Facts: How Efficient is Suboxone to Treat Opioid Addiction

Commonly known by its brand name, Suboxone is a prescription medication that is widely used for the treatment of people who are addicted to opioids, either because they are prescribed by their doctor or illegally. The key ingredients found in this medication are buprenorphine and naloxone.

Being a partial opioid agonist, the primary function of Buprenorphine is to block the opiate receptors and significantly reduce your urges. On the other hand, naloxone (the other key ingredient) helps in reversing the after effects of opioids. When combined, these drugs are able to prevent the withdrawal symptoms strictly associated with addiction to opioids.

Today, Suboxone is the only medication for the treatment of opioid addiction. In fact, it is used more often than methadone that is known for its habit-forming agents.

Many doctors prescribe Suboxone these days over other medications for opioid-replacement, which does require you to have a prescription signed by a specialized treatment center.

In fact, Suboxone is widely used not only at the beginning of the treatment but also during the treatment and recovery. Besides, your doctor or perhaps an addiction counselor is able to help you easily come up with a custom-tailored treatment plan.

Although Suboxone has the ability to help you take on the withdrawal symptoms that appear after you quit opioids, it’s wise to look for a program that offers comprehensive treatment. In this regard, both counseling and therapy should be able to target the key reasons behind the use of opioid, which is in addition to the help it offers to find new ways to deal with both pain and stress.

You can also look for a rehab professional near you for addiction treatment.

Suboxone Uses

Your healthcare provider is likely to prescribe Suboxone to help you quit your dependence on all types of short-acting opioids, including prescription painkillers and heroin. Generally, Suboxone is not prescribed for long-acting opioids addiction treatment. Many people, on the other hand, use medication that includes buprenorphine only.

The withdrawal phase is the initial phase of Suboxone use, which includes more comfortable and potentially dangerous symptoms. The use of Suboxone helps alleviate or rather potentially eliminate the withdrawal symptoms of opioid.

You can easily move from the withdrawal phase to the maintenance phase under your doctor’s supervision. Based on how far you have gone into the treatment, your doctor may start reducing your Suboxone dosage, which may help you reach the stage where you don’t need your dosage anymore.

In fact, Suboxone is so effective that any individual will no longer have cravings, no withdrawal symptoms, and will be perfectly normal if takes it properly.

How Suboxone helps treat addiction

Suboxone is widely used during different treatment stages. It offers a longlasting solution to manage the addiction to opioids. In fact, this medication can effectively eliminate cravings for opioid, in case it is included for implementing a comprehensive recovery plan.

As you probably already know that Suboxone is more of a depressant, it does slow down your daily activities rather than acting like a stimulant that speeds you up. The following are the symptoms people often experience when they take this medication:

  • Reduce stress levels
  • Pain relief
  • Relaxation
  • Calmness

While on this medication, make sure to keep in touch with your physician and follow up on the recovery process to make it a success.

Suboxone Side Effects

Depending upon how your body reacts to the medication, there can be certain side effects of Suboxone as well. The following list contains some (if not all) serious side effects:

Note: You can always ask for more information about Suboxone side effects from your doctor.

Serious side effects

While there are not many serious side effects of Suboxone, here are a few:

  1. Severe allergic reaction

There could be multiple individuals who took Suboxone for a long time and would get serious allergic reactions. In such a case, the following are the symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Skin rash
  • Swollen tongue, lips, throat

In case you have one or all of the above symptoms, then you must immediately see your doctor and seek medical help right away.

  1. Breathing problems or Coma

Those who have been taking heavy doses of Suboxone are at high risk of getting breathing problems, coma or even death.

In fact, these conditions are usually observed in cases that involve Suboxone getting misused or abused. Another scenario that might lead to a similar condition is when Suboxone interacts with certain other drugs like opioids, benzodiazepines (Zanax, Valium, or Ativan) or alcohol.

Besides, those who already have a breathing problem like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are more likely to get the condition kicked back.

  1. Liver damage

This is another severe side effect of Suboxone. In fact, many of those who have been taking Suboxone for a long time have got the condition of minor to severe liver damage. However, this could also be caused by a hepatitis infection or any other cause.

As long as the treatment with Suboxone goes on, your doctor may require you to take multiple blood tests. In case the report says that you have a condition of liver damage, you will have to stop taking Suboxone.

The following are the symptoms of liver damage:

  • Yellowing of the whites of your eyes or your skin
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach pain
  1. Hormone problems

This can be another condition in people who take opioids like Suboxone over a period of several weeks. As a result, they get reduced the cortisol hormone levels in their body. The other term used to refer to this condition is adrenal insufficiency.

The following are the symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Low blood pressure

Note: These symptoms are based on how your body responds to Suboxone and they may vary from one person to another.


While Suboxone is a widely-used prescription medication to treat opioid addiction, it can have certain mild to severe side effects in people based on how their bodies react to the dose. It is recommended to always follow the instructions given by your doctor for intended results.