Comprehensive Guide to Addiction Treatment Medications

Written by Buprenorphine Doctors

Opioid addiction is a looming threat for many American communities. And yet, it’s not a problem without a response. Here’s what you should know about opioid addiction medication.

When someone has an opioid addiction, many changes within the body interfere with its normal functioning. These changes affect the brain and other vital organs. Within the brain, opioid addiction impacts the areas for pleasure, stress, and decision making. Eventually, someone addicted to opioids can only feel pleasure from the drug, become anxious and stressed without the drug, and have less impulse control. Opioid addiction also affects the portion of the brain that controls heart rate, sleeping, and breathing, which are essential to sustaining life.

While addiction can present changes within the body, it is important to know that this can be treated with medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT combines medication with different emotional and behavioral therapies. There are different types of FDA-approved medications for drug addiction including Methadone, Buprenorphine, and Naltrexone. All of these medications also have different brand variations.

Follow along to learn more about how each medication can help you or a loved one successfully recover from opioid addiction.


This opioid agonist medication acts on the opioid receptors in the brain, but it does not give someone the same sensations as opioids. Therefore, it must be closely monitored by a doctor.


  • Effectively decreases the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms
  • Reduces cravings
  • Taken orally

Common side effects include itching, swelling, nausea, seizures, hives, drowsiness, issues with an erection, menstruation irregularities, diminished sexual desire, hallucination, fever, confusion, shivering, increased heart rate, muscle stiffness, diarrhea, and loss of coordination.

It is important to talk to your doctor immediately when these side effects are present, or if anything else occurs out of the ordinary.

Different brand names for Methadone:

  • Dolophine: Methadone oral tablet
  • Methadose: Methadone oral tablet


This is a partial opioid agonist and antagonist, meaning that it attaches to the opioid receptors on the brain, and prohibits opioid effects. Sometimes, to get more effective results, this medication is combined with Naloxone, an opioid antagonist that reverses the effects of opioids.


  • Successfully blocks withdrawal symptoms
  • Reduces cravings
  • Prevents other opioid effect
  • Can be taken orally as either a sublingual film or tablet form

Common side effects include coughing, dizziness, sweating, headache, low back or side pain, swelling, weight gain/loss, tingling sensations, nausea, sleep disturbances, strength loss, issues with bowel movements, and diarrhea.

Other less common side effects can occur, so it is important to know your body. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience these or other side effects.

Different brand names containing Buprenorphine:

  • Suboxone: Sublingual film or tablet that contains both Buprenorphine Naloxone.
  • Subutex: Sublingual Buprenorphine tablet.
  • Probuphine: Buprenorphine implant.
  • Sublocade: Extended-release Buprenorphine once a month injection.
  • Bunavail: Buccal (inner portion of the cheek) film that contains both Buprenorphine and Naloxone.
  • Cassipa: Sublingual film that contains both Buprenorphine and Naloxone.
  • Zubsolv: Sublingual tablet that contains both Naloxone and Buprenorphine treatment program.


This medication blocks opioids to eliminate the effects associated with its use.


  • Eliminates opioid effects to decrease the desire to use them
  • Does not cause withdrawal symptoms

Common side effects include issues such as pain, hard feeling, swelling, blisters, lumps, or a dark scab at the injection site.

Other side effects include liver damage, drowsiness, vomiting, pain in the joints, headache, dizziness, muscle cramps, toothache, and cold symptoms.

If these side effects or others occur, it is important to contact your doctor immediately.

Different brand name for Naltrexone:

  • Vivitrol: Once a month extended-release Naltrexone injection in the gluteal (buttock) muscle.

If you or a loved one need opioid addiction treatment, you should know your options when it comes to MAT. Your Suboxone doctor will determine which medication is right for you depending on the level of your addiction, your overall health, and your unique situation. In conjunction with therapy and counseling, this addiction treatment has the potential to result in a successful recovery.

To further explore these medications, find Suboxone doctors near you, and discover other helpful resources, visit

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