Suboxone

Generic Name: Buprenorphine

  • What is Suboxone?

    Suboxone is a medicine used for maintenance treatment of opioid dependence.

    Suboxone is a federally controlled narcotic with potential for abuse.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Suboxone?

    It can be dangerous to mix Suboxone with medications like benzodiazepines, sleeping pills and other tranquilizers, certain antidepressants, other opioid medications, or alcohol, especially when not under the care of a doctor or in doses different from those prescribed by your doctor. Mixing these medications can lead to drowsiness, sedation, unconsciousness, and death, especially if injected. It is important to let your doctor know about all medications and substances you are taking. Your doctor can provide guidance if any of these medications are prescribed for the treatment of other medical conditions you may have.

    Suboxone has potential for abuse and can produce dependence.

    Suboxone can cause drowsiness and slow reaction times. This may occur more often in the first few weeks of treatment or when your dose is being changed, but can also occur if you drink alcohol or take other sedative medicines when you are taking Suboxone. Use caution when you are driving a car or operating machinery.

    Suboxone can cause your blood pressure to drop, making you feel dizzy if you get up too fast from sitting or lying down.

    Follow up with your doctor regularly for blood tests to monitor your liver before and during treatment with Suboxone.

  • Who should not take Suboxone?

    Do not take Suboxone if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Suboxone?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Suboxone. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have adrenal gland problems, a history of drug or alcohol addiction, head injury, hepatitis or other liver problems, kidney problems, lung disease, problems with your prostate, or thyroid problems.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: The recommended dose is 16/4 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for you and will increase or decrease your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

  • How should I take Suboxone?

    Take Suboxone exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take extra doses or take more often without asking your doctor. Do not stop taking Suboxone suddenly.

    Place the prescribed number of tablets under your tongue until they are dissolved completely. You may place all the tablets at once or alternatively.

  • What should I avoid while taking Suboxone?

    Do not drink alcohol or take antianxiety medications (such as benzodiazepines), other opioid narcotics, general anesthetics, sedative or hypnotic medications, other tranquilizers or any other medication that slows down your brain function.

    Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or perform any other dangerous activities until you know how Suboxone affects you.

    Do not inject ("shoot-up") Suboxone tablets. Also, do not chew or swallow the tablets because the medicine will not work as well.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Suboxone?

    If Suboxone is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Suboxone with the following: alcohol, antibiotics (such as erythromycin), antifungals (such as ketoconazole), benzodiazepines (such as alprazolam, diazepam, or lorazepam), or HIV medications (such as indinavir, ritonavir, or saquinavir).

  • What are the possible side effects of Suboxone?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: constipation, headache, nausea, pain in the stomach, sweating, vomiting

    Stop taking Suboxone immediately and call your doctor if you have: darker urine, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, pinpoint pupils, sedation, yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes

  • Can I receive Suboxone if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Suboxone during pregnancy are unknown. Suboxone can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. It is recommended that you do not breastfeed while you are taking Suboxone. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Suboxone?

    If you miss a dose of Suboxone, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Suboxone?

    Store at room temperature.

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I'm Kristen Dore, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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