Suboxone is an extremely popular, prescription-based medication that effectively reduces the effects of both heroin and opioid withdrawal and effectively suppresses addictive craving. Even though Suboxone has helped millions of people struggling with heroin addiction, the medication is not without its potential risks. It is highly advised that anyone who is thinking of taking this medication should first consult their doctor in order to be certain that Suboxone will not adversely affect their current condition or health. This article will discuss some common Suboxone drug interactions.
One of the most common Suboxone drug interactions occurs when patients take the medications to help with the withdrawal symptoms that occur with opiate abuse. Taking Suboxone to alleviate withdrawal symptoms can have adverse side effects, especially when an individual with addiction suffers from other forms of mental health issues, such as alcoholism, depression, bipolar disorder, etc. Because these other illnesses often coexist with their respective Opioid use disorders, it is essential that patients are aware of which remedies they are pursuing and which require separate medications. For instance, those suffering from heroin addiction may require an extended release medication, which is different from Suboxone.
Similarly, Suboxone can interact with other oral pain medications without the patient’s knowledge or consent. Common examples include buprenorphine, which acts as an opiate agonist; naloxone, an opiate antagonist; nubain, a calcium channel blocker; or hydrocodone, a morphine-deriving agent. It is important to remember that all of these medications are used to manage one condition, which is the withdrawal symptoms caused by an addiction to heroin or other opiates. However, Suboxone can also interact with medications used to treat conditions such as depression or epilepsy. If you are taking any of these medications without your doctor’s approval, it is possible that you could experience severe and life-threatening interactions.
Commonly seen as a milder version of Naxalone, buprenorphine has been shown to be relatively effective in managing the overwhelming pain produced by an array of syndromes associated with the withdrawal symptoms produced by heroin or other opiates. Although buprenorphine is not itself an opiate, it produces a sense of euphoria similar to that of opiates. Because of this, it has been frequently combined with Suboxone in an attempt to produce a more complete detoxification process. Unfortunately, buprenorphine and Suboxone drug interactions can be far more significant than one would realize, especially if the patient isn’t paying close attention to the exact dosage of both medications being taken.
When considering buprenorphine and Suboxone drug interactions, it is important to remember that this medication must be prescribed under very specific circumstances. For example, buprenorphine must only be prescribed to people who are currently experiencing opioid withdrawal due to an accidental or illegal overdose. People with a history of chronic, long-term use of prescription opioids, including both heroin and painkillers, are not eligible for buprenorphine use. In these cases, a doctor will typically prescribe a different, less powerful prescription drug, or refuse to prescribe buprenorphine altogether.
Another significant factor with buprenorphine and suboxone drug interactions is the metabolism of buprenorphine. Once a person begins taking buprenorphine, it takes up to six hours for the medication to begin having an effect, during which time the buprenorphine will convert into its morphine analogs. While it is unclear why this happens, it is assumed that the longer the buprenorphine stays in the body, the more opioid receptors it will have available for blocking the production of signals that stimulate the brain’s nerve cells. This means that the more buprenorphine that is being ingested, the more opioid stimulation the brain will receive.
Because of the potential for interactions, it is always wise to research any and all drug interactions that you may be faced with when taking buprenorphine. Your healthcare provider should be able to provide you with specific information about any interactions that you are potentially dealing with. Also, when considering any buprenorphine combination with any other medications, you should always consult your healthcare provider first. Your healthcare provider is likely to have specific recommendations regarding any individual combinations that you are considering, as well as for treatment itself.
The use of Suboxone medications is most effective when combined with counseling and other treatment methods. The use of opioids to alleviate the discomfort and symptoms associated with withdrawal from other types of medications is becoming increasingly popular for patients suffering from both chronic and intermittent use of prescription medications. However, patients must be careful to carefully consider any combination of medications and treatment before beginning any regimen. If you are unsure of which combination of Suboxone or other prescription medications you should use, discuss your options with your doctor.