In the last 20 years, a staggering 450,000+ people have mistakenly died from an overdose of opioids. If you’ve developed an addiction to opioids, you are a candidate for a prescription medication called Suboxone® to help reduce your opioid dependence.
At Vulcan Pain Management, our board-certified pain management specialist, Victor Mendoza, MD, helps people in Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama, safely minimize their use of opioids without having excruciating withdrawal symptoms. Let’s take a closer look at how Suboxone is a critical component in addiction care and whether it has any serious side effects.
What are opioids?
Opioids are a category of frequently prescribed drugs to help people deal with moderate to severe pain conditions. You’ve probably heard of pain relievers like hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone, fentanyl, and morphine. Heroin, which is illegal, is also in the opioid family.
How does Suboxone work?
Suboxone is a medication that’s made up of two main components: buprenorphine and naloxone. It’s administered as a dissolving film that you place in your cheek or on your tongue.
Buprenorphine offers some of the same effects that you get from an opioid, yet it interferes with the high users feel when they take opiates, which is why it’s called a partial agonist-antagonist.
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist and is present in the medication to keep people from snorting or injecting it. When Suboxone is used to treat addiction, deaths from overdose decreased by 50%
Suboxone side effects
Suboxone can make you feel very relaxed, which puts you at risk for developing a dependence on it while you work to break your reliance on opioids. Some of the common side effects of Suboxone use are:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Restless sleep
- Brain fog
- Memory problems
- Burning tongue
While most of the side effects should resolve on their own within a few days of starting the treatment, some side effects may indicate you’ve taken too much and may need medical attention immediately, including:
- Slow breathing
- Slurred speech
- Blurry vision
- Tongue swelling
- Severe depression
- Yellowing of your eyes
Depending on the severity of your pain or addiction, Dr. Mendoza customizes your prescription and monitors you closely to avoid serious side effects. He may also combine your medication with addiction counseling and behavioral therapy to help optimize your success.
To learn more about how to relieve chronic pain or end your addiction to opioids, call now to book your appointment or use the online scheduling option to reserve your time.