How It Works and Is It Safe?
Subutex is an opioid partial agonist-antagonist and is a prescription medication that is used in the treatment of individuals who are addicted to opioids. With buprenorphine hydrochloride as its active ingredient, Subutex is provided via a dissolvable tablet so that it can be quickly absorbed into the body. This medication is used in many medication assisted treatment programs and is able to stop painful withdrawal symptoms from occurring when an individual suddenly stops using opioids such as prescription pain pills, heroin, or morphine. Subutex is also effective is decreasing cravings so that patients can remain focused on their recovery.
Subutex obtained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 for use in opioid addiction treatment programs. Since then, it has been viewed as one of the safest forms of treating opioid dependency. Extensive research has shown that consuming Subutex is much safer than continuing to remain addicted to opioids, as the use of this medication does not lead to vital organ damage. In addition, when a patient is prescribed this medication, he or she will not be subjected to cognitive impairments that would otherwise disrupt his or her day-to-day responsibilities. When including Subutex into a medication assisted treatment program, patients will be able to stay focused on their recovery, while remaining capable of maintaining their personal duties.
Above all else, the most important thing to know is that, similar to other medications, the use of Subutex can cause side effects to develop. Yes, Subutex is safe to consume when in the presence of a healthcare provider, however, those who are considering taking this medication should speak with their healthcare provider prior to doing so to be aware of the side effects that can occur.
The Effectiveness of Subutex Treatment
Numerous studies have proven that Subutex is effective in treating opioid addiction. Individuals who have included Subutex into their medication assisted treatment plan have reported less intense cravings for continued abuse of opioids like prescription painkillers, heroin, or morphine, as well as a decrease in the development of withdrawal symptoms that occur when opioids are no longer being consumed.
Overall, when Subutex is included into opioid addiction treatment, the results tend to be positive and encourage individuals who are obtaining this form of care to continue focusing on their recovery.
The Benefits of Subutex Treatment Plus Counseling
Treatment for substance abuse that includes the use of Subutex typically includes treatment phases and therapeutic advances to help move the process of recovery along. When taking Subutex, individuals will most likely experience the following phases:
Stabilization: During this first phase of treatment, patients are not going through withdrawal or struggling with cravings. The amount of Subutex that a patient is consuming can be adjusted at this time if he or she requires it.
Maintenance: When a patient is going through maintenance, he or she is now stable and can start talking about tapering off of Subutex entirely in an effort to transition to another medication.
When each of these phases is occurring, it is very beneficial that a patient obtains therapeutic services at the same time. Individual and group therapy can help a patient work through his or her emotions surrounding each phase of treatment, obtain skills that help him or her stay on track towards recovery, share successes and setbacks of the recovery process, and receive support from professionals and other patients who have experienced similar challenges. Research has proven that those who obtain therapy simultaneously with medication assisted treatment are more likely to stay in recovery.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Loved ones of an individual obtaining Subutex through a medication assisted treatment program can be incredibly helpful to him or her by supplying endless support throughout the process of recovery. In addition, as a friend or loved one of an individual in recovery, it is always an excellent idea to get help for yourself, as it is no secret that your loved one’s addiction can dramatically impact your life in ways that require you to need your own form of support. If possible, it is smart to actively participate in your loved one’s care, as doing so can help you obtain a better understanding of addiction and, in the end, improve your relationship with your loved one.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: If you are considering a medication assisted treatment program that involves the use of Subutex for the treatment of opioid addiction, there are a number of ways that you can yield success at this time:
- Follow the treatment recommendations provided to you by your doctor when it comes to consuming Subutex.
- Go to all individual and group therapy sessions that you have planned and actively engage in these settings.
- Speak up if you have any concerns while taking Subutex. If you begin to grow concerned, your provider can help make adjustments to your medication if necessary.
- Do not use other opioids while taking Subutex.
- Talk with your provider if you begin having addiction-related concerns during recovery, as doing so can help him or her provide you with other opportunities for support that can be beneficial to you.
The Side Effects of Subutex
Consuming any type of prescription medication should elicit a conversation with your provider to ensure that you can eliminate any risks. Prior to taking Subutex, ask about any food interactions that could develop while on Subutex, as well as any health conditions that could be exasperated by its presence. Also, ask about any other possible drug interactions that could happen if other prescription medications or over-the-counter medications are being consumed.
In addition, it is imperative for patients who are starting on a Subutex program to be aware that the following side effects can occur, most of which are more common when a patient’s dosage is increased:
Most common side effects:
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Back pain
Fairly common side effects:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Runny eyes
Less common side effects:
- Accidental injury
- Upset stomach
At Cedar Rapids Comprehensive Treatment Center, we are pleased to speak with you in regards to the treatment methods that we provide so that we can answer any questions that you or your loved one might have. Please contact us today.