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Learn About Suboxone

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. 

Buprenorphine

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.

Naloxone

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.

What Are the Benefits of Suboxone?

There are three main benefits to Suboxone compared to other medication-assisted treatments:

  1. Suboxone has a lower risk for abuse
  2. It has a higher success rate in the treatment of opioid dependence
  3. There is a greater accessibility for patients who need treatment and help

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. 

Information and Enrollment

You can seek information and begin the enrollment process by clicking on the ‘Make An Appointment’ button below. Once you have submitted the necessary information a member of the IHAT team will contact you to answer any questions you might have and to schedule your first appointment.

FAQ

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is the brand name prescription drug that contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Suboxone is used to treat narcotic (opiate) addiction.

What effect does Suboxone have?

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which means that it produces relatively weak opioid effects. This helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings without producing the full effects of other opioids – such as heroin, oxycodone, or methadone.

What are the common uses of Suboxone?

Suboxone is generally used in two ways: as an FDA-approved drug to treat opioid dependence as part of a comprehensive outpatient program (what IHAT does); and with inpatient detoxification programs. It is not approved to treat pain or depression but some studies have shown that patients treated with buprenorphine have exhibited some improvements in both.

What are the common side effects of Suboxone?

According to the manufacturer, some common side effects of Suboxone may include nausea and vomiting, headache, sweating, constipation, numbness in the mouth, dizziness and fainting, concentration problems, insomnia, back pain, and drowsiness.

What side effects does a partial opioid agonist have?

As a partial opioid agonist, Suboxone can cause respiratory depression – just like regular opioids. Respiratory depression is a condition where breathing becomes more shallow and slow, causing a lack of oxygen in the body. This is considered one of the more severe side effects of Suboxone, but is less common in lower doses and those under 60.

Are there behavioral or mental health side effects of Suboxone?

Suboxone may lead to nervousness, anxiety, or depression, and these effects should be monitored as they can potentially lead to an opioid relapse.

What are the two primary phases of Suboxone treatment?

People going through opioid dependence are generally treated in two phases: induction and maintenance. Induction begins when the effects of other opioids have begun to wear off and withdrawal symptoms present themselves. Maintenance is when Suboxone is used at a stable dosage for an extended period.

How long does Suboxone treatment last?

While treatment may vary for each individual, generally it may last anywhere from a few months to a year, largely depending on the severity of opioid addiction as well as individual factors. 

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