Frequently asked questions

What are buprenorphine tablets used for?


Buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist. This means that, like opioids, it produces effects such as euphoria or respiratory depression at low to moderate doses. With buprenorphine, however, these effects are weaker than full opioid agonists such as heroin and methadone.

Buprenorphine’s opioid effects increase with each dose until at moderate doses they level off, even with further dose increases. This “ceiling effect” lowers the risk of misuse, dependency, and side effects. Also, because of buprenorphine’s long-acting agent, many patients may not have to take it every day.

Dose buprenorphine come in a pill form.

Burenorphine is available in film, tablets and injections.




What are the side effects of buprenorphine?


Buprenorphine’s side effects are similar to those of opioids and can include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, and constipation
  • Muscle aches and cramps
  • Cravings
  • Inability to sleep
  • Distress and irritability
  • Fever




Is Buprenorphine the some as Suboxone?


There are two forms. Suboxone® contains buprenorphine plus another medication called naloxone. The naloxone is added to prevent abuse—it brings on withdrawal in people who abuse buprenorphine by injecting it. Subutex® contains only buprenorphine. This form is prescribed if you should not take naloxone for any reason, such as if you are allergic to it or are pregnant.




How long are you suppose to take suboxone?


You may take buprenorphine for days, months, or years—as long as it is needed to prevent relapse. However, you should be checked often by a doctor if you have liver disease.

If you are stable in recovery and want to stop taking buprenorphine, you must do it slowly, over time. This is called tapering. Tapering works best with the help of your doctor or substance abuse treat­ment provider, after progress has been made in treatment.




What is the purpose of Suboxone?


Opioid addiction is a chronic disease, like heart disease or diabetes. A chronic disease is a medical condition for life. It cannot be cured, but it can be managed. A person with addiction can regain a healthy, productive life.

But if you are like most people, you cannot walk away from addiction on your own. Treatment—the care of medical pro­fessionals and substance abuse treatment providers—can help.

Treatment helps you give up the problem drug. It helps you get through withdrawal and cope with cravings. Treatment also helps you change addictive thinking into nonaddictive, health­ ful patterns. It can help you move away from other harmful behaviors, too, such as drinking alcohol or abusing other drugs besides the problem opioid.

Just as important, treatment helps you address life issues you might have that are tied to the addiction, such as feelings of low self-worth, a bad situation at work or home, or spending time with people who use drugs. In short, treatment helps you move into a healthy, addiction-free lifestyle—into a way of living referred to as recovery. Suboxone is used for medication assisted treatment.




How can I get my doctor to prescribe suboxone?


A doctor has to hold special license to prescribe buprenorphine in addition to counseling and drug testing.




How much does suboxone cost?


Approximately $400/month




What happens if a mother receives treatment for opioid use in pregnancy?


Buprenorphine may be prescribed to women who are pregnant and have an opioid use disorder. Buprenorphine and methadone are considered the treatments of choice for OUD in pregnant and breastfeeding women. The risk Neonatal absence syndrome decrease with buprenorphine treatment. Long term side effects are minimum.




How do opioids affect a fetus?


More women are using prescription opioids, illegal opioids, and opioid-substitution therapy. These drugs have been associated with numerous obstetrical complications including intrauterine growth restriction, placental abruption, preterm delivery, oligohydramnios, stillbirth, and maternal death. Neonatal complications are also significant, such as an increased risk of mortality as well as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). NAS is a serious and highly variable condition characterized by central nervous system hyperirritability and autonomic nervous system dysfunction.





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