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What is Subutex?
Buprenorphine, also known as the brand name Subutex, is an opioid medication that helps treat addiction to opioids. Buprenorphine is related to a class of drugs called mixed opioid agonist-antagonists.
Buprenorphine also helps treat moderate to severe pain. This medicine works by acting on the central nervous system (CNS) to relieve pain.
Buprenorphine also helps prevent withdrawal symptoms caused by stopping other opioids.
How to use Subutex?
Follow all the directions provided on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take buprenorphine in larger amounts or for longer than prescribed. If you want to order Subutex online, make sure that it is genuine.
Do not share opioid medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. This drug can cause addiction, overdose, and death if misused. Keep this drug in a place where people cannot get it easily. Selling or giving away opioid medicine to others is against the law.
Make sure to use dry hands when handling the tablet. Place the tablet under your tongue for 5 to 10 minutes and let it dissolve in your mouth.
Do not chew or swallow the tablet. Let the tablet dissolve completely in your mouth before eating or drinking anything.
You may need to have frequent blood tests to check your liver function.
Before having surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using buprenorphine.
Do not break or crush these pills to inhale the powder. Do not mix it into a liquid to inject the drug into your vein. Doing so may lead to death.
Do not start taking buprenorphine too soon after using opioids. It may cause withdrawal symptoms. You should ask your doctor how to stop using this medicine safely. Suddenly stopping this medication may also cause withdrawal, especially if you have used it for a long time or in high doses.
An overdose of buprenorphine can be dangerous, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. The overdose symptoms may include severe drowsiness or weakness, slow heart rate, cold or clammy skin, very slow breathing, pinpoint pupils, weak pulse, or coma.
You should store buprenorphine at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Always keep track of your medicine.
What to know before taking Subutex?
Do not use Subutex if you are allergic to it or have used another narcotic drug within the past 4 hours.
This drug is not for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
Before taking Subutex, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- breathing problems such as sleep apnea, asthma
- abnormal spine curvature that affects breathing
- methadone treatment
- liver disease (especially hepatitis B or C)
- kidney disease
- a head injury or brain tumor
- alcoholism, hallucinations, mental illness
- enlarged prostate, urination problems
- problems with your stomach, gallbladder, adrenal gland, or thyroid
This drug may cause QT prolongation, a condition that affects the heart rhythm. The risk of QT prolongation is higher if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation.
Before using Subutex, tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the drugs you take. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:
- certain heart problems such as slow heartbeat, heart failure
- family history of certain heart problems
Do not use buprenorphine during pregnancy. Using this medicine during pregnancy can make your baby dependent on the drug. It can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born.
Buprenorphine passes into breast milk and may cause drowsiness and breathing problems in a nursing baby. Ask your doctor before breastfeeding.
What are the side effects of Subutex?
Some common side effects of Subutex are as follows:
- sleep problems such as insomnia
- increased sweating
- body aches or pain
- constipation, nausea, vomiting
Serious side effects
- chest pain, trouble breathing
- slow heartbeat or weak pulse
- breathing that stops during sleep, noisy breathing, sighing, shallow breathing
- opioid withdrawal symptoms such as shivering, goosebumps, increased sweating, feeling hot or cold, runny nose, watery eyes, diarrhea, muscle pain
- low cortisol levels, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness, or weakness
- liver problems such as upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice
Opioid drugs can slow or stop your breathing which may lead to death.
This medicine may cause a condition known as serotonin syndrome. The symptoms of serotonin syndrome include hallucinations, agitation, loss of coordination, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, vomiting, or diarrhea.
What to avoid while using Subutex?
Do not use opioid medicine with alcohol or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing. It may lead to dangerous side effects.
Avoid driving an automobile or operating machinery until you know how this medicine will affect you.
What other drugs will affect Subutex?
Buprenorphine can interact with many other medicines, which may lead to dangerous side effects or death. Make sure to tell your doctor if you also use:
- sedatives like valium, including diazepam, alprazolam, lorazepam, etc
- narcotic drugs such as opioid pain or prescription cough medicine
- medicine for overactive bladder, irritable bowel syndrome, or motion sickness
- medicines that affect levels of serotonin in your body
- cold or allergy medicines
Tell your doctor if you use drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing. These drugs include sleeping pills, muscle relaxer, medicine to treat mood disorders or mental illness.
You should tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products such as:
- marijuana or cannabis
- antihistamines such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine
- medicines for anxiety or sleep such as diazepam, alprazolam, zolpidem
- muscle relaxants such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine
- opioid pain relievers such as codeine or hydrocodone