Is Suboxone Safe?

Suboxone is a sublingual film consisting of Buprenorphine and Naloxone that is on the rise as becoming the top medication used in opioid dependence treatment. Opioid use has been an epidemic in the United States for years and as continued use of opioids continues to cause long-term damage to consumers, taking Suboxone has shown to be successful in reversing the effects of heroin, OxyContin, and other abuse opiates. However, there are addiction treatment medications that in turn can become addictive over long periods of use. How does Suboxone compare? Is Suboxone the right medication for you?

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a commonly administered medication that may be recommended for opioid addiction treatment by your healthcare provider. Most often is prescribed as a sublingual film, this means it dissolves under the tongue. Although uncommon, it may be prescribed in tablet form. Suboxone – buprenorphine and naloxone – can be prescribed in 4 different doses:

  • 2 mg buprenorphine/ 0.5 mg naloxone
  • 4 mg buprenorphine/ 1 mg naloxone
  • 8 mg buprenorphine/ 2 mg naloxone
  • 12 mg buprenorphine/ 3 mg naloxone

Over recent years, studies have concluded that taking Suboxone is an effective method for treating opioid dependence. Your healthcare provider or a Suboxone Clinic will most likely utilize this drug as a part of your drug addiction treatment plan. Suboxone can help alleviate painful withdrawal symptoms from opioid cessation, curb cravings and other side-effects, and aid in your sustained, long-term recovery. Over the course of 24-weeks to a year, you can experience the freedom of being addiction free while under the guidance and instruction of a medical professional.

What is in Suboxone?

Suboxone contains two ingredients: Buprenorphine and Naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist which acts as a preventative aid in treating the side-effects of discontinued opioid use. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist which works against the effects of opioids in the body.

Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) can significantly reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings by triggering opioid receptors in the brain while also reducing the effects opioids have on the body.

What is Buprenorphine?

Buprenorphine is the active ingredient in Suboxone. As stated above, it is a partial opioid agonist. Although an opioid, it does not take the full effect on the brain as similar drugs such as heroin or even Methadone. Due to the reduced effects, Buprenorphine is less likely to cause painful side effects like respiratory depression or euphoria. Buprenorphine reacts more quickly than most opiates which allows for it to latch onto the brain’s opioid receptors before opposing drugs can react within the body. If administered properly, Buprenorphine can aid in the sobriety of opioid addicts by tricking the brain into believing it is receiving a full dose of harmful opiates – reducing withdrawal symptoms which allows for a safer detox.

Is Suboxone Bad For You?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that many of those suffering  from heroin addiction (approx. 23%) are also addicted to opioids. With these statistics there are also common treatment plans that coincide with treatments for heroin addiction. Suboxone has become the most common choice in fighting opioid dependence disorder (OUD). As studies are continuing to be performed on the effectiveness of Suboxone in treating addiction, there are a few factors that require attention in order to determine how safe it can be.

However, unless someone has any underlying, unknown conditions such as:

  • Use of other illegal drugs
  • Alcoholism
  • Taking additional medications for depression, anxiety, or respiratory issues

Suboxone is considered completely safe for treatment purposes. Buprenorphine/Naloxone runs a low risk of abuse and addiction while offering substantial benefits in suppressing withdrawal and cravings and long-term recovery.

How to take Suboxone:

Your healthcare provider, doctor, or pharmacist will help direct you on how to properly take Suboxone. By following the directions of a medical professional, you can ensure the safety of yourself and prevent potential overdose from occurring. If you need more information regarding the use of Suboxone, be sure to talk with your doctor before use.

Suboxone has the potential for misuse due to consisting of Buprenorphine. It is pertinent for your safety that you never misuse or share the drug – especially with anyone with a history of addiction. Misuse of Suboxone can lead to a physical dependence, overdose, or even death.

Sublingual Film Suboxone

If taking sublingual film Suboxone, ensure that your hands are dry when placing it under your tongue. Only ever place it under your tongue and wait for the film to dissolve. Never chew or swallow the film whole.

If your healthcare provider happens to change your medication during your treatment, the dose will most likely not be the same. This may occur during Suboxone tapering or if Suboxone is no longer necessary for your treatment. Talk with your doctor for more information regarding your medication change and how to properly take it.

If you are taking Suboxone as a part of your opioid dependence treatment, never cease taking the medication without seeking medical advice. Quitting Suboxone unexpectedly can result in minor, yet uncomfortable side-effects. Talk with your doctor if you are interested in tapering off of Suboxone before doing so on your own.

Tablet Suboxone

If taking Suboxone as a tablet, do so as instructed by your doctor. Never crush or break the pill into separate parts. Inhaling, injecting, or misuse of Suboxone pills can cause life-threatening side-effects.

You should store Suboxone in its proper container at room temperature and avoid any humid or hot environments. Once ingested, discard its container properly to keep out of reach of children and animals.

While taking Suboxone, keep track with how it affects your body. If you are experiencing any side-effects, be sure to contact your doctor for more information and whether or not you should stop using it.

If your treatment with Suboxone has come to an end, safely dispose of any additional medication you have left to prevent misuse. It is best to discuss disposal with your pharmacist in order to do so properly.

How Long Should Someone Take Suboxone?

Taking Suboxone for extended periods of time can be both harmful and beneficial to the patient. The time it takes to complete treatment, the progress you have made, and medication tapering programs will determine how long you will remain on the drug. In order to prevent certain symptoms, short-term use of Suboxone is recommended. Long-term use of Suboxone will depend on your personal battle with addiction and which treatment plan your doctor determines is right for you.

Most cases of Suboxone treatment require patients to have the drug take part in their addiction treatment program from anywhere between 6 months to a year. Although it is uncommon for our clients to remain on Suboxone for more than a year, it is a possibility. If you are concerned about whether or not Suboxone is the right medication for you, contact your local medical professional or contact us at Freedom Now to learn more information on how Suboxone is used, whether you will experience any withdrawal symptoms while taking the medication, or any additional concerns you may have. All in all, Suboxone has shown effective, safe results in treating opioid addiction.

Contact us today to see if Suboxone is the right medication for you.

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