Coping with the Side Effects of Suboxone and Staying Sober Long Term
Medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction has been proven again and again to lead to positive outcomes. Traditionally, patients had to rely on methadone as the sole medication prescribed, but recent advances led to the use of buprenorphine and the buprenorphine/naloxone combination Suboxone.
If you are thinking about medication-assisted treatment using Suboxone, you are right to do your research and that includes looking into possible side effects and the ways to cope with them. Doing so should help you gain all the possible benefits from long-term use of the medication.
The following discussion will explain what Suboxone is, cover various side effects and coping strategies, and cover the long-term benefits to your sobriety. This should help you feel more confident when you make decisions about your treatment. But, of course, this won’t cover everything.
To have additional questions answered or to find a treatment program that will meet your needs, call 800-533-1341. Out experts have the knowledge you need to help you through the complicated process of making recovery decisions.
What Is Suboxone?
To help you to understand the benefits offered by Suboxone, you need to understand what it is and how it works. Primarily, the drug is used because it controls withdrawals, alleviates symptoms, and stops users from getting high as long as they are taking the drug. Both buprenorphine and naloxone contribute to this.
Your brain has multiple opioid receptors, which opioids attach to. This is what causes the high that users experience. Buprenorphine mimics other opioids, making your brain believe that it has gotten the high that it craves. This is what eases withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Naloxone blocks the receptors from receiving any more signals and this is what keeps users from getting high while they are on the medication.
What Are the Side Effects of Suboxone?
Suboxone does create mild side effects, but most of them tend to ease up or disappear after you take the medication for a while. It is important that you do not stop taking Suboxone if you experience side effects. You may simply need a change in dosage or a change in your prescriptions. Speaking with your doctor is the right choice. Don’t keep it to yourself.
Possible side effects include:
- Body aches and pains
- Flu-like symptoms
- Trouble sleeping
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mood swings
However, there are more serious symptoms that do require immediate medical attention, as they may signal liver problems. These include:
- Severe stomach pain
- Severe vomiting
- Severe diarrhea
- Tea-colored or dark urine
- Light-colored stool
- Yellowing in the whites of your eyes
- Yellowing of your skin
How Can I Cope with the Mild Side Effects?
There are many simple ways to reduce side effects. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recommends the following.
For general pain and aches, ask your doctor if you can take over the counter remedies.
For dizziness, be sure to stand up slowly to avoid passing out or falling over. If it persists, speak to your doctor.
For constipation, drink a lot of juice and water, eat considerably more fiber, and exercise more.
For sweating, try dressing in layers that allow you to regulate your body temperature. Shower frequently.
For sleeping problems, begin taking your medicine in the morning. Stop taking naps. Practice good sleep hygiene:
- Avoid stimulants near bed time
- Exercise in the morning or late afternoon
- Avoid large meals near bedtime
- Get enough natural light
- Avoid emotionally upsetting conversations or thoughts before bedtime
- Only use your bed to sleep
For nausea and vomiting, take your medication after eating and take antacids if your doctor approves.
For mood swings, begin a regular exercise routine. Develop new, fun things to do that don’t include drugs. Work on relaxing. Maintain a therapy program.
How Will It Help Me Remain Sober Long-Term?
A study of Suboxone experiences in private prescribing office led to the following outcomes among people in the study:
- 75 percent had had successful outcomes
- 43 percent remained on Suboxone
- 21 percent tapered off the medication
- 7 percent transferred to methadone
- 4 percent went to inpatient care
For more information on how Suboxone can help you to achieve long-term sobriety, call 800-533-1341. We are waiting to give you the information that you need.