Subutex Treatment for an Opioid Addiction

How It Works and Is It Safe?

Prescribed for the treatment of opioid addiction, Subutex is a partial opioid agonist-antagonist that provides patients with relief from the physical symptoms of withdrawal and keeps cravings for additional opioid use at bay. Consisting of buprenorphine hydrochloride as its active component, Subutex is administered daily in the form of a dissolvable tablet that is absorbed into a person’s body. Taking Subutex allows patients to progress in their treatment without having to deal with the physical hurdles associated with opioid withdrawal.

Subutex was first approved in 2002 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of opioid dependence. Extensive clinical research has confirmed the safety of Subutex, as it does not cause vital organ damage when taken. In addition, patients who take Subutex will not experience cognitive disruptions, which allow them to progress in treatment in a productive manner.

Like other medications, side effects can occur when taking Subutex. When taken as directed and under the guidance of a trained medical professional, the use of Subutex is an extremely safe treatment option for those struggling with opioid dependence. Patients who are considering incorporating Subutex into their comprehensive treatment plan should discuss the potential side effects in order to determine if this medication is the appropriate fit. Patients who have been prescribed Subutex have reported diminished withdrawal symptoms and an increase in daily mental clarity.

The Benefits of Subutex Treatment Plus Counseling

Patients who are prescribed Subutex typically experience three phases of treatment. In addition to the medication assisted treatment that patients will receive at Western Michigan Comprehensive Treatment Center, therapeutic interventions will also be incorporated into a patient’s treatment plan in order to enhance recovery success during these phases. The following phases will be experienced by individuals who utilize Subutex:

Induction: This first phase of treatment takes place when a patient is initially introduced to Subutex. The induction phase of treatment takes place shortly after an individual stops using opioids. Typically, patients are in the beginning stages of withdrawal.

Stabilization: During the second phase of treatment patients are no longer experiencing symptoms of withdrawal nor are they craving additional opioid use. It is during this time that the dosage of Subutex can be adjusted based upon the needs of the individual.

Maintenance: When a person is in the maintenance stage of a Subutex treatment regimen, the individual is stable and can discuss tapering off of Subutex or switch to another medication after discussing this option with his or her doctor.

During these phases it is extremely beneficial for patients to take part in counseling services. Group and individual therapy sessions provide patients with the emotional support necessary to progress in treatment. These sessions allow patients to openly discuss their emotions and behaviors in a safe and supportive environment. Research has proven that patients who utilize therapeutic interventions while taking part in medication assisted treatment are less likely to relapse.

How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment:The loved ones of an individual who is receiving treatment for an addiction can play a vital role in their loved one’s progress. By offering support and encouragement to your loved one as he or she progresses in recovery, he or she is more likely to achieve lasting recovery. In addition, it is important that you receive support and treatment of your own, as addiction impacts more than just the individual who is physically abusing a substance or substances.

How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program:If you are contemplating taking part in treatment that utilizes Subutex, please keep the following in mind throughout the course of treatment:

  • Follow the treatment guidelines that are set in place by your medical team regarding taking your prescription.
  • Attend all scheduled individual and group therapy sessions, and play an active role in these sessions.
  • Voice any concerns that may arise while taking Subutex. Adjustments can be made to a patient’s dosage if deemed appropriate by his or her treatment team.
  • Refrain from using opioids while taking Subutex.
  • Openly communicate any concerns that may arise throughout the course of treatment. The medical professionals at Western Michigan Comprehensive Treatment Center are here to ensure that all patients receive the highest quality of care during their time at our center.

The Side Effects of Subutex

Like most medications, there is a potential for side effects to arise when taking Subutex. Prior to incorporating the use of this medication in your treatment plan, patients are urged to discuss the use of any other medications, prescriptions, and/or substances with their physician to ensure that no adverse effects take place due to negative drug interactions. Patients should notify their physician should any of the following side effects take place:

Most common side effects:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleeplessness
  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Infections
  • Pain
  • Back pain
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Fairly common side effects:

  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Runny eyes
  • Tiredness
  • Chills
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Diarrhea

Less common side effects:

  • Accidental injury
  • Upset stomach
  • Abscesses
  • Fever

Please contact Western Michigan Comprehensive Treatment Center today to learn more about Subutex and the other treatment options that we provide. We are here to assist you in achieving the happy, healthy, and opioid-free life that you deserve to be living.

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