drug and Alcohol Helpline

Freephone: 0808 808 2234
Or text DAN to: 81066


Methadone, meth, linctus, physeptone, phy amps.

What does Methadone look like?

Methadone mixture is a thick green syrup containing equal amounts of methadone and liquid and is used in the treatment of Opiate Dependence. Injectible methadone comes as physeptone in Ampoules, a clear liquid which is ready to inject. There are also methadone Tablets although these are rarely prescribed. Methadone Linctus is a much weaker preparation that is seldom used in the treatment of dependence.

Liquid Methadone: 'Linctus'

Scientific Names

Methadone Hydrochloride

Generic Name


Effects Of Methadone

Desired Effects:

To inhibit Opiate Withdrawal symptoms, relieve pain.


Light-headedness, dizziness, sweating, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness.



Tolerance, Overdose which can be fatal. This is a particularly dangerous drug for children who have accidentally taken doses prescribed to their parents.


Dependence, Withdrawal symptoms.

Reducing Harm

Information to help with Reducing Harm when using Methadone

How does Methadone work?

Central nervous system Depressant, Analgesic.

Legal status of Methadone

Class A under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

How Is Methadone Taken?

Methadone mixture and methadone Linctus are taken orally, physeptone Ampoules are injected. The Tablets are taken orally but can sometimes be injected.


Brown medicine bottles for mixture and linctus; Syringes, Ampoules, Tourniquet etc if injected.

Medical uses of Methadone

Methadone mixture is used in the management of Opiate - mainly Heroin - Dependence. Methadone Linctus is used as a cough suppressant and occasionally as a pain killer.

Where does it come from?

On prescription from a GP or doctor in a drug dependency clinic, or diverted from either.

Helping services

Methadone is widely used in drug substitution programmes offered by drug dependency clinics and sometimes by GPs. Users are also seen by drug counselling agencies and may attend needle exchange schemes despite being on drugs designed to be taken orally. If Methadone becomes an addiction in itself 'street agencies' or projects sometimes called community drug services or community drug teams, offer a range of services including information and advice, counselling, detoxification and prescribing for opiate / opioid users, support groups and other services such as acupuncture. Some may have extended opening hours and may be open at weekends. GPs and hospitals can make referrals to specialist drug services like Drug Dependency Units (DDUs). These are usually located in or adjacent to a hospital and specialise in helping problem drug users, especially people who are dependent on opiate / opioid drugs. They provide counselling, detoxification, substitute prescribing and other treatments. Residential services offer treatment programmes for heavily dependent drug users who are trying to give up. Residents must usually be drug free on admission which means they usually have to undergo detoxification before entry. Programmes usually last 3-6 months, but some 12 steps programmes last longer. The types of programmes vary. Self help groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) co-ordinate local support groups for problem drug users around the country. Families Anonymous run similar groups for the families of drug users.

Parents & other relatives

Many drug agencies also provide lots of advice and support to parents, family members and partners of people using drugs. They may provide relative support groups or advice, guidance and counselling on a one to one basis.

You can view a list of National Drug Agencies.

If you would like to talk about Methadone problems then please call the DAN 24/7 Helpline on:

0808 808 2234