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Suboxone is a brand-name drug comprised of buprenorphine and naloxone. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 exclusively for the treatment of opioid dependence and opioid addiction. According to American Addiction Centers, Suboxone is “an induction agent to stabilize someone in withdrawal during the medical detoxification process as well as for maintenance treatment to promote recovery from opioid use disorder.” It is an opioid partial agonist that acts in the central nervous system. Buprenorphine is a partial agonist which means it works by partially binding to one’s opioid receptors and expelling any existing opioids and prohibiting any others from attaching. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist and works by counteracting the effects of opioids on one’s brain and nervous system. When abused, or even taken as directed for a prolonged period quitting Suboxone abruptly can produce similar withdrawal effects to other opioids.

Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms

The half-life, meaning the length of time the substance will remain in one’s system until the concentration in one’s blood has been reduced by half, of Suboxone, ranges from about 28 to 37 hours, which is equal to a day or a day and a half. The withdrawal symptoms from Suboxone typically shift and evolve as time passes and as the distance from one’s last dose lengthens. Examples of common withdrawal symptoms from Suboxone may include, but are not limited to, any combination of the following, provided by Verywell Mind:

  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Increased heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Restlessness
  • Chills
  • Teary eyes
  • Severe anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Tremors or twitching
  • Drug cravings

Many of the physical withdrawal symptoms typically dissipate within a month, but according to American Addiction Centers, psychological withdrawal symptoms can take longer to subside. Suboxone cravings can last for months, and in some cases years, after stopping the medication. Psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia can also last beyond the first month. Withdrawal symptoms will vary in duration and severity from person to person as they will depend on the personal health history of the individual, how long he or she had been taking Suboxone, and the dosage of the medication taken.

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.

If left untreated, substance abuse, addiction, and/ or mental illness can result in long-lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to leading happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. Please do not hesitate to reach out for guidance. We welcome the opportunity to discuss how we might best be able to help you or your loved one in the recovery process.

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