The People's Perspective on Medicine

Buprenorphine HCI and Naloxone HCI Dihydrate Sublingual

Suboxone is used to treat opioid dependence. 

Full prescribing information is available at:

http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?id=7840

Check out Wikipedia for more user-friendly information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suboxone 

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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There is a lot of misinformation in these posts about Suboxone. First of all, buprenorphine is a mixed agonist antagonist at the opioid receptor. Buprenorphine itself is what blocks the effects of other opioids which may happen to be administered because buprenorphine has a much higher binding affinity to the opioid receptor. It is also what causes the pain relief at the same time (hence, mixed agonist antagonist). Naloxone, on the other hand, is only in the medication to prevent it from being abused by route of injection. If a person were to inject Suboxone, or snort it, the NALOXONE would cause immediate precipitated withdrawal. Just wanted to clear this up. Naloxone serves no other purpose than to cut down on the abuse liability of Suboxone.

I was addicted to opioids for pain in one form or another for 15 years, with only a nine month period of total abstinence. When I stopped I was taking 5-6 30 mg oxycodone a day. I got one week only refills and I would be at Walgreens at 12 am for a refill for the next week. I finally hit bottom on New Years Eve when I ran out and started withdrawal with my children visiting. I had been through this before and took methadone for a while then started using again.

One thing I know is the withdrawal from methadone without a a 6-12 month taper is the worst withdrawal there is. I started and stopped many times when I couldn’t stand it anymore. 2-3 weeks with constant nausea and involuntary muscle spasms. Finally after 27 days it was over. I swore I would never get in this predicament ever again. But after 9 months I convinced myself I could handle it again.

I have medical reasons for it I told myself, 7 years later I had hit bottom again. It took another three years of back and forth oxy then suboxone before I could stay on suboxone for two years now. I take 16 – 24 mg a day. It doesn’t get me high like oxy but it relaxes me and helps relieves my chronic pain. I don’t have to worry about overdosing and I only see my pain Dr twice a year.

If I take four I fall asleep. I know that if I stop taking them I will have a terrible time, but hopefully I will be ablebto have a long taper. I hope this helps someone who is in the early stages of opioid addiction to stop now because it will take over your life and never go away. I had inpatient rehab twice, all kinds of outpatient therapy, and a monthly visit to a psychiatrist for the last 15 years and that’s another story of addiction to four antidepressants!

Thats great to hear about buprenorphine helping you. I think that it truly is a wonderful drug and know it has saved countless lives. You may come across a lot of people saying that the buprenorphine is highly addictive(actual m.d.’s indicating more addictive than morphine, oxycontin, etc.) since primarily used as a tool for opiate addiction, much existing information is incredibly flawed. Being such a new drug, and considering that many clinical tests, as well as doctors inputs are having to rely on information given by, or collected from addicts, there is clearly much more needed data. Being a former abuser of oxycontin, as well as(unbelievably) heroin if nothing else was attainable. As with most, after about one year of heavy usage, oxycontin was simply a daily medication to function and nothing more. (Not a very good one at that) so, when suboxone appeared, it was a godsend. The only insurmountable problem is the fact that the naloxone is a nightmare on the stomach, but more so, finding a doctor who understands the 2 drugs.

With or without naloxone; buprenorphine is equally addictive. Naloxone prevents the patient from receiving affects of other narcotics. The pharma company that invented suboxone had their patent run out. This is why if you are an addict who truly wants to use the meds properly, you are screwed. The pharma company developed the drug into sublingual strips(like the breath freshining ones) and pushes these. Clearly, these people control these doctors; some simply say they ONLY deal with the strips, while some still decent doctors are fed incorrect information; which they truly cannot prove or disprove. Bottom line is 16 mgs of buprenorphine is the maximum amount that can effect someone, or create a “high”. For other reasons as well, very large amounts of people are forced to obtain through the black market. Myself for example. I despise this. However, due to many reasons, its simply my only option. But, I will say that many people who do this will use the drug improperly. So, oh well, anybody know how to help? Lemme know

Help with what exactly?

I suffer from chronic pain for many years. This is a miracle drug. I only have to take one a day compared to many narcotics daily that didn’t even work. I use to take suboxen for 2 yrs because I was tired of the problems with other narcotics. My Dr is trying to save me some money, so he wrote for the buprenorphine which is the other half of suboxen. I was wondering without the naloxen (other half of suboxen) can I easily come addicted to the buprenorphine? I have no cravings or desire to mis-use this drug.
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: IT IS POSSIBLE TO BECOME ADDICTED TO BUPRENORPHINE, SO MAKE SURE TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN AND DON’T CHANGE YOUR DOSE, FREQUENCY OR MANNER OF TAKING IT. THIS IS NOT A HIGH RISK.

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