How It Works and Is It Safe?
Subutex is an opioid partial agonist-antagonist that is prescribed to those wishing to overcome an addiction to opioids. Comprised of buprenorphine hydrochloride as its main active component, Subutex is given daily in the form of a dissolvable tablet that is placed under the tongue to aid individuals in experiencing a reduction of withdrawal symptoms as well as lowering cravings for additional opioids. By reducing the painful side effects that can take place from ceasing use of opioids such as morphine, heroin, or prescription pain medications (as well as decreasing the cravings for additional opioid use), patients are able to fully focus on their recovery.
Subutex was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 for the treatment of opioid addiction. Extensive research has confirmed that Subutex is safe for use within a medication assisted treatment program and will not cause patients to experience any vital organ damage. In addition, patients who are prescribed Subutex will not experience any disruption in their daily physical functioning, which allows patients to continue daily actives without impairment.
As is the case with other medications, there are side effects associated with the use of Subutex. Although Subutex is safe to take under the supervision of a qualified medical professional, patients considering Subutex should openly discuss any side effects with their treatment provider in order to reduce any concern regarding this type of treatment.
The Effectiveness of Subutex Treatment
Numerous studies have confirmed the safety and effectiveness of Subutex for the treatment of opioid addiction. Patients who have utilized Subutex within a medication assisted treatment program have noted a decrease in the cravings associated with opioid use as well as a reduction of withdrawal symptoms. When Subutex is incorporated into treatment for opioid addiction, patients generally experience an extremely positive outcome which allows individuals the opportunity to focus on their recovery.
The Benefits of Subutex Treatment Plus Counseling
Treatment that utilizes Subutex typically involves three phases of treatment, of which can be enhanced by incorporating additional therapeutic interventions during the process of recovery. When prescribed Subutex, patients will experience the following phases:
Induction: The first phase of treatment takes place when patients are first introduced to Subutex and typically take place once the use of opioids has stopped. Patients in the phase are in the beginning stages of withdrawal.
Stabilization: During stabilization, patients are no longer experiencing the symptoms of withdrawal, nor are they craving additional opioids. The dosage of Subutex can be adjusted during this time pending the specific treatment requirements of each individual.
Maintenance: During the maintenance phase of treatment, patients are stable enough to discuss weaning off of Subutex or changing to another medication for the remainder of their treatment.
While these phases are taking place, it is extremely beneficial for patients to simultaneously engage in therapeutic interventions. Both individual and group therapy can provide patients with the opportunity to process their emotions within a safe and supportive environment. Patients are given the chance to understand the root causes of their addictions while learning the skills required to achieve long-term sobriety. Through group therapy sessions, patients are able to gain support from other patients who truly understand the struggles associated with addiction and recovery. Research has shown that individuals who receive therapeutic services while receiving medication assisted treatment are less likely to relapse and turn back to the use of opioids.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Loved ones of individuals receiving treatment for an opioid addiction can be extremely beneficial in the recovery and treatment process as a whole. If someone you love is receiving treatment for an opioid addiction, it is extremely important that you also receive support of your own in order to gain a better understanding of the treatment process, as well as how to appropriately support your loved one throughout the process of recovery.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: If you are contemplating seeking treatment within a medication assisted treatment program that utilizes Subutex, there are multiple ways in which you can be successful throughout the process of recovery:
- Follow any and all treatment guidelines set in place by your treatment provider regarding taking Subutex.
- Attend and participate in all individual and group therapy sessions
- Openly voice any concerns that you may have while taking Subutex. Should an issue arise, your treatment provider can make the appropriate dosage adjustment required.
- Refrain from using opioids while taking Subutex.
- Speak openly with your treatment provider regarding any concerns that may take place throughout treatment. The dedicated team at Claymont Comprehensive Treatment Center is here to provide patients with the highest quality of care available.
The Side Effects of Subutex
Prior to incorporating Subutex into your treatment program, it is important to speak with your prescribing physician regarding any adverse interactions that could take place. Food interactions, other medications taken, and health conditions can all cause dangerous interactions which is why it is imperative for your treatment team to be made aware of any other medications that you may be taking.
As is the case with most medications, there are risks for side effects while taking Subutex. The following are potential side effects that are more likely to take place when a patient’s dosage is increased:
Most common side effects:
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Back pain
Fairly common side effects:
- Runny eyes
- Flu-like symptoms
Less common side effects:
- Accidental injury
- Upset stomach
Please contact our dedicated intake team today to further discuss Subutex as well as the other treatment options available at Claymont Comprehensive Treatment Center.