What is Suboxone?
According to the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000, also known as DATA, Suboxone is the recommended treatment for people who have diagnosed as dependent on or addicted to opioids. It generally comes in the form of a tablet or film that is administered sublingually (under the tongue). It works by easing the withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with opioid dependency.
The active ingredient in Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist called buprenorphine, which causes some of the effects of full opioids, though with less intensity than actual opioids like heroin, hydrocodone, methadone, or oxycodone. Because of this, it can be used to help reduce the withdrawal systems associated with those drugs. (Buprenorphine is discussed elsewhere on this site.)
Also contained in Suboxone is a substance called naloxone, which blocks the effect of Suboxone, except when the former is introduced into the body via injection, in which case it also blocks the effects of buprenorphine, rendering the treatment useless. It is for this reason that Suboxone is generally prescribed for oral, sublingual use.
It should be noted that Suboxone can only be used when withdrawal symptoms are active; early administration of the drug can actually exacerbate symptoms and cause the patient to experience a setback in their addiction recovery.
Despite the fact that Suboxone is meant for patients who are in the maintenance phase of their recovery from opioid dependence, the drug itself is also addictive. For this reason, it should only be used under the close supervision of a doctor who specializes in addiction therapy and is knowledgeable about the drug. Generally speaking, patients must be weaned off it, rather than asked to stop "cold turkey," as that can trigger the return of withdrawal symptoms.As with most opioid drugs, there are side effects associated with Suboxone. Some patients may experience flu-like symptoms, including chills, headaches and nausea. Others may suffer extreme perspiration, experience mood swings or have trouble sleeping. More serious side effects of Suboxone include diminished respiration, low blood pressure, cold and clammy skin, weakness or fainting, and, in extreme cases, even coma. Suboxone must never be mixed with sleeping pills, sedatives, antihistamines, or alcohol, as all of these substances increase the risk of severe side effects. If you believe you are a good candidate for Suboxone treatment, please speak to a drug addiction counselor or your regular physician as soon as possible.
If I take a pain pill now while tapering off suboxone will it help even though I do n not feel the high effect? I dont want to go back to pain pills but I feel out of control and sleepy and mood swing crazy and I am on a 2-4mg dose. today I am starting a dose of 1. I am so afraid of side effects, depression being the main one as that is the reason I was addicted to pain meds.pils in the first place.