How to Spot Signs Suboxone Dose is Too Low

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Suboxone is an effective medication used to treat opioid dependence.

The drug contains buprenorphine, which partially activates opioid receptors in the body, and naloxone, which prevents the abuse of the drug.

Suboxone doses should be personalized for each patient, as insufficient drug treatment can precipitate opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Since Suboxone is available in two different formulations: tablets or films. Each comes with its own dosing rationale, which explains the potential of a dosage error.

Having drug cravings and finding difficulty controlling them, continuous withdrawal symptoms like watery eyes and nose, abdominal cramping, and muscle aches.

In addition, insomnia and increased tolerance to the medication are all signs your Suboxone dose is too low.

Here’s a more detailed look.

6 Signs of a Too Low Suboxone Dose

Since Suboxone is given to alleviate withdrawal symptoms experienced by OUD patients, most treatment plans extend over a long period.

Making sure that you’re receiving the right Suboxone dose isn’t only important for the treatment success, but also for your safety.

Here are some signs that your Subxone dose might be too low:

Frequent Drug Cravings

Suboxone is a centrally-acting medication. It carries out its effects by binding to receptors in the central nervous system in a controlled manner to reduce the desire to use full agonist opioids, like heroin, oxycodone, or fentanyl.

If you experience frequent opioid cravings, this means that your Suboxone dose isn’t adequate and you need to discuss your maintenance treatment plan with your doctor.

Resistant Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Opioid withdrawal becomes evident by an array of physical symptoms that include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Runny nose and sweating
  • Difficulty sleeping and frequent yawning
  • Anxiety
  • Watery eyes
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping

If your current Suboxone dose fails to control these symptoms, you should suspect an insufficient dose and the need for medication adjustment.

Mental Health Impact

Since Suboxone works by stimulating opioid receptors in the brain, inadequate treatment tips off the balance of brain chemicals.

This translates into confusion, loss of concentration, and lack of motivation. Symptoms can be severe enough to the point where they impact activities of daily living.

It’s also worth noting that low Suboxone doses can precipitate mood changes in the form of depression and anxiety.

This is why the treatment plan for opioid use disorder can’t exclusively rely on medical treatment.

Counseling and behavioral therapy are key elements to avoid relapse and maintain mental wellbeing.

Requiring Higher Doses to Achieve the Same Effects

One important sign of inadequate treatment is if the current dose of Suboxone doesn’t achieve a sustained relief of substance misuse symptoms and you find yourself constantly requiring a higher dose.

A healthcare provider will help you figure out how much Suboxone you need, as a dose that works for one person might not be ideal for another.

The dosage varies according to the severity of the OUD, personal characteristics, and other drugs that interact with Suboxone.

Inadequate Sleep

People on inadequate buprenorphine treatment can experience insomnia or difficulty sleeping, restless sleep, and daytime sleepiness.

Talk to your doctor if you experience those symptoms on a regular basis to tweak your Suboxone dosage and control withdrawal symptoms.

Difficult-to-Control Relapse

In case of a low Suboxone dose, the risk of relapse increases dramatically. As the opioid effects wear off, patients experience withdrawal symptoms that can be debilitating in nature.

If you don’t recognize the cravings and desire to use opioids as a sign your Suboxone dose is insufficient to cover your treatment needs, it can be difficult to stop yourself from relapsing into opioid use.

Communicate the cravings and any symptoms to your healthcare provider so they’d know how to adjust your dose.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Properly Use Suboxone Oral Film?

  • Use your tongue to wet the side of your cheek or rinse your mouth with water
  • Press the film against the inner side of your cheek and hold for 5 seconds
  • Leave the film in place until it’s completely dissolved
  • If you’re required to use more than one film, apply the second one against your other cheek

Suboxone also comes as a sublingual film applied under the tongue. Improper application of Suboxone oral films might be the reason behind why the drug dosage remains too low in the blood. If in doubt about your application technique, ask your doctor for a demonstration.

How to Properly Administer Suboxone Sublingual Tablets?

  • Place your Suboxone tablet under the tongue until it completely dissolves
  • Don’t eat or drink anything while the tablet is still under your tongue
  • If your dosage is composed of more than one tablet, you can place all of them under your tongue at the same time. If that’s uncomfortable, you can do two tablets at a time

What Is the Correct Way to Store Suboxone?

The active ingredient of Suboxone, buprenorphine, can become inactivated if the drug is stored improperly.

Suboxone should be kept at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, or direct sunlight.

What Should I Do If I Miss A Dose of Suboxone?

As soon as you remember the missed dose, take Suboxone immediately.

However, if it’s already almost time for your next dose, you can skip the missed dose and continue your dosage schedule as per usual.

If you skip two or more doses, consult your doctor for early screening of opioid withdrawal signs and symptoms.

What Are the Possible Suboxone Drug Interactions?

Buprenorphine interacts with a wide number of medications, including opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine.

Also alcohol abuse or tobacco smoking can precipitate significant Suboxone side effects.

Access Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction Today…

If you, or a loved one, are battling opioid use disorder and would like to know whether medication-assisted treatment is suitable, book an appointment with Curednation today.

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