What Else You Need To Know About Suboxone/Subutex?

What Else You Need To Know About Suboxone/Subutex?
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Alabama Clinics provides substance-abuse-treatment program for opioid dependence and pain medications dependence. Please check the link to read more about the substance-abuse recovery program. This article provides a checklist for the people who are interested to start the Suboxone/Subutex program.

Suboxone is a prescription medication that combines buprenorphine and naloxone. It’s used to treat opioid addiction. (Heroin and narcotic painkillers are common opioid drugs.)

Buprenorphine belongs to a class of drugs called opioid partial agonists, which help relieve symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Naloxone is in a class of drugs called opioid antagonists, which reverse the effects of narcotics.

This combination drug is used as part of a treatment program that typically includes counseling, lifestyle changes, and other interventions.

Suboxone Warnings

Suboxone can slow down or stop your breathing. You should never take larger doses of this medication than your doctor prescribes.

Do not take antidepressants, sedatives, narcotic painkillers, sleeping pills, or tranquilizers while taking Suboxone.

Before taking Suboxone, tell your doctor if you have or have ever had:

  • Benign prostatic hypertrophy (enlarged prostate)
  • Adrenal problems, such as Addison’s disease
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Any type of lung or breathing problem
  • A head injury
  • Hallucinations
  • A curve in the spine that makes it hard to breathe
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Stomach conditions
  • Kidney, liver, thyroid, or lung disease

Before taking this drug, tell your doctor if you drink large amounts of alcohol. Also, alert your physician if you are having surgery (including dental procedures) while taking Suboxone.

Suboxone may cause lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. To avoid this problem, you should get out of bed slowly, sitting up and resting your feet on the floor before standing up.

Be sure to keep all appointments with your physician and the laboratory while taking Suboxone. Your doctor will likely order tests to check your response to the medicine.

The ‘Suboxone High’ and Abuse

Suboxone may be habit-forming. You should never share Suboxone with another person, especially if that person has a history of drug abuse or addiction.

Selling or giving away Suboxone is illegal and potentially dangerous.

Suboxone Withdrawal

You should not stop taking Suboxone without first talking to your doctor. Stopping this medication too quickly can cause withdrawal symptoms.

Pregnancy and Suboxone

Suboxone is an FDA Pregnancy Category C drug, which means it is not known whether it will harm an unborn baby. This medicine may cause breathing problems, behavior changes, or life-threatening addiction or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if taken during pregnancy.

You should tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before taking Suboxone.

The medicine can also pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breastfeed while taking Suboxone.

Suboxone Side Effects

Common Side Effects of Suboxone

You should tell your doctor if any of the following side effects become severe or do not go away:

  • Stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

Serious Side Effects of Suboxone

You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects:

  • Itching, skin rash, or hives
  • Difficulty breathing or slowed breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Upset stomach
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low energy
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Pain in the upper right part of the stomach
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes

Suboxone Interactions

You should tell your doctor about all prescription, non-prescription, illegal, and recreational drugs; herbal remedies; and nutritional or dietary supplements you’re taking, especially:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol and others)
  • Iron products
  • Medications for anxiety, mental illness, and seizures
  • Antifungals, such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), and ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • Cholesterol-lowering medications (statins)
  • Cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • Clarithromycin (Biaxin)
  • Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune)
  • Danazol (Danocrine)
  • Delavirdine (Rescriptor)
  • Dexamethasone (Decadron)
  • Diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac)
  • Erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin)
  • Ethosuximide (Zarontin)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, and others)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  • HIV drugs called protease inhibitors, such as indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), and ritonavir (Norvir)
  • Isoniazid (INH, Nydrazid)
  • Methotrexate (Rheumatrex)
  • Metronidazole (Flagyl)
  • Nefazodone (Serzone)
  • Niacin (nicotinic acid)
  • Oral contraceptives (birth control pills)
  • Phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton)
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • Rifabutin (Mycobutin)
  • Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane)
  • Troglitazone (Rezulin)
  • Troleandomycin (Tao)
  • Verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan)
  • Zafirlukast (Accolate)

Suboxone and Alcohol

Consuming alcohol while taking Suboxone can increase the risk of breathing difficulties and may lead to complete cessation of breathing and death. You should talk to your doctor about this interaction, and refrain from using alcohol while taking Suboxone.

Suboxone and Other Interactions

Suboxone may make you drowsy. You should exercise caution when driving or operating machinery.

Suboxone Dosage

Suboxone comes as a sublingual tablet or film to take under the tongue. It is usually taken once a day.

You should place the tablet under the tongue until it dissolves in two to 10 minutes. If you are taking more two or more tablets, place them all under your tongue at the same time, or two at a time.

Don’t swallow the tablets whole or chew them.

Your doctor may start you on a low dose of buprenorphine alone (Subutex) and increase your dose for several days before switching you to Suboxone for maintenance. Your physician may increase or decrease your dose until the medication works for you.

Suboxone Overdose

Symptoms of an overdose may include the following:

  • Slow heartbeat
  • Anxiety, tension, and irritability
  • Feel sleepy and uncoordinated
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Stomach pain

If you suspect an overdose, you should contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. You can get in touch with a poison control center at (800) 222-1222.

Missed Dose of Suboxone

If you miss a dose of Suboxone, take it as soon as you remember.

However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on your regular dosing schedule. Don’t double up on doses to make up for a missed one.