Addiction to opioids like morphine, heroin, codeine, hyrdocodone, and oxycodone can be treated with Subutex, or generically known as buprenorphine. It treats the symptoms of withdrawal that abstaining from the drugs can cause. The effectiveness of the treatment drug is that it attaches to the drug’s receptors which will prevent getting high. This helps people overcome their addiction to these drugs but you will need to be weaned from the buprenorphine to avoid getting withdrawals when you stop using it.
Buprenorphine can be administered either by mouth or injected for patients. Once you leave the rehab or detox facility you will take it orally with pills or through the skin with a patch. Pills are the most common form. People also see a doctor in an outpatient context to detox outside of a facility with this medication. It takes a lot of discipline and support, to do this outside of a facility. This treatment medication is long lasting and the frequency in which people use it can differ. Some will take the drug daily while other every other day. It is important however to not overdose yourself as it can be very toxic to your system. Also, taking it with other medications can cause respiratory problems.
Some other medications that should be avoided when taking buprenorphine are sedatives, anti-depressants, antibiotics, certain anti-histamines, and some HIV medications. It is vital that you discuss any medications you are currently taking with the physician prescribing you buprenorphine no matter what it is. Since recovery is very important you don\’t want anything to sabotage it.
A small percentage of patients using buprenorphine may experience some strong side effects. Some people can develop allergies which can be life threatening. The patient may get swelling in the lips, face, or even the tongue. They can develop hives, or have difficulty breathing. These reactions are similar to a bee sting or other strong swelling reactions. Jaundice can be another serious side effect of using this medication. You should look for signs of clay colored stool, and yellow in the white areas around the eyes. Immediately consult your doctor if you are throwing up blood, have a hard time breathing, are light headed, pass black stool, have periods of confusion or severe mood changes.
However, for the majority of those who use buprenorphine or Subutex, it is safe and a way to get off the drugs that were so addictive. Your doctor will discuss all the benefits and side effects with you before he prescribes it. As long as you work with your doctor, are honest with them, and take only the dosage recommended, you will be able to eventually have a drug free body. Do not go against the medical advice and be sure to avoid using of any sort no matter how harmless it may seem.