Your Recovery
Starts Here.

Addiction and Cancer

opioids abuse

Can Suboxone Cause Throat Cancer?

Suboxone is the brand name for buprenorphine and naloxone, but can Suboxone cause throat cancer? This drug is typically prescribed as part of treatment for opioid addiction. It is taken sublingually – or under the tongues – and it has been linked to throat cancer.

Despite this risk, Suboxone can be extremely helpful and lifesaving for those suffering from an opioid use disorder. Unfortunately, many people develop an opioid use disorder after being prescribed highly addictive opioids to treat cancer-related pain. Still, it is important to understand the link between Suboxone and cancer before deciding to use Suboxone as a method of addiction treatment.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

Immediate Placement in Rehab

Understanding Suboxone

Suboxone is an oral film that can be placed under your tongue, between your gums, or on the inside of your cheek. Once taken, the film dissolves in your mouth, distributing the drug into your body. Suboxone always contains two drugs: buprenorphine and naloxone.

Depending on your level of addiction, you may be prescribed one of four variations:

  • 2 mg buprenorphine / 0.5 mg naloxone
  • 4 mg buprenorphine / 1 mg naloxone
  • 8 mg buprenorphine / 2 mg naloxone
  • 12 mg buprenorphine / 3 mg naloxone

Suboxone should not be taken for longer than 24 weeks as the answer to the question “can Suboxone cause throat cancer?” is yes. At the same time, it is essential to take the drug as prescribed, for the entirety of treatment. For those who commit to addiction treatment, including therapy and other programs, Suboxone has been known to be quite effective.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

Learn More About Rehab

Suboxone is a Controlled Substance

Suboxone is a controlled substance. It is classified as a Schedule III prescription drug which means it has known medical uses but carries a risk of dependence.
This means that Suboxone can also be abused. It is important to take the drug only under the supervision of a physician. In order for Suboxone to be prescribed, a physician must have obtained special certification from the U.S. government.

Suboxone Side Effects

Suboxone can cause a variety of mild to moderate side effects, including:

  • Headaches, back pain, and body aches
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fast heart rate
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Burning tongue and redness in the mouth

Most of these side effects are mild but can worsen to more serious side effects, such as:

  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Rash or hives
  • Dependence
  • Breathing problems
  • Coma
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Liver damage
  • Severe withdrawal symptoms

How Rehab Affects Your Real Family

While you are in treatment you might be so caught up with your new life and your new rehab family, that you don’t think about your real family at home. Try to remember that your addiction does not only affect you, but it also affects your family.
Addiction is hard for everyone in a family. There are a few ways that your family may be affected by your addiction and subsequent decision to enter rehab, including feeling:

Struggling with Mental Illness, Abuse of Suboxone and Cancer

Dual Diagnosis

When you have both a substance use disorder as well as a mental illness, this is called a dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis is important to understand because to fully recover, you must also address your mental illness.

When choosing a drug rehab program, ensure that the center is able to treat any underlying conditions as well as your substance abuse disorder.

Abuse of Suboxone

Suboxone has opioid effects which means it too can lead to physical and psychological dependence. Unfortunately, this dependence can cause drug-craving and drug-seeking behavior. When understanding Suboxone and cancer, you should be very aware of the risk of dependence or even addiction.

Overdosing on Suboxone is possible, especially if you combine its use with other opioids, alcohol, or benzodiazepines such as Ativan, Valium, or Xanax. If you have been abusing Suboxone and suddenly stop using it, you may suffer from withdrawal symptoms. If you slowly taper Suboxone instead, as prescribed by a physician, you may be able to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Suboxone and Cancer: The Connection

There is a real need to alleviate the pain experienced by cancer patients. Many cancer patients are considered to have severe and chronic pain. Typically this pain is treated with prescription medications that may include strong opioids.

Even when used properly, opioids can lead to dependence. Addiction in cancer patients can be extremely dangerous. The prescription of opioids should be avoided unless deemed absolutely necessary by a physician.

It is good to note that not all cancer patients who take prescription opioids become addicted. Despite this, if you or a loved one is taking Suboxone, you should watch for signs to prevent the development of drug addiction. Always take drugs such as Suboxone as prescribed, and be sure to include other therapeutic approaches to pain management.

Dangers of Suboxone

Taking high doses of Suboxone is extremely dangerous and can lead to coma and death. Cancer patients taking Suboxone are at an even higher risk as they have a pre-existing condition.

Withdrawal

Suboxone contains naloxone specifically to prevent abuse of Suboxone. If you do abuse Suboxone, you may end up experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. This is primarily because naloxone is an opioid antagonist that works to block the effects of opioids. If you use Suboxone as a way to “get high,” the naloxone it contains may block the effects of any opioids in your system. This leads to an almost immediate symptom of opioid withdrawal.

If you choose to use Suboxone as prescribed, you will not experience these severe withdrawal symptoms. This is because your body does not absorb as much naloxone in the form of film as it would via other methods.

Avoiding Withdrawal Symptoms

To be safe, Suboxone should only be used with short-acting opioids. Note that short-acting opioids include:

  • Heroin
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

Suboxone Treatment

Suboxone contains two ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone.

Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine is an opioid that has many of the same effects as other opioids. However, it also blocks some effects of opioids. An opioid partial agonist-antagonist, buprenorphine is known to help treat the dependence brought on by opioids, hence reducing withdrawal symptoms or cravings for the drug.

Naloxone

Naloxone helps to prevent abuse of Suboxone. The best method of using naloxone is via Suboxone film. This helps to release less naloxone into your body at one time, avoiding the immediate withdrawal symptoms that higher doses of naloxone can cause.

Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine is an opioid that has many of the same effects as other opioids. However, it also blocks some effects of opioids. An opioid partial agonist-antagonist, buprenorphine is known to help treat the dependence brought on by opioids, hence reducing withdrawal symptoms or cravings for the drug.

Naloxone

Naloxone helps to prevent abuse of Suboxone. The best method of using naloxone is via Suboxone film. This helps to release less naloxone into your body at one time, avoiding the immediate withdrawal symptoms that higher doses of naloxone can cause.

Phases of Treatment With Suboxone

When treating opioid dependence with Suboxone, there are two phases:

  1.  Induction
  2.  Maintenance

During the induction phase, Suboxone helps reduce withdrawal symptoms as the patient stops abusing opioids. The only time that Suboxone is used in the induction phase is if opioid use has been decreased or has completely stopped.

Additionally, Suboxone should only be used in the induction phase in people who are addicted to short-acting opioids as described above. Suboxone treatment should not begin until the effects of these opioids have worn off, and withdrawal symptoms have begun.

During the maintenance phase, Suboxone is prescribed at a lower dosage for a longer period of time. The purpose of this phase is to help ease or eliminate withdrawal symptoms while helping to keep cravings at bay. During this time, the patient should be completing an addiction treatment program. The use of Suboxone is usually reduced and tapered down after a few months.

Free Insurance Verification for Rehab.

Get Help Today

At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we have trained professionals to help you with your opioid addiction. We are familiar with the risks and rewards of Suboxone treatment, and we can make a plan that works for you. We offer free insurance verification for treatment along with the best methods to help you get healthy and on the road to recovery. Contact us today; we are only a phone call away.

Does your Insurance Cover Rehab?

At Resurgence, we accept most PPO insurance. Verify your insurance now.