Home » Suboxone Side Effects & Uses
Suboxone side effects can range from mild to severe, with common side effects including nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, insomnia, and headaches.
Suboxone is a medication containing buprenorphine combined with naloxone in a single tablet. Buprenorphine has been successfully used to treat heroin addiction for many years and it works by triggering mu-opioid receptors in your brain and minimizing the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with opioid detox.
Crucially, the medication achieves this without delivering the intense high or the dangerous side effects of other types of opioids. When buprenorphine is combined with naloxone, the abuse potential is further reduced. If you attempt to inject this combination of medications, you’ll experience intense acute symptoms. If Suboxone is taken orally and as prescribed, though, you won’t suffer these effects of Suboxone.
This guide highlights the most common side effects of suboxone, explores the long-term effects of Suboxone, and examines the role of this medication in addiction treatment.
Suboxone – a mixture of buprenorphine and naloxone – is a prescription medication used to treat dependence on opioids. The brand-name version of this medication is an oral film that you place under the tongue or between your cheek and gums. Whether you use the sublingual or buccal method, Suboxone dissolves in your mouth.
Suboxone contains 2 different drugs – buprenorphine and naloxone. The medication is available in four different strengths as follows:
Suboxone side effects may be mild, moderate, or severe. Some Suboxone effects are immediate, while others occur over time.
Some of the most common short-term Suboxone side effects include:
Many of these issues will clear up in a matter of days or weeks. If they become more severe or linger, you should consult with your pharmacist or doctor.
While it’s uncommon for patients to experience serious side effects from Suboxone drugs, effects of long-term Suboxone use may manifest.
Call your doctor immediately if you have severe reactions to Suboxone. If symptoms seem life-threatening, call 911. Severe reactions may include:
The medication is a Schedule III prescription drug. Like all drugs under this schedule, Suboxone has legitimate medical applications, but may also cause dependence (physical and psychological). Suboxone also has the potential for abuse.
Suboxone comes FDA-approved for treating opioid dependence. The medication is also recommended by ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine). Suboxone helps with treating opioid dependence by minimizing the withdrawal symptoms that accompany quitting or reducing consumption.
A 2008 clinical trial examined the effects of a medication used to treat young adults with opioid addiction over an extended period. Data show that patients who received counseling along with Suboxone during the 12-week trial had notably better outcomes than those who took the standard route of detoxification followed by counseling. The young adults addicted to opioids – morphine, heroin, and prescription painkillers – were more likely to abstain from using opioids, marijuana, and cocaine than the group who received counseling after short-term detox. They were also less likely to inject drugs than the control group and less likely to drop out of the treatment program.
As mentioned above, Suboxone has two ingredients: naloxone and buprenorphine. Each of these drugs has a distinct role.
There are 2 distinct phases to the treatment of opioid dependence:
Suboxone is normally used during both phases.
During induction, Suboxone can lessen withdrawal symptoms if opioid use is being either reduced or stopped. The medication will only be used during the induction phase for those addicted to short-acting opioids, including morphine, codeine, heroin, and oxycodone. Suboxone will only be introduced when the effects of the opioids have started to diminish, and withdrawal symptoms begin.
When treatment shifts into the maintenance phase, Suboxone is used for an extended period once the dosage has stabilized. The goal of this phase is to ensure cravings and withdrawal symptoms are managed as you advance through your treatment program. This could last several months to a year.
When you stop using Suboxone, your doctor will employ a slow dosage taper so that you don’t experience any unpleasant side effects.
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The side effects of Suboxone include nausea, vomiting, constipation, headaches, dizziness, and sweating. In rare cases, it may also cause breathing difficulties or an allergic reaction.
Suboxone works by binding to the same mu-opioid receptors in the brain to which opioids bind, which can help reduce the intensity of opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings. However, it can also cause side effects like drowsiness, slowed breathing, and decreased blood pressure.
Suboxone is a medication used to treat opioid addiction. It is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, and it works by reducing cravings and opioid withdrawal symptoms, while also blocking the effects of other opioids if they are taken while on Suboxone.
Yes, headaches are a possible side effect of Suboxone. If you experience severe or persistent headaches while taking Suboxone, speak with your healthcare provider as they may need to adjust your dosage or explore other treatment options.
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At Gratitude Lodge, we offer a supervised medical detox program that provides a safe and effective pathway toward detoxification and ongoing recovery. Once you’ve completed detox, you can transition directly into one of our treatment programs for opioid addiction, which include a 30-day inpatient program and an intensive outpatient program.
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