What is Buprenorphine? 

Buprenorphine is a prescription medication controlled substance and partial opioid agonist that’s used to treat Heroin addiction and Methadone addiction. This prescription drug is used to help people withdraw from Heroin and Methadone, to reduce the need to use Heroin, and to treat severe pain and chronic pain. Typically, Buprenorphine is used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and Buprenorphine pharmacotherapy to help ease the symptoms of Suboxone addictive drug withdrawal in drug addicts and opioid addiction or opioid dependence. 

Other brand names for Buprenorphine include: 

  • Suboxone Sublingual film or Narcan, a combination of Buprenorphine and Naloxone
  • Suboxone Naloxone
  • Subutex Sublingual tablets
  • Buvidal injection
  • Sublocade extended-release tablet or injection

Usually, Buprenorphine is administered by mouth via tablet or film that dissolves under the tongue, but this drug is also available for injection.

Buprenorphine Effects

This prescription medication affects people differently and can depend on:

  • Your size, weight, and physical health
  • Whether you’re used to taking Buprenorphine 
  • Whether other drugs are taken around the same time or combined with Buprenorphine 
  • The amount taken

Even when taken as prescribed or as part of substance abuse medication-assisted treatment, there are still Buprenorphine and Naloxone side effects. Common side effects include: 

  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Increased sweating
  • Tiredness or drowsiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain or upset stomach
  • Skin rashes, itching, or hives
  • Tooth decay
  • Changes to menstruation
  • Lowered sex drive
  • Weight gain
  • Opioid use disorder

Buprenorphine should only be taken as prescribed by a healthcare professional. Seek medical attention if you or a loved one experiences any of these side effects of Buprenorphine or opioid use disorder.

Signs of Buprenorphine Abuse and Addiction

Buprenorphine reduces the withdrawal symptoms of opioid drug use and substance abuse and can reverse the effects of opioid use and overdose. While not thought to be addiction-forming because of the ceiling effect, Buprenorphine can have effects if misused because of the Suboxone addictive quality. These are signs that you or a loved one could be addicted to Buprenorphine or have an opioid addiction or opioid dependence: 

  • Impaired coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Itching
  • Inability to think clearly
  • Lying to doctors to get the drug
  • Doctor shopping to find more Buprenorphine 

Other symptoms of substance abuse and drug abuse include: 

  • Difficulty at school, home, or work 
  • Poor work or academic performance
  • Changes in physical appearance
  • Altered behavior
  • Drastic changes in relationships
  • A noticeable lack of energy
  • Spending more money than usual
  • Financial issues or money problems
  • Changes in appetite
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Poor skin tone

Buprenorphine Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal from Buprenorphine opioid antagonist use may produce similar symptoms experienced through Heroin withdrawal. It’s recommended by medical professionals to taper off the drug gradually to avoid discomfort and dangerous side effects. Withdrawal symptoms may vary per person, but common opiate withdrawal side effects include: 

  • Cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Aches and pains
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of appetite or eating disorder

Usually, opiate withdrawal symptoms peak in the first two to five days of the last drug dosage. However, some milder effects may last a number of weeks or months. Contact a medical professional if you or a loved one experiences withdrawal symptoms. 

Long Term Side Effects of Buprenorphine Abuse

Since Buprenorphine is an opioid drug, long-term use can result in physiological dependence and chemical dependency. Long-term side effects of taking Buprenorphine can include: 

  • Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome if used during pregnancy
  • Androgen deficiency, which can cause low libido, impotence, erectile dysfunction,k amenorrhea, or infertility
  • Mental illnesses like anxiety and depression
  • High risk of overdose and Suboxone overdose

While not common, an overdose on Buprenorphine is possible. Call 911 and seek medical attention immediately for Buprenorphine treatment if you or a loved one experience any symptoms of overdose:

  • Sedation
  • Slowed breathing
  • Coma
  • Fainting
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Extreme weakness
  • Hypotension
  • Respiratory depression

Buprenorphine Addiction Treatment

Individuals with a drug addiction or alcohol addiction should seek Buprenorphine treatment or treatment for opioid addiction from addiction professionals. At Muse Treatment, drug addicts of opioid medications can enroll in an inpatient program, residential treatment, partial hospitalization, drug rehab, outpatient treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, and more for personalized addiction treatment plans and treatment options. At Muse, opiate addiction patients can have a safe space to detox for addiction recovery and Buprenorphine treatment and undergo a variety of therapies, such as individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, music therapy, art therapy, and more. Enjoy your journey on the road to recovery for treatment for opioid addiction and achieve sober living treatment outcomes with help from the addiction professionals at Muse Treatment. 

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