Buprenorphine Medication

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What Are Buprenorphine Products and How Do They Work?

Buprenorphine products are medications that are often used in medications for the treatment of people diagnosed with opioid use disorder (OUD). It helps people stop using opioids by managing withdrawal symptoms and reducing cravings. If you or someone you know struggles with opioid addiction and wishes to find a solution, you may be interested in learning about how Buprenorphine Products can help with recovery.

Buprenorphine Products can be used as an induction agent to stabilize someone in withdrawal during the medical detoxification process as well as for maintenance treatment to promote recovery from opioid use disorder. It consists of a combination of two drugs: buprenorphine (a partial opioid agonist) and naloxone (an opioid antagonist). It is administered as a dissolvable film placed either under the tongue or on the cheek.

What are Buprenorphine Products and What Do They Do?

Buprenorphine Products are long-acting opioid medications used to replace the shorter-acting opioids that someone may be addicted to, such as heroin, oxycodone, fentanyl, or hydromorphone. Long-acting means that the drug acts more slowly in the body for a longer period of time. The effects of buprenorphine last for 24 to 36 hours. In contrast, a person who uses short-acting opioids to avoid withdrawal must use them three to four times a day.

When taken at the correct dose, buprenorphine products prevent withdrawal symptoms and reduce drug cravings without causing the person to feel high (euphoric) or sleepy. This lowers the harms associated with opioid misuse and gives people who are addicted to opioids a chance to stabilize their lives. This treatment is known as opioid agonist therapy. Buprenorphine products therapy for opioid use disorder works similarly to methadone, another opioid agonist therapy.

When combined with medical and supportive care, buprenorphine products and methadone are equally effective treatments for opioid addiction, although one may work better than the other for some people.

Any physician can prescribe buprenorphine, but only those who have completed special training can prescribe methadone.

Methadone is most commonly available through specialized treatment clinics; buprenorphine treatment may be easier to access than methadone.

It can take weeks to reach a fully effective dose with methadone but only a few days with buprenorphine products.

Side effects can be less pronounced with buprenorphine products.

Can Buprenorphine Products Interact With Other Drugs?

Mixing methadone or buprenorphine products with other drugs that depress the central nervous system can be very dangerous. Avoid other opioids, alcohol, and benzodiazepines (e.g., Ativan, Xanax, Restoril, Valium, and clonazepam). Taking these is especially risky when you first start opioid agonist therapy. Using other drugs while taking opioid agonist treatment can also cause your dose of buprenorphine products to wear off more quickly, meaning you could experience withdrawal.

Can You Overdose on Buprenorphine Products?

All opioids have a risk of overdose, though the risk is higher with methadone than with buprenorphine products. The risk is especially high when you start treatment and when you stop taking opioids (buprenorphine products or other opioids) for a while and then start again. Mixing opioids with other drugs also increases the risk of overdose. If you or someone you know uses opioids, it is a good idea to have a free naloxone kit. Naloxone is a medication that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and allow time for medical help to arrive.