What to Do If You Experience Negative Health Effects of Suboxone
While Suboxone is a life-saving drug for many opioid addicts, that doesn’t mean it is entirely safe for your body. While most of the side effects of Suboxone are relatively mild, long term use or an adverse reaction can cause unwanted effects.
These negative health effects of Suboxone don’t have to be a deal breaker for your opioid addiction treatment. Still, it’s important to know what to do if you begin to feel any symptoms or have any signs of these health problems.
In rare cases, Suboxone might not be the right treatment for you. In order to find out, give our hotline a call at 800-533-1341. Our experts can talk with you more about your medical history and discuss possible alternative treatments.
What are the Negative Health Effects of Suboxone?
When taken at the normal dosage and frequency, Suboxone doesn’t cause many adverse health effects. However, some patients try to take Suboxone intravenously, which can cause it to be much more potent and dangerous.
Regardless, some of the more serious health effects of Suboxone include:
- An irregular heartbeat or heart palpitations
- Respiratory problems that can cause death or coma if mixed with benzodiazepines
- A decrease in blood pressure that causes dizziness if you sit up too fast
- Problems with your liver, signs of which include yellow eyes or skin, light stools, or dark urine
- An allergic reaction to the medication that can produce hives, rash, swelling of the face, wheezing, or loss of consciousness
Dealing With Irregular Heartbeat
When your heart beats, it usually keeps a steady rhythm. However, with an irregular heartbeat, you experience palpitations, when your heart skips a beat or beats an extra time. Luckily, though they can feel scary, they aren’t very serious. Some ways to try and control your palpitations include:
- Avoiding stress or other strong emotions
- Avoiding stimulants, such as caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine
- Avoiding strenuous physical activity
Dealing With Respiratory Depression
Respiratory problems are more serious than some of the other side effects of Suboxone. It occurs when you stop breathing more than you should, leading to a buildup of carbon dioxide and a lack of oxygen in the body.
The best way to get your respiration back to normal is to go on an assistive breathing machine such as a ventilator to regulate your breaths.
Dealing With Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure is typically any reading lower than 90/60 mmHg. Thankfully, it’s not a very serious condition so does not require any special treatment. Some tips for managing your low blood pressure are:
- Wear compression stockings to keep blood from collecting in the legs
- Always get up from lying down slowly to give your body time to adjust
- Drink more fluids to keep yourself hydrated
Dealing With Liver Problems
If your doctor begins to notice problems with your liver while taking Suboxone, they will immediately take you off of the medication. For these people, the potential damage that can be done to your liver makes it too risky to continue detoxing with Suboxone. If the damage is severe enough, your doctor may also recommend a three day administration of N-acetylcysteine, a chemical that has been shown to help your liver recover.
Dealing With an Allergic Reaction
If you find yourself having an allergic reaction to Suboxone, your doctor may recommend an alternative drug to wean you off of opioids. However, to reduce the symptoms of your reaction, you can:
- Take antihistamines or corticosteroids to reduce swelling, hives, and rash
- Take bronchodilators to reduce wheezing or coughing
- Take epinephrine for serious anaphylaxis shock
With a little bit of knowledge, the negative health effects of Suboxone should pose no lasting threat to your wellbeing. Most of the side effects are more irritating than anything. However, if you ever have doubts about your Suboxone side effects, give your doctor a call right away so they can monitor your health.