Levo methadone
Normally, methadone is a racemate, which means it is a mixture (50:50) of left- and right-turning molecule-chains with the chemical name D-L-methadone (D = dextro, L = levo). Levo methadone only contains the left-turning molecule chains, which have an effect on opiate receptors and form the active part of methadone. It means that 100mg D-L-Methadone consist of 50mg D-methadone (inactive) and 50mg L-methadone (active). There seems to be only a little difference in the effect, but purifiying D-L-methadone is an expensive procedure. Levo-methadone (Polamidon) is about ten times more expensive than D-L-methadone. Levo methadone is only prescribed in Germany for pain relief and has only been used for maintenance treatment of opiate dependence (Polamidon) since 1989. In 1994, D-L- methadone was made available as well. Some people feel better with levo methadone. At present a double blind randomised study is being conducted in Hamburg, comparing methadone with levo methadone. The results will be available at the end of 2003.