Top 7 Things to Know About Buprenorphine

28-12-2022 7 1 0 0 Báo lỗi

Buprenorphine is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). Read on to understand more about this kind of drug.

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What is Buprenorphine?

Buprenorphine is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). Buprenorphine, like all MAT medications, should be prescribed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling and other behavioral therapies to give patients a whole-person approach.

Buprenorphine is the first OUD medication that can be prescribed or dispensed in a doctor's office, significantly increasing treatment access.

After completing specialized training, qualified practitioners can dispense or prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorders (OUD) in settings other than opioid treatment programs (OTP) under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000), the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), and the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act.

Buprenorphine has several advantages for those with OUD and others for whom treatment in a methadone clinic is ineffective or inconvenient.

The FDA has approved the following buprenorphine products for the treatment of OUD:

  • Generic Buprenorphine/naloxone sublingual tablets
  • Buprenorphine sublingual tablets (Subutex)
  • Buprenorphine/naloxone sublingual films (Suboxone)
  • Buprenorphine/naloxone) sublingual tablets (Zubsolv)
  • Buprenorphine/naloxone buccal film (Bunavail)
  • Buprenorphine implants (Probuphine)
  • Buprenorphine extended-release injection (Sublocade)
Northpoint Washington
Northpoint Washington
Northpoint Washington
Northpoint Washington
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How Buprenorphine Works

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. At low to moderate doses, it causes euphoria or respiratory depression. However, the effects of buprenorphine are weaker than those of full opioid agonists such as methadone and heroin.

Buprenorphine is both safe and effective when used as directed. Buprenorphine has distinct pharmacological properties that enable it to:

  • Reduce the effects of physical opioid dependency, such as withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
  • Increased safety in overdose cases
  • Reduce the possibility of misuse
Medpage Today
Medpage Today
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Buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder

To begin treatment, an OUD patient must be in the early stages of opioid withdrawal and have abstained from using opioids for at least 12 to 24 hours. Acute withdrawal may occur in patients who have opioids in their bloodstream or who are not in the early stages of withdrawal.

If necessary, the dose of buprenorphine may be adjusted after a patient has stopped or greatly reduced their opioid use, no longer has cravings, and is experiencing few, if any, side effects. Because buprenorphine is a long-acting agent, patients may be able to switch from daily to alternate-day dosing once stabilized.

The duration of treatment with buprenorphine is tailored to each patient's needs, and in some cases, treatment can be indefinite. Individuals can engage in ongoing treatment—with or without MAT—to avoid relapse.

Amethyst Recovery Center
Amethyst Recovery Center
Drug Science
Drug Science
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Before Starting Buprenorphine

Patients with an OUD should consult with their doctor before beginning buprenorphine treatment to fully understand the medication and other treatment options.

Everyday Health
Everyday Health
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Evidently Cochrane
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Common and Serious Side Effects of Buprenorphine

These are not the only buprenorphine side effects. Patients should speak with their doctor or pharmacist for more information. Patients should notify their healthcare provider if any side effects are bothersome or do not go away.

All side effects should be reported online to MEDWatch, the FDA's medical product safety reporting program for healthcare professionals, patients, and consumers, or by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.

Common side effects of buprenorphine include:

  • Constipation, headache, nausea, and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness and fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Tooth decay
  • Muscle aches and cramps
  • Inability to sleep
  • Fever
  • Blurred vision or dilated pupils
  • Tremors
  • Palpitations
  • Disturbance in attention

Serious side effects of buprenorphine include:

  • Respiratory distress
  • Overdose
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Dependence
  • Withdrawal
  • Itching, pain, swelling, and nerve damage (implant)
  • Pain at injection site (injection)
  • Neonatal abstinence syndrome (in newborns)
Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic
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Safety Precautions

When taking buprenorphine, people should take the following precautions:

  • Other medications should not be taken without first consulting your doctor.
  • Do not use illegal drugs, consume alcohol, or take sedatives, tranquilizers, or other drugs that cause breathing to slow. Overdose or death can result from combining large amounts of other medications with buprenorphine.
  • Ensure that any liver-related health issues are closely monitored by a physician.
  • If you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant, inform your doctor.
  • Keep it out of reach of children and pets to avoid accidental ingestion.
  • Safely dispose of unused methadone. Consult your MAT practitioner for advice, or for more information on disposing of unused medications safely, go to the FDA's disposal of unused medicines or the DEA's drug disposal webpages.
  • Even if they have similar symptoms or suffer from the same condition, do not share your buprenorphine.
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Treating Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women

Buprenorphine may be prescribed to pregnant women who have OUD. In pregnant and breastfeeding women, the treatments of choice for OUD are buprenorphine and methadone.

Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic

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