In June I told you about the FDA developing “Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies” (REMS) to put tighter controls on the use of opioid medications. (See URGENT: FDA May Remove or Limit Access to Opioid Pain Medications ) One of the strategies being considered is requiring doctors to have special education and certification in order to prescribe each type of opioid medication. One medication that is already being treated this way is Suboxone. Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone and is used to treat opioid dependence and/or addiction. Buprenorphine is an opiod medication similar to other opioids such as morphine, however, it produces less euphoric effects. Naloxone blocks the effects of opioids – although when taken under the tongue as directed, it does not affect the action of the buprenorphine. Currently, physicians who want to prescribe Suboxone are required to receive special training in how to...
Generic Name: BUPRENORPHINE/NALOXONE - SUBLINGUAL Pronounced: (BUE-pre-NOR-feen/nal-OX-one) Suboxone SL Uses
This medication contains 2 medicines: buprenorphine and
naloxone. It is used to treat narcotic (opioid) dependence/addiction.
Buprenorphine belongs to a class of drugs called mixed narcotic
agonist-antagonists. Buprenorphine helps prevent withdrawal symptoms caused by
stopping other opiate-type narcotics.
Naloxone is a narcotic antagonist that blocks the effect
of narcotics and can cause severe narcotic withdrawal when injected. Withdrawal
is less likely when naloxone is taken by mouth or dissolved under the tongue.
It is combined with buprenorphine to prevent abuse and misuse (injection) of
this medication. This combination medication is used as part of a complete
treatment program for drug abuse (such as compliance monitoring, counseling,
behavioral contract, lifestyle changes).
This medication should not be used for pain r...
Getting off of pain medications usually requires an exit strategy. Anyone who has tried to abruptly discontinue a regularly used opioid (a pain medication which is chemically similar to opium that binds to opioid receptors in the body) can attest to the severe discomfort of withdrawal syndrome. The symptoms of withdrawal include: nausea, vomiting, aches, sweating, diarrhea, yawning, insomnia, irritability and gooseflesh. These symptoms indicate that the body is physically dependent on the chemical. Chemical dependency is difficult to overcome without a good strategy. That strategy should reduce the occurrence of withdrawal syndrome, the risk of relapse, and the risk of toxicity. Suboxone can help someone get off pain medications because it reduces withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and the risk of overdose.
Because Suboxone contains buprenorphine (an opioid), it serves as a substitute for other opioids and satisfies the body's need for the chemical. One advantage in converting from...
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