Medications Used to Treat Opioid Addiction
Buprenorphine is a is a partial mu-receptor agonist. It is an opioid and a controlled substance. This means that it binds with the receptors in the brain, causing the brain to think it is receiving the problem drug. This, in turn, will satisfy cravings and prevent withdrawal.
SUBUTEX & SUBOXONE Medications
Both of these medications contain buprenorphine and were developed at approximately the same time to help those with an addiction to opioids manage their symptoms of withdrawal, which often includes cravings for prescription painkillers and other opiate drugs. By keeping the individual as comfortable and focused as possible during their detox, SUBUTEX and SUBOXONE can also help to reduce the risk of relapse.
The Key Difference
The makeup of these two medications varies in one important way: SUBUTEX contains only buprenorphine whereas SUBOXONE contains both buprenorphine and naloxone. This crucial difference arose out of problems with individuals abusing SUBUTEX, as it was able to provide a high similar to other opiates they had become addicted to.
The presence of naloxone, another opioid antagonist, in SUBOXONE helps to deter such abuse by blocking the ability of the opioids to reach the receptor sites in the person’s brain. If an individual were to attempt an injection of SUBOXONE in order to get high, they would immediately be thrown into harsh withdrawal symptoms.
SUBUTEX is still an excellent option for those looking to ease their symptoms of opioid withdrawal, though it’s administration should be carefully monitored to prevent any potential abuse of this controlled substance.
Potential Side Effects
Like with all medications, there are warnings that you should be aware of when prescribed SUBUTEX or SUBOXONE:
- While taking this medication, you should NOT take other medications without consulting your provider first.
- While taking this medication, you should NOT use illegal drugs, drink alcohol, or take sedatives, tranquilizers, or other drugs that slow breathing. Taking any of these substances in large amounts along with buprenorphine can lead to overdose or death.
- Buprenorphine kept at home must be locked in a safe place to prevent accidental use by others, especially children.
- If you are a woman and are pregnant or breast-feeding, providers may recommend the naloxone-free form of buprenorphine.
- Liver problems are rare but can occur. If you have a pre-existing liver condition, your provider should be made aware.
Support from Carolina Pain and Weight Loss
Overcoming opioid addiction is never easy. Our providers each possess unique experience in assisting individuals with the management of this disease, and offer their expertise to individuals throughout Mooresville as well as Salisbury, North Carolina. Please contact Carolina Pain and Weight Loss today to learn more about our addiction treatment services, or to request a consultation with one of our providers.