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What Are the Side Effects of Suboxone?

What Are the Side Effects of Suboxone?

Suboxone, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, is a medication assisted treatment for addictions to both opioids and opiates. It consists of the two drugs Buprenorphine and Naloxone and needs to be administered under medical supervision. The benefit of Suboxone is that it lessens the brain’s need for an opiate and prevents withdrawal symptoms. However, as with any medication, there are side effects to Suboxone that you want to be aware of when seeking Suboxone treatment.

When Should I First Begin to See Side Effects?

Suboxone is administered in three separate phases called induction, stabilization, and maintenance.

  • Induction: The induction phase occurs when the medication is given after 12-24 hours since the last drug use and when the first signs of withdrawal are seen. It is crucial to ensure that the opioid or opiate is not in the bloodstream before giving Suboxone to prevent further issues from occurring.  This is where you may first begin to experience side effects from Suboxone.
  • Stabilization: The stabilization phase occurs when the patient has decreased or fully stopped their drug abuse, does not experience cravings, and has few/no side effects. During stabilization, the dose of Suboxone can be adjusted by your Suboxone doctor.  If you are still experiencing severe side effects, be sure to alert your doctor as a lower dose could help.
  • Maintenance: The last phase is maintenance where the patient has been doing well on their current dose, and the doctor can begin to make decreases in the amount of medication given. This decrease in medication dose varies between person to person and is determined by the doctor that has been working with you.  At this point, the side effects should be minimal to none, due to the lower dosage.

What Are the Side Effects of Suboxone?

With every medication, there are side effects to be aware of. While these side effects can be minor to severe and vary among individuals, it is important to notify your doctor when you notice something out of the ordinary. Here are some of the minor to moderate side effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Mouth or tongue pain/numbness
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble concentrating

Your doctor should be notified if you experience any of the severe side effects listed below:

  • Itchy skin
  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Mood changes
  • Swollen face, arms, and/or legs
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure

How Can I Prevent These Symptoms from Happening?

It is not guaranteed that you will experience symptoms from Suboxone treatment, but it is always good to know how to manage the less severe ones if they come about. As always, contact your doctor if anything changes with how you are feeling. If they are less severe symptoms, you can try some of these simple remedies:

  • Take Suboxone after a meal to prevent an upset stomach. An antacid can also be used to ease the discomfort, such as Tums.
  • To prevent pain or numbness in your mouth or tongue, switch the side of the mouth where you place the Suboxone every time you take a dose.
  • For constipation, you can drink more water and eat foods that are high in fiber like vegetables and whole grains.
  • To help with sleeping difficulties, limit your caffeine intake, try not to take many naps, and keep a regular time when you go to sleep at night.

These are easy ways to help with some of the side effects from Suboxone. If you cannot get relief, contact your doctor because they may have other options for you to be comfortable.

Talk to Your Suboxone Doctor about Treatment

Be sure to discuss the side effects with your Suboxone doctor to ensure you are comfortable taking this medication and to see if this addiction treatment program will work for you.  You should also alert your doctor to any health conditions, medications or allergies you have that could put you at a higher risk for unwelcome side effects.

For anyone suffering from an opioid or opiate addiction, there is hope for a better life.  Suboxone can decrease your opioid or opiate dependence and help you beat your drug addiction. 




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What is Buprenorphine?
 Buprenorphine is an FDA approved opioid addiction treatment. Currently Subutex® & Suboxone® are the only Buprenorphine medications approved by the FDA. Buprenorphine itself is opioid itself, but the maximal effects are less than other more dangerous opioid agonist like methadone and herion. By producing enough agonist, individuals taking Buprenophine that have become addicted to other opioids are able to discontinue abuse with minimized withdrawl side-effects. In 1965, K.W. Bentley discovered the class of compounds synthesized from an alkaloid of thebaine, the opium poppy plant, known as Papaver somniferum. Among these semi-synthetic compounds is Buprenorphine - the first in a series of opioid agonists. Many were more than 1000 times more effective than the analgesic, morphine. In the 1980s, Reckitt & Colman, today known as Reckitt Benckiser, introduced Buprenorphine hydrochloride for sale. Buprenorphine, an analgesic, was first made in sublingual tablets of 0.2 mg (Temgesic). It was also made as an injectable of 0.3 mg/ml (Buprenex). Read More...

What is Suboxone®?
 Suboxone® is the first narcotic drug available for prescription from a doctor's office for use in the treatment of opioid dependence under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 or DATA 2000. The primary active ingredient in Suboxone is Buprenorphine, which itself is a partial opioid agonist. This means the the opioid effects and withdrawal symptoms from Buprenorphine are less than other full opioid agonists such as heroin, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and others. Suboxone, taken as sublingual tablets or "under the tongue", has been shown to help in suppressing opioid withdrawal symptoms, decrease illicit opioid cravings and use, and under the correct supervision can help with overcoming an opioid dependence. Suboxone comes in 2mg and 8mg sizes of sublingual tablet form. Suboxone contains naloxone, which blocks the effects of medicines and drugs like methadone, morphine, and heroin. This is added to prevent people from injecting Suboxone and improper use of the medication. Injecting naloxone can cause withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone is the most commonly prescribed medication and given to patients during the maintenance phase of treatment. Subutex is typically given during the first couple of treatment. Because Suboxone has a lower potential for overdose and abuse, unlike methadone, Certified Doctors are able to prescribe take home supplies of Suboxone in certain circumstances. Read More...

The Benefits of Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction
 Since 1949, the 12-step program developed by Alcoholics Anonymous has been the dominant way we think about facing and fighting addiction. Many people have successfully used this community- and willpower-based approach to escaping addiction. However, countless others have tried it, and relapsed. With the powerful hold that opioid addiction has on so many people in America, it’s time to face addiction with an equally powerful—and proven—method: medication-assisted treatment (or MAT). MAT is the practice of using drugs like suboxone and subutex to help people dependent on painkillers gradually ease themselves off their addiction. While these treatments have been available for many years, there is a stigma to relying on these medications to help fight addiction rather than the traditional willpower and community approach of a 12-step program. Here are five benefits to using an MAT approach to ending opioid dependency:
1. MAT is proven to have better results than conventional programs alone.
2. MAT stops withdrawal symptoms so patients can live a normal life.
3. MAT is flexible, allowing medication to be taken at home or in a clinic
4. MAT offers multiple drugs (like suboxone and buprenorphine) to find what works for you
5. It’s easy to find an MAT/suboxone provider near you Read More...