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Vomiting After Taking Methadone - Do You Need a Second Dose? What to Do If You Throw Up Your Methadone.

Updated on October 28, 2008

Nausea and vomiting sometimes accompany methadone usage as a side effect, and even if methadone does not cause you any queasiness – we all get sick sometimes, and we all sometimes suffer the effects of food poisoning.

If you are on methadone for long enough, you are very likely to find yourself in the anxiety provoking position of having very recently consumed your daily dose, and then vomiting it up.

  • Did it get absorbed?

  • Should you take a second dose?

  • What to do!?!

The information as follows is sourced from the NHS in Australia. You should not use this information as a substitute for medical advice and care.

The advice given to Australian medical practitioners is as follows:

Vomiting Within 20 Minutes

  • If a patient vomits after consuming a dose of oral methadone within 20 minutes, the dose may not have been absorbed, or may not have been absorbed fully enough for effective symptoms management.
  • If the vomiting occurs within this 20 minute time window, the patient should be re-evaluated at between 4 and 6 hours later for signs of withdrawal (it takes this long for blood plasma levels to reach peak). If the patient shows signs of withdrawal at 4-6 hours after, additional methadone may be considered. A recommended additional dose is half the normal dosage.

Even if a person vomits very soon after having taken their daily dose of methadone, they may not vomit out all or even most of their stomach contents. Waiting is necessary for safety.

Practitioners are warned to be very cautious with the additional prescribing of methadone, and if in any doubt about its appropriateness – to err on the side of caution.

After more than 20 minutes

  • If the patient vomits 20 or more minutes after taking their daily dose of methadone, the methadone has likely been sufficiently absorbed, and no additional methadone is needed.

Not a lot of fun…and if you're sick enough to be vomiting you certainly don’t want to be feeling the onset of withdrawal either – but for safety, even if you vomit quickly after taking a dose, don't take additional methadone right away – you may not need it.

(The best advice is to call you prescribing clinic up right away if you’re at all worried about it – and let them reassure you towards an appropriate course of action – and since methadone is absorbed quite quickly (To full absorption at between 20 and 30 minutes) in most cases, you won't likely need any additional methadone.


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      Bucky' s girl 8 months ago

      Ok ppl! I got on this sight also looking for the answer as to why after dosing my daily dose of methadone I have been getting extremely SICK! I mean every morning after, throwing up! ( UGH

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      Gin~of~eve 16 months ago

      I go to methadone clinic and I get my dose and this is at 10am at 3-3:30pm I am vomiting 2-3 episode then I am okay during this whole ordeal I have no upset stomach and I have just started the program

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      robyn newton 2 years ago

      I puke everyday after dosing im on 120mg liquid the min it hit my tummy I upchuck it is always red and I never redose and im fine I justkno if it really pink then tht day I take it easy and it not like I do thid cause puking made me sick but because I have it in my head tht tht ill be sick....... it is designed to absorb fast!

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      Becky 2 years ago

      The nurse told me methadone wouldn't make you sick , she is wrong it did me when I st started taking it so if you haven't taken something yourself you don't know.. I was given the wrong dose one day it was lots more then what I took so when I noticed my take home doses were way to much I told them I went there to live I didn't want to die , it was the worse day ever, but do you think that makes them think more of you NO !!!

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      Lyn 2 years ago

      I am on 110 mg and pregnant I throw my methadone up all the time and as long as it stays down more than 15-20 minutes I'm usually ok but if I miss a dose I am sick but if I keep my methadone down at all even if it is pink and tastes like methadone I feel fine.....thank u for all the advice everyone it made me feel a lot better cuz the first time I threw my methadone up I was panicking cuz I know withdrawal can kill a fetus but like I said u should be fine

    • Caren Mckie profile image

      Caren Mckie 2 years ago

      Have read alot of the storys here why is your methadone red and in the Uk its green and after 20 min its fully absorbed into your system as i have same problem with being sick could it be the thought or taking it that makes us sick as its vile

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      EL 2 years ago

      Unless you puke ONLY in my clinics one toilet, will you POSSIBLY be redosed. My clinic is run by a bunch of idiots who don't know methadone from their own ass. Otherwise, forget about it and have fun being sick if its too soon. They don't care about your health and a lot of them close around or sooner six hours after most people come in. Good luck!

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      kmercii 3 years ago

      drea no please im pregnant as well sweets it can cause major birth defects! her legitimates could be missing like toes fingers and in worst cases her brain could be not fully developed i have major anxiety and it SUCKED having to get off my Klonopin but it went by fast and you can start taking it at the end of your third trimester and you should be fine. Try Clonodine its not as efficient but it does take the edge off ya know? loll hope everything works well for you! 3 katelynn.

    • profile image

      drea 3 years ago

      I'm 11 weeks pregnant can I take xanax

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      crose 5 years ago

      thanks everyone, this sure helped me, i'm a 41 y/o male in u.s.a., no colon due to chronic ulcerative colitis, thank God I have the "j pouch" because I would have "jumped in front of the metro so to speak" if I had that bag 4 more than the six months I had it until may 1995 when I had the j pouch done. I'm a polyaddict to boot, used to drink until I hate just smell of booze,now I'm "obsessed with opiates" and shot my tolerance into space. Ughh I'm talking too much again, I hate my autistic self sometimes. I just made a HUGE mistake on doubleing up my take homes last week. I'm on 169mg liquid and xanax 2mg 3x daily or I will go crazy worse than metha wd's. I was dumb and dumber lol, listened to some music, my favorite pink floyd song "us and them". Music helps me too. I just really screwed up bad and almost lost my takehomes this "mayday monday" today. But WOW, thank God I may survive but I don't get the "pukes thing" I'm also hooked on otc sleep aid, the one with diphenydramine in the pills. I gotta go to bed rest and not think about this.

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      Cindy 5 years ago

      I am really pissed off...I am currently a lil over 2 mo. pregnant and have been getting very nauseous as of late. I've recently been put on 8mg of Zofran for the nausea and still threw up my dose today, about not even 5 min after dosing and this happened inside the clinic and because they had to redose me a few times this pregnancy the doc said he's not redosing me anymore...mind you guys I've had 6 miscarriages and am big time high risk but they know this and still won't help me, they told me to go to the E.R. which is an all day affair btw and I have a 10 mo. old which I also had on meth and did not throw up and have to be redosed once, but every pregnancy is different. This is making me very upset and putting my body in way more stress than I should be under. I just wish they would have some sympathy band help me, man am I mad!!!!

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      Tommy 5 years ago

      I have 5 x 80mg take aways a week, and just the other day I threw up my dose just moments after I had it. What i did was, I open up 3 and mixed it all together giving me 240mg. I split that into 4 giving me 60mg each. I took Half of one, but it wasn't enough, so I took the whole thing. Now I have left is 3 x 60mg and 2 x 80mg for the next 5 days. I took 60mg.. it held me through the whole day with no sweat. But the morning after, i was starting to feel shitty, that was when I took the 80mg, I was sweet the whole day. I just continued taking 60mg one day and 80mg the next and it held me through the next time I had to go take my dose.

      For those of youse with no takeaways and have thrown up your does within 30mins, it all depends if you have anything in your stomache or not.. If your stomach was empty, then it would've taken abit longer for the Methadone to absorb in your system, but with food it will be digested abit quicker. Only thing I can think of in this situation is to go back to the Clinic or Drugstore and let them know about it, in most cases they will give you half your dose only. But if they don't.. Some Oxycotin, Valiums, Seroquel, Xanax.. or any benzos you can get your hands on will help a little bit, or if you can afford it.. go get yourself a fix. But really.. like some have mentioned, Its all in the head, cause we are all afraid of the withdrawel symtoms. Methadone has a long halflife and most if not all people can go 16-24hrs without a dose.

      If you threw up your dose and have nothing to lean back on, the only other thing I can suggest is to go out and buy a bag of poppy seeds. (All supermarket sells it) They come in small packaged bags, ranging from 100gr-500grm for personal use.

      For myself, I use 500grams which will be enough for someone on 100-120mg of Methadone. You want to boil the seeds in a pot with twice amount of water (eg. 500g = 1000ml) Bring to boil then let simmer for atlease 45mins-1hr. (with lid on) After 1hr of boiling take lid off and reduce liquid down to about 200ml-300ml (the less the better)

      Now all you have to do is strain out the seeds, let it cool down and drink. CAUTION: Will taste extremely horrible! I normally mix in straight Cordial/Coolaid or even Pineapple Juice. You would want to mix it with something to get rid of the taste. Cause trust me, you don't want to drink it as it is! Now you should feel better within the hour. Hope this helps.

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      Samantha 5 years ago

      y'know, it's weird.. It happens to me about once a month where I'll have dosed , left the clinic.. maybe go into a sneezing fit (which used to happen to me when i'd get dope sick), or just get so nauseous that the sound of people talking is too much to handle and I end up throwing up. Of course it's all pink and tastes like the dose I just drank, which is a bummer... But I feel better immediately after.

      I think that sometimes my body just can't handle the methadone. I don't know why.

      Are you all getting sick because you have a virus? Or does the methadone make you sick like me??

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      Amanda 5 years ago

      I appreciate all the advice and I really was worried myself about being sick. I also go to a methadone clinic and i am at 130 and Im 135pounds, so when i got sick this morning nearly 15 20 mins after dosing I was terrrified of getting dope sick. After reading all these posts though I am confident that I had my dose down long enough to atleast spare myself from with drawels

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      Adam Barnett 5 years ago

      to those of you that are doubling up on your dose with your take homes... well, it seems like you don't want to outcome that a lot of us do. i have done it before, im not gonna lie, especially if i puke like 5-15 mins (and taste) after i dose. personally, EVERYBODY, i am on this site because literally this exact situation happpened to me this morning. i threw up my dose about (god i wish i knew better), approximately, 35 mins later, and to tell you the truth im a little scared. why? i dunno, b/c i go days with none at all (i have to walk to my clinic which is over a mile and i've had days i can't walk there due to leg or ankle or knee problems, whatever) but, you know, a i've read it maybe only once in the entire postings.... it really is very mental. if you've had it down, no matter who you are, for over 25 mins, I'd feel completely safe. after reading some of these scientists that log on here, it sounds that 5 mins is more than enogh time, an it made me feel a lot better. im still waiting to find out if I will feel good or bad today, after throwing up 20-25 mins later. my situation is (and what makes me worry differently) that I ate a big donut like thing about 10-15 mins after i doses (@140 by the way). im worried that the donut thing absorbed all the methadone, then i threw it ALLL up. but there's no telling. after reading a lot of these posts, im sure i'll be fine. Why? because I will dose again tomorrow and even 2 days isn't that bad. in fact i beleive it has a lot to do with the environment you are in. if you are in a familiar environment, yea, you may notice more b/c it's what you're used to. but when i went to jail and they didn't wanna gimme my dose, i wasn't that bad off for 3 days b/c i knew there was nothing i could do and in the diff environment, its tougher to think about since your brain is focusing on your new surroundings. so if this post helps anyone, i will feel great. and everyone, just remember (to those that are legally dosing) YOU WILL DOSE AGAIN SOON AND UNTIL THEN IT REALLY ISN'T GOING TO BE AS PAINFUL.. NO.. IT ISN'T GOING TO BE PAINFUL BASICALLY AT ALL. godspeed to us all.

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      PregOnMethadone1sti 6 years ago

      Well, I will n could assure u you'll b fine...I'm on a split dose of 80mgs n have 4 days worth of take times I forget to take the sec dose n I'm fine...also a lot of u people that r "withdrawing" so soon, I'm positively sure it's all in ur head...because most withdrawls r....ive been stable on my 80 mg split dose, m as of yet haven't been needing to go up...currently 15 weeks! I has stomach issues as well that include Helicobacter pylori n ulcerative colitis...Although I do notice that while pregg methadone makes me SICK! Ugh....ill never do this or go thru this again! Methadone defame preg less enjoyable! None the less has saved my life!

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      Chadtx 6 years ago

      I miss doses sometimes for two days and take 120 a day for years. I don't even notice te first day I didn't dose. Those of you claiming withdrawals in a day are Pansy's. Sorry it's not possible. To long of half life. I'm an old ex junkie and some of you just need to man up or woman up.

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      pep 6 years ago

      Im in the same predicament now. I have over 24 hiurs to wait till i get my take homes wed. I double dose everyday or so and end up lookimg stupid and feeling like shit like i do now. Hopefully time will go by pretty quickly tho

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      jacki 30 6 years ago

      i been on methdone (orange diskets) im prescribed 80mg/day & get take homes, so i only go clinic 1x wk now..but ive been taking sometimes 2x my rx dose.. so i find myself running out b4 i get go back get take-home again.. sometimes i make it ok 4 1day w/out dose but don't like depending on so much mthdone! wonder if i should tell clinic i don't always take correctly?? or try take less 4 few feel ok? but its huge diff taking 160mg 1day then only 40mg next!!? curious?! anyone else having this prob?? advise pls!!

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      Jen 6 years ago

      Everyone is different

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      rontheman123 6 years ago

      I;ve took methadone and threw up an hour after taking it and was very sick so don't belive what you hear. I had to wait till the next day and it was the worst night of my life. I'm on 115 mg a day too.

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      Lola 6 years ago

      I am assuming your child would be fine, if you were on methadone when you were pregnant and breastfed her she was probably getting more methadone at that time, and I strongly doubt that she would have gotten any in her mouth. I hope all worked out ok!

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      scared 6 years ago

      if a 1 year old (maybe took a tiny drop) of methadone should i be worried..... i took my dose i get carry homes. I took it all and put my bottle on the table, i had to go to the bathroom quickly and when i came back my 1 yr old daughter had the bottle. The top of the bottle where the lid screws off was in her mouth..... i do not know if she swallowed any or not, and if yes the only thing in there would be a tiny tiny bit which was left over from what i took. Ive been reading stories of children dying on the internet, but from taking full doses or full bottles, nothing about a drop or two i can find. I can tell u im very scared and have been watching her like a hawk i feeel so ashamed i should of never left it on the table even for that 1 min what was i thinking!!!! omg plzz someone respond. im thinking of taking her to the ER but i don't want it to be nothing and her to be fine, cause then im gonna be in some trouble. Though i wanna take her so if it is anything i can get it taken care of asap, if something was wrong i don't care about the trouble then i just want her to be ok. Like ive never been so scared, she seems her self and she did this over 2 hrs ago now. plz anyone?

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      noOne 6 years ago

      I am 6 months pregnant and I have been on methadone for about 2 n a half 3 yrs now. I have had a lot of nausea problems thru out both of my pregnancies but thus far have lucked out on being able to hold my methadone in long enough for it to work... not this morning :( I took it went to try to lay right back down cuz i felt hot and like i was gonna puke n not even five minuets later i puked. It was dark and i couldn't totally see if it was red or pink because my boyfriend was sleepin i didn't wanna wake him, so i cleaned it up and now i'm wondering if i'm gonna have a rotten day. I am only on about 80 mlg and I weigh about 150 so not gettin my whole dose is probably not gonna be fun but I'm not sure what to do. I only go to the clinic once a week and of coarse that one day isn't gonna be the day that i throw my methadone up. My clinic's policy is if they don't see u throw it up they wont redose you. I have five other doses sitting in my take out back and I gueess I could save myself from being sick today, but then where would that leave me for another day? I have to be well enough to work and take care of my daughter, just because I don't feel good don't mean life n bills stop. hmm so maybe halfing another day's dose if i start to feel crappy? i'm gonna wait it out and see if i even start feelin crappy, I cannot be sure if i threw the methadone up or not, i didn't completely empty my stomach i stopped myself but there was quite a bit of liquid, but when i take my dose i take it with quite a bit of water cuz i cannot take the taste.... so i hate sittin here not knowin if i'm gonna be ok in the next couple of hours, its close to christmas time and and i had an important day planned out with my mom n daughter for pictures and things. please if you have and suggestions let me know. thnx

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      nessag 6 years ago

      I got take homes for my methadone for the holidays and took too much now I have to go 2 days without the methadone. Will I be ok until mon? I have been told by a lot of people that methadone stays in ur system for about 2 days is that true

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      jasmine ledbetter 6 years ago

      i have been on methadone for bout 12 yrs now, and im on 140mg, and through out this last year i have been getting symtoms that seems to worsen by night time. i also take anywhere from 2-10 clonipin or xanex through out my day, and sometimes i like to take promethazine more because it has enhancement effect when taken with methadone. but it can also put you in a "black-out" effect, where you're sluring words, forgeting things,like what im talking bout at that moment, i pass out at random moments that can lead me to a dangerous place or position... when i go to bed at night, i have had a ritual of taking my night time pill cocktail, including melatonin, benzo's(like clonipins and valium together), my flexiril, and i usually smoke a bowl. i have had an on going struggle with bienging on sugary foods at night too. when i go to sleep my sister will wake me up telling me my breathing sounds bad, to choking in my sleep, coughing, acid build uo. i use my inhaler, but i still wake up. last night i think i had 3 episodes with my sleeping issue last night. now im going to a sleep study to see what lies behind my gluttony with food and drugs that are harmful to me. i also feel nauesea, i just vomitted after takin a double dose bout 30 min b4 hand, when i felt like i was gonna puke, and i did. and it still tasted like methadone and was pink, but ive been told even so, it only takes 15-20 min for body to adjust,absorb. it was far past that, so why did it come up like it was not digested?

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      Adrienne 6 years ago

      Actually I've thrown up thirty minutes after dosing and I went through withdrawals. I am currently on 115 mg and I'm 155 pounds, so that is the absolute perfect dose for me. But, back when I threw up I was only on 80 mg, and already experiencing slight withdrawals. Some of my methadone ended up coming up because I saw the red liquid. I just slept and laid in bed all day and I was fine, but it definitely wasn't a pleasant experience. Anyone on this board who is experiencing nausea on a weekly/bi-weekly basis NEEDS a prescription of Promethazine. This really HELPS a lot! Just yesterday I almost threw up, but I took a 25mg Promethazine and the feeling subsided within 5 minutes. Also, since I deal with acid reflux I take Prilosec which helps immensely as well. It also helps the absorption of methadone because when your stomach is acidic it doesn't absorb as well. Just an FYI if you don't believe me. Before I was on Prilosec my blood serum at the 24th hour interval was 500ng, and my blood serum at the 24th hour interval AFTER being on Prilosec for over 2 months was 700ng. I was not using anything else except methadone and Prilosec. I was on the same dose both times.

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      methado'sandmethadon'ts 7 years ago

      CHB123, that's disgusting and honestly you just swallowed vomit and no methadone. Normally liquids like methadone go into your stomach quickly where as bile/Flem/mucus etc, will sit waiting to be dropped into the stomach. I have a LOT of history with being sick and methadone, i have severe stomach problems and unfortunately, clean and sober, using dope, or on methadone, i find myself vomiting at least 1 or 2 times a week. If you hold your does down longer than 5 minutes your probably gonna be fine unless you just completely empty your stomach. Normally IF you throw up your methadone its all you will taste. (pertaining to liquid of course) When i feel really sick and have to go pick up my weekly take homes i will sometimes tell the nurse and go sit in the back drink half my dose and wait 5-10 minutes, then finish the rest of it. Also if you are on maintenance and have a normal or slow metabolism throwing up half your does will not cause you to go into withdrawals, the half life builds up over the course of time. It's all in your head most of the time, normally the fear of being ill or becoming dope sick will make someone "feel" sick even if they aren't or the fear will cause anxiety and panic sending the person into a spiral of what do i do's, i can't be sick, i have to work they cant find out. You will be fine any dose above 120mg's is usually enough to block some of the pleasurable effects of illicit drug use, however in some cases people take up to 300mgs orally. Anything above 200 is way WAY to much methadone. According to the ratio of opiates : methadone someone using a gram of heroin would need about 20-40mgs depending on the person, using that scale you would have to assume if you really needed 200+mgs of methadone you should probably already have been dead before you sought out treatment. If you are still abusing opiates while using the methadone you shouldn't be concerned if you lose your dose in the toilet/sink/garbage as your problem will go away when you get your fix.

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      c h b 1 2 3 7 years ago

      I dosed this morning (50mgs) then threw it up five mins later into a cup and I have been very sick lately so there was tons of flem and acidic stomach matter in the cub, i called the clinic and told them what had happpend and they said "our rule is if you leave the building so we can not re-dose you." so you know what I had to fucking do?...I pinched my nose and swallowed to vile/flem/methadone mix but could only get about half of it down. Anyways I guess I feel okay now..but that really sucked ass.

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      jessica 7 years ago

      I been on methado 4 about 12yrs and I am 34wks pregnant, my dose is 250mg super high, I have thrown up my methadone 3-4 x's sense I been pregnant, all different times after I took it, once it was about 5mins after an I try 2 make it more then 10mins holdin it and I usally feel fine. If u r pregnant or sick u should drink ur meth @ the window and stay at the clinic 4 about 20mins after so if u do throw up the nurse and or doctor can see when u threw up, so they can give u more methadone if needed.. I hope every1 is ok and I can't wait till my 1st baby gets here YAYA!!

    • profile image

      webmistressnyc 8 years ago

      The next time your five year old gets sick, explain to her that - you feel that way sometimes and she needs to understand the way you understand. The only way sometimes others can sympathize with a person is if the other party is going thru a similar situation. and #1 - Always ask god for help and guidance! that is where i get most of my answers and help!



    • profile image

      morgan 9 years ago

      I am pregnant and threw up my dose about 5 minutes or less after taking it. This has happened a couple other times but this is the first time I did it so soon after taking it. I get take home doses over the weekend and the clinic I go to closes at 8am on the weekend so I couldn't call them and ask what to do cause they were all ready closed. It's been about 4 hours now and i am starting to feel a little crappy. I mainly worried about the baby because the doctor at the clinic kept stressing to me how important it is that I take me dose everyday now that I am pregnant or it could have bad side effects for my baby. Also, I have a 5 year old and she doesn't understand mommy doesn't feel good today. Does any one have any advice on what i should do or could do to feel better?

    • profile image

      carolyn 9 years ago

      i vomitted after taking my methadone dose after 4 hrs-was it all absorbed?


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