Suboxone is most often prescribed for to help make it easier to get rid of opiates in the system. It can help to ease withdrawal symptoms and makes them easier to tolerate. When a doctor treats drug abuse, he or she will first evaluate the addict to determine if the need for Suboxone is present. Then, this medication will only be given when the symptoms begin to taper off or giving it too early can have the opposite effect than what is intended.
How it works
Suboxone is made up of naloxone and buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is the opiate component of this medication. It is called a "partial" opiate agonist. Agonists work to stimulate the receptor for opiates within the brain. Since the buprenorphine is only a partially an agonist, it will stimulate the receptors for opiates about 50% of other opiates. When all of these receptors become filled with buprenorphine, maximum stimulation with the opiate is achieved. Most people experience this while taking about 16 to 24 milligrams of Suboxone daily.
It is possible to experience secondary effects such as weakness, drowsiness, constipation, dizziness, nausea, headache and vomiting while taking Suboxone. If these side effects continue or become worse, tell your health care provider or pharmacist right away. Many people that take this medication do not notice any serious secondary effects, but you should talk to your doctor right away if you experience any of the following serious side effects: mood changes such as depression, shallow or slow breathing, abdominal or stomach pain.
Talk to your health care provider right away if you have any of the following: yellowing of the skin or eyes, trouble or changes with vision, or dark urine. It is unlikely that you will suffer an allergic reaction to this medication but symptoms might include: severe dizziness, itching or swelling, rash, or problems breathing. Withdrawal symptoms from narcotics often include severe mood or mental changes that include problems sleeping, anxiety and irritability; shakiness and muscle stiffness. If you experience these symptoms seek medical attention right away.
You should not stop, start or change your dosage of this or any medication without talking to your health care provider first. Before you take this medicine talk to your doctor about all of the medications both nonprescription and prescription that you might be taking. This is especially true of MAOIs, medications which decrease the metabolism in the liver, sedatives such as diazepam or lorazepam; local anesthetics. When Suboxone has been misused, there have been deaths. The risk increases when it is taken in conjunction with benzodiazepines and other narcotics or alcohol.
Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, Inc. manufactures the brand name Suboxone. The patents on the tablet form of this medication have expired, but at this time there are no generic forms of this medication available. At this time, it looks like there will be exclusivity rights that prevent the drug from being manufactured in a generic form.