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Opioid Addiction

Suboxone is a medication that helps treat opioid addiction and minimize cravings.It comes as an oral film that is placed under the tongue.The film dissolves in your mouth and should not be chewed or swallowed.

How does Suboxone treatment work?

Suboxone combines two different medications- buprenorphine and naloxone. 

Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine, the active drug in Suboxone, is a partial opioid agonist. It can help treat opioid dependence by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid dependence. It does this by occupying the mu-opioid receptors within the brain. Buprenorphine has a ceiling effect, which means once the dose is increased beyond a certain point, there is no change in effect. Because of this ceiling effect, buprenorphine will not result in a “high” for those that have been in active addiction.

Naloxone

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist. The naloxone in Suboxone is used to discourage the inappropriate use of the medication. If Suboxone is used in a fashion other than as intended, the naloxone will cause immediate withdrawal. 

Treatment Phase

Treatment of opioid dependence occurs in two phases. The first phase is called induction, and it lasts for about one week. Doctors stabilize patients on the appropriate dose of suboxone, and may use other medications to help reduce withdrawal symptoms. 

The second phase is called maintenance treatment, and it's designed to get patients through an extended period without relapse into drug use. This stage requires daily doses of medication taken by mouth to avoid interruptions in treatment while continuing addiction recovery efforts at home with counseling, support groups, educational programs, etc.

Side Effects of Suboxone

While it is effective in treating opioid use disorder, like many prescription drugs, Suboxone comes with its fair share of side effects. Listed below are the side effects you may experience when taking Suboxone.

Common Side Effects of Suboxone

They are usually mild and manageable. These should go away in a few days up to a couple of weeks and include:

Headache, drowsiness.

Nausea, vomiting, constipation.

Numbness, redness, or pain in the mouth

Insomnia, sweating, chills.

Back pain, depression, palpitations.

Serious Side Effects of Suboxone

While uncommon, these Suboxone side effects require urgent medical attention should they manifest. 

Fainting and Hallucinations

Confusion/agitation

Severe allergic reactions

Irregular menstruation

Unusual bruising or bleeding

Liver damage

 

 

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