Subutex Treatment for an Opioid Addition
HOW DOES IT WORK AND IS IT SAFE?
Comprised of buprenorphine hydrochloride as its main active ingredient, Subutex is a partial opioid agonist-antagonist that is prescribed to treat individuals struggling with addictions to opioids. Subutex is given daily in the form of a dissolvable tablet that is placed under the tongue. It becomes absorbed into the body to help patients experience less intense withdrawal symptoms. It also helps to diminish cravings for additional opioids such as prescription pain medications, heroin, or morphine. By alleviating the physical symptoms of withdrawal, Subutex elicits the mental clarity required for men and women to focus on the emotional aspects of addiction and recovery.
Subutex was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 and is one of a few medications that are noted as being a safe option for treating opioid addiction. Extensive research has confirmed that taking Subutex is significantly safer than continuing the use of opioids, as Subutex does not cause damage to vital organs. Subutex does not alter cognitive functioning, which allows patients to continue going about their daily lives without any physical disruption. Patients can maintain their daily responsibilities, such as work and school, while also focusing on their recovery.
It is important for patients to understand that while Subutex is safe, side effects can still occur. If you or someone you love is contemplating incorporating Subutex into a treatment regimen, it is important to first discuss these potential side effects with your physician to determine if Subutex is the most appropriate medication to take.
THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SUBUTEX TREATMENT
Numerous studies have confirmed the safety and effectiveness of Subutex for patients struggling with addictions to opioids. Patients who have incorporated Subutex into their medication-assisted treatment plans have reported a decrease in cravings for continued use of opioids. In addition, multiple patients who took part in a Subutex treatment regimen reported that the symptoms often associated with opioid withdrawal are lowered, which allows them the opportunity to focus on the other facets of recovery. Overall, when Subutex is incorporated into a medication assisted treatment program for patients struggling with opioid addiction, they have reported extremely favorable results.
THE BENEFITS OF SUBUTEX TREATMENT PLUS COUNSELING
There are typically three treatment phases for patients who incorporate Subutex into their treatment plans. When prescribed Subutex, patients will generally experience the following phases:
Induction: This is the first phase where patients are introduced to Subutex. It typically takes place during the start of withdrawal stages, when individuals have recently ceased their use of opioids.
Stabilization: During the second phase of treatment, patients do not experience the symptoms of withdrawal anymore, and do not crave opioids. During the stabilization phase, a patient’s dosage can be adjusted depending on his or her specific treatment needs.
Maintenance: Individuals are now able to discuss weaning off of Subutex completely or using another medication.
During these phases, it is extremely beneficial for patients to simultaneously attend therapeutic interventions, such as individual and group therapy. Individual therapy sessions allow individuals to discuss their progression and recovery in a one-on-one setting with a highly qualified counselor. Group therapy gives people the chance to come together with other patients who are struggling with addictions as well. Research shows patients are less likely to relapse when they have the support and encouragement through therapeutic interventions.
HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR LOVED ONE DURING MEDICATION-ASSISTED TREATMENT
If your loved one is struggling with an addiction, it is important that they obtain your support as addiction impacts everyone it touches. By playing an active role in someone’s treatment, you will be able to gain a better understanding of what he or she are going through as they progress towards recovery.
HOW YOU CAN BE SUCCESSFUL IN A MEDICATION-ASSISTED TREATMENT PROGRAM
If you are struggling with an addiction to opioids and are taking part in a medication assisted treatment program, there are several ways in which you can be successful throughout the process of recovery:
1. When it comes to taking Subutex, follow all recommendations given to you by your treatment provider.
2. Attend and play an active role in all group and individual therapy sessions.
3. Openly voice any concerns that you may have about taking Subutex. If any issue should arise, notify your treatment provider immediately so adjustments can be made.
4. Refrain from using opioids while taking Subutex.
THE SIDE EFFECTS OF SUBUTEX
Prior to incorporating Subutex into your treatment plan, it is important to first discuss any potential side effects that may occur. As is the case with most medications, there are risks of side effects while taking Subutex. By speaking with your physician, you will be able to gain a better understanding of any adverse food, over-the-counter medication, or prescription medication interactions that could take place.
It is important for individuals taking Subutex to be aware of potential side effects that can occur. The most common side effects are withdrawal symptoms, nausea, anxiety, depression, drowsiness, sweating weakness, headache, infections, generalized pain, and constipation. Fairly common ones include runny eyes, vomiting, chills, diarrhea, having flu-like symptoms, and feeling dizzy or nervous. The least common side effects are an upset stomach, accidental injury, abscesses, and fever.
It is important to make your physician aware should any of these side effects take place so he or she can properly adjust your dosage or medication if necessary.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at (203) 245-0412.