What Are the Long Term Effects of Suboxone?
Suboxone is a life-saving drug for those addicted to opioid substances. It can help you safely detox and make it through the withdrawal period with minimal side effects. In most cases, it is meant to be used on a short term basis of a few weeks or months, just to get your body safely adjusted to no longer needing opioids. However, when taken for an extended period of time, there are specific long term effects of Suboxone that might begin to affect you.
Getting treatment for your opioid addiction doesn’t have to be challenging. Simply call our hotline at 800-533-1341 (Who Answers?) to receive more information about Suboxone side effects and how to enter a treatment program as soon as possible.
What Are Some Typical Suboxone Side Effects?
Regardless of if you take Suboxone on a short term or long term basis, you will be at risk for several common side effects. In most cases, these side effects do begin to weaken the longer you take the drug, but they still may be present. Some of the most common ones include:
- Nausea and constipation
- Sleep problems
- Tongue pain or mouth numbness
More severe, life-threatening side effects can include:
- Rash or itching
- Slowed respiration
- Fever or hallucinations
- Yellow skin or eyes
Always contact your doctor if you notice any of these side effects.
Suboxone May Cause Decreased Emotional Response
One study on the long term effects of Suboxone concentrated on how it affected a person’s emotional responses. In this study, scientists compared the emotional qualities from the speech of 36 Suboxone patients against 44 normal individuals and 33 members of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The results were clear in showing that people who had been on Suboxone for an extended period had less self-awareness of being sad, anxious, or happy compared to the other two groups. Overall, these Suboxone patients typically feel more “flat” than the average person.
Suboxone Doesn’t Effect Psychomotor Skills
One good point to mention about long term Suboxone use is that it does not affect a person’s psychomotor skills. One study performed by a group of scientists considered the psychomotor and cognitive function of long term Suboxone patients and how it affected their capacity to operate a motor vehicle.
This particular study compared a group of 30 Suboxone users to a group of 90 healthy volunteers. The scientists then tested these people for performance during stress, concentration, vigilance, reaction time, visual orientation, and attention. Overall, the Suboxone users performed the same as the normal group, meaning that long term Suboxone use does not pose a significant risk to a person’s ability to drive a car.
Suboxone May Affect Your Liver Function
Unfortunately, taking Suboxone for too long may result in liver damage, especially if a person already had a weak liver beforehand. Taking Suboxone can elevate serum enzymes, which affect how your liver functions.
While it is a rare side effect, some people have experienced hepatitis and other acute liver injury when taking Suboxone for more than 2 weeks at a time.
Luckily, most of the people who suffer from this problem are taking Suboxone the wrong way. Instead of taking it orally or sublingually as prescribed, some people inject it directly into their bloodstream. This results in an extremely high and undiluted dose of the medicine, putting a lot of strain on the liver.
Overall, there are not many dangerous long term effects of Suboxone. Most of the problems caused by Suboxone are acute, meaning they should disappear after you wean yourself off of the medication. Therefore, these long term side effects should not deter you from seeking Suboxone treatment.