Where change begins.

Foods That Can Interfere With Methadone Treatment

by Nick

Opioid addiction recovery involves changing many aspects of your life, sometimes including your eating habits. When you take methadone as part of a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program, certain foods can cause interactions or side effects. Consider the following foods to avoid eating during methadone treatment.

Grapefruit and Methadone

You may already know that you shouldn’t eat grapefruit when you’re taking some medications, but did you know that methadone counts as one of these medicines? Grapefruit suppresses your enzyme system, making you process medications differently. When you eat it while taking methadone, it changes the medication levels in your blood. This interaction can cause unexpected side effects.

Caffeine and Methadone

Methadone can change your heart rate, and so can caffeine. As you receive methadone treatment, staying away from substances that affect your heart’s rhythm will help you maintain your cardiovascular health. Taking methadone in combination with substances like caffeine can cause an irregular heartbeat, which can have life-threatening risks, especially when your doctor doesn’t know about it. When in doubt about something’s effect on your heart, ask your doctor.

Processed Foods and Methadone

Food that contains high levels of sugar and fat does not have a direct interaction with methadone. However, it can have a higher impact on the health of someone recovering from an opioid addiction. Methadone changes the way your body processes sugar, and opioid withdrawal can cause extra sugar cravings. Both of these factors can increase your sugar intake and affect your BMI, cholesterol and other aspects of your health. Try to balance the amount of processed food you eat and cut it out where possible.

Alcohol and Methadone

Both alcohol and methadone depress the central nervous system, so taking them together can have dangerous effects. An opioid overdose happens when opioids depress your central nervous system too much, causing your breathing to slow or stop. Using methadone as directed by your doctor will minimize your risk of adverse effects, but alcohol changes the drug’s effect on the body, potentially causing dangerous or lethal effects like an overdose. Choose non-alcoholic alternatives.

Other Dietary and Lifestyle Considerations for Methadone Treatment

As you journey through methadone MAT, you can increase your chance of success with the following lifestyle and diet changes:

  • Manage your weight: It can become more difficult to maintain a healthy BMI when you’re recovering from an opioid addiction. Work with your doctor to gain or lose weight as needed and reach the right BMI for your height.
  • Practice an active lifestyle: Exercise helps your brain manage dopamine, one of the chemicals affected by opioids. It also gives you a healthy habit to follow and maintains your overall health.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Like exercise, eating healthy helps you manage your overall health. It also improves your body’s healing abilities as it recovers from opioid addiction.

Eating the right foods and living a healthy lifestyle will improve your overall health and help you cope during recovery.

Get More Information About Opioids or Help With an Opioid Addiction

If you need help recovering from addiction or learning about opioids, Health Care Resource Centers (HCRC) can help. You can visit our blog for more resources or schedule your first appointment.

The Latest From Our Blog

We're Here to Help
Contact us today.