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What is Suboxone? 4 Facts Every Patient Should Know

Suboxone is a combination medication that is commonly used to treat opioid addiction. It contains Buprenorphine and Naloxone. It is an opioid antagonist used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction. Suboxone has proven to reduce the risk of fatal overdose through opioid addiction by about 50%. It has also reduced the risk of medically dangerous and traumatic non-fatal overdoses. The Mcshin Foundation – Suboxone in Richmond lists important facts about Suboxone that you must know before taking it.

Important Facts about Suboxone That You Must Know

Having read about Suboxone, you may have several questions, like how it works, whether it has any side effects, can anyone use it, and so on. Below are four essential facts about Suboxone that can help you understand the medication better and make informed decisions.

Suboxone Blocks the Opioid Effect

The Buprenorphine in Suboxone binds itself to the opioid receptors in the brain. As a result, it satisfies cravings without producing any strong feelings of euphoria or significant respiratory depression, which are the immediate effects of opioid receptors. It also prevents other opioids like oxycodone and heroin from binding to the receptors. These opioids, called opioid agonists, typically release endorphins that mimic pleasure, activate a pain-blocking receptor in your brain, and alter your perception of pain. This entire cycle is called the opioid effect. Suboxone negates these effects, helps manage cravings, and reduces withdrawal symptoms.

Suboxone is Less Habit-Forming Than Methadone

Suboxone has been developed to fight opioid addiction and has a far lower risk of dependency than Methadone. Its side effects are also less severe and are more physical than mental. As a result, most doctors have preferred Suboxone over Methadone since the early 2000s.

The Medication Comes in Two Forms

Suboxone was created to be easy for patients to take during recovery. As a result, it comes in both a tablet and sublingual form. Both of these forms of Suboxone dissolve in your mouth and offer the same results. The tablets may be less expensive and less discreet than film. The film, however, can help patients reduce their dose gradually. It can be taken in smaller and smaller amounts when weaning off the medication completely.

Suboxone is Just One Part of Opioid Addiction Recovery.

While medication-assisted treatment is a great option for opioid addiction treatment, it shouldn’t be the only aspect of your recovery plan. A complete MAT plan should combine a doctor-monitored medication regimen, substance abuse counseling, and regular primary care to help your body and mind fight the addiction. As a result, though highly effective, Suboxone is just one part of the opioid addiction treatment program and should be combined with other therapies. Sometimes, it may not be the right option for certain patients. Therefore, you must consult your addiction treatment specialist and make an informed decision about your treatment plan before starting suboxone treatment.

Benefits of Using Suboxone to Treat Opioid Addiction

There are several benefits of using Suboxone to treat opioid addiction. Some of them are:

  • Unlike other medication-assisted treatments, Suboxone doesn’t cause feelings of euphoria or intense happiness and excitement. It also blocks the effects of other opioids for at least 24 hours and suppresses opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
  • It can be combined with counseling, education, and other supportive therapies that focus on the behavioral aspects of opioid addiction.
  • It has a success rate of 40-60%
  • It has long-lasting effects and, as a result, can be taken only once a day.

Disadvantages of Using Suboxone

While Suboxone is highly beneficial in the treatment of opioid addiction, it has a few disadvantages and side effects:

  • It can cause chills, headaches, drowsiness, rhinitis, constipation, insomnia, pain, fatigue, sweating, and a drop in blood pressure when you sit after standing for long.
  • It can lead to allergic reactions like rash, breathing difficulties, anaphylactic shock, and liver damage.
  • It can potentially be abused, though not as much as Methadone.
  • It may not be ideal for people with head injuries, pre-existing respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD, or acute abdominal conditions.
  • Abrupt discontinuation of the medication can lead to dependence and withdrawal.
  • It may interact with specific medications like HIV antiretrovirals and antifungals.
  • It can cause dizziness or sleepiness and impact your ability to operate machinery or drive.
  • It can lead to abnormal liver function tests.
  • It carries the risk of heart rhythm disorders at high dosages.
  • It cannot be changed with other brands of the same medicine combination.

If you feel Suboxone can help treat your opioid addiction, visit Mcshin Foundation. They are a non-profit, full-service recovery community organization that provides various recovery programs and addiction treatments, including a 28-day residential program, alcohol addiction treatment, and opioid addiction treatment.

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