Why do people need Suboxone?
Currently in the US, there is an epidemic of addiction to prescription opioids and other illegal drugs. Sometimes opioids are mixed with other potent but often deadly substances such as fentanyl.
Many people were prescribed OxyContin as a painkiller and then found themselves addicted to it. OxyContin is the brand name. The pharmaceutical name is Oxycodone. There have been legal actions taken against the companies that produced this drug and that sold it, because they neglected to make people aware of how addictive it is. It is classed as an opioid. It is still being prescribed in the USA but in a more restricted manner.
When people stop taking OxyContin, they can experience severe withdrawal symptoms such as muscle and bone pain, restlessness, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting,
cold flashes, and involuntary leg movements.
When people take a large dose of OxyContin they are at risk of severe respiratory depression that can lead to death.
Because the buprenorphine in Suboxone maintains its effects over a long period of time, it helps to prevent withdrawal and craving and stabilizes opioid receptors. So it can be used to help people treat their opioid addiction.
What is Suboxone?
You may have heard of it and that is why you searched for Suboxone doctors near me. Buprenorphine is the name of one of the medications used to treat Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). Suboxone, Zubsolv, and Bunavail are the brands currently available for this drug. Buprenorphine is what is known as a mixed opioid agonist-antagonists. It helps prevent the withdrawal symptoms caused by stopping other opioids. Suboxone also contains naloxone. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that blocks the effect of opioids. So by adding naloxone to buprenorphine, it stop addicts from misusing the buprenorphine.
Suboxone has a 4 : 1 ratio of buprenorphine to naloxone. Because different brands may contain different amounts of naloxone and buprenorphine you should not change brands.
Not all doctors can prescribe Suboxone. To be able to prescribe it, you need to have received some special training and have received a special license. At ABCDuPage we have an experienced psychiatric nurse practitioner that can prescribe it.
You may have searched online for "Suboxone doctors near me". One of our psychiatrists or psychiatric nurse practitioners will give you advice on taking this medication. But normally it is best to allow the tablet(s) to fully dissolve under your tongue. This can take 5 to 10 minutes. Then take a sip of water and swish it around in your mouth. Wait at least an hour before brushing your teeth.
Is Suboxone an opioid?
No. Although it binds to the same receptors in the brain as opioids, it is not one itself.
What does research show about Suboxone?
Current evidence shows buprenorphine is tolerated better than methadone and achieves similar outcomes. Several placebo-controlled research studies have demonstrated the general efficacy of buprenorphine for opioid use disorder.
Are there any reasons why I might not be able to take Suboxone?
Suboxone is not recommended if you:
- are currently taking one of these other medications: Benzodiazepines, such as Xanax (alprazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam), Valium (diazepam), Ativan (lorazepam) or Restoril (temazepam)
- you are breastfeeding (there haven't been studies to confirm its effects).
You should also tell us if you are taking any other medications because some are contraindicated with Suboxone.
You need to already have reached a particular level of opioid withdrawal before you can start taking Suboxone. You can discuss this with our psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner.
Drinking alcohol while taking suboxone is not recommended as it can increase its side effects and even be potentially fatal.
Any there any side effects?
There are a number of possible side effects and there are also withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it. When your doctor feels you no longer need it, they will have you slowly taper off it. You should discuss this during your appointment.
Common side effects of suboxone include headaches, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea. See the Mayo Clinic for a full list of possible side-effects.