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What is Subutex?
Subutex is a prescription medicine that helps in the treatment of opioid dependence. The generic version of this drug is available as buprenorphine. It is an opioid that helps treat opioid use disorder, acute pain, and chronic pain. Buprenorphine belongs to the mixed opioid agonist-antagonist class of drugs.
Other forms of buprenorphine also help treat moderate to severe pain. You can order Subutex online if you have a prescription.
The buprenorphine sublingual tablets are not for use as pain medication.
Opioid misuse can lead to addiction, overdose, or death. Keep Subutex in a place where others cannot get to it.
If you are taking opioids during pregnancy, it can result in life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby.
Using opioid medicine with alcohol or other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing may lead to fatal side effects.
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 or buprenorphine, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- breathing problems such as sleep apnea or asthma
- abnormal spine curvature that affects breathing
- methadone treatment
- liver disease (especially hepatitis B or C)
- kidney disease
- brain disorders such as a head injury or brain tumor
- alcoholism, hallucinations, mental illness
- enlarged prostate, urination problems
- problems with your stomach, gallbladder, adrenal gland, or thyroid
Do not use Subutex during pregnancy. Using this medicine during pregnancy can make your baby dependent on the drug. It can cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born.
Subutex passes into breast milk and may cause drowsiness and breathing problems in a nursing baby. Ask your doctor before breastfeeding.
How to take Subutex?
Take Subutex as directed by your doctor. Do not use Subutex in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. If you want to buy Subutex online, make sure to buy it from a trusted website.
Follow all the directions provided on your prescription label and read all medication guides carefully. Your doctor should adjust your dose from time to time. Never use buprenorphine in larger amounts or for longer than the prescribed duration.
Doctors usually prescribe Subutex only at the start of treatment for addiction. People may later switch to another drug that contains buprenorphine, such as Suboxone, Bunavail, Sublocade.
People may receive their first doses of buprenorphine sublingual in a hospital or clinic setting until their condition improves.
Do not share opioids with another person, especially someone with a history of drug addiction.
Keep Subutex in a place where other people cannot get to it. Do not sell or give away opioid medicine to anyone. It is strictly against the law.
Avoid chewing or swallowing the tablet.
If you have two tablets per dose, place the tablets under your tongue at the same time and let them dissolve completely.
Avoid eating or drinking anything until the tablet has completely dissolved in your mouth.
You may need to have frequent blood tests to check your liver function.
Before taking surgery, tell the surgeon in advance that you are using this medicine.
Do not crush or break this pill to inhale the powder. Also, do not mix it into a liquid to inject the drug into your vein. It could result in death.
Tell your doctor that you are receiving treatment for opioid addiction and taking this medication.
Do not stop using this drug suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to stop using this medicine safely.
Store Subutex at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep track of your medicine. Buprenorphine can lead to addiction, so keep an eye out for anyone who is misusing or using it without a prescription.
Adult Dose for Opioid Dependence – Maintenance
Adjust dose in 2 mg to 4 mg increments/decrements until patient remains in treatment and suppresses signs and symptoms of opioid withdrawal.
The target dose is 16 mg sublingually once a day; it ranges from 4 to 24 mg per day.
The maximum dose is 24 mg per day; higher doses have not shown a clinical advantage.
Adult Dose for Pain
The initial dose is 0.3 mg deep IM or slow IV (over at least 2 minutes); may repeat this dose once after 30 to 60 minutes if needed; then, 0.3 mg IV/IM every 6 hours as needed.
A single 0.6 mg IM dose may be given to patients who are not in a high-risk category.
The maximum single dose is 0.3 mg (IV) or 0.6 mg (IM).
Adult Dose for Opioid Dependence – Induction
Day 1: Take 8 mg sublingually, once a day(may give in 2 to 4 mg increments, if preferred)
Day 2: Take 16 mg sublingually, once a day.
An overdose of buprenorphine can be fatal, especially in a child or someone who is taking the medication without a prescription.
The overdose symptoms include weak pulse, slow heart rate, extreme drowsiness or weakness, cold or clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, very slow breathing, or coma.
What to avoid while using Subutex?
Avoid mixing opioid medications with alcohol or other medicines that make you drowsy or slow your breathing. It may lead to serious side effects.
Do not drive an automobile or operating machinery until you know how this drug will affect you.
Subutex side effects
Some mild side effects of Subutex are as follows:
- increased sweating
- body aches or pain
- a sensation of burning or numbness in your mouth
Serious side effects
- slow heartbeat or weak pulse
- chest pain, trouble breathing
- noisy breathing, sighing, breathing that stops during sleep, shallow breathing
- low cortisol levels, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness, or weakness
- liver problems such as loss of appetite, upper stomach pain, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice
- opioid withdrawal symptoms such as shivering, goosebumps, increased sweating, feeling hot or cold, runny nose, watery eyes, diarrhea, muscle pain
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 drugs can interact with 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:
- narcotic drugs such as opioid pain or prescription cough medicine
- sedatives like valium, including diazepam, alprazolam, lorazepam, etc
- medicines that affect levels of serotonin in your body
- cold or allergy medicines
- medicine for overactive bladder, irritable bowel syndrome, or motion sickness
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:
- opioid pain relievers such as codeine or hydrocodone
- antihistamines such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine
- marijuana or cannabis
- muscle relaxants such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine
- medicines for anxiety or sleep such as diazepam, alprazolam, zolpidem