This medical malpractice trial commenced on April 4, 2012 in Penobscot County Superior Court, Maine. On April 12, 2012, the jury returned a verdict for $1,912,934 in damages against a physcian for overprescribing methadone. According to a story in the Bangor News the initial dose was 40mg. It was alleged that the plaintiff stopped breathing and thereafter experienced 20 to 30 minutes of slow, shallow breathing which caused brain damage that affected her ability to multitask and perform relatively simple jobs and tasks.
It is well known that Methadone may cause slowed breathing and irregular heartbeat, which may be life-threatening. Further, the risk that one will experience serious or life-threatening side effects of methadone is greatest when methadone is first prescribed. When first prescribing Methadone the lowest possible dosage sufficient to alleviate pain should be given. The usual dosage of oral Methadone for pain is 2.5 to 10 mg every 3 to 12 hours.