Buprenorphine / Subutex
Buprenorphine is a unique medication that was approved for use by The Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000) under the name Suboxone. It is classified as an Opioid Agonist- Antagonist under Schedule III. This means the drug works at the same receptors in the brain & central nervous system as a full agonist opioid such as (morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, heroin). The difference being that the drug works by yielding its opioid-like effects to a certain point but then reaches a maximum ceiling effect and no further action is obtainable. This works by giving patients in Johnson City and Smyrna a dosage that completely eliminates any craving or drug withdrawal, but stops short of giving the patient or user a feeling of impairment or a “high”.
Suboxone is available by prescription by a physician authorized to prescribe this medication by special training, and waivered by specialty certification by the DEA. Our facility uses this medication along with our unique program of counseling and contingency management for an excellent accountability approach to treatment where each patient is given a level of financial control of their treatment.
A Brief Word About Subutex
Subutex or Buprenorphine Mono- Product is a medication approved for use by DATA 2000 for opioid use disorder. Tennessee has placed regulations on this product due to it having no naloxone component, and because of this it is viewed as having more of an abuse potential. It is recommended and regulated that this product be prescribed only to pregnant females, or females whom are breastfeeding their infant for up to 2 years after delivery date.
Most patients in Johnson City and Smyrna do extremely well with Suboxone tablets or film. There are rare circumstances where patients can have significant adverse reactions to Suboxone or the Naloxone component of the medication. Clients with such a severe reaction to Suboxone will need to have gone to the emergency room to get the adverse reaction treated & documented. No client who requests “Subutex” specifically will be prescribed this mono- product without such documentation.
Most of the complaints we have heard & observed in patients over the years are nausea, stomachache, headache and flu-like chills. This is the normal response of “Precipitated Withdrawal” in a client who has taken Suboxone and still has any type of opioid or its metabolite in their bloodstream. This is not a bona-fide adverse reaction to Suboxone nor is it a reason to not be on the medication. These type of side effects will not occur if there has been enough time for the other opioids to clear out of the patient's system prior to taking the medication. The length of time required for other opiates to clear from the system depends on the last dose taken. Short acting opiates such as Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Morphine & Heroin are generally cleared in 12 hours. Long acting opiates such as Methadone, Oxycontin, Opana, & MS Contin may take up to 48 hours.
This is one good reason to be sure to let our physicians know an accurate time estimate of the last opioids you may have taken prior to coming for your initial visit.