Effective opioid addiction treatment isn’t an easy task. Whether the individual has developed a dependence upon heroin or a prescription painkiller (such as OxyContin), addiction treatment recovery is rarely quick and straightforward. Instead, recovery is a gradual process, which involves several necessary steps. The earliest stage of this process is known as the detox phase, and this is often the period in which an individual may utilize a medication such as Suboxone or methadone.
What Is Suboxone?
The FDA has approved three medications to treat opioid withdrawal effects sufficiently. These medications are buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone. These drugs have proven effective at reducing withdrawal symptoms and providing users with milder and more manageable cravings. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration generally recommend Suboxone rather than buprenorphine for both the induction and maintenance phases of opioid dependence treatment Like all medications used to treat opioid addiction, Suboxone has its flaws.
Side Effects Of Suboxone Use
Short-Term Side Effects Of Suboxone
The more common side effects of Suboxone include:
- opioid withdrawal signs, such as body aches, abdominal cramps, and rapid heart rate
- insomnia (trouble sleeping)
- weakness or fatigue
- back pain
- burning tongue
- redness in the mouth
Some of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Serious Side Effects
Serious side effects from Suboxone aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you have a medical emergency.
Serious side effects can include the following:
- severe allergic reaction
- abuse and dependence
- breathing problems
- hormone problems (adrenal insufficiency)
- liver damage
- critical withdrawal symptoms
Severe Allergic Reaction
Severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, can occur in some people who take Suboxone. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include:
- trouble breathing
- skin rash or hives
- swelling of the lips, tongue, throat
Suboxone can also present a range of symptoms, including headaches, anxiety, insomnia, sweating, depression, constipation, nausea, weakness, back pain, burning tongue, and redness in the mouth. These symptoms are usually mild and can be resolved by speaking to a physician about them.
Long-Term Effects of Suboxone
Long-term suboxone use without taking any steps in recovery can be a recipe for stagnation. The side effects of suboxone, when used for a long time, can, however, increase the risk of some medical issues. One of these problems is addiction and dependence, ironically, the condition that suboxone is designed to treat. However, taking suboxone for too long can also result in liver damage and hormonal problems such as adrenal insufficiency when cortisol is too low.
Adrenal insufficiency can cause a range of symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, depression, and low blood sugar. Adrenal insufficiency and other associated medical conditions can become life-threatening if left untreated.
Reports of Suboxone withdrawal showed that most symptoms typically peak by withdrawal day 5. And they usually last until withdrawal day 9 or 10.
Below is a chart showing possible Suboxone withdrawal symptoms and a timeline of how long they may last. Getting help with detox is essential in dealing with this timeline.
Symptoms from 24 to 72 hours:
- muscle and joint aches or pain
- cold-like symptoms
Symptoms lasting up to 1 week:
Symptoms lasting up to 10 days:
- increased tear production
- pupil dilation
- yawning more than usual
- runny or stuffy nose
Symptoms lasting up to a few months:
- opioid cravings
- general discomfort
Help Is Available
If you are currently seeking treatment for opioid addiction, you must be cared for by professionals with experience. Opioid addiction is a complicated disorder, and as a consequence, the process of healing can also be highly complex. Plus, no one treatment method will work for everyone; instead, every patient must receive personalized treatment tailored to their unique needs and circumstances. It doesn’t end with detox either. We offer support all through your recovery, even aftercare.