About Suboxone

What is Suboxone Suboxone contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial agonist opioid medication. Buprenorphine is similar to other opioids such as morphine, codeine, and heroin however, it produces less euphoric (“high”) effects and therefore may be easier to stop taking. Naloxone blocks the effects of opioids such as morphine, codeine, and heroin. If Suboxone is injected, naloxone will block the effects of buprenorphine and lead to withdrawal symptoms in a person with an opioid addiction. When administered under the tongue as directed, naloxone will not affect the actions of buprenorphine.
Suboxone is used to treat opiate addiction. It is a schedule III drug so the rules for methadone therapy do not apply. A patient for whom Suboxone is indicated may receive a month’s supply at a time. Counseling services must be available but are not required. Close monitoring by the physician is necessary at the beginning to determine the optimum dose. Most patients do well at 12-16 mg a day. The maximum dose is 24 mg. Because buprenorphine has only a partial effect on the brain’s receptors, someone with a “heavy” habit is probably not a good candidate as the drug would probably not relieve the symptoms of withdrawal or drug cravings. A patient on methadone maintenance who would like to switch to suboxone does well if their methadone dose is less than 60 mg a day. This can serve as a useful stepping stone to abstinence, because it is easier to detox from suboxone. Even though it has only a partial effect on the brain it strongly attaches to the receptor sites. This creates a “ceiling” effect. That is taking additional opioids on top of suboxone will have little effect. This helps to discourage patients from using other drugs. However, there have been deaths in Europe associated with Suboxone in combination with Rohypnol, the date-rape drug.  Additionally, if a person takes Suboxone shortly after taking an opiate, the Suboxone will “kick out” the opiate from the receptor site and bring on symtoms of withdrawal. Many addicts have learned this the hard way. It is necessary to be opiate-free for at least 24 hours before starting Suboxone. The biggest drawback and obstacle to taking Suboxone is the cost. At most clinics and doctors’ offices, it is at least 2-3 times the cost of Methadone. New Day Treatment Center is dedicated to removing obstacles to treatment, such as cost, and have kept our prices affordable to most. It has recently been released in a generic form, so the cost may soon come down. If interested in Suboxone, a consultaton with our physician would determine if you are a suitable candidate. In order to prescribe Suboxone a physician must go through special training and certification to receive an “exemption” on his DEA license. Our physicians have all received this “exemption”.Suboxone is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether Suboxone will be harmful to an unborn baby. Use of this medication during pregnancy may cause withdrawal symptoms in a newborn baby. Do not take Suboxone if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Buprenorphine and naloxone pass into breast milk and may be harmful to a nursing baby. Do not take this medication if you are breast-feeding a baby.