Beating an opioid addiction is one of the toughest battles anyone can face.  The cravings, the withdrawal, the guilt, and the shame – it’s a vicious cycle that can suck the life right out of you. But what if we told you there’s a key that could help you break free from those chains once and for all? A key that allows you to get your life back on track and become the person you were always meant to be? That key is called Suboxone. 

It’s a combination of two powerful drugs that work together to treat the physical and psychological aspects of opioid addiction. 

The road to recovery is never easy. But with this key in your arsenal, you’ll have a powerful ally by your side. One that can assist you in defeating the addiction’s demons and taking back the life you deserve. So, if you or someone you care about is hurting, read on. 

What Is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a medicine used to treat opioid dependence, which includes heroin and morphine addiction. Adults and teenagers over 15 who consent to addiction therapy are prescribed it. Buprenorphine and naloxone, which are found in suboxone, can lessen cravings and the symptoms associated with stopping other opioids.

Suboxone comes as a film that dissolves under the tongue or inside the cheek. A doctor with experience treating opioid addiction must prescribe and supervise its use. Only certain pharmacists can dispense it due to its potential for misuse.

The dosage depends on each patient’s situation. When starting treatment, the film goes under the tongue. Once stable, it can also dissolve in the cheek. The initial dose is usually 4mg of buprenorphine and 1mg of naloxone. 

The doctor may adjust the dose based on the patient’s response, not exceeding 24mg daily. After stabilization, the maintenance dose may gradually decrease to eventual withdrawal from treatment.

A liver function test is done before and during treatment due to Suboxone’s processing in the liver. Lower starting doses are recommended for mild to moderate liver impairment. For treatment to be effective, medical, social, and psychological support must also be provided alongside Suboxone. 

Updated Prescribing Guidelines and Dosage Adjustments for Suboxone

The main indication for suboxone treatment is opioid use disorder (OUD). It functions by lessening withdrawal symptoms and cravings in individuals attempting to give up addictive opioids like heroin or prescription medications.

The medication has recently revised its prescribing recommendations. Healthcare providers are now advised to also prescribe naloxone due to the risk of overdose if a patient relapses on opioids. For those dependent on short-acting opioids, the initial Suboxone dose was lowered to a maximum of 8 mg/2 mg on the first day of withdrawal.

When taken exactly as prescribed, Suboxone has a low overdose potential due to its “ceiling effect.” This means increasing the dose beyond a certain point does not increase its opioid effects. 

However, misusing Suboxone by injecting, taking higher than prescribed amounts, mixing with alcohol or sedatives, or using too soon after other opioids increases risks. Doing so could cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms or potentially lead to overdose in rare cases.

It’s important for patients prescribed Suboxone to take it as directed under a doctor’s supervision. They should also continue receiving any necessary counseling or addiction support services for the medication to be safely and effectively used in treating OUD. Consulting with the prescriber is also recommended if any side effects occur.

Benefits of Suboxone Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Suboxone treatment offers many advantages compared to other options like methadone. It is less likely to cause overdoses since Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist rather than a full agonist like methadone. 

Additionally, Suboxone contains naloxone, which prevents abuse by injection and discourages misuse. When taken as prescribed under the tongue, Suboxone fills opioid receptors to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms safely.

Another benefit is accessibility and privacy. Patients can receive monthly prescriptions from their doctor to take at home rather than having to visit a clinic daily. This allows individuals to maintain responsibilities while receiving effective treatment privately. Support is provided through a convenient medication regime.

Research also shows Suboxone has high success rates. The partial agonist effects and deterrent properties help users stay in treatment programs more easily. Gradual dosage tapers can then be used after an extended recovery period.

Finally, Suboxone treatment tends to be very cost-effective. Insurance frequently covers the medication costs, and generics are available. Payment plans further increase affordability. For many addicts seeking improvement, the costs are justified, given Suboxone’s effectiveness.

Are There Any Concerning Side Effects?

According to TruLaw, Suboxone has been associated with dental problems, including severe tooth decay, cavities, tooth loss, oral infections, gum injuries, tongue injuries, and other dental issues. 

These dental complications can profoundly impact psychology, emotions, and finances, often leading to diminished self-esteem, social anxiety, and the burden of costly dental treatments.

Given these dental issues, the manufacturers and distributors of Suboxone have faced significant legal action in the past. Individuals affected by Suboxone-related tooth decay are now filing lawsuits such as the Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit to seek compensation for damages suffered.

Additionally, commonly reported adverse effects include drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, and headaches. If any symptoms persist or worsen, it is important to notify your healthcare provider or pharmacist promptly.

If Suboxone gets misused, injected, or coupled with other depressants like alcohol, benzodiazepines (particularly diazepam), or other opioid medicines, severe and perhaps fatal breathing issues may result. 

Although Suboxone is prescribed to prevent withdrawal, it may rarely trigger opioid withdrawal symptoms in some individuals. These symptoms can include diarrhea, severe mental or mood changes (like anxiety, irritability, and insomnia), muscle stiffness, or tremors. 

This is more likely to occur when treatment is initially started or if long-acting opioids like methadone were previously used. Notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly if any withdrawal symptoms are experienced.

Alternatives to Suboxone

The FDA approves several medication-assisted treatment options to treat opioid use disorder. Subutex contains only buprenorphine and may be suitable for certain populations like pregnancy. Zubsolv is another buprenorphine/naloxone option in tablet form. 

Methadone is very effective but must be administered in a clinical setting due to its higher misuse potential. Naltrexone products like Vivitrol, an injectable form, can be suitable after stabilization as they block opioid effects to prevent relapse without treating withdrawal. 

Overall, a healthcare provider can help determine which medication best fits each person based on factors like safety, cost, potential side effects, supervision needs, and treatment goals such as maintenance therapy or abstinence support. All FDA-approved medications have proven track records when taken as prescribed.

The key is finding what works for you. Suboxone provides relief for many, but alternatives exist for different needs and situations. Stay hopeful – various paths lead to overcoming addiction. With perseverance and support, you have the power to reclaim your life.


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