When treating opioid addiction with drug therapy, Suboxone is the primary drug used. It’s natural to be concerned with the Suboxone side effects long-term.
The drug’s main ingredient, buprenorphine, is an opioid that works by partially activating the dopamine receptors in the brain.
The other component of Suboxone that binds to dopamine receptors and prevents other medications from doing so is naloxone.
You could wonder why you would utilize another narcotic to treat opioid use disorder. Suboxone lessens withdrawal symptoms allowing you to concentrate on other areas of rehabilitation.
Suboxone does this by tricking the brain into thinking it’s still receiving opioids but suppressing the high.
As you plan to progress your recovery, you can gradually taper off Suboxone.
Suboxone has the potential to save lives, but it can also have harmful side effects.
Some side effects can be reduced by taking the appropriate dosage while being monitored by a healthcare expert.
This article highlights some long-term Suboxone side effects.
Is Suboxone the same as Methadone?
They are different medications.
Furthermore, they have different ingredients.
As mentioned earlier, Suboxone contains buprenorphine and naloxone. Methadone only contains methadone hydrochloride.
Buprenorphine is an opioid medication that reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Naloxone is an opioid blocker.
Methadone is a synthetic opioid that also reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
The two drugs share the same role in treating addiction.
Furthermore, Suboxone has fewer opioid effects.
Methadone is taken orally, whereas Suboxone can be taken orally as a pill or a soluble film. In addition, it can also be taken as an injection to the stomach. However, this form is called Subloclade.
The injection is taken monthly, while the pills are taken daily.
Methadone is also taken daily.
Because of how addictive Methadone can be, it’s only administered at clinics specialized in distributing Methadone.
Suboxone is often chosen as the first option to treat an overdose or addiction because it has a lower risk for addiction.
However, many patients are often treated with Methadone because it has a higher success rate. Furthermore, when Suboxone fails, doctors switch to Methadone.
This is because Methadone is a more potent opioid blocker.
#1. Suboxone Abuse Risk
The increased likelihood of dependence and abuse is one of the most crucial Suboxone side effects long-term.
The medicine replaces part of your body’s natural mood-enhancing substances, despite being safer than many other opioids.
Suboxone may be difficult to stop using if it makes you feel at rest and ease when you take it.
Furthermore, Suboxone has a ceiling effect, which means that taking it in excess will reduce your ability to respond to the drug. This reduces the chance of addiction.
The intention is to progressively lower the dosage as you improve your coping mechanisms and other healthy activities, reducing your need for medicine.
Overdosing is a possibility that might lead to severe respiratory distress, unconsciousness, and even death.
People who consume alcohol, tranquilizers, and other sedatives, or inject their Suboxone medicine are at an elevated risk of overdose.
When administered intravenously, Suboxone increases the risk of becoming addicted to it.
This allows Naloxone to enter the bloodstream and counteract the effects of buprenorphine, which makes users experience opioid withdrawal.
The rash is not a typical Suboxone side effect. Suboxone users who experience an adverse reaction to the medicine may develop a rash.
Itchy skin and hives are the most typical signs of an allergic reaction to Suboxone.
Consult your doctor if you have a rash while using Suboxone. They can switch to a different type of care.
Call your doctor or the nearest poison control center immediately if you experience other symptoms, such as facial swelling or breathing difficulties.
This allergic reaction may be severe.
#4. Liver Damage
In Suboxone users, liver damage ranges from minor to severe.
This might have occurred due to hepatitis or other factors in some instances. Suboxone may, however, have played a role in some other cases.
Your doctor performs routine blood tests throughout your Suboxone treatment to assess how well your liver is functioning.
Some long-term suboxone users have experienced the onset of hepatitis.
In addition to Suboxone side effects long-term, hepatitis causes liver inflammation, nausea, blood in urine, jaundice, appetite loss, and light-colored stools.
It may be necessary to stop using Suboxone if you exhibit signs of liver damage. Liver damage symptoms include lethargy, stomach ache, jaundice, and skin discoloration.
#5. Difficulties with Breathing and Coma
Suboxone abusers who use excessive doses risk death, coma, and severe breathing issues.
Misuse of Suboxone increases the likelihood of these side effects.
Additionally, they are more common when Suboxone is combined with other substances like alcohol, benzodiazepines, or opioids (such as Valium, Ativan, and Xanax).
Users with respiratory issues, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, are also more likely to experience breathing issues (COPD).
#6. Hormonal Imbalance
Some people may experience decreased cortisol hormone levels after using opioids like Suboxone for a few weeks.
This condition is called adrenal insufficiency. Some symptoms include:
- nausea and vomiting
- weakness and lethargy
- low blood pressure
#7. Severe Withdrawal Symptoms
Naloxone is a component of Suboxone. To help prevent drug abuse, this substance is a part of Suboxone.
When misusing Suboxone, you risk experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms due to its component.
As an opioid inhibitor, naloxone prevents the effects of opioid medicines from taking effect.
Suboxone will prevent opiate effects in your system if you have an opioid addiction and inject it to get high. Instant opioid withdrawal symptoms could result from this.
However, these severe withdrawal symptoms won’t occur if you put the Suboxone film on your cheek or under your tongue.
This happens due to the film’s reduced naloxone systemic release.
#8. Allergic Reactions
Suboxone has been linked to allergic reactions such as bronchospasm, angioneurotic edema, and anaphylactic shock.
Severe hives, irritation, or rashes are a few other signs that suboxone allergy may manifest.
#9. Serotonin Syndrome
Suboxone and other serotonergic drugs may cause serotonin syndrome.
Dilated pupils, perspiration, diarrhea, elevated body temperature, enhanced reflexes, agitation, and tremor characterize serotonin syndrome.
#10. Adrenal Insufficiency and Anaphylaxis
Another one of the long-term Suboxone side effects is adrenal insufficiency. This is when adrenal glands cannot produce enough cortisol.
Opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings should never be taken as a long-term cure.
In reality, rehabilitation aims not to switch from one drug addiction to another.
Suboxone and other similar drugs are highly addictive and can eventually cause someone to acquire a completely new drug dependence.
The objectives of recovering from substance abuse go opposite to intuition.
Adrenal insufficiency may cause fatigue, nausea, skin discoloration, and dizziness.
Allergic reactions to Suboxone might also cause an individual to experience anaphylaxis.
Anaphylaxis symptoms include vomiting, trouble breathing, skin rash, shock, and nausea. Because anaphylaxis can cause unconsciousness or even death, it must be treated immediately.
A study of multiple types of research revealed that Suboxone was far more effective in keeping users in their treatment program overall.
Nonetheless, Suboxone was more effective at lowering opioid drug use.
For a limited time, these medications may help to reduce addiction and withdrawal symptoms. Furthermore, they can help you find a way to manage your drug habit.
However, being aware of Suboxone side effects long term can help you choose the best option to treat a narcotics addiction.