Methadone Maintenance Treatment

IMPORTANT NOTICE:  On June 20, 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced its revised policy for dispensing and reimbursing methadone prescriptions for addiction. Methadone extemporaneous compounded solution for Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) will no longer be an eligible ODB benefit on August 1, 2014. Effective June 26, 2014, Methadose™ (methadone) 10mg/mL oral solution will be listed on the ODB Formulary as a General Benefit for MMT for addiction.

Click here for the full announcement from the Executive Officer

As a result of ongoing dialogue with OPA, the Ministry has issued two sets of frequently asked questions (FAQ) for pharmacist,s as well as FAQ documents for physicians and patients to support the transition.

PHARMACIST DOCUMENT


PATIENT DOCUMENT


PHYSICIAN DOCUMENT

Methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) resources

Methadone is a complex medication, and methadone dispensing is strictly controlled through specific legislation and regulation. Pharmacists who wish to dispense methadone and physicians who prescribe it require specialized training in order to ensure the therapy is safe and effective for their patients. 

Despite rigorous training, however, prescribers and dispensers often have questions around dosing, interactions, and the use of methadone in special populations. That’s one of the reasons the Ontario Pharmacists Association launched our methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) drug information line, in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. 

Methadone drug information line for professionals

This service is free for all healthcare professionals who prescribe or dispense methadone — including pharmacists, physicians, and nurses — and who have clinical or therapeutic questions about the use of MMT in the treatment of addictions.

The Association's Drug Information and Resource Centre (DIRC) pharmacists who answer the line are specifically trained in the use of methadone in opioid withdrawal and have access to all of the references available. Our experts can provide support on a wide range of issues related specifically to methadone use to treat addiction — from questions about side effects, the use of methadone during pregnancy, and drug interactions to clarifications about policy and reimbursement.

Phone: 1-888-519-6069
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (ET)
Cost: Complimentary

Methadone online forum

The Ontario Pharmacists Association’s methadone discussion forum is designed to give methadone practitioners a place where they can share best practices, discuss tough practice questions, and interact with other pharmacists and physicians who prescribe or dispense methadone for the treatment of opioid addiction. Log on to the forum to interact with subject matter experts in areas including (but not limited to) the administration of methadone maintenance therapy in pregnancy and lactation, concurrent psychiatric illness, and handling difficult situations.

Registration is free and the forum is open to all methadone dispensers and prescribers – visit http://methadoneforum.opatoday.com to register. (Within 24 hours, OPA will email you a username and password.)

Methadone and Buprenorphine/Naloxone Toolkit

The Ontario Pharmacists Association’s Methadone and Buprenorphine/Naloxone Toolkit is designed for pharmacists who provide methadone or buprenorphine/naloxone programs in their pharmacy. These complimentary tools are provided to help pharmacists support patients on opioid substitution therapies, and include a general overview on addictions management principles, methadone, buprenorphine/naloxone, as well as dispensing procedures and frequently asked questions. The files can be downloaded and saved onto the local drive, or they may be easily accessed through the OPA website.

Click here to access the toolkit.

Methadone education

The Ontario Pharmacists Association also provides complimentary continuing education programs to help educate professionals about methadone treatment. These are offered in live or online formats.

  • Live programs
    These sessions offer healthcare professionals information about topics such as addiction and treatment strategies, destigmatizing methadone maintenance treatment, and the effect of methadone clinics/programs on the community.
    View live programs
  • Online modules
    A large number of online education modules are available on topics such as the policies guiding methadone dispensing in Ontario, addiction management principles, methadone use in chronic pain management, and treatment in patients with comorbid health problems.
    View online modules

Additional resources

Ontario College of Pharmacists Methadone Maintenance Treatment and Dispensing Policy

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Ontario Public Drug Program

Back to top