During the course of five or ten years, a large number of people have become addicted to various drugs. Opioids tend to be some of the most commonly abused medications. Pharmaceutical companies and researchers have worked tirelessly to find ways to help patients overcome such problems. Eventually, they determined that utilizing Buprenorphine was surprisingly effective. This specific semisynthetic opioid is available under a handful of different trade names, including Subutex, Cizdol and Suboxone. How does it work and are there are risks involved with the consumption of Suboxone? Within this comprehensive guide, you will learn all about Suboxone and the concept behind the drug.

What It Does

First and foremost, it would be wise to learn about the concept behind this specific medication. Suboxone relies strongly on Buprenorphine, which is actually a semisynthetic opioid. This chemical is capable of behaving like a partial agonist to the brain’s opioid receptors. When Suboxone is consumed, it actually attaches itself to your brain’s opioid receptors and stops the potential effects of other opioids. Therefore, this specific medication is often used to aid with the treatment of opioid addiction. While the medication is deemed to be very effective for this specific purpose, there are some risks involved.

For instance, treating addiction with Suboxone has a risk of developing a physical and psychological dependence to the drug. After the patient has utilized the drug for an extended period of time, they’ll have two treatment options available to them. Patients can continue to use the drug as a maintenance dosage or they can withdraw with medical supervision.

Precautions Before Use

Before taking Suboxone, it is absolutely essential to speak with your doctor and tell him or her about your current medical conditions. If you have any medical problems or are allergic to naloxone or buprenorphine, it is essential to tell your doctor. He or she will take these things into consideration and determine whether or not Suboxone will be safe for you. Below, you will find a list of the potential problems, which may cause a negative reaction with Suboxone.

  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Urination problems
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Respiratory problems
  • Drug abuse in your past
  • Past head injuries, tumors or seizures

Be sure to tell your doctor about any of these. It is also a good idea to avoid using Suboxone when pregnant. It is not currently known whether or not this drug could harm an unborn baby. However, it is likely that the child will become dependent on the drug. Therefore, it is generally best to wait until you’re clean of Suboxone, before getting pregnant.

Things To Avoid

Suboxone is generally very safe. However, the risks can be increased substantially when Suboxone is utilized in conjunction with other substances. This is especially true, when it comes to alcohol. In order to avoid any potential risks, it is essential to avoid consuming alcohol, while also taking Suboxone. Be sure to check your food carefully and avoid those that may have alcohol in their contents. Also, you must realize that this medication can potentially impair your reaction time and thinking. Therefore, it is generally best to avoid operating heavy machinery and driving, until the medication’s effects have dissipated. You should also remember that using Suboxone with certain drugs can be very dangerous.

It is best to avoid drugs that can make you sleepy, as well as those that can slow your breathing. The combination could prove to be very dangerous and could result in life-threatening side effects. It is also absolutely essential to avoid altering the consistency of the medication. It should only be taken as prescribed. Do not crush the pills or break the capsules. Doing so will increase the risks substantially and could result in more devastating side effects.

Induction Dosage

Suboxone is administered to individuals suffering with opioid dependence. The medicine has proven to be very effective in treating this condition, as long as the patient follows the recommended dose recommendations. On the first day of treatment, the clinician will probably choose to start the patient out on an initial dose of 4-mg/1 buprenorphine/naloxone. However, some clinicians prefer the 2mg/0.5 mg dose, but this will depend on the patient’s needs and the physician’s preference. The Suboxone dosage will be titrated upwards in 2 milligrams every 2 hours, but this is only in an in-patient setting, where the patient will be supervised.

One the second day, the physician will titrate the dose up to 16-mg/4 mg. Clinicians normally choose to administer the drug in the form of sublingual film, so the patient cannot alter the medication. According to research, patients taking Suboxone using the buccal route will receive a higher level of exposure to the naloxone, verses the sublingual route.

Suboxone Side Effects

Suboxone side effects will vary from one patient to another. While one patient may not exhibit any side effects, another patient may exhibit every common and rare side effect. Side effects include:

  • Intermittent cough
  • Lightheadedness
  • Overheating sensation
  • Chills or fever
  • Headache
  • Painful urination
  • Diaphoresis (excessive sweating)
  • Syncope
  • Flank (side) pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation

Some patients have complained about rapid weight gain and tingling sensation in hands or feet, but it has not been scientifically determined, if these symptoms are linked to Suboxone.

Suboxone Withdrawal Timeline And Symptoms

Suboxone is very effective when it comes to fighting opiate addition. However, the medication must be used for long periods of time, even after the patient has long kicked opiates, he or she will usually continue to take Suboxone. While it is so effective, the prolonged use of this medication makes it extremely addictive, as well. Since this medication was designed to fight against opiate addiction it can have similar withdrawal symptoms. Some of these symptoms might include vomiting, nausea, body/muscle aches, cravings, fever/chills, headaches, sweating, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and irritability.

The withdrawal symptoms of Suboxone will be at their worst during the first 72 hours. This is the time period when most of the physical symptoms occur. After the first week of not taking the medication, symptoms usually start to die down and users will just experience general aches and pains in the body, along with insomnia and potential mood swings. During the second week is when depression can be the biggest issue. After not taking the medication for a month, patients will be prone to relapse, because this is when the intense cravings and depression usually kick it.

Read more articles of the psychiatrist and drug addiction specialist David Warren on wealthformyhealth.com.

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