Subutex

Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Buprenorphine.

Uses

Physicians order Subutex to treat opioid dependence. Subutex is part of a complete narcotic dependence treatment plan. Subutex contains buprenorphine, a potent semi-synthetic opiate, used to control pain. Subutex also contains naloxone, otherwise known as Narcan, which reduces the effect of opioids on the system. Learn More About Subutex Uses

Administration/Dosage

Subutex is a sublingual tablet, which means you place it under your tongue and allow it to dissolve. Never chew, swallow or suck on Subutex.

The standard dose for adults and teenagers is a single 12 to 16 mg dose once a day. Subutex is not recommended for children under the age of 16. Do not give this medicine to a child. Older patients may be more sensitive to Subutex; smaller doses under supervision are recommended during initial doses for younger and older people.

Subutex is taken on a regular schedule. If you miss a dose, take another tablet as soon as you remember. If it is nearly time to take another dose, simply skip the missed dose and resume your normal schedule. Do not take two doses in an effort to catch up.

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Action

Subutex is in a class of drugs known as opioid partial agonist-antagonist. This means Subutex binds to nerve receptors in nearly the same way as the abused narcotic, but without the pleasant feelings of euphoria. This action helps you stop using other opioids by reducing withdrawal symptoms. More About How Subutex Works

Precautions

Tell your doctor if you are allergic to buprenorphine, naloxone or any other medication. Allergic reaction is a serious, even life-threatening condition. Seek medical help immediately if you suspect you are having an allergic reaction. Symptoms include hives, itching and swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat.

Do not take Subutex if you have taken another narcotic, like morphine or codeine, in the past four hours.

You may not be able to take Subutex if you have experienced certain medical conditions. Give your doctor a complete medical history before taking Subutex. Be sure to tell your physician if you have ever suffered history of blood or electrolyte problems, breathing or lung problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Your doctor should know if you have an underactive thyroid or adrenal gland problems such as Addison disease. Discuss any history of liver or kidney problems, an enlarged prostate gland, trouble urinating, a blockage of your bladder or urethra, gallbladder problems or stomach problems. Notify your physician of any recent head injury, brain tumor, increased cranial pressure or muscle problems, such as myasthenia gravis.

Subutex may make you drowsy. Do not operate a vehicle or engage in potentially risky behavior requiring you to be alert and awake. Subutex may also make you dizzy, especially when rising from bed. To avoid this, place your feet on the floor and sit for a few minutes before slowly standing up.

Do not consume alcohol while taking Subutex. Alcohol increases the risk of suffering side effects associated with Subutex. Using too much Subutex with alcohol may cause death. Check the labels of all foods, beverages and medications for alcohol.

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Warnings

Health professionals do not yet know if taking Subutex during pregnancy harms your unborn child. Infants born to mothers who took Subutex at the time of delivery may exhibit symptoms of withdrawal. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant before taking Subutex. Notify your physician immediately if you become pregnant while taking Subutex. Subutex is found in breast milk – do not breastfeed your baby while taking Subutex.

Stopping Subutex use suddenly may cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Whenever possible, wean yourself from Subutex by taking smaller doses further apart. If you cannot comfortably stop using Subutex, consult with your doctor or qualified in-patient or out-patient rehabilitation center. More Warnings About Using Subutex

Drug Interactions

Certain medicines may increase the side effects associated with Subutex, including certain antifungals, antibiotics and HIV medicines. Some drugs increase the risk for severe drowsiness, breathing problems and seizures, including Diazepam, cimetidine, and narcotic pain medicines such as codeine, phenothiazines or sodium oxybate, otherwise known as GHB. Other drugs, like naltrexone or rifampin, decrease the effectiveness of Subutex. Subutex may decrease the effectiveness of methadone.

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Side effects

You may experience side effects while taking Subutex. Some side effects can be serious or even life-threatening. Seek medical assistance immediately at the first onset of serious side effects such as yellowing of your skin or eyes, an allergic reaction, anxiety and nervousness, dark urine, mood changes, pale stools or depressed breathing.

There are more common, less serious side effects associated with the active ingredient in Subutex, buprenorphine. If these side effects become acute or don't go away on their own, consult with your physician. These side effects include:

  • Shallow or Slowed Breathing.
  • Feeling Light-headed or Fainting.
  • Confusion.
  • Having Unusual Thoughts or Exhibiting Atypical Behavior.
  • Chills.
  • Constipation, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Nausea, Stomach Pain

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Overdose

If you suspect that you or someone you know has taken an overdose of Subutex, seek emergency assistance immediately. Contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or go to the emergency room immediately. Overdose symptoms include:

  • Excessive Drowsiness
  • Severe Dizziness
  • Very Slow and Shallow Breathing
  • Very Small Pupils

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Abuse

Subutex is usually prescribed as a treatment for opioid dependence but, like all narcotics, Subutex can be abused. Tell your doctor if you feel you or someone you know is abusing Subutex. Rehabilitation effectively reduces abuse, dependence and addiction. Read More About Subutex Abuse

Withdrawal

Do not stop taking Subutex suddenly or without approval from your physician. You may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking Subutex. Withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person. Withdrawal from Subutex causes digestive, mental, sensory, neurological and other assorted symptoms. You may experience diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Pain, rigid muscles, rapid heartbeat, seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not there, shivering or tremors, sweating and trouble sleeping are common symptoms of withdrawal from Subutex. You may also experience anxiety, fever, runny nose, or sneezing, goose bumps and abnormal skin sensations.

Detox

You may grow dependent on the drug you relied on to help you overcome dependence to another opioid. Talk with your doctor if you now find yourself dependent or addicted to Subutex. She will refer you to an in-patient and out-patient treatment facilities staffed with trained professionals who can minimize withdrawal symptoms, detoxify your body and give you the tools necessary to live opioid-free.

Learn More About Subutex Detoxification Programs

Storage

Keep Subutex away from excessive heat and moisture. Do not keep this drug in your bathroom or car. Store Subutex away from children, pets and adults who might accidently or purposefully consume the drug. Do not share Subutex with others, especially with individuals with a history of alcohol or drug abuse. Keep track of your medication, taking note of any missing doses.

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