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Common Side Effects of Suboxone

a person consoles a woman sitting down after they both discussed the side effects of suboxone

If you have been diagnosed with an opioid or heroin use disorder or an alcohol use disorder, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) may have been recommended. Suboxone is one of the core medications used for MAT. Like many prescription medications, Suboxone can cause unwanted side effects. MD M.A.T.T. maintains a Suboxone treatment clinic in Baltimore, MD. For questions about Suboxone and the side effects of Suboxone or MAT, contact MD M.A.T.T. at 410.469.6561 today.

What Is Suboxone Used for?

Suboxone is the brand name for a medication that combines buprenorphine and naloxone. It is a prescription medication that is most commonly used to help manage the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. It may also treat severe alcohol use disorder. Suboxone is available in tablet form or as a sublingual film.

Buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist. That means it produces a mild sensation of euphoria but one that is much weaker than most other opioids. It diminishes physical dependence on opioid drugs, and because it doesn’t produce a true “high,” buprenorphine has a lower potential for abuse.

So what is Suboxone used for? Naloxone, a component of Suboxone, is a life-saving medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. It blocks the effects of opioids by attaching to the brain’s opioid receptors. Naloxone is included in medication-assisted treatment to prevent death if a patient should relapse and accidentally overdose. The combined components of Suboxone ease withdrawal symptoms, lessen cravings for heroin and other opioids and reduce the risk of fatal overdose.

What Are the Side Effects of Suboxone?

Before being prescribed Suboxone as part of a medication-assisted treatment program, patients receive a thorough health evaluation to ensure they are good candidates for this medication.

Patients must abstain from alcohol while taking Suboxone and follow all medication directions precisely as given. Frequent blood tests and medical monitoring may be necessary. Some of the side effects of Suboxone include:

  • Feeling light-headed, fainting
  • Confusion
  • Weakness in the limbs
  • Loss of coordination
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Liver problems, including jaundice
  • Stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Numbness inside the mouth
  • Headache, backache
  • Insomnia
  • Flu-like symptoms (shivering, sweating, nausea, body aches)
  • Allergic reaction (hives, swelling of the face, lips, or throat)

Most people experience only mild side effects if any. However, if you experience unwanted side effects, speak to your prescribing doctor as soon as possible. Do not stop taking Suboxone without a supervised tapering-off protocol in place.

Mixing other medications with Suboxone—even some over-the-counter medications—can be dangerous. Speak with your doctor about all your medications, including supplements, migraine, and sleep medicine.

How Is Suboxone Used in MAT?

Medication-assisted treatment combines individual therapy, group therapy, peer support, skill building, and other modalities with FDA-approved Suboxone to provide whole-person rehab care. When taken as directed, Suboxone eliminates cravings, and cravings for heroin are what put patients at risk for relapse.

Suboxone may be used during different stages of treatment or as a long-term solution for managing an opioid use disorder. Patients who have been prescribed Suboxone as part of their treatment plan must be closely monitored to avoid any additional health risks. Suboxone is most effective when in a comprehensive treatment program that addresses all the elements of substance use disorder.

MD M.A.T.T. Offers MAT Programming that Includes Suboxone

Are you trying to break the cycle of opioid addiction but need more support? Medication-assisted treatment with Suboxone may provide the additional empowerment you need to stop using heroin or other opioids for good. Contact MD M.A.T.T. today at 410.469.6561 to learn more about how MAT can help you meet your wellness goals and support long-term addiction recovery.