What Are Opiates?
Opiates have been used throughout history for the medicinal purpose of pain control. When used properly, they are highly effective and beneficial. Unfortunately, they may also be highly addictive and are one of the most addictive drugs known to mankind. Once they get a grip on you, Opiates seem to never let go, leaving complete destruction and even death in their wake.
Opiates are substances derived from the Opium poppy or synthetic analogues that have similar effects. Some common examples of common opiates include morphine, heroin, percocet, demerol, oxycodone, methadone and tramadol.
Opiate and Heroin Addiction
Once believed limited to an inner city drug, heroin users and addicts can now be found in the suburbs, in rural areas and in every state in the country and though the medical establishment has been seeking solutions for over a century, there are more than one million opiate addicts in the United States alone.
Compounding the situation, for anyone taking opiates regularly, nerve receptors adapt and begin to resist the drug, causing the need for higher doses. This leads to a physical withdrawal reaction which occurs when the drug leaves the body and receptors must re-adapt to its absence.
In other words, when the person stops taking the drugs, withdrawal symptoms result. Withdrawal from opiates can occur whenever any chronic use is discontinued or reduced.
Questions about Buprenorphrine based Opioid Antagonists
Medical X provides safe and confidential detox services to anyone seeking help for withdrawals from opiates. We are able to provide Suboxone medication-assisted treatment to help with the acute symptoms of opiate withdrawal, bettering a patient’s chances of succeeding in long term recovery.
1. What are Suboxone and Subutex?
Subutex and Suboxone are medications approved for the treatment of opiate dependence. Both medicines contain the active ingredient, buprenorphine hydrochloride, which works to reduce the symptoms of opiate dependence.
2. Why did the FDA approve two medications?
Subutex contains only buprenorphine hydrochloride. This formulation was developed as the initial product. The second medication, Suboxone, contains an additional ingredient called naloxone to guard against misuse. Subutex is given during the first few days of treatment while Suboxone is used during the maintenance phase of treatment.
3. Will most prescriptions be for the Suboxone formulation?
Yes. Suboxone is the formulation used in the majority of patients
4. How are Subutex and Suboxone different from the current treatment options for opiate dependence such as methadone?
Currently, opiate dependence treatments like methadone can be dispensed only in a limited number of clinics that specialize in addiction treatment. There are not enough addiction treatment centers to help all patients seeking treatment. Subutex and Suboxone are the first narcotic drugs available under the Drug Abuse Treatment Act (DATA) of 2000 for the treatment of opiate dependence that can be prescribed in a doctor’s office. This change will provide more patients with the opportunity to access treatment.
5. What are some possible side effects of Subutex and Suboxone?
(This is NOT a complete list of side effects reported with Suboxone and Subutex. Refer to the package insert for a more complete list of side effects.)
The most common reported side effect of Subutex and Suboxone include:
- Cold or flu-like symptoms
- Sleeping difficulties
- Mood swings.
Like other opioids, Subutex and Suboxone have been associated with respiratory depression (difficulty breathing) especially when combined with other depressants.
6. Are patients able to take home supplies of these medicines?
Yes. Subutex and Suboxone are less controlled than methadone because they have a lower potential for abuse and are less dangerous regarding a possible overdose. As patients progress on therapy, their doctor may write a prescription for a take-home supply of the medication.
How Medication is Administered
Naltrexone is not a narcotic, it works by blocking the effects of narcotics. We place a small naltrexone implant under the patients skin, where it slowly releases a dose of medication for 3, 6 and 9 months. This has been a highly effective treatment for patients’ long term recovery.
Vivitrol® is an FDA-approved, branded version of injectable Naltrexone.
Probuphine is a subdermal implant. It is the first and only product on the market for opioid addiction that providess non-fluctuating blood levels of buprenorphine around the clock for a period of 6 months following a single treatment procedure.
Suboxone (Buprenorphine & Naltrexone) Treatment
Suboxone is a prescription medication indicated for the treament of opiate addiction. Here at Med X we use a maintenance and taper approach to assist the effective detoxification process from opioid dependency.