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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

4 Does Subutex get you high?

Does Subutex get you high?

March 30th, 2015

Possibly. Subutex contains buprenorphine hydrochloride, which can trigger opioid-like euphoria. While difficult to administer buprenorphine, some abusers are able to get high from it. Read more here.

37 Can you get high on Bunavail?

Can you get high on Bunavail?

March 24th, 2015

Yes, Bunavail can trigger euphoric effect when used OTHER THAN PRESCRIBED. This prescription medication contains buprenorphine, which can be abused. More on Bunavail and euphoric effect here.

33 How long does Bunavail stay in your system?

How long does Bunavail stay in your system?

March 1st, 2015

Buprenorphine, a main ingredient in Bunavail, can be detected for up to two weeks at typical doses. However, the detection timeline can vary considerably depending on the dosage and individual metabolism. More here on Bunavail’s elimination from the body here.

5 Buprenorphine effects

Buprenorphine effects

February 12th, 2015

A list of buprenorphine effects on the brain, body, and different body systems.

60 How long does buprenorphine last?

How long does buprenorphine last?

August 10th, 2014

The elimination half-life of buprenorphine can vary from 20 to 72 hours. More on the duration of action for buprenorphine and how buprenorphine is metabolized here.

34 Can you get high on buprenorphine?

Can you get high on buprenorphine?

July 16th, 2014

Buprenorphine does not get you high if you use it the right way. While some opioid naive people may experience euphoric effect on buprenrophine, it does not cause strong side effects. More on buprenorphine and its potential for abuse here.

57 Buprenorphine overdose: How much buprenorphine to OD?

Buprenorphine overdose: How much buprenorphine to OD?

July 13th, 2014

Symptoms of a buprenorphine overdose can include respiratory depression, miosis and central nervous system depression. 16-32 mg dose ranges are considered “high” doses, but buprenorphine overdose is mainly related to injection. More on buprenorphine OD risks here.

2 Signs and symptoms of buprenorphine addiction

Signs and symptoms of buprenorphine addiction

June 18th, 2014

Yes, you can get addicted to buprenorphine. But signs of addiction to buprenorphine can be difficult to identify. A list of physical and psychological signals of addiction here.

How does buprenorphine block opiates?

How does buprenorphine block opiates?

May 13th, 2014

A review of the specific actions buprenorphine causes in the central nervous system, by Dr. Jeffrey Junig.

2 Help for buprenorphine addiction

Help for buprenorphine addiction

April 17th, 2014

Help for buprenorphine addiction includes supervised withdrawal, physical stabilization, and mental health counseling. Learn where to find help and who to ask here.

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