How It Works and Is It Safe?
Comprised of buprenorphine hydrochloride as its main active ingredient, Subutex is a partial opioid agonist-antagonist that is prescribed to treat individuals struggling with addictions to opioids. Subutex is given daily in the form of a dissolvable tablet that is placed under the tongue and absorbs into the body to help patients experience less intense withdrawal symptoms and diminished cravings for additional opioids such as prescription pain medications, heroin, or morphine. By alleviating the physical symptoms of withdrawal, Subutex elicits the mental clarity required for men and women to focus on the emotional aspects of addiction and recovery.
Subutex was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 and is one of a few medications that is noted as being a safe option for treating opioid addiction. Extensive research has confirmed that taking Subutex is significantly safer than continuing the use of opioids, as Subutex does not cause damage to vital organs. Subutex does not alter cognitive functioning, which allows patients to continue going about their daily lives without any physical disruption. Patients can maintain their daily responsibilities, such as work and school, while also focusing on their recovery.
It is important for patients to understand that while Subutex is safe, side effects can still occur. If you or someone you love is contemplating incorporating Subutex into a treatment regimen, it is important to first discuss these potential side effects with your physician to determine if Subutex is the most appropriate medication to take.
The Effectiveness of Subutex Treatment
Numerous studies have confirmed the safety and effectiveness of Subutex for patients struggling with addictions to opioids. Patients who have incorporated Subutex into their medication assisted treatment plans have reported a decrease in cravings for continued use of opioids. In addition, multiple patients who took part in a Subutex treatment regimen reported that the symptoms often associated with opioid withdrawal are lowered, which allows them the opportunity to focus on the other facets of recovery. Overall, when Subutex is incorporated into a medication assisted treatment program for patients struggling with opioid addiction, patients have reported extremely favorable results.
The Benefits of Subutex Treatment Plus Counseling
There are typically three treatment phases that take place for patients who incorporate Subutex into their treatment plans. When prescribed Subutex, patients will generally experience the following phases:
Induction: The first phase of treatment is the induction phase, where patients are first introduced to Subutex. This phase typically takes place during the beginning stages of withdrawal, when individuals have recently ceased their use of opioids.
Stabilization: During the second phase of treatment, patients are no longer experiencing the symptoms of withdrawal, nor are they craving opioids. During the stabilization phase, a patient’s dosage can be adjusted depending on his or her specific treatment needs.
Maintenance: It is during the maintenance phase of treatment that patients are able enough to discuss weaning off of Subutex completely or switching over to another medication.
During these phases, it is extremely beneficial for patients to simultaneously take part in therapeutic interventions, such as individual and group therapy. Individual therapy sessions allow patients to discuss their progression and recovery in a one-on-one setting with a highly qualified counselor, while group therapy provides patients the chance to come together with other patients who are also struggling with addiction as well. Research has confirmed that by providing patients with support and encouragement through therapeutic interventions, patients are less likely to relapse.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: The loved ones of an individual who is taking part in medication assisted treatment can be a great support during this difficult time. As a loved one of someone who is struggling with addiction, it is important that you obtain your own support, as addiction impacts everyone it touches. By playing an active role in your loved one’s treatment, you will be able to gain a better understanding of what he or she is going through and how you can improve your relationship with him or her as he or she progresses towards recovery.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: If you are struggling with an addiction to opioids and are taking part in a medication assisted treatment program, there are several ways in which you can be successful throughout the process of recovery:
- Follow any and all recommendations provided to you by your treatment provider regarding taking Subutex.
- Attend and play an active role in all group and individual therapy sessions.
- Openly voice any concerns that you may have regarding taking Subutex. Should an issue arise, notify your treatment provider immediately so that adjustments to your treatment can be made.
- Refrain from using opioids while taking Subutex.
- Communicate with your treatment provider should any issues, questions, or concerns arise during treatment. The professionals at Madison Comprehensive Treatment Centers is here to help you throughout your recovery journey.
The Side Effects of Subutex
Prior to incorporating Subutex into your treatment plan, it is important to first discuss any potential side effects that may take place with your prescribing physician. As is the case with most medications, there are risks of side effects while taking Subutex. By speaking with your physician, you will be able to gain a better understanding of any adverse food, over-the-counter medication, or prescription medication interactions that could take place.
It is important for individuals who are taking Subutex to be aware of the following potential side effects that can take place:
Most common side effects:
- Withdrawal symptoms
Fairly common side effects:
- Runny eyes
- Flu-like symptoms
Least common side effects:
- Upset stomach
- Accidental injury
Please contact Madison Comprehensive Treatment Centers today to further discuss Subutex, as well as the other treatment options available.