What is Suboxone & How Does it Work?
Suboxone is an opioid addiction treatment medicine (heroin, fentanyl, etc) used to also treat chronic pain. Suboxone contains two ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a pharmaceutical opioid that alleviates withdrawal symptoms and cravings without causing euphoria. You should feel “normal” at the proper dose. Suboxone contains naloxone to prevent individuals from injecting the pills. When taken by mouth, naloxone has no impact and does not make individuals sick even when they use it with other opioids. While some people believe that using Suboxone just replaces one substance with another, removing urges by taking medication as prescribed makes it simpler to reduce or quit the usage and focus of drugs.
How Does Suboxone Make You Feel?
- Suboxone is a tablet that has to dissolve under the tongue. Many people dislike its taste and find it causes gastrointestinal problems.
- Constipation, dryness in mouth, extreme sweating, and headaches are some of the other possible side effects.
- Suboxone is typically used on a daily basis. You may become ill if you skip a dosage or abruptly stop taking it.
- When people start the treatment, they need to go to the pharmacy every other day to acquire their medications, and they need to get themselves checked by a doctor or a nurse once or twice a week. They will usually visit a nurse or doctor less frequently as their therapy becomes more stable, and they will be given additional doses to take at home.
- People can choose when and if they wish to stop receiving therapy. The majority of people do better if they stick to their treatment plan for a minimum of 6 months and upon stability, they reduce it gradually.
How Can I Start My Suboxone Treatment?
Suboxone is a drug that may be given at a general practice office, an addiction clinic, or an emergency room. The drug is covered by Ontario Drug Benefits and most private insurance plans, and it is accessible at most pharmacies.
There are two primary methods of starting Suboxone:
- Starting with 2-4mg after waiting until the individual is in withdrawal. This allows the dose to be promptly increased to full impact. The doctor will inform the individual regarding the duration of the wait to take the first dosage after the individual had stopped using opioids 12 to 18 hours after the last usage (48 hours if fentanyl had been used).
- The individual must begin with a very low dose of Suboxone (0.5 mg, or 1/4 pill) while continuing to take your normal opiate. Then, gradually increase the dosage until one reaches the full dose. This method takes longer to reach a full dosage, but it is effective for patients who are having problems quitting opioid usage long enough to begin treatment. This is known as micro-dosing, and it is a newer method of starting Suboxone.
The medical team of an individual will help him/her to decide which way is most optimal and will give instructions on exactly when and how to start. Follow these instructions carefully is crucial, or the individual could end up feeling even worst.
Is Suboxone the Right Choice For Me?
- For those who wish to lessen or stop using opioids, Suboxone can assist with the cravings as well as symptoms of withdrawal.
- Suboxone offers a decreased risk of overdose and fewer side effects than Methadone.
- Both Suboxone and Methadone are safe to use while pregnant.
- Many people can get to a dose of Suboxone that works for them faster than they would with methadone.
- When Suboxone has been taken by an individual, it is better to avoid the usage of alcohol and other sedating drugs such as benzos.
What Happens If I Use Opioids While on Suboxone?
- An individual will not get sick taking another opioid while on Suboxone.
- Suboxone is a medication that can aid people in following ways who continue to take opioids:
- The individual won’t have to keep using their typical opioid to prevent from becoming sick since Suboxone will help in reducing the cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
- Whether or not an individual continues to use typical opioid, Suboxone reduces the chances of dying from an overdose.
Are There Any Other Things I Can Do To Protect Myself?
- Check for overdose symptoms such as pinpoint pupils, falling asleep, slowed or halted breathing, and blue skin around the lips or beneath the nails.
- Always have naloxone on hand.
- If you haven’t taken opioids in a few days, start with a considerably lower dose than usual.
- Check your medications before using them.
- Start with a test dosage if you can’t have your medicines examined.
- Never combine opioids with other drugs, especially alcohol or benzodiazepines.
- If the individual is used to injecting or smoking drugs, it is vital to replace all of the supplies, that involve sterilized cookers and filters, disinfected water, mouthpieces, bowls, and screens, continuously. The local harm reduction program can provide you with supplies.