A Elements Behavioral Health Guide to Drug Rehab
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Side Effects of Buprenorphine

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Side Effects of Buprenorphine

Most any medication intended for healing may induce some harm or discomfort. All medication prescriptions include information on side effects or adverse reactions to the medication. Some people may have no reactions while others have multiple reactions. Whether one experiences these effects depends on multiple factors including dosage and the person’s tolerance.

Buprenorphine is a partial opiate agonist used to treat opiate addiction. It is present in the medications Suboxone and Subutex. While Buprenorphine can assist opioid withdrawal and resist cravings, it comes with its own list of side effects.

Careful monitoring by a doctor and an awareness of how this drug can affect an individual can help lessen the harmful and annoying effects induced by Buprenorphine.

Colon and Kidneys

One effect of using Buprenorphine is constipation and a disruption in the normal functioning of the intestine. Patients have complained of the following problems inflicted by the malfunction of the intestine:

  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Bloating
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diverticular disease

Buprenorphine, as well as other opioids, can also affect the functioning of the kidneys. Because Buprenorphine affects the water retained in the kidneys, a person may have to use the bathroom more frequently than they had before.

Respiratory and Circulatory System

Buprenorphine may induce respiratory symptoms that can be annoying or ones that may lead to more serious and life-threatening problems. The drug inhibits the gastro esophageal sphincter which can cause acid reflux or heartburn. These symptoms can be more of a nuisance than harm.

However, in serious instances, the opioid can induce respiratory depression, circulatory collapse, or cardiac arrest and become life-threatening. Symptoms related to heart attack, like clammy skin and confusion can also develop.

Physical Effects

In addition to the above mentioned effects of Buprenorphine, the following are physical effects that may happen when taking this drug:

  • Slower reflexes
  • Impaired coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced testosterone levels
  • Reduced libido
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Upset stomach
  • Itching
  • Sweating
  • Muscle pain and spasms
  • Bone pain

Psychological Effects

Some short-term psychological conditions also have a possibility to develop in someone taking Buprenorphine:

  • Delirium
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Confusion

Susceptibility to Side Effects

A person’s susceptibility to the side effects or adverse effects of a medication should not prevent them from seeking help through medication. Doctors stress that awareness is key in understanding and safeguarding against such adverse reactions.

A patient may have a reaction to Buprenorphine from any of the following factors:

  • Dosage taken
  • Method the medicine is taken
  • Other exposure to opiates
  • Building a tolerance to prescription opiates
  • Mixing medication with other prescription drugs

Patients may experience side effects for a variety of reasons. Keeping under the watchful eye of a doctor can help reduce some unnecessary side effects.

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