How It Works and Is It Safe?
Subutex is a partial opioid agonist-antagonist that is prescribed to individuals who are struggling with addictions to opioids. Subutex includes buprenorphine hydrochloride as its primary active ingredient and is typically administered daily in the form of a dissolvable tablet that is absorbed into the body. Approved in 2002 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Subutex eliminates the symptoms of withdrawal that take place once an individual stops using opioids such as heroin and/or prescription painkillers. Subutex also provides relief from cravings for additional opioid use.
Because Subutex will not cause patients to experience cognitive impairments, individuals who are prescribed this medication are able to take part in daily activities in a productive manner. Extensive research has confirmed that utilizing Subutex is substantially safer than continuing to abuse opioids, as Subutex will not cause vital organ damage. When taken within a medication assisted treatment program, Subutex provides patients with the mental clarity that is required in order to progress in their treatment.
As is true with most medications, Subutex can cause patients to experience side effects. Prior to incorporating Subutex into your plan of treatment, patients are urged to discuss these potential side effects with their physician in order to determine if Subutex is the appropriate medication based on their individual needs and treatment requirements.
The Effectiveness of Subutex Treatment
Extensive clinical research has confirmed the safety and effectiveness of Subutex when taken to treat opioid addiction. Patients who have utilized Subutex when engaged in medication assisted treatment program have reported a decrease in the symptoms of withdrawal that were experienced as well as diminished cravings for continued opioid use. In general, when taken under the supervision of a trained medical professional within a medication assisted treatment program, Subutex provides patients with relief from the physical aspects of withdrawal in a safe and effective manner.
The Benefits of Subutex Treatment Plus Counseling
Treatment that incorporates the use of Subutex typically involves three phases of treatment. Additional therapeutic interventions complement this medication well as they assist patients in progressing in their treatment. When taken, patients will most likely experience the following phases:
Induction: This first phase of treatment takes place when a patient is first introduced to Subutex and typically occurs after the use of opioids has ceased. Patients who are in the induction phase are typically in the beginning stages of withdrawal.
Stabilization: During the second phase of treatment, patients are no longer experiencing the symptoms of withdrawal, nor are they craving additional opioids. It is during this time that the dosage of Subutex can be altered based on their specific needs.
Maintenance: Patients in the maintenance phase of treatment are stable enough to discuss weaning off of Subutex or transitioning onto another medication if necessary.
During these phases, it is extremely important that patients take part in therapeutic interventions in order to properly progress in their treatment. Individual and group counseling sessions allow patients to openly discuss their behaviors and emotions with a trained counselor in a safe and supportive environment. These sessions provide patients with the support, encouragement, education, and psychological treatment that are required in order to prevent relapsing in the future.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Family members and friends of an individual who is taking part in medication assisted treatment for opioid addiction can play integral roles in their loved one’s recovery process. By providing support to your loved one as he or she navigates through recovery can provide him or her with the encouragement that is necessary to successfully achieve lasting recovery. In addition, as a loved one of someone who is struggling with addiction, it is also important that you obtain support for yourself as addiction affects everyone that 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 experiencing while improving your relationship with him or her.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: The following are ways in which you can be successful during your journey towards sobriety:
- Follow the treatment recommendations provided to you by your medical team regarding taking Subutex.
- Attend all individual and group counseling sessions that are scheduled and play an active role in these sessions.
- Openly discuss any concerns that you may have while taking Subutex. Should a concern or issue arise, your treatment provider can potentially adjust your medication.
- Refrain from using opioids while taking Subutex.
- Communicate with your provider should any concerns arise during the course of treatment, as the treatment professionals you are working with can suggest additional opportunities for support or treatment if necessary.
The Side Effects of Subutex
Prior to incorporating Subutex into your treatment regimen, it is important to openly discuss the use of other medications, prescriptions, or substances with your physician due to the adverse effects that can take place when combined with Subutex. Like many medications, there is a risk for side effects when taking Subutex.
The following side effects have been reported by patients who have taken Subutex within treatment:
Most common side effects:
- Back pain
- Withdrawal symptoms
Fairly common side effects:
- Runny eyes
- Flu-like symptoms
Less common side effects:
- Accidental injury
- Upset stomach
To learn more about the treatment methods available through Western North Carolina Comprehensive Treatment Centers, please contact us today.