What You Need to Know About Suboxone
With drug overdose as the top cause of accidental death in the United States, doctors are looking for new ways to treat patients struggling with addiction. Trying to find treatments that prevent intense withdrawal symptoms is a struggle, but there may be a solution in the form of Suboxone.
Suboxone is a method of treatment used for opioid addiction. It is often prescribed to patients who are facing addiction to drugs like heroin and painkillers. As a stand-in for opioids, Subxone has provided some promising results.
Are you looking for help with a drug addiction? Are you trying to stop using pain medications? A doctor may be able to help you determine if this course of action is right for your condition.
What Is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxene, two medications that may curb cravings linked to drug addiction. The medication works well because it binds to receptors and ultimately prevents other opioids from binding to the same receptors to create a high.
Additionally, Suboxone offers a lower likelihood of overdose and abuse compared to opioid use. While it is possible for the treatment to be misused, this is not common. It requires a doctor’s prescription and is less dangerous than some other ways of weaning off of opioids.
Why Does Suboxone Work?
One of the reasons Suboxone has been effective in the past is that it allows for a slow weaning off of the drug rather than encouraging an immediate detox, which can be painful and even dangerous. Suboxone can prevent dangerous side effects of quitting all at once.
By the end of treatment, doctors tend to see their patients no longer relying on Suboxone. These patients also report not feeling withdrawal symptoms they would have felt while coming off of opioids.
Additionally, Suboxone does not provide feelings of euphoria for those who have not been addicted to opiates. This means that few people are willing to start using the drug if they are not already using opioids.
What Are the Stages of Suboxone Treatment?
Suboxone treatment works in three distinct stages. The goal of treatment is to work through each stage successfully.
First, patients begin treatment with a doctor’s supervision. The doctor will initiate the first treatments, which must occur during a time when there are moderate withdrawal symptoms. In this stage, patients and doctors work together to find the right dose to keep those symptoms at bay.
Next, the doctor will help find the right dosage to maintain the lack of withdrawal symptoms. Doctors also want to avoid side effects and ensure that the patient no longer has cravings for opioids. This stage may be accompanied by counseling and other forms of support.
Finally, the doctor will look to taper the medication by slowly lowering the dose. There is a fine line to walk here, as the doctor wants to continue minimizing withdrawal symptoms.
What Side Effects Does Suboxone Have?
Suboxone is associated with some side effects. You should speak with your doctor immediately if you experience a cough, dizziness, chills, skin flushes, headache and back pain. Sweating and painful urination may occur as well.
Some side effects are associated with Suboxone overdose and require immediate medical attention. These include confusion, difficult breathing, exhaustion, blue lips and fingernails or blurred vision.
Then, there are side effects that are fairly typical and often do not require medical intervention. These include stomach pain, nausea, difficulty sleeping and weakness.
Do you have more questions about Suboxone treatments? International Family Medicine, Walk-In & Urgent Care is there to help. Our aim is to provide de-stigmatized care that is compassionate and caring.