Suboxone (a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone medications) is approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to treat Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). While buprenorphine acts as a long-acting opioid and partial agonist, naloxone counteracts the effects of opioids and prevents the risk of misuse. This way, Suboxone decreases the withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid addiction.

Though Suboxone is effective and safe, it can cause dependence and withdrawal symptoms and side effects upon incorrect administration, abuse or misuse, or abruptly stopping usage. This article discusses the pros and cons of suboxone use along with throwing light on Suboxone's side effects.

Does Suboxone Make You Have Mood Swings?

Due to its powerful mind-changing effects, Suboxone may cause mood swings. It can also impact the users’ brain chemistry, resulting in unsafe behaviors, especially if the patient suddenly quits taking the medication.

Long-term Suboxone Side Effects include difficulty quitting it. That’s because Suboxone has a long half-life and can stay in the users’ system for around 8-9 days, extending the detoxification process for weeks or months. This lengthy detoxification process can also cause mood swings.

What Are the Most Common Side Effects of Suboxone on Your Brain?

Besides mood swings, Suboxone consumption can also impact your physical and mental health, causing health issues and behavioral changes.

Mental Side Effects of Suboxone

  • Distress
  • Impaired Memory
  • Lethargy
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Cravings
  • Fear

Physical Side Effects of Suboxone

  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Muscles aches
  • Coordination issues
  • Dependency
  • Changes in appetite
  • Cramps
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach Ache
  • Liver Damage

If Suboxone Is Dangerous, then How Is It Used in Treatment?

Suboxone treatment is considered a great pharmaceutical alternative to other opioid control medications due to its mild to moderate side effects and low risk of misuse under proper physician supervision.

It provides substantial benefits to people addicted to opioids, including:

  • Minimizing opioids cravings
  • Relieving chronic pain
  • Suppressing and mitigating opioid withdrawal symptoms
  • Aiding the opioid detoxification process
  • Reducing the risk of relapse

Though it’s beneficial, your doctor will not prescribe Suboxone to you just after diagnosing your opioid addiction. They will first determine whether you are a suitable candidate for Suboxone treatment before doing so.

Good candidates for Suboxone treatment are those who:

  • Are not pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Are addicted to recreational drugs (heroin) and prescription painkillers (opioids)
  • Don’t have thyroid disorders and kidney problems

Next, they will prepare you for Suboxone treatment. As Suboxone causes severe withdrawal symptoms, it is not recommended to have opioids in your bloodstream or if you are not in the early withdrawal stage during the treatment.

Your doctor will ask you to wait for 12-48 hours before the starting dose of Suboxone, depending on the type of opioid and dosage you are currently taking. That’s because the effect of short-acting opioids (like heroin) will subside within 12-16 hours, whereas long-acting opioids (like methadone) can take 17-48 hours to leave your body.

Avoid taking any opioids throughout your waiting period and be ready to experience opioid withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Chills or sweating
  • Body aches
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Cravings
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety

These symptoms will subside after taking Suboxone. Once your withdrawal symptoms become mild to moderate, your doctor will give you an initial prescription (usually lasting a week). While easing your withdrawal symptoms, Suboxone will make you feel better within 30-45 minutes. Consult with your doctor for dosage adjustments if the initial dose does not provide you the desired relief.

Suboxone is safe if you are taking it as prescribed. If you don’t want to continue using Suboxone or are experiencing any serious or continuous side-effects after using it, visit your doctor immediately. Misusing Suboxone or abruptly stopping its usage can result in severe withdrawal symptoms that may require hospitalization.

Contact us today at Pinnacle Healthcare Services if you are looking for Suboxone treatment in Alexandria, VA, for you or your loved one on opioid dependency. Our physician, Dr. Kurwa Nyigu, has 20 years of internal medicine experience and has expertise in treating opioid addiction with a personalized medical approach. She is well aware of the potential side-effects of Suboxone and how to manage them.

Pinnacle Healthcare Services

Dr. Kurwa Nyigu, MD

Dr. Kurwa Nyigu is a distinguished doctor with board certification in Internal Medicine. She has a distinct interest in managing a broad range of addition-related conditions and has specific training in medication-assisted opioid treatment. She is passionate about providing a holistic approach to patient wellness, thereby creating a practice with a dual focus on primary care and behavioral health.

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