The opioid epidemic is a classic case of the cure being worse than the disease. In seeking to treat pain, doctors prescribed powerful drugs, to which many of their patients became addicted. Over the past two decades, opioid addiction has become widespread, destroying communities and leading people to even more dangerous substances, such as heroin. Physicians and researchers have thus been struggling to develop effective treatments for opioid dependence. One such solution is Zubsolv, a medication designed for use in maintenance therapy. Though effective in addressing opioid dependence, this drug is highly addictive in its own right, requiring doctors to show great caution when prescribing it.
What is ZUBSOLV® ?
ZUBSOLV® is a sublingual tablet containing naloxone and buprenorphine, two substances that block the effects of opioids on the brain. Patients take Zubsolv once a day to counter withdrawal symptoms and relieve pain. While there are other medications that use buprenorphine and naloxone, this particular brand is noted for its:
- Short dissolution time
- High bio-availability
- Minimal tablet size
- Unique menthol flavor
Zubsolv contains opioids in a smaller dosage than most prescription painkillers have. As a result, it can partially replace the effects of other opioid products, and thus help to address withdrawal symptoms. Because it contains opioids, however, it carries a risk of addiction, as well as potentially deadly side effects.
What are Zubsolv’s side effects?
The most common side effects include:
- Feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness
- Red or flushed skin, particularly around the face
- Side, abdominal, and lower back pain
- Urinary problems or pain
Although unpleasant, these symptoms are usually not life-threatening. More serious side effects, for which you should consult a doctor immediately, include:
- Blurry vision
- Breathing troubles
- Severe, persistent drowsiness or sleepiness
- Blue or pale skin, lips, or fingernails
Given its risky side effects, only certain patients can take Zubsolv. Those who are allergic to naloxone or buprenorphine, are pregnant, are breastfeeding, have a history of respiratory problems, or have any number of internal organ issues should not take this drug. It is also important not to exceed the dosage, and always err on the side of taking too little rather than too much. Make sure to provide your entire medical history before your doctor prescribes this drug; if the doctor still prescribes it, follow her instructions to the letter.
What is the risk of ZUBSOLV® addiction?
As with any opioid-based medication, the body can become dependent on Zubsolv, meaning you will experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it. This often leads to addiction, marked by an inability to stop taking the drug. It is for this reason that patients taking Zubsolv must follow their physicians’ instructions in detail, and not take it in larger doses than recommended. Patients who do not want to continue taking Zubsolv should consult their doctors before they stop taking it, as the effects of sudden withdrawal are dangerous.
What are Zubsolv’s withdrawal symptoms and how long do they last?
The longer you have been taking Zubsolv, the greater the likelihood that you will experience withdrawal symptoms. These include:
- Insomnia– dependence makes it more difficult to sleep once the supply has been cut off.
- Mood Issues– Those undergoing withdrawal often experience anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. This is particularly likely if mental illness is the root cause of the addiction that they were taking to treat.
- Cramps– Patients undergoing Zubsolv withdrawal are likely to experience stomach and abdominal cramps, often accompanied by feelings of nausea.
- Other Symptoms– Zubsolv withdrawal can cause tremors, sweating, fever, a runny nose, and a variety of other physical symptoms.
Withdrawal is different for each patient, and recovery takes longer for some than for others. As a general rule, the symptoms are most serious during the first few weeks after you stop taking the drug, but slowly begin to improve after that point. After a month, many find that withdrawal has subsided enough that the positive effects of quitting outweigh the negatives, making it easier to stay clean. Full recovery often takes 90 days. Withdrawal is an individual experience, however, so it is important to set deadlines for ZUBSOLV® detox that work for you.
What does ZUBSOLV® detox involve?
It is generally not advisable to stop taking Zubsolv all at once. Instead, your doctor will ease you off of the drug, avoiding the worst withdrawal symptoms and increasing the chance of successful recovery. Specific steps vary by patient, but in general, you should eat a balanced diet, perform light exercises regularly, maintain an active social life, and keep yourself busy. These measures will keep you healthy while distracting you from the worst withdrawal symptoms.
For more information on detox and other opioid treatment options, contact the Waismann Method Treatment Center today at 1-800-423-2482