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Suboxone for Opioid Use Disorder: Your Questions Answered

women caring for each other.

When someone you love has an opioid dependence, your life can become shattered. You want to help, but you don’t know how. Maybe it’s you who allowed yourself to use them for pain too often and too long after a surgery. Whatever your familiarity and relationship with opioids, you will be pleased to know about suboxone for opioid use disorder.

What Are Medication-Assisted Treatments?

Known as MAT, medication-assisted treatment has helped many who suffer with opioid use disorder. Until recently, only Methadone was prescribed. Now there is another great treatment called Suboxone, a combination of two drugs: buprenorphine and naloxone. They work chemically to reduce someone’s craving for the pleasure rush of opioids, and it eases withdrawal symptoms someone has when they stop taking opioids.

It can be prescribed by a specialist at Reliance Treatment Center of Statesboro. Let’s answer some common questions.

How Does Suboxone Work?

Suboxone blocks the opioid effect! This drug is part of a family of drugs called opioid antagonists.

This is the opposite of agonists like morphine, heroin, and oxycodone. When you use an agonist, it activates a pain blocking receptor in the brain, altering the perception of pain and releasing endorphins that mimic pleasure.

When you make an opioid antagonist like Suboxone part of your recovery, the medication will negate the effects of any opioid by preventing them from activating those pain receptors. This helps to manage cravings and reduce symptoms of withdrawal.

Your physician will tell you when to begin taking Suboxone.

Don’t miss doses or stop taking it, as you can go into withdrawal.

Take as soon as you remember, but don’t take a double dose. Do not use heavy machinery or equipment until you know how it affects you.

What Forms Does Suboxone Come In?

The generic counterpart of Suboxone is available in two forms: as a tablet or a thin film. Both are meant to go under the tongue to dissolve completely. The film can also go between your cheek and gums.

What Are the Side Effects?

There are a number of common side effects with this drug. If someone has trouble with any side effects, they should speak with a specialist with Reliance Treatment Center of Statesboro about how to deal with it.

Side effects for Suboxone include:

  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Back pain
  • Sweating
  • Depression
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Burning sensation in the mouth or tongue
  • Redness in the mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Typical withdrawal symptoms like body aches, cramps, and rapid heart rate

One severe side effect known as respiratory depression causes shallow breathing and a drop in oxygen levels in the blood. If the person becomes unresponsive or sleepy, becomes dizzy or lightheaded, and has slow or labored breathing, call 911 or go to an emergency room.

Some Additional Facts and Warnings

Do not take Suboxone with alcohol, sedatives, sleep medications, or prescription medications with opioids contained in them like cough syrups.

Suboxone is covered by most insurance plans.

Suboxone is safe to use during breastfeeding.

People with liver disease should not take Suboxone.

Don’t give up. MAT is not the only element of an opioid disorder recovery plan. The specialists with Reliance Treatment Center of Statesboro help create a complete and personalized MAT plan combined with a monitored med regimen, substance abuse counseling, and regular primary care will put you on a positive road to recovery.

If you think Suboxone for opioid use disorder and a MAT program might be right for you, contact Reliance Treatment Center of Statesboro at (912) 489-7827, or request an appointment through our secure online form.