Suboxone is one of the most common drugs prescribed to help treat opioid addiction. Who is it for? What does it consist of? Are there side effects? These are some of things we’ll look at and more.
To start, Suboxone is the name of the prescription drug itself. This prescription drug consists of two parts: buprenorphine and naloxone. Suboxone helps ease the symptoms of withdrawal, particularly the harsh and violent symptoms caused by short-acting opioids like heroin and painkillers.
The first part of Suboxone is buprenorphine, which is a opioid partial agonist. As a partial agonist, it still activates opioid receptors in the brain, producing effects similar to other stronger opioids, like euphoria and respiratory depression – but to a much lesser degree than a full agonist. This helps to keep a person physically and emotionally stable as they begin the addiction recovery process.
Some side effects of buprenorphine include constipation, headache, sweating, drowsiness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, skin rashes and hives.
The other part of Suboxone is naloxone. While buprenorphine is an opioid agonist, naloxone is an opioid antagonist.
As an antagonist, it attaches to opioid receptors in the brain and then blocks and reverses the effects of opioids on a person’s nervous system.
Naloxone is primarily used to help prevent the person from becoming addicted to Suboxone itself.
There are three main benefits to Suboxone compared to other medication-assisted treatments:
It has been found that with Suboxone, patients are more likely to continue treatment after started, as well as finish the program they started. Both of these lead to greater overall outcomes.
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