What Is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a prescription drug that’s used to treat those who are addicted to opioids, legal or prescription. It contains the components Buprenorphine, Naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial Opioid antagonist. It blocks Opiate receptors, and reduces the urges. Naloxone is the second ingredient that reverses the effects of Opioids. These drugs help individuals avoid the withdrawal symptoms that can be caused by an opioid addiction .
Suboxone is now the most popular treatment for Opioid dependence and has been proven to be effective in aiding in opioid abuse and recovery. It’s also prescribed more often than Methadone, which typically leads to dependence. Suboxone is unlike other opioid substitute medications which require a prescription from a specialized treatment center. Suboxone can be prescribed directly by your doctor and is often prescribed for both beginning treatment and ongoing treatment.
Although Suboxone may help with the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting opioids it is not a complete treatment plan. Counseling or therapy can help to identify the root cause of Opioid abuse and provide new ways to manage the stress and pain in your life.
Your doctor may prescribe Suboxone if you suffer from dependence on short-acting opioids including heroin and prescription painkillers. It’s typically not recommended for long-acting opioids. So instead, many people use a buprenorphine-only medication.
The withdrawal phase is the first stage of Suboxone treatment. This is where you feel most uncomfortable and the side effects can be dangerous to your health. Suboxone can be used to reduce and possibly eliminate withdrawal symptoms from your opioid dependence. Your doctor will guide you through the transition from withdrawal to maintenance and in time will likely reduce your medication dosage once your treatment is underway and progressing in the right direction.
“When taken properly, individuals on Suboxone will have no cravings, have no withdrawal, and will feel ‘normal’…that’s why it’s so effective.”
– Dr. Adam Bisaga – Professor of psychiatry at CUMC, and researcher at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.
How Is Suboxone Administered?
As stated before your doctor can prescribe Suboxone to you if you are a proper candidate for treatment. Follow your doctor’s instructions during each dose and do not hesitate to reach out to them if you feel any strange side effects that were not discussed at your initial appointment. Suboxone Film and tablets are the most common forms of this medication and are typically taken orally.
When using Suboxone Film, you will place it under your tongue, and let it dissolve. The medication then enters your system and begins to bring you the relief you desire.
Things to consider when taking Suboxone Film:
- Avoid swallowing or chewing the film. This could cause the medicine to not work as effectively.
- Talking while the film is in your mouth is not a good idea. This could also impact how the medicine is absorbed into your body.
When using Suboxone tablets you will ingest the same way you would another pill form medication. Simply put it on your tongue and wash it down with water. Tablets may take longer to enter your system.
If you’re involved in a taper program, your doctor will gradually reduce your medication dosage throughout your treatment in hopes to wean you off of Suboxone entirely. You will get the best results from this medication if you are actively involved in a comprehensive recovery program.
Side Effects of Suboxone
While Suboxone is used to manage Opiate abuse it can also cause dependence if not used properly. The following candidates are the most vulnerable to become dependent on Suboxone:
- Individuals who have had a problem with Narcotics in the past or present
- People are unaware of possible dangerous side effects
- People addicted to Heroin and looking to avoid withdrawal
You should also not stop taking Suboxone treatment without consulting your doctor beforehand. Stopping Suboxone treatment abruptly can lead to potential adverse side effects, and possibly severe withdrawal symptoms, including but not limited to:
- Pain in the joints or muscles
- Dilated pupils
- Feeling jittery
If you have any of the mentioned side effects from Suboxone, please consult your doctor. Suboxone may also cause the following symptoms:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Stomach pain
- Low energy
Suboxone can be taken along with other drugs, herbal remedies or supplements but as always it is strongly recommended to consult your doctor before combining medications.
Take a list of all medications you are currently taking and consult your doctor about which drugs you should stop using while on Suboxone. Here is a list of products that can cause complications when Suboxone is taken. We strongly recommend that you avoid taking these while using Suboxone.
- Cholesterol-lowering medication
- HIV-treatment drugs
- Oral contraceptives
Where can I access Suboxone?
Suboxone can only be obtained with a doctor’s prescription and you should not use the medication for any other condition than what it was prescribed. Because of the active ingredients of the medication, it is important to regularly check with your doctor about the status of your treatment and keep them informed of any changes you feel within your body or mind.
Suboxone is not an all-purpose treatment for opioid addiction, but it is a treatment for dependence. However, Suboxone should not be taken alone, rather as a part of a combination of treatments. To learn more about the available suboxone treatment options, contact us today! We are here to help you on your road to sobriety and recovery.