Methadone Induction for a Patient With Precipitated Withdrawal in the Emergency Department: A Case Report

Author Department

Medicine; Emergency Medicine

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



In the era of illicit fentanyl, reports on difficulties with buprenorphine inductions for patients with opioid use disorder are emerging. Methadone is the only other approved medication treatment with efficacy similar to buprenorphine but without risks of precipitated withdrawal. Unfortunately, outpatient methadone inductions can take days to weeks to complete, due in part to regulations that limit administration to opioid treatment programs. We describe a patient with opioid use disorder who presented to the emergency department in precipitated withdrawal who completed a same-day methadone induction with next-day dosing at an opioid treatment program as part of an emergency department methadone protocol. As opioid-related deaths rise, emergency department-initiated methadone is feasible for patients with opioid use disorder.