What is Suboxone

Suboxone is an FDA-approved prescription medicine used to treat adults who are addicted to opioids. If the prescription is taken correctly the patient should not experience any cravings or withdrawals when stopping the use of opioids. Suboxone is widely used as a replacement for methadone because it can be prescribed in the doctor’s office, while methadone can only be prescribed in special addiction centers.

Suboxone is the brand name for buprenorphine that is combined with naloxone. Buprenorphine is a long-acting opioid used to reduce cravings for stronger opioids and reduce or eliminate any withdrawal symptoms. Naloxone is commonly used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose by blocking the effects of opioids in the brain. Together these drugs work to prevent withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid addiction.

Both Dr. Jeff Halsell and Dr. Brandon Claflin with Oklahoma Interventional Spine & Pain are experienced in treating opioid addiction with Suboxone.

How Does Suboxone Work

Opiates can create a physical dependency along with psychological addition, making them especially difficult to stop using.  Drugs like prescription pain pills and heroin latch onto our natural opioid receptors which are responsible for many body functions such as our pain and pleasure responses, sleep regulation, and even breathing. When we are addicted to external opiate drugs our bodies stop producing natural opioids at the normal rate and we become more dependent on the prescription pain pills or heroin.

Buprenorphine is an opioid that attaches to the opioid receptors replacing or blocking the effectiveness of other opioids. The FDA states that Suboxone is the “preferred medication” for maintenance treatment for opioid addiction.

Treatment with Suboxone

Suboxone can be in tablet or sublingual film form. Because it interacts with opioid receptors, Buprenorphine can reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings which helps to stabilize people during detox and maintain them during long-term treatment. Naloxone is an FDA-approved drug to manage opioid overdoses and when combined with buprenorphine, is used to effectively treat opioid dependence.

Success with Suboxone

In a study done by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, out of 600 people addicted to painkillers, those who took Suboxone had a 49 percent reduced usage of prescription pills, but that number dropped to a little over 8 percent when Suboxone was stopped being used. Suboxone should be viewed as one tool in the treatment of opioid dependency. To increase success, combine Suboxone drug treatment with support groups or counseling.

If you are interested in learning more about Suboxone make an appointment with Dr. Brandon Claflin or Dr. Jeff Halsell by calling 918-728-8020.

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