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Suboxone, a combination medication containing buprenorphine and naloxone, is one of the main medications used to treat opioid addiction.
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What is Suboxone? | Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg
Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) is a brand-name prescription drug. It’s used to treat dependence on opioid drugs.
Suboxone comes as an oral film that’s placed under your tongue (sublingual) or between your gums and cheek (buccal). The film dissolves in your mouth.
Suboxone contains two drugs in each film: buprenorphine and naloxone. It’s available in four strengths:
- 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
Studies show that Suboxone is effective for reducing opioid misuse. It’s also effective for keeping people with opioid dependence in treatment over a period of 24 weeks. (How well a drug such as Suboxone performs is partly assessed based on how long people stay in treatment.). Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Is Suboxone a controlled substance? | Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg
Yes, Suboxone is a controlled substance. It’s classified as a schedule three (III) prescription drug. This means that it has an accepted medical use, but it may cause physical or psychological dependence and may be abused. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
The government has created special rules for how schedule III drugs can be prescribed by a doctor and dispensed by a pharmacist. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more.
Doctors can only prescribe this drug for opioid dependence after receiving special training and certification through the U.S. federal government.
Suboxone is a brand-name drug that contains two ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone.
Suboxone is also available in a generic version. The generic version comes in two forms: an oral film and an oral tablet. Both the film and the tablet are sublingual forms, which means you place them under your tongue to dissolve. The film can also be placed between your gums and cheek to dissolve (buccal). Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Suboxone can cause mild or serious side effects. The following list contains some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Suboxone. This list does not include all possible side effects.
For more information on the possible side effects of Suboxone, or tips on how to deal with a troubling side effect, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
More common side effects
The more common side effects of Suboxone include:
- opioid withdrawal symptoms, such as body aches, abdominal cramps, and rapid heart rate
- insomnia (trouble sleeping)
- weakness or fatigue
- back pain
- burning tongue
- redness in the mouth
Some of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Suboxone aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Serious side effects can include the following:
- severe allergic reaction
- abuse and dependence
- breathing problems
- hormone problems (adrenal insufficiency)
- liver damage
- severe withdrawal symptoms
See below for information about each serious side effect.
Severe allergic reaction
Serious allergic reactions including anaphylaxis can occur in some people who take Suboxone. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include:
- trouble breathing
- skin rash or hives
- swelling of the lips, tongue, throat
If you have an allergic reaction to this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
Abuse and dependence
Suboxone has opioid effects, and long-term use can lead to physical and psychological dependence. Suboxone dependence can cause drug-craving and drug-seeking behavior, which may lead to misuse or abuse. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Abuse can cause overdose and dangerous side effects, including death. This is especially true if Suboxone is used along with other opioids, alcohol, benzodiazepines (such as Ativan, Valium, or Xanax), or other drugs. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
If you’re physically dependent on Suboxone and abruptly stop taking it, you could have mild withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, headache, and muscle aches. These symptoms can be avoided by slowly tapering the dose of the medication before completely stopping. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Breathing problems and coma
Taking high doses of Suboxone can cause severe breathing problems, coma, and death.
These effects are more likely to occur when Suboxone is misused or abused. They’re also more likely when Suboxone is used together with other drugs such as opioids, alcohol, or benzodiazepines (such as Ativan, Valium, or Xanax). Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Breathing problems are also more likely to occur in people who already have a breathing problem, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Some people who take opioids such as Suboxone for several weeks can have reduced cortisol hormone levels. This condition is called adrenal insufficiency. Symptoms can include:
- loss of appetite
- fatigue and weakness
- low blood pressure
Both mild and severe liver damage has occurred in people taking Suboxone. In some cases, this may have been due to a hepatitis infection or other causes. However, in other cases, Suboxone may have been the cause. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
During your treatment with Suboxone, your doctor may do blood tests to check your liver function. If you have symptoms of liver damage, you may need to stop taking Suboxone. Symptoms of liver damage can include:
- stomach pain
- yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
Severe withdrawal symptoms
Suboxone contains naloxone. It’s included in Suboxone solely to help prevent abuse of the medication. Because of this ingredient, you could have severe withdrawal symptoms if you abuse Suboxone. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which means it blocks the effects of opioid drugs. If you’re dependent on other opioids and you use Suboxone as an injection to shoot up, it will block the effects of any opioids in your system. This could lead to immediate opioid withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
But using the Suboxone film in your cheek or under your tongue won’t cause these severe withdrawal symptoms. That’s because the film doesn’t release as much naloxone into your system.
However, using the film could cause withdrawal symptoms if it’s taken while you still have other opioids in your system. That’s why it’s meant to be used only after the effects of opioids begin to wear off and you start to have withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Avoiding withdrawal symptoms
Suboxone should only be used with short-acting opioids. This is because use with long-acting opioids will cause increased withdrawal symptoms. Short-acting opioids include heroin, codeine, morphine, and oxycodone (Oxycontin, Roxicodone). Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Also, when used for induction treatment (see “How Suboxone works” below), Suboxone should be used under your tongue rather than in your cheek. When you use Suboxone film in your cheek, your body absorbs more naloxone, and withdrawal symptoms are more likely. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Long-term side effects
Suboxone is often used long-term for maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. Long-term use of Suboxone may increase the risk of certain side effects, such as:
- hormone problems such as adrenal insufficiency
- liver damage
- abuse and dependence
Taking any opioid medication long-term, including Suboxone, can cause physical dependence. But long-term use of Suboxone can make it easier to stop abusing other opioids by reducing severe withdrawal and drug cravings.
When it comes time to stop taking Suboxone, your doctor will have you slowly taper off the medication to prevent withdrawal.
Constipation is a common side effect of Suboxone. In one study, constipation occurred in about 12 percent of people taking Suboxone. If this side effect doesn’t go away or becomes severe, talk with your doctor. Your doctor may recommend treatment to relieve and prevent constipation.
Headache is a common side effect of Suboxone. In one study, headache occurred in about 36 percent of people taking Suboxone. This side effect may go away with continued use of the drug.
Weight loss or weight gain
Weight gain or weight loss are not side effects that have been reported in studies of Suboxone. However, some people who take Suboxone have reported having weight gain. It’s not known if Suboxone was the cause.
Rash is not a common side effect of Suboxone. However, some people who take Suboxone may get a rash if they have an allergic reaction to the drug. The most common symptoms of an allergic reaction to Suboxone are rash or hives and itchy skin.
If you have a rash while taking Suboxone, talk with your doctor. You may need a different treatment. (If you also have other symptoms, such as swelling of your face or trouble breathing, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. This could be a serious allergic reaction. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.)
Sweating is a common side effect of Suboxone. In a study, sweating occurred in about 14 percent of people taking Suboxone. This side effect may go away with continued use of the drug.
Hair loss is not a side effect that has been reported in studies of Suboxone. However, some people who take Suboxone have reported having hair loss. It’s not known if Suboxone was the cause.
Insomnia (trouble sleeping) is a common side effect of Suboxone. In one study, insomnia occurred in about 14 percent of people taking Suboxone. This side effect may go away with continued use of the drug.
Suboxone can impair your ability to drive. If you feel lightheaded or sleepy after taking it, don’t drive. Also, don’t use dangerous equipment.
Brain damage is not a side effect that has been reported in people taking Suboxone.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Although this medication is used to prevent withdrawal reactions, it may rarely cause opioid withdrawal symptoms (see also How to Use section). This is more likely to happen when you first start treatment or if you have been using long-acting opioids such as methadone. If such symptoms occur, tell your doctor or pharmacist right away.
Severe (possibly fatal) breathing problems can occur, especially if this medication is abused, injected, or mixed with other depressants (such as alcohol, benzodiazepines including diazepam, other opioids). Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: interrupted breathing during sleep (sleep apnea), signs of your adrenal glands not working well (such as unusual tiredness, weight loss). Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, mental/mood changes (such as agitation, confusion, hallucinations), slow/shallow breathing, unusual drowsiness/difficulty waking up. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
This drug may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of liver damage, including: dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting/loss of appetite, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to buprenorphine or naloxone; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: brain disorders (such as head injury, tumor, seizures), breathing problems (such as asthma, sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease–COPD), liver disease, mental/mood disorders (such as confusion, depression, thoughts of suicide), stomach/intestinal problems (such as blockage, constipation, diarrhea due to infection, paralytic ileus), difficulty urinating (such as due to enlarged prostate).
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis). Alcohol increases your risk for serious, possibly fatal, breathing problems. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Buprenorphine may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using buprenorphine, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death). Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/”water pills“) or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using buprenorphine safely. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness, slow/shallow breathing, and QT prolongation (see above).
Before using this medication, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the risks and benefits. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may slightly increase the risk of birth defects if used during the first two months of pregnancy. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Also, using it for a long time or in high doses near the expected delivery date may harm the unborn baby. To lessen the risk, use the smallest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Tell the doctor right away if you notice any symptoms in your newborn baby such as slow/shallow breathing, irritability, abnormal/persistent crying, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Buprenorphine passes into breast milk. It is unknown if naloxone passes into breast milk. This product may rarely have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Tell the doctor right away if your baby develops unusual sleepiness, difficulty feeding, or trouble breathing. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
The risk of serious side effects (such as slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness/dizziness) may be increased if this medication is used with other products that may also affect breathing or cause drowsiness. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products such as alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), and other opioid pain relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone). Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Deaths have occurred when this medication has been misused by injecting it (“shooting up”), especially when used in combination with benzodiazepines (such as diazepam) or other depressants such as alcohol or additional opioids. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, give them naloxone if available, then call 911. If the person is awake and has no symptoms, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: slow/shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, coma. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.
Do not share this medication with others. Sharing it is against the law.
Tell all of your doctors that you use this medication and have regularly used opioids, especially in cases of emergency treatment.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as liver function tests, urine drug screening) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store in a secure place at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. For more details, read the Medication Guide, or consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company. Suboxone doctors near me | Suboxone 8mg | Suboxone 8 mg.