Suboxone is a medication that is approved by the FDA for the treatment of opiate or opioid dependence. Only a doctor can prescribe Suboxone but, when taken correctly, the medication can reduce the risk of relapse and prevent the user from feeling the symptoms of withdrawal helping them to stay sober. Suboxone does not interrupt the daily activities or routines of the individual and can help to restore a sense of balance into the user’s life post opiate addiction.
Taking Suboxone will help to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings which may otherwise cause a user to relapse. This medication is highly effective when combined with behavioral therapy or other methods of opiate addiction treatment such as counseling. While Suboxone may not be ideal for everyone, many have found that this medication is not only a life-saver, but a life-changer too.
Suboxone Treatment for Opioid Dependence
The ultimate goal of Suboxone is to provide the user with a safe, regulated dose of an approved medication that will curb craving and prevent withdrawal symptoms so that recovery becomes a little bit easier to adjust to. Opiate withdrawal is a painstaking process without medical intervention and for many, without Suboxone or another medication to reduce the symptoms of withdrawal, recovery simply wouldn’t occur because the withdrawal process would be too much to cope with.
Using Suboxone, patients are able to immediately begin adjusting and they can find comfort in their new life of recovery. The medication greatly reduces the risk of relapse helping the individual to feel comfortable and in control of their recovery. Suboxone helps patients to manage their symptoms while remaining in control of their recovery so that they can live a normal, routine lifestyle.
Suboxone Side Effects
Unfortunately, like most medications, Suboxone does have a number of potential side effects. Many of the side effects that occur while taking Suboxone are not highly uncomfortable and most are not dangerous. Before taking Suboxone, it’s important to discuss the potential side effects with your doctor so that you are aware of what you can expect and so that you recognize the need to seek prompt medical treatment should an emergency or serious problem occur.
The following side effects do not require medical attention but should be monitored and, if they persist for more than a few weeks, should be discussed with your doctor:
- coughing or sore throat
- hoarseness or scratchy voice
- sweating, fever or chills
- pain in the lower back
- pain in the side
- painful urination
- redness of the face, neck or other areas of the body
- feeling dizzy or off balance
If you suffer from any of the following side effects while taking Suboxone, seek immediate medical attention:
- moderate to severe confusion
- rapid heart beat
- rapid breathing or shortness of breath
- fatigue that persists
- extreme weakness
- feeling as if you are under the influence of alcohol
- trouble seeing such as blurry vision or fog
- Discoloration of the lips or paleness of the skin
Generally, you can expect to feel some of the following side effects when you initially start taking Suboxone for the first time:
- upset stomach
- flu-symptoms such as runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and stuffy nose
- insomnia or changes in sleep patterns
Will Suboxone Cause Addiction?
Like other medications, Suboxone can lead to physical dependence if you are not careful about your methods of use. Generally, Suboxone does not lead to an addiction the way that the use of other opioids such as Oxycontin or Heroin does. Using Suboxone allows you to take control of your behaviors and as such, when you are ready to stop taking Suboxone, your doctor can help you develop a plan of action to wean off the drug and ultimately be completely drug free.
Many of the traits that are accumulated during opiate addiction can be eliminated when Suboxone is used. The drug-seeking behavior stops, the cravings to use stop, the symptoms of withdrawal stop and many other actions that are associated with using heroin or other opiates also stop in their tracks. The result—you can take Suboxone for as long as you need, and in most cases, the mild dependence that forms will be easily overcome by tapering the medication off when you’re ready to quit.
What Addictions Can Suboxone Treat?
There are hundreds of different opiates and opioids on the streets today. Suboxone can be used to treat most opiate and opioid addictions including:
- Addiction to Methadone
- Addiction to Hydrocodone such as Lortab or Vicodin
- Addiction to Oxycontin
- Addiction to Oxycodone
- Addiction to Roxicodone
- Addiction heroin
- Addiction to Morphine
- Addiction to Dilaudid
Who Can Take Suboxone?
If you suffer from any of the above addictions, you may already be a candidate for Suboxone treatment. Suboxone is generally safe for use by those who do not suffer from heart conditions, serious health complications, mental illness or certain types of liver or kidney disease. Not everyone can take Suboxone—talk with your doctor before taking Suboxone.
Consider the following:
- If you a pregnant or nursing, talk with a doctor before taking Suboxone as this medication may cause symptoms of withdrawal or could negatively affect your baby
- Do not take Suboxone if you are hypersensitive to Naloxone or Buprenorphine as these are the main ingredients in Suboxone.
- Do not take Suboxone if you are taking benzodiazepines or CNS depressants as this can cause respiratory depression, coma or death.
- Do not take Suboxone if you regularly consume alcohol.