How Does Suboxone Work?

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What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a prescription drug.

How does Suboxone work?

It helps in treating dependence on opioid drugs.

It comes as an oral film, and to use this film, you need to place this drug under your tongue or between your cheek and gums. After that, the film dissolves in the mouth.

There are two types of drugs in a single film, including naloxone and buprenorphine.

You can purchase this drug in four strength types, depending on your addiction:

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

What Does Suboxone Do?

According to some studies, Suboxone is an effective drug to reduce the misuse of opioids. It is also effective to keep people who are opioid-dependent under treatment for 24 weeks. The performance of this drug works based on the duration of the treatment.

What Is Suboxone Used For?

How does Suboxone work? Doctors may prescribe this drug if you are dependent on short-acting opioids such as heroin and prescription painkillers. This substance is not suitable for long-acting opioids.

The first phase of this drug is the withdrawal phase when you experience uncomfortable and potentially dangerous symptoms. Suboxone helps in eliminating potential opioid withdrawal symptoms. The second phase is maintenance, which is done by the experts in a rehabilitation center.

How Does Suboxone Work?

Humans already have natural opioid receptors in the brain. When the body consumes an opiate derivative, it activates these receptors. Activating these receptors produces analgesic effects. It is easy for the body to get addicted to the sensations and feelings the opioid drugs produce:

  • Suboxone attaches to the receptors in your brain and cuts down on your cravings for the drug and withdrawal symptoms while detoxifying the body.
  • This drug is partial ‘agnostic,’ which means that it excites the opioid receptor in your brain; however, the activity is very minimal. This recreates the feeling of satisfaction for opioid activation induced by this substance. You will not feel any physical withdrawal and symptoms of dependence linked with your addiction.
  • The medication also sticks to your brain receptors, so if you go back to taking the opioid, this medicine will block the high feeling of that drug. Once you take the medication, Suboxone will attach to the receptors and block them for several days.
  • This medication also avoids overdose deaths. As this substance is partially agnostic, it has a limit for interfering with your breathing.

What Does Suboxone Do To You?

You can use this medicine during various stages of treatment. It acts as a long-term solution to control the opioid addiction. When you include this substance in your comprehensive recovery plan, this medication reduces opioid cravings altogether. As Suboxone is a depressant, it does not speed you up like a stimulant but rather slows you down.

If you use this drug as a medication, it will induce:

  • Relaxation
  • Calmness and overall well-being
  • Pain relief
  • Reduce stress levels

Suboxone Side Effects

Suboxone can lead to mild and severe side effects. Below, you can see some of the side effects that this drug causes. There are many other symptoms also that are not mentioned in this article. If you want complete information about the symptoms and how you can deal with them, contact our rehabilitation center at 855-458-0050.

More Common Side Effects

Common side effects of this drug include:

  • Redness in the mouth
  • Burning tongue
  • Back pain
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia (trouble sleeping)
  • Anxiety
  • Opioid withdrawal symptoms, such as abdominal cramps, body aches, and rapid heart rate
  • Headache

Most of these side effects will disappear within a couple of weeks. If that does not happen or your symptoms are getting worse, you should contact your doctor.

Serious Side Effects

Serious side effects of this substance are uncommon, but they do occur. You should contact your doctor or a rehabilitation center if you experience any of the below-mentioned side effects. Serious side effects of Suboxone are:

  • Severe withdrawal symptoms
  • Liver damage
  • Hormone problems
  • Coma
  • Breathing problems
  • Abuse and dependence
  • Severe allergic reaction

1. Severe Allergic Reaction

This drug can also cause serious allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis in some people.

Symptoms of these allergic reactions are:

  • Swelling of the throat, tongue, and lips
  • Skin rash or hives
  • Trouble breathing

If you are experiencing an allergic reaction after taking this drug, you should immediately call your doctor.

2. Abuse and Dependence

Suboxone has the same effect as other opioids, and if you use this drug for long, it can lead to psychological and physical dependence. Dependency on this drug can cause drug-seeking behavior and drug cravings, so you may end up abusing it. Abuse of this medication can cause dangerous side effects and overdose that can lead to death.

If you cannot quit taking this drug or feeling physically dependent, then you might be experiencing mild symptoms also such as muscle aches, headache, and nausea. You can avoid these symptoms by slowly tempering the dose of the substance before stopping completely.

3. Breathing Problems and Coma

If you are taking high doses of this drug, it may prove fatal, with initial breathing problems and a coma situation. You are more likely to experience these effects when you abuse or overdose on Suboxone.

You may also experience these effects by mixing this drug with other drugs such as alcohol, opioids, and benzodiazepines, including Xanax, Valium, and Ativan. If you have breathing problems, consuming this substance may trigger breathing problems such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

4. Hormone Problems

Some people who used opioids such as Suboxone have reduced their cortisol hormone levels within several weeks. This condition is popularly known as adrenal insufficiency. Symptoms are as below:

  • Depression
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Loss of appetitive
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

5. Liver Damage

People who use this medication have a higher risk of developing mild and severe liver damage. In most cases, it happens if the person is already suffering from hepatitis infection or any other problem. But in other cases, Suboxone may be the cause. Here are some symptoms of liver damage:

  • Fatigue
  • Stomach pain
  • Yellowish of the skin and whites of your eyes


Suboxone does not affect everyone in the same way for their opioid addiction. Moreover, if it works for you, you still have to combine this medication with other recovery treatments to ensure long-term sobriety.

If you are suffering from addiction and need expert advice, you should contact our drug rehab center at 855-458-0050 to learn more about rehab programs near you. We offer experts and professionals in the field to help you during your recovery journey.

When you are addicted to various drugs, you may feel that nothing can help you recover, but that is not the case; you can become sober and regain a healthy and productive life.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

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