Opioid Use Disorder poses a serious challenge for many people.

Suboxone is a prescription medication that is used as part of medication-assisted treatment for people with an addiction to opioids. It is an effective treatment option that works by reducing opioid withdrawals and cravings.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • The composition of Suboxone
  • The positive and negative effects of Suboxone
  • How Suboxone makes you feel during transitional phases.

Let’s take a look.

Composition of Suboxone

  • Buprenorphine: As one of the active ingredients, Buprenorphine acts as a partial agonist and binds to opioid receptors in the body. This reduces withdrawal symptoms and opioid cravings.
  • Naloxone: Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, blocking some opioid receptors. This means that only low doses of opioids (such as Buprenorphine) can have an effect. Naloxone can also be used in cases of opioid overdose.

The Therapeutic Effects of Suboxone

  • Reduction in opioid cravings: Suboxone contains Buprenorphine which binds to the same place as other opioids. This reduces cravings for other opioids, helping people come off various opioid drugs.
  • Prevention of withdrawal symptoms: In the same way that Suboxone helps reduce opioid cravings, it also helps reduce withdrawal symptoms from physical dependence and opioid addiction.
  • Blockade effect against other opioids: This medication is unique as it actually uses an opioid receptor blocker called Naloxone. Naloxone allows therapeutic levels of Buprenorphine to bind to opioid receptors but blocks high levels of opioid binding. This makes illicit opioids less addictive for people while taking Suboxone.

Other Effects

Other effects of Suboxone include:

  • Stabilization of mood: Suboxone has been shown to have antidepressant and antianxiety effects.
  • Reduced anxiety related to drug-seeking behaviors: Suboxone is able to reduce the anxiety associated with drug-seeking behaviors due to the fact the opioid component of the medication reduces the cravings for opioid drugs.
  • Relief from withdrawal pains and discomfort: Coming off opioids is challenging at the best of times. Withdrawal symptoms include vomiting, muscle aches, fever, headaches, and irritability. However, by safely mimicking the effects of other opioids, Suboxone effectively provides relief from these withdrawal symptoms.
  • A sense of “normalcy”: Suboxone helps to make people who suffer from opioid dependence feel as normal as possible when coming off opioids. Suboxone decreases opioid withdrawal symptoms and helps to manage negative feelings associated with moving toward sobriety.

Potential Side Effects

Like any medication, there are some potential side effects of taking Suboxone. Common side effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Slurred speech
  • Allergic reaction.

Transitioning to and from Suboxone

Before taking Suboxone, there will be a period of about 12 hours where you have to abstain from using opioids. This may trigger feelings of withdrawal, including flu-like effects. However, after taking Suboxone, you should feel a lessening of these symptoms.

It is likely you will experience some withdrawal symptoms from opioids; however, these will be a lot less severe than going ‘cold turkey’.


Suboxone can help effectively treat opioid dependence by reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings for other opioids.

Although there are some side effects that may be present, they are usually less pronounced than going ‘cold turkey’. It is important to consult with a doctor and report any unusual or dangerous side effects that may occur.


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