Buprenorphine SL (generic Subutex)
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Buprenorphine is used to treat dependence/addiction to opioids. Buprenorphine belongs to a class of drugs called mixed opioid agonist-antagonists. It helps prevent withdrawal symptoms caused by stopping other opioids. It is used as part of a complete treatment program for drug abuse (such as compliance monitoring, counseling, behavioral contract, lifestyle changes).
How to use Subutex
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using sublingual buprenorphine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Use this medication as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Place the medication under your tongue for 5 to 10 minutes and let it dissolve completely. If you are prescribed more than one tablet each day, you may place all of the under your tongue at once or place two at a time under your tongue. Do not swallow or chew this medication. It will not work as well.
Buprenorphine alone is usually used for the first 2 days after you have stopped all other opioids. It is usually given in your doctor’s office. Your doctor will then switch you to the combination buprenorphine/naloxone medication for maintenance treatment. The combination with naloxone works the same way as buprenorphine alone to prevent withdrawal symptoms. It is combined with naloxone to prevent misuse (injection) of the medication.
Buprenorphine works best when the first dose is started after signs of opioid withdrawal have begun. Buprenorphine can cause withdrawal symptoms if started too soon after your last opioid use. Follow your doctor’s instructions for your treatment plan.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose, take the medication more frequently, or take it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day.
Suddenly stopping this medication may cause withdrawal, especially if you have used it for a long time or in high doses. To prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have any withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, mental/mood changes (including anxiety, trouble sleeping, thoughts of suicide), watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, diarrhea, sweating, muscle aches, or sudden changes in behavior.
Do not inject (“shoot up”) buprenorphine. Injecting it is dangerous and may cause severe withdrawal symptoms (see Side Effects section). Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Tell your doctor right away if your condition does not get better or if it gets worse.
Information on this medication quoted from WebMD.com