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Suboxone is an FDA approved medication specifically designed to treat individuals struggling with opioid dependence.

It is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance, which according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is defined as “drugs, substances, or chemicals with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.” Suboxone is made up of buprenorphine (another opioid) and naloxone. The combination of these two medications is effective in reducing active drug cravings and alleviating some of the adverse symptoms of opiate withdrawal. If an individual uses Suboxone in the way in which it was prescribed and follows the directions of the prescribing healthcare provider, it can be extremely helpful to an individual’s recovery process. 

How Does It Work?

Suboxone is an opioid partial agonist. Analogous to all opioid substances, it works by attaching to the opioid receptors in one’s brain. A person that has habitually abused opioids will become tolerant to the abused substance. This means that an individual will require more opioids to produce the same effects. When a brain that has become accustomed to a certain amount of opioids present has an insufficient amount, it will react accordingly, and withdrawal symptoms will ensue. This cycle will perpetuate, as the brain will then crave the opioid. When Suboxone is used, it blocks the full agonist (abused opioid substance) by attaching to the opioid receptor, expelling any existing opioids, and prohibiting any others from attaching. Because Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist, it produces minimal opioid effects enabling it to significantly reduce the adverse withdrawal symptoms, but not enough to produce any feelings of euphoria. 

Side Effects

While some people who have taken Suboxone reported having weight gain, the cause cannot be accurately attributed to Suboxone. Medical News Today asserts “Weight gain or weight loss are not side effects that have been reported in studies of Suboxone.” As is true with any medication, there are several side effects that can develop when taking Suboxone. Suboxone.com provide the following list of potential side effects that can transpire when taking the medication:

  • Muscle aches
  • Fever
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting

Some of the severe side effects of Suboxone can include overdose, adrenal insufficiency, respiratory distress, dependence, and more. Every person is different and will have a distinct reaction to taking Suboxone. The combination, severity, and duration of the side effects experienced will differ from person to person. Any individual using Suboxone should do so under the direct supervision of a medical professional, to ensure safety. Additionally, it is imperative to be transparent with your prescribing medical professional regarding any side adverse effects that linger. 

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At {Upwell Advisors}, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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