Suboxone Precipitated Withdrawal Symptoms
Published on:
February 23rd, 2010

Symptoms and Causes of Suboxone Precipitated Withdrawal

Only a qualified medical professional should initiate Suboxone therapy with a patient who is trying to wean off other opioid painkillers. Used to treat opioid addiction, Suboxone should be given when a patient is already suffering from an opiate withdrawal syndrome. If the drug is given too soon after other opiates have been ingested, a Suboxone precipitated withdrawal may develop. Suboxone contains buprenorphine and is used to manage opiate withdrawal from OxyContin , heroin, Percocet, Vicodin and other drugs. Suboxone, a sublingual tablet, also contains naloxone to guard against misuse. If a patient has high levels of other opiates in the system, the first dose of Suboxone will compete with the opioid molecules and replace them in the body’s opioid receptor sites. This can cause a rapid onset of opioid withdrawal and feelings of sickness; This precipitated withdrawal can be severe. It’s best to take the first dose of Suboxone when you are already in mild to moderate withdrawal. This should make a patient feel better, not worse.

Reported Precipitated Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal associated with opioid detox includes a host of uncomfortable symptoms that can become quite serious if not addressed properly. Depending on the opiate medication and the severity of the problem, withdrawal symptoms can vary widely. Precipitated withdrawal can be more intense than an opioid withdrawal and start suddenly. Symptoms may include:

  • Agitation
  • tremors
  • runny nose
  • chills
  • Insomnia
  • anxiousness
  • vomiting
  • depression
  • diarrhea
  • sweating
  • muscle
  • dilated pupils

It is vital that you are candid about what drugs you took and when the last time you took them, prior to initiating a medication assisted therapy. Different drugs stay in your system for different amounts time, based on a combination of factors, including: your metabolism, tolerance levels, half-life of the specific drug and  physiology of the patient.  In order to avoid a Suboxone precipitated withdrawal, you should wait until all other opioids are completely out of your bloodstream and you also need to take the medication exactly as directed. Mixing other drugs or alcohol with Suboxone can be extremelly dangerous.

Suboxone is considered a Schedule III drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration, meaning that it does have potential for abuse and addiction.


Suboxone Withdrawal and Addiction

At first , the thought of Suboxone addiction seems to be a contradiction. Understanding that a drug that is used to treat addiction has the potential to be addictive itself can e confusing, but sadly enough that’s the case with Suboxone. To understand why, it helps to get into the details of what Suboxone addiction is and how it works:

Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Each of these drugs has direct effects on opioid receptors. Opioid receptors are responsible for the pleasure senses and euphoria caused by drugs like morphine, codeine and heroin. The receptors comes in different sub-types, what determines whether a drug will cause euphoria, pain relief or any of the other effects. Both drugs contained in Suboxone, has a different effects across the sub-types as well.

The first ingredient Naloxone,  blocks the central nervous system effects of narcotics and is widely  use to treat overdose and has saved many lives. What make the user with Suboxone addiction who try to break up the drug to get an immediate high to suffer the precipitated withdrawal effects of the naloxone. The second ingredient “buprenorphine”, has similar effects to heroin or morphine and for that reason it may become addictive.

Many doctors,working in traditional drug rehabs and drug treatment facilities, prescribe this drug as a substitute, without telling the patient its addictive nature. Many patients that seeks our medical treatment, believe they were tricked in just trading one opiate drug for another.


Suboxone Rapid Detox Option

The Waismann Method of rapid detox offers Suboxone addicted patients a medical detoxification under sedation to prevent the suffering that a Suboxone precipitated withdrawal causes.. What sets us apart from many other detox programs is that our treatment is performed in a full service accredited hospital, by a multi-board certified physician. We don’t use opiate replacements in our program and we take our patients safety, comfort and privacy very seriously.


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