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Sublocade vs Suboxone Treatment

How Does Suboxone Work

Suboxone is a drug that is commonly used to help individuals manage opioid addiction or misuse. Suboxone contains the substances Buprenorphine and Naloxone.

  • Buprenorphine is an opioid medication, often referred to as a narcotic. The drug is a partial opioid agonist that blocks opiate receptors and decreases a person’s urges.
  • Naloxone, commonly referred to as Narcan, halts the effects of opioid medication, such as pain relief and euphoria, which can lead to opioid abuse. This drug assists in reversing the effects of opioids. The combination of these two substances prevents withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid addiction. The main function of Suboxone is to prevent withdrawal, cravings, and relapse.

The Risk of Serotonin Syndrome

Due to the composition of Suboxone, patients should not use this medication if they are allergic to either Buprenorphine or Narcan. Other medications can also interact with Buprenorphine and Naloxone and result in serotonin syndrome. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for carrying signals between nerve cells throughout the body and is essential for the brain to function properly. However, excess serotonin usually results in symptoms ranging anywhere from shivering and diarrhea to severe muscle rigidity, fever, and seizures. If serotonin syndrome reaches a certain threshold, the accumulated serotonin could be fatal.

Who can Prescribe Suboxone

Suboxone cannot be prescribed by just any doctor. Patients must obtain a prescription from an approved prescribing physician in order to get Suboxone for treatment. The medication should not be taken for any other conditions outside of what it is prescribed for. Due to the chemical composition of its active ingredients, patients will be required to check in frequently with their doctor to ensure the medication is being used safely and tolerated well.

Interestingly enough, opioid addiction treatment is considered to be a psychiatric treatment. As a result, many psychiatrists should be trained and available to provide Suboxone treatment, as well.

However, psychiatrists are not the only doctors who can write a Buprenorphine or Buprenorphine with Naloxone prescription. Doctors need to be certified to prescribe Suboxone. Most health professionals who are specialists in addiction treatment or have finished specific training can become certified to treat opioid dependence with Suboxone in their practice.

Side Effects of Suboxone Treatment

Side effects to be aware of when using Suboxone include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Feeling drunk
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Tongue pain
  • Redness or numbness inside the mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Backaches
  • Intense heartbeat
  • Increased sweating
  • Insomnia

Suboxone has the potential to decrease breathing or stop it all together. Extremely dangerous side effects can occur if Suboxone is mixed with alcohol or any other depressant drugs. Additionally, misuse of Suboxone can lead to addiction, overdose, and death. Prolonged consumption of opioid medication could impact fertility in both men and women. However, it is unknown if these opioid effects on fertility are permanent. Researchers do know, however, that using Suboxone when pregnant could cause harmful withdrawal symptoms for the newborn. If a young child or unknowing adult takes just one dose of Suboxone, the drug could cause death from accidental or improper drug consumption.

Sublocade vs Suboxone: What’s The Difference

1. Composition

  • Suboxone has been used in addiction treatment since 2002, while a different treatment drug, Subclocade, was introduced and approved in 2017. Oftentimes, there is confusion between Suboxone and Sublocade. The main difference between these two drugs is that while Suboxone contains Buprenorphine and Naloxone, Sublocade only contains Buprenorphine.

2. Method of Use & Doses

  • The way the drugs are administered also differs; Sublocade is injected into patients and Suboxone is a film that patients put under their tongue. The doses are different, as Sublocade is administered once a month while Suboxone is consumed daily as a single dose. Due to the administration of Sublocade by injection, the drug has to be injected under the skin by a certified health care professional. Suboxone can be consumed by the patients at home on their own, or administered by a healthcare professional.

3. Timeline of Prescription

  • The timeline of when doctors prescribe these drugs differs. Suboxone is prescribed early in a patient’s treatment plan while Sublocade is prescribed only to patients after they have already been on Suboxone or another Buprenorphine treatment for at least seven days previously and have shown that they are tolerating the drug well. Some patients prefer Sublocade because it minimizes the burden of taking daily medication in their recovery. In addition, Sublocade also decreases the risk of abusing oral Buprenorphine.

Recovery Requires A Comprehensive Treatment Plan

Most importantly, Suboxone or Sublocade treatment alone does not have the ability to combat addiction. When these drugs are used in combination with a comprehensive recovery treatment plan, individuals typically experience the most successful recovery. A program like this could include inpatient or outpatient treatment, group therapy sessions, counseling, and having a strong support system.

At Boardwalk Recovery Center, we are compassionate about the pain of opioid withdrawals and addiction. Our outpatient treatment options are designed to promote long-term abstinence and relapse-prevention. We employ only the most qualified medical staff to determine the psychological and medical needs of all those seeking treatment from our programs. Whether you are looking for treatment of opioid addiction for yourself or a loved one, we can help. Contact us today.

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