Wednesday September 20th 2017

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Buprenorphine

What is buprenorphine?

Buprenorphine is a semi-synthetic drug made in laboratories that is used to treat chronic and severe pain and to help recovering opiate/opioid users avoid withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine is made from thebaine, an alkaloid derived from opium poppies. Because it is derived from opium poppies, buprenorphine is an opioid drug.

How is buprenorphine used?

Buprenorphine is available in brand names SUBUTEX®, BUTRANS® and BUPRENEX®. Additionally, buprenorphine preparations with drug naloxone are available in brand names SUBOXONE® and ZUBSOLY®. Buprenorphine is also available in sublingual tablets (taken by placing under the tongue and allowed to dissolve slowly). Sublingual films (which work like sublingual tablets) and extended-release transdermal patches are also available. Buprenorphine hydrochloride is used for deep injection in the muscles (intramuscular) and for transfusion in the veins (intravenous).

Buprenorphine effects

Buprenorphine has medicinal value in relieving moderate to severe pain, much like its sister drug, morphine. In this way, buprenorphine is a painkiller and doctors prescribe it to patients suffering from persistent pain caused by surgery, cancer and neuropathy. What are some other effects of buprenorphine? However, buprenorphine is also valued therapeutically because it can be used as opiate substitution therapy for former drug addicts. Buprenorphine delays symptoms of opioid/opiate withdrawal and addresses cravings for stronger narcotics like morphine or heroin.

Some people use buprenorphine as a recreational drug. Like other opioids, buprenorphine can elicit euphoria described as “high” that causes some people to abuse the drug. Some users describe having pleasant feelings, elevated mood and drifting consciousness on using buprenorphine. Still, buprenorphine can cause adverse effects, some of which are life-threatening.

Signs of overdose or indications that you should stop buprenorphine use include:

  • dizziness
  • feelings of faintness
  • respiratory depression or cessation of breathing
  • sedation

Is buprenorphine addictive?

Yes, buprenorphine can be addictive. But its addiction liability is considered low. Like other opioid drugs, buprenorphine does have potential to become habit forming (a.k.a. buprenorphine dependence) and also has potential for abuse. These are the main reasons why buprenorphine use and availability is highly restricted. The main signs of problems with buprenorphine abuse include:

  • compulsive or obsessive thinking about buprenorphine
  • craving more buprenorphine when doses are lowered or stopped
  • loss of control of buprenorphine use
  • using buprenorphine despite negative consequences to home, work, or health

To explore more about buprenorphine, see:

Buprenorphine

Physical addiction to buprenorphine

Physical addiction to buprenorphine

June 30th, 2017

Need help for a buprenorphine problem? Learn some basics about withdrawal, physical stabilization, and mental health counseling. Plus, info on how dependence differs from addiction.

The Buprenorphine Withdrawal Timeline Chart

The Buprenorphine Withdrawal Timeline Chart

June 12th, 2017

A graphic display of Buprenorphine Withdrawal Symptoms. Learn what to expect here:

How to help a buprenorphine addict?

How to help a buprenorphine addict?

May 19th, 2017

Are you struggling with buprenorphine addiction? Drug problems can be treated. Help is available. Find out how you can treat buprenorphine addiction for yourself or a loved one here.

Subutex Addiction Treatment

Subutex Addiction Treatment

February 22nd, 2017

The complete guide on how to find help for Subutex addiction. If you’re struggling with buprenorphine, reach out for help today! Treatment can make you better.

20 How to stop taking buprenorphine?

How to stop taking buprenorphine?

January 3rd, 2017

It is never recommended to stop taking buprenorphine abruptly or without a consultation with you doctor. Read more about the safe ways of quitting buprenorphine, here.

4 Oxycodone vs. Buprenorphine: The addiction paradox

Oxycodone vs. Buprenorphine: The addiction paradox

July 26th, 2016

How can opioid or opiate dependence be treated with a prescription for another opioid? More here.

2 Is Bunavail safe?

Is Bunavail safe?

February 18th, 2016

Yes, Bunavail is generally a safe medication. Used for the treatment of opiate and opioid dependence, learn more basic information about the safety and use of Bunavail here.

How is Bunavail prescribed?

How is Bunavail prescribed?

January 28th, 2016

Basic Bunavail prescribing information with a description of the PROs and CONS of use.

14 Does Suboxone help with opiate withdrawal?

Does Suboxone help with opiate withdrawal?

May 27th, 2015

Yes. Suboxone can treat opiate addiction by preventing symptoms of withdrawal from heroin and other opiates. More on this type of medication assisted treatment here.

3 Why aren't people receiving medication assisted treatment? (and why access is so important)

Why aren’t people receiving medication assisted treatment? (and why access is so important)

April 6th, 2015

Why push for medication assisted therapies in the treatment of heroin or opioid addiction? An in-depth Q&A here with Paul Samuels, the Director and President of the Legal Action Center on why and how people SHOULD be able to access medications for addiction treatment.

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