Buprenorphine based drugs, such as Suboxone, have become the standard of care for treating Opioid Use Disorder in most treatment programs. Although medication-assisted treatment is an additional viable option for addiction treatment, it is not without risks. Suboxone is a powerful opioid and narcotic, so the side effects of taking it are a source of concern. Another concern is precipitated withdrawal, which can occur when someone takes Suboxone while the opioid receptors are full.
When to Take Suboxone or Buprenorphine?
When Suboxone or any replacement opioid drugs containing buprenorphine are taken too early, the results are often painful. In other words, medication-assisted treatment can safely begin after the first stage of withdrawals starts. If the medication is given at the wrong time or in the wrong dose, these drugs can push the individual into immediate full-blown opioid withdrawal. Your prescribing doctor should evaluate your use, health, and dependence history before initiating therapy with an opioid agonist.
What causes a Suboxone Precipitated Withdrawal?
Only qualified medical professionals should initiate Suboxone therapy. A medical professional can assess a patient’s health history and decide on the best possible treatment protocol. In most cases, prescribing physicians warn patients about side effects and proper ways to take the medication. If this type of drug is taken too soon after the last dose opiates, a precipitated withdrawal may develop.
Suboxone contains buprenorphine and is used to manage opiate withdrawal from Oxycodone, heroin, Percocet, Vicodin and other drugs. The drug also contains naloxone, an antagonist, 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 very severe. Prescribing doctors should carefully judge when it is safe for a patient to start the suboxone treatment.
Precipitated Withdrawal Symptoms
Despite the fact that Suboxone is prescribed to eliminate opioid withdrawal, when taken too early this medication can trigger major and immediate withdrawal symptoms. Precipitated withdrawal can occur quickly and with tremendous intensity. Precipitated withdrawal may develop within 30 minutes and in some cases it can last up to 2 days.
Withdrawal symptoms from Suboxone may include:
- a runny nose
- dilated pupils
It is vital that you are candid with your prescribing doctor about what drugs you took and when you last took them, before initiating a medication-assisted therapy. Different drugs stay in your system for varying amounts of time, based on a combination of factors, including your metabolism, tolerance levels, the half-life of the specific drug and physiology.
How to Avoid precipitated Withdrawals
First and foremost, be 100% honest with your prescribing doctor. Let him or her know everything about your medical and mental health as well as drug history. Furthermore, follow their instructions to the T. Do not attempt to change dosages or timing on your own. Long-acting opioids, like methadone or Oxycodone, may require a longer period of abstinence before Suboxone treatment can start. Also, heavier users might have more symptoms at the beginning of therapy, which require proper medical monitoring.
How Does Suboxone Work?
Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Each of these drugs has direct effects on the body’s opiate receptors. Opiate receptors are responsible for the pleasurable senses and euphoria caused by drugs like morphine, codeine, and heroin. These opioid subtypes have varying effects on the receptors and determine whether a drug will cause euphoria, pain relief or any of the other side effects. Both medications contained in Suboxone have different effects across the sub-types as well.
The first ingredient is Naloxone which is an opioid antagonist used to counter the effects of opioids at the central nervous system level. Naloxone is also a lifesaving drug because it can rapidly reverse an overdose. Naloxone quickly binds to the receptors, while reversing the effects of opioid drugs.
The second ingredient is buprenorphine; a drug also sold under the name Subutex. Buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist. The drug 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. It is crucial that prescribing physicians clearly educate patients on the benefits and risks of these drugs. Making an educated decision will allow patients to better adhere to whatever treatment program they are participating in.
Suboxone treatment is an option, however many patients believe Suboxone treatment is just trading one opioid addiction for another. Although MAT drugs are a good option for those who are not ready to be opioid-free, options of complete detox should be available.
Suboxone Rapid Detox Treatment
While Suboxone is a resource for those seeking help from opiate addiction, like all opioid drugs, this medication has its own disadvantages. As a partial opioid agonist, Suboxone has a similar but lengthier withdrawal effects to other opioids. Actually, suboxone withdrawal begins a couple of days after the last dose and lasts approximately 14 to 21 days.
One of the most comfortable and effective treatments to come off Suboxone is rapid detoxification. Rapid detox allows patients to rapidly and comfortably get through a Suboxone detox while also being medically managed. Waismann Method® is the most recognizable and successful rapid detox center in the world. Every patient receives an individualized medical detox managed by our quadruple board-certified M.D.
We understand that detox is an essential first step to full recovery. Once patients become free from the physiological dependence from opioid drugs, their body and mind will be able to better adhere to the much-needed therapeutic work. With the Waismann Method® rapid detox, patients receive an individual protocol, designed to alleviate the unnecessary suffering from a suboxone withdrawal. An effective opioid detoxification is vital for your long-term success. Call us now and together let’s find the treatment option for substance abuse that is right for you. Let us help you get where you need to be.
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