Generic composition: Buprenorphine and Naloxone (oral-sublingual)
Brand Names: Suboxone, Zubsolv, and Bunavail
Suboxone® is a medication approved for the treatment of opiate dependence. It contains both buprenorphine hydrochloride and Naloxone. This medication works by preventing withdrawal symptoms and curbing the misuse of those suffering from opioid use disorder. Although Suboxone is widely used to treat opioid addiction, it is vital to know this drug is also an opioid. Which means it comes with risks similar to other prescription opioids.
Suboxone has been beneficial for those seeking replacement therapy and also for those who are not ready to entirely come off opioid drugs. Furthermore, this medication is widely prescribed as a long-term maintenance medication (MAT) to reduce the risk of abuse and overuse of opioid drugs. Buprenorphine drugs are not for occasional (“as needed”) use. When the drug is taken at the wrong time or the wrong dose there can be substantial side effects.
Warnings and Risks
Respiratory Depression Can Occur When Using Suboxone with Other Substances
Suboxone can cause considerable respiratory depression, especially if a patient misuses it through means of intravenous injection. Death can occur in this case, especially when users inject buprenorphine with benzodiazepines including Klonopin or Valium. Other deaths have resulted from the use of buprenorphine and other central nervous system depressants such as alcohol, other prescription opioids, tranquilizers, sedative/hypnotics, phenothiazines, and general anesthetics. If Suboxone overdose occurs, immediately seek medical attention. When one or more of these substances have been prescribed, it’s important to talk to a doctor about reducing and/or adjusting the doses.
Allergic Reaction, Impairments, and Dependence
An allergic reaction is also possible. Signs to watch for include rashes, hives, bronchospasm, and anaphylactic shock. Suboxone can impair the physical and mental abilities needed to perform certain tasks, such as driving, especially during the beginning stages of use and during periods of dose adjustment. Chronic use of buprenorphine can cause dependence marked by the onset of withdrawal symptoms once use stops or gradually decreases. Because of the naloxone, Suboxone can cause intense withdrawal symptoms if misused by those addicted to heroin, morphine, and methadone.
You should not drink alcohol or operate dangerous machinery, at least until you know how Suboxone will affect you. Drowsiness and dizziness are common side effects of this medication, which can lead to severe injuries.
Call a doctor if you feel:
- Shallow breathing, especially while sleeping
- Confusion or loss of coordination
- Slurred speech or blurred vision
- Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or loss of appetite
- Dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice, like these, can be the sign of liver issues
More severe side effects, which need immediate medical attention, can include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Muscle stiffness
- Loss of coordination
This is not a complete list of warnings, risks, or side effects. Please consult with your doctor for medical advice and drug information.
“The issue with treating opiate addiction with an opioid drug is that patients eventually feel discouraged or hopeless and in the same place they started.”
The risk of overdose increases when there are additional substances present, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines. The mixture of these substances can cause severe and widespread depression of some physiological processes, including, but not limited to, slowed breathing and heart rate, coma, or even death.
If you experience the following symptoms, please seek immediate medical assistance as they could be a sign of overdose:
- Intense drowsiness
- Intermittent loss of consciousness
- Slurred and difficult speech
- Vision issues
- Slowed or labored breathing
- Lack of coordination
- Sluggish reflexes
Side effects depend on many factors, including dosage, other substances, patient’s metabolism, and health condition.
The most common side effects are:
- Cold or flu-like symptoms
- Sleep problems
- Mood swings
- Attention problems
- Blurred vision
- Hypotension (lowered blood pressure)
- Dizziness and fainting
It is dangerous and potentially fatal to mix this drug with drugs like benzodiazepines, alcohol, sleeping pills, antidepressants, or other opiates. Mixing pills can lead to sedation, drowsiness, unconsciousness, and even death.
The drug’s prescription label contains all pertinent information regarding side effects, allergic reaction, other interactions, dependence, withdrawal and overdose. Patients should always tell doctors about over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements they are taking. Health problems that should be mentioned include enlarged prostate, head injuries, Addison’s disease, hallucinations, curved spine, gallbladder disease, stomach problems and diseases of other organs. The buprenorphine in Suboxone can cause dizziness, lightheadedness and fainting when getting up too quickly from a sitting position. Even though Suboxone is used to treat opiate addiction, it can be habit-forming with prolonged use. Patients may become dependent upon the buprenorphine component. This means a professional, medical detox is in order.
Suboxone Addiction Treatment and Detox
Suboxone has been commonly prescribed as an opiate replacement. Because of its long life, some doctors choose to replace it for other opiates in order to start titrating the patient. However, problems arise because of suboxone’s potency. Withdrawal symptoms from suboxone can be much longer than most patients were originally experiencing with the drug they intended to detox from. For some patients, suboxone has been a helpful part of their recovery, because it provides some stability and offers a single daily dose, but others can and do take Suboxone recreationally
Unfortunately, the wide use of suboxone means that some people who receive the drug end up having negative outcomes. Treatment facilities that prescribe suboxone do not always do a good job of explaining to patients that it is a replacement opiate, it is highly potent, and it may have potentially harmful consequences. As a result, many patients do not even realize that suboxone is another opiate medication! In effect, this causes patients to replace one opiate drug (e.g., heroin or prescription painkillers) with another.
Additionally, many treatment facilities prescribe suboxone during the opiate detox process. As a result, they stop taking the drug and begin suboxone withdrawal symptoms right as they are leaving rehab. The withdrawal effects of suboxone can be longer and more drawn out than other opiates, making it difficult for patients to manage these symptoms on their own. This causes some patients to return to heroin or prescription painkiller use to avoid those unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
More and more these days, we see the increase of website searches on how to come off Suboxone, suboxone constipation, quitting suboxone cold turkey, etc. These searches clearly show that long-term opioid therapies have their own sets of negative consequences. It also shows that people want to be off opioids, and they have the right to do so. As health care professionals, we should provide more than just long-term treatment; patients should have access to immediate effective solutions. Medical science, especially in the field of neuroscience, has come a long way. We can understand and treat several conditions that have mistakenly seen as behavioral issues. One of these very treatable conditions is opioid use disorder.
“Allowing patients to suffer through withdrawal or worse, condemning people to be dependent on opioids is not just wrong, it is actually cruel.”
Suboxone Medically Assisted Detoxification and Rapid Detox
Although Suboxone is presented as a safe and effective opiate addiction treatment, it has significant problems in real-world use. Some patients are able to use suboxone effectively to help them recover from opiate addiction. For maintenance treatment, the reported results are very similar to methadone. About 60% of people who are given Suboxone as a maintenance treatment, don’t use illicit drugs while they’re on it. For many patients that wish to be completely free themselves off opiate dependence, suboxone might create more problems than it solves. These patients often wish that they had never started suboxone treatment, given the slow and lengthy withdrawal process from the drug.
Fortunately, the Waismann Method® offers a highly effective, quick, and comfortable Suboxone detox treatment. Our rapid detox and medically-assisted protocols effectively assist patients in overcoming withdrawal symptoms.
Waismann Method® treatment center is recognized worldwide for its reputation of unmatched experience, excellent track record, and superior results.
Each patient is admitted to a private room of an accredited, full-service hospital for treatment. Most importantly, all patients receive a thorough medical assessment that is used to create an individualized treatment plan. This ensures that the treatment approach is appropriate to a person’s unique physical and psychological needs.
Following the suboxone detox process, patients move to our inclusive Domus Retreat for post-detox care. Here, clients continue to receive personalized services to help them maintain sobriety as they transition back to everyday life. This provides a safe, supportive environment for individuals suffering from Suboxone addiction.
Medication-assisted treatment should not be a lifetime sentence. There are effective medical solutions available. If you are tired of taking opioids and seeking the best suboxone addiction treatment in the United States, you found it. We are located in Southern California with patients flying in for treatment from all over the world. Call us today. Let us answer your questions, understand your situation, and help you find the treatment program that will work for you.