Suboxone is a medication used to treat opiate addiction. The generic names are buprenorphine and naloxone. It blocks the effects of opioids such as codeine, heroin, and morphine. Suboxone must be taken exactly as prescribed by a physician since it can cause death from overdose. Dependence on Suboxone can occur, so it is important not to stop taking it too quickly. It is not to be used "as needed," and you must always consult your doctor before discontinuing its use.
Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how the drug will affect you, since Suboxone may cause impaired thinking, dizziness, or drowsiness. Do not consume alcohol while taking this medication as it may increase drowsiness or dizziness. Inform your doctor of all other medications you are using before taking Suboxone, and do not take any new medications without first consulting your doctor. Also take care to inform your physician if you have any medical problems, as you may need a specialized dosage or additional monitoring.
The effects on unborn babies from Suboxone are unknown, but use during pregnancy may cause withdrawal symptoms in the baby. Do not take Suboxone if you are pregnant or may become pregnant, and do not use if you are breast-feeding, since the medication will pass into breast milk.
Only take Suboxone as directed by your doctor. If the directions are unclear, ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain them to you. Tablets should be placed underneath the tongue to dissolve, which can take up to ten minutes. Do not swallow or chew the tablets because the medication will not work by this method and you may develop withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone may cause constipation, so consume plenty of water throughout the day. Suboxone is sometimes used as a street drug for drug abusers, to be sure to keep your medication stored in a safe location.
In the case of an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Overdose symptoms include dizziness, weakness, seizures, loss of consciousness, coma, cold and clammy skin, confusion, and small pupils. Also seek emergency medical treatment if you develop serious side effects such as an allergic reaction, slow breathing, confusion or dizziness, or yellowing of the eyes or skin.
Other less serious side effects can occur, but you should continue taking Suboxone and discuss the symptoms with your doctor. Symptoms include insomnia, headaches, sweating, nausea, constipation, or stomach pain.
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