Purpose of the test
Methadone is a synthetic narcotic analgesic with painkilling properties similar to codeine. It acts on the same group of neuroreceptors as opiates, and is therefore classed as an opioid. It is licensed for use in the UK for severe pain, although its primary pharmaceutical use is in the treatment of opiate addiction.
Methadone is given to opiate users as a replacement for heroin, as it gives relief from withdrawal symptoms with reduced psychological effects and a more reliable oral effect. The dose is more regulated and the effects longer lasting, although methadone causes greater physical dependence than morphine and heroin.
Methadone is usually taken as a linctus, although other preparations are available, including for injection. There is a market for illicit methadone, as heroin users may not always want to or be able to take heroin. Methadone is therefore likely to be detected in clients on a methadone maintenance program and on first presentation to drug counselling services.
Methadone metabolite should be requested with methadone when poor compliance is suspected, and in pregnancy when rapid metabolism reduces the detection of methadone.
Please send at least 30mL in a plain universal container for a full drug screen. Very small samples will be accepted, but they may not be adequate for full testing and confirmation.
Storage and Transport
Refrigerate if possible and send by first class post to:
Top Floor, Bessemer Wing
King's College Hospital
Results are normally available same day.
Time Limit for Extra Tests
Samples will be kept for 7 days from receipt. Additional drug tests may be requested during this time if required.
Please list all medication (excluding food or vitamin supplements) to enable a full interpretation.
Price available on application - please contact email@example.com. Discounts could be available for significant workloads.
Note: This may be included in confirmatory testing at no extra cost
Ms Michelle Birch
Tel: 020 3299 5883
Fax: 020 3299 5888