What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is an opioid addiction treatment drug used to wean someone who is addicted to opioids slowly off of the drug by 1) curbing cravings for the drugs and 2) minimizing withdrawal symptoms.
Suboxone contains 2 different drugs, buprenorphine, and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, this allows it to suppress symptoms of opioid withdrawal and decrease cravings for opioids while blocking the effects of other opioids. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, it rapidly reverses the effects of opioids by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and blocking and reversing the effects of other opioids.
Suboxone Side Effects
Suboxone has many side effects which are expected, these may include:
- Respiratory Problems
- Sleepiness or Dizziness
- Dependency or Abuse
- Decrease Blood Pressure
- Mouth Numbness
- Mouth Redness
- Mouth Pain
- Numbness or Tingling
- Sleep Issues
- Stomach Pain
- Feeling Drunk
- Trouble Concentrating
Many of these symptoms can also be the cause of opioid withdrawal if you’d like to learn more about opioid withdrawal symptoms see our post here.
Managing Suboxone Side Effects
Side effects should become milder over time – for now, you can follow some of these tips to manage the discomfort.
Take Suboxone after a meal or take an antacid to lessen stomach pain.
Drink more fluids, eat more fiber, and exercise for constipation issues.
Avoid napping, limit caffeine intake, and maintain a bedtime for sleep problems.
Mild aches and pains can be managed with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen.
If you experience issues with pain or redness in the mouth, switch sides on which are you dissolving the Suboxone. In other words, dissolve Suboxone on the right side of the mouth one day and on the left side the next day and continue to switch back and forth.
Severe Suboxone Side Effects
But, if you have any of the following side effects you should seek medical attention right away. These can be very severe and cause harm and or even death. Call your doctor if you experience any of these side effects, but call 911 or go to the closest ER if you’re having a medical emergency.
These severe side effects can include:
- Fast or Irregular Heartbeat
- Severe Dizziness
- Mental/mood changes
- Slow or Shallow Breathing
- Extreme Drowsiness
- Difficulty Waking Up
We’re here to help…
Whether treatment is for you, a family member or a friend, we are happy to speak with you about our outpatient drug treatment program, and how AOC can help patients with their opioid addiction recovery. Since 2007, AOC has helped thousands of patients on their path to recovery.
sources: https://www.rxlist.com/suboxone-side-effects-drug-center.htm, https://www.suboxone.com/, https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/opioid-overdose-reversal-naloxone-narcan-evzio, https://www.naabt.org/faq_answers.cfm?ID=2, https://www.healthline.com/health/addiction/suboxone-side-effects
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- Neonatal abstinence syndrome. (2015, June)
- Principles of drug addiction treatment: A research-based guide. (2012, December)
- Suboxone – buprenorphine hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride tablet. (2012, October 12)
- Suboxone – buprenorphine hydrochloride, naloxone hydrocholoride film, soluble. (2016, June)
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA Talk Paper, T02-38, October 8, 2002, Subutex and Suboxone approved to treat opiate dependence
- Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Clinical Guidelines for the Use of Buprenorphine in the Treatment of Opioid Addiction. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 40. DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 04-3939. Rockville, Md: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2004.
- Walsh SL, Eissenberg T. The clinical pharmacology of buprenorphine: extrapolating from the laboratory to the clinic. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2003;70(suppl 2):S13-S27