Subutex Abuse Withdrawal

Subutex Abuse Withdrawal

Subutex (chemical name Buprenorphine) is a drug used to treat opiate addiction and is indicated in the management of chronic to severe pain. Buprenorphine is a potentially addictive substance. It is commonly used to treat heroin addiction, mostly by applying a technique known as Replacement Therapy where the drug replaces opiate molecules in the opioid receptors of the brain due to its relatively higher affinity to these receptors and this effectively displaces them from the body.

The actual removal of the substance from the body (detoxification) is accomplished naturally by being broken down in the liver. Subutex is a partial opioid agonist that works by preventing the severe symptoms associated with heroine withdrawal from an addict. The active substance in Subutex is Buprenorphine Hydrochloride.

Subutex is mostly administered to patients in the form of Suboxone, a drug that contains an additive called naloxone. For treatment of chronic pain, transdermal patches are used ,while for treatment of post-operative pain the drug is injected intravenously. Due to the naloxone present in Suboxone , severe withdrawal symptoms are likely to be experienced if the drug is abused.

Subutex Abuse Withdrawal

Naloxone is added to Subutex to discourage its abuse and it works by reversing the effects of opiates in the body this effectively triggering severe withdrawal symptoms. If used as prescribed, this is unlikely to happen. Subutex abuse is likely to happen in individuals who use it regularly.

Some of the symptoms associated with withdrawal from the Subutex include hallucinations, body tremors, craving for the drug etc. These make a patient feel very sick. Withdrawal symptoms also vary from patient to patient and can be mild in some while in others they are severe.

It is strongly recommended that a patient who wants to break addiction from Subutex to do so under close medical supervision. This is because of the complications likely to arise if the drug is withdrawn suddenly and these include seizures, damage to organs such as liver or even death.

Subutex Abuse Detoxification Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Diarrhea
  • Profuse sweating
  • Body chills
  • Abrupt mood changes
  • Body tremors
  • Yawning
  • Muscle cramps
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Goose bumps
  • Insomnia (sleeplessness)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hallucinations
  • Deliriums
  • Anxiousness
  • Depression
  • Fever
  • Extreme irritability
  • Muscle pains
  • Respiratory distress
  • Muscle spasms

The onset of these symptoms can occur in a matter of hours from the last administration and can last for a period of several days or even weeks (anything between 2-5 weeks). That is why it is not advisable to try and stop taking the drug ‘cold turkey’ (where the patient stops all of a sudden) as the withdrawal symptoms encountered can be dangerous and in some cases fatal.

The biggest cause of addiction to Subutex is lack of information by the patients. Many addicts point out that their doctors neglected to warn them of the potential harm that can occur by using the drug wrongly, using it for a long period of time or overdosing. Many patients also report that the withdrawal symptoms of opiate use are actually less severe than the withdrawal symptoms from Buprenorphine.

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