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Subutex Vs Suboxone

Suboxone as well as Subutex can have an effect when it comes to the treatment of opiate addictions. Both of these medications were approved by the FDA in the year 2002 and they were developed specifically for the treatment of opiate addiction. These types of medications were previously illegal before the year 2000. The drug addiction treatment act was passed during this time and this allowed for many drug manufacturers to treat opiate addictions with the help of new medications apart from methadone. Prior to the year 2002 only a few other types of medications were approved for opiate addictions. Patients would have access to medications like buprenorphine as well as methadone directly. Both of these medications were prescriptions and could be easily prescribed by physicians that had some type of certification in treating addictions.

Medications for treating substance abuse were typically only given out by physicians who had certifications and trainings through the center for substance abuse treatment. This was a special certification available for the express treatment of opiate addiction. In many cases patients that wanted to receive one of these prescriptions would have to visit one of these specialists directly.

Methadone is rated as a schedule 2 substance with addiction and buprenorphine is rated as a schedule 3 substance. The difference in these two substance levels suggests the potential for abuse. Scheduled to drugs also include opiates like codeine and other medications like oxycodone. A schedule 3 substance is denoted as a drug that has a significantly lower potential for abuse. Buprenorphine is often a drug that is delivered as a safer alternative to methadone because of its lower rate of addiction throughout studies. Subutex and Suboxone both contain elements of buprenorphine placing them along the schedule 3 substance list as well.

There are many physicians who are completely certified for the use of prescribing products like Buprenorphine, Suboxone and Subutex in the year 2013 it was estimated that over 16,000 physicians have the certification to deliver the prescription for these medications. In the year 2012 9.3 million of these prescriptions were written for medications that contained buprenorphine.

What is buprenorphine?

This medication was previously used as a pain relieving medication. It contains partial opioid antagonist properties and it binds directly to the opioid receptors in the brain. This works to reduce pain symptoms as well as improve feelings of well-being throughout the body. Buprenorphine doesn’t necessarily work quite as dramatically as some of the other drugs in the opioid family. It only causes a moderate amount of activity at the receptor site and this means that it doesn’t have the chance to create disorientation and lightheadedness as well as the euphoric state that many people start to experience on other opioids.

Because it affects the same receptors as other opioids with less side effects it can prevent withdrawal symptoms from other opiate drugs such as prescription painkillers and heroin without having the same risk factors or negative side effects. Make no mistake however, even with a class III substance specification medications that contain buprenorphine are also addictive.

Some of the main advantages of using buprenorphine include:

  • Minimizing withdrawal symptoms from the recovery period.
  • Minimizing the chance of relapse for an individual who is made extremely uncomfortable during withdrawal.
  • The reduction or elimination of the cravings of other opiates such as heroin which can cause relapse or other issues.

Helping a person remains safer with minimal negative side effects during the course of their detox. Using Buprenorphine can often reduce the symptoms of withdrawal and some of the negative health effects that can come from the withdrawal process. When used in chemically assisted withdrawal it is possible to increase success and the chances of poor health effects.

  • Within 72 hours: physical symptoms will manifest and peak
  • Within one week: bodily aches and pains will continue but subside, insomnia and mood swings as well as headaches will persist.
  • Within two weeks: mood swings and depression will continue to proceed.
  • Within one month: ongoing psychological symptoms such as cravings for the drug as well as ongoing depression can continue. The highest risk for relapse occurs here so it’s important to seek support.

So what are the main differences between Suboxone and Subutex?

Both of these medications contain buprenorphine and they were developed around the same time by drug manufacturers. Both of these medications were developed shortly after approval was given in the year 2002 and Subutex was the first medication to come out with a formula. The goal of manufacturers was to create an effective treatment for opiate addictions with minimal chance for addiction. Subutex did offer a chance to have treatment from opiate drugs but there was also a tendency to abuse the drug over time.

Many early users began to inject Subutex in an intravenous manner to achieve roughly the same high that they had been used to from prescription painkillers and heroine as well as other opiates.

Suboxone was a drug that was developed to address this issue head-on and prevent the chance that people would begin injecting the drug or continuing with the cycle of addiction only with a brand-new medication.

Suboxone has both buprenorphine as well as naloxone which works as an opiate antagonist. This significantly changes the formula and ensures that opioid receptor sites are filled just as they would be with other medications but the drugs are unable to activate them directly. The receptor site will be full and this ensures that no matter what way Suboxone is taken the burprenorphine in the medication will be unable to activate the receptor sites. This ensures that patients won’t have the ability to reduce pleasurable effects or euphoria regardless of the way that they take the medication.

Which version is better?

In Subtex vs Suboxone it’s hard to tell the difference between which one actually offers a greater level of success in treating opiate addiction. Both medications when used according to prescription can actually work at reducing opiate withdrawal symptoms as well as reducing cravings and preventing relapse.

When determining which one is better, doctors need to look at the potential for abuse. With the naloxone that can be found in suboxone it’s much less likely that patients will find a way to abuse the drug. This is why suboxone is often selected for individuals that are suffering from severe opiate addictions and then have a history of relapse.

Both of the drugs have similar side effects regardless of their benefits but these negative side effects generally greatly outweigh the negative side effects that can come as a result of withdrawal symptoms. Most of the side effects associated with the medication include nausea, headaches, drowsiness, constipation and dizziness.

Either one of these medications can be useful in an addiction treatment program however medication is not enough to relate back to direct addiction treatment. Whether a patient is prescribed Suboxone or Subtex it’s extremely important that they also seek help with a comprehensive therapy program. A program can address the emotional side of addiction as well as the psychological aspect of getting through withdrawal. Without this pillar of addiction therapy, it can be extremely difficult to prevent relapse with an opiate addiction. If you are interested in medical assisted withdrawal or working towards a sustained recovery, it’s important to consider a proper therapy program alongside Dr. recommended prescriptions with either of these medications. Remember that both do come with side effects but with the combination of therapy, doctors orders and willpower it is possible to overcome a severe opiate addiction and get back on the path to health.