Suboxone Side Effects & Warnings

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on January 10, 2023

Those who participate in Suboxone drug use may experience side effects such as constipation, drowsiness, and sedation. Warnings associated with Suboxone include liver injury, drug interactions, and the risk of overdose.

Buprenorphine/naloxone (brand name Suboxone) is available as a sublingual film or sublingual tablet. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist while naloxone is an opioid antagonist.

This medication is used to help treat those with opioid use disorder. The buprenorphine of this prescription drug attaches to opioid receptors in the brain and naloxone helps to manage the effects of opioids as well as potential opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Despite this, Suboxone may create a number of effects that can range from common to serious side effects. 

Side Effects Of Suboxone

Per the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), drugs containing buprenorphine are Schedule III controlled substances according to the Controlled Substances Act. 

Schedule III controlled substances have the potential for abuse and can lead to psychological or physical dependence.

Common Side Effects Of Suboxone

As stated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), some of the common side effects of Suboxone may include:

  • constipation
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • drowsiness
  • sedation
  • back pain
  • dry mouth
  • dizziness

Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms

Those who participate in Suboxone use and abruptly stop the drug may experience a number of withdrawal symptoms. Some of these may include:

  • cravings for the drug
  • sweating
  • muscle aches
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • runny nose
  • sleeping problems
  • tremors
  • irritability

Suboxone Warnings

There are several warnings to know before taking Suboxone. For instance, allergic reactions can occur, creating hives or rashes. Those participating in Suboxone drug use may also experience liver injury, drug interactions, or an overdose.

Liver Injury

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), those who suffer from liver disease should avoid Suboxone. Although liver injury is a severe side effect that’s rare, it may create life-threatening health problems.

In fact, severe stomach pain, extreme vomiting, or yellowing of the skin (jaundice) may occur. If this takes place, speak with your doctor immediately.

Drug Interactions

A number of drug interactions may occur if a person combines medications and substances with Suboxone. Before taking Suboxone, seek the medical advice of your healthcare provider.

Some of the drugs to avoid while taking Suboxone include the following:

  • benzodiazepines
  • muscle relaxants
  • opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone
  • certain antidepressants
  • alcohol
  • supplements
  • Subutex (buprenorphine tablets without naltrexone)
  • similar drugs to buprenorphine such as methadone
  • antihistamines
  • over-the-counter pain medications

Suboxone Overdose

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some of the symptoms of a Suboxone overdose may consist of:

  • respiratory depression
  • pinpoint pupils
  • fluctuations in blood pressure
  • increase in heart rate
  • slurred speech
  • loss of consciousness

Certain medications may be administered to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. If you suspect a loved one is suffering from an overdose, contact 911 right away.

Opioid Addiction Treatment

Opioid addiction treatment may include maintenance treatment with Suboxone or another FDA-approved medication as part of a medication-assisted treatment program.

If you or a loved one have struggled with Suboxone use in medication-assisted treatment, you may be prescribed a different medication or other treatment options such as behavioral therapy or 12-step support.

To learn how our healthcare professionals use evidence-based services to treat opioid use disorder, please contact Ohio Recovery Center today.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration — Buprenorphine
  2. Food and Drug Administration — Suboxone
  3. National Alliance on Mental Illness — Buprenorphine/Naloxone (Suboxone)
  4. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Buprenorphine Sublingual and Buccal (opioid dependence)
  5. The Ochsner Journal — Suboxone: Rationale, Science, Misconceptions
  6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — Buprenorphine

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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