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Automated Methadone Dispenser

Drug abuse and drug addiction are becoming growing issues in most countries and are considered major public health problems. An initiative has been introduced in Malaysia via the methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) program since the year 2005.

The MMT program that was introduced has been using medical-based approach to treat the opioid dependence among the patients. Although the program has shown gradual success over the years by reducing the relapse rate of the patients, it has encountered several challenges in maintaining the effectiveness of the manual dispensing method done by the authorized health practitioners.

Therefore, an automated methadone dispenser was developed to improve the effectiveness and comply with the requirements and needs of the users. The development of the dispenser aims to spread awareness in the community on the importance of overcoming the effect of drug addiction. Besides, it aims to provide insight among the centres for the replacement therapy treatment using methadone on training and handling the machine.

The methadone dispenser equipped with seven outlets allows the dispensing process of seven prescription simultaneously. This concept allows the patient who are eligible to acquire weekly prescriptions which is more efficient and saves both the patient’s and pharmacist’s time.

The usage of load cell sensor as measuring mechanism ensures the accuracy of the methadone dispensed. The machine also equipped with diluting system that automatically dilute the methadone syrup that has been dispensed with distilled water, making it ready for the patient to consume. Thus, no additional process needed to be done by the pharmacist.

The introduction of an integrated database system along with the dispenser improves the efficiency of the treatment as all the details and prescription records of the patients can be stored and updated directly. The database system offers flexibility for the patients as they can go to any centre that is using the same database to get their prescriptions.


Dr. Mohd Sayuti Ab Karim, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

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