Suboxone is currently the only orally administered prescription drug approved for treatment of opioid dependence. But how does suboxone really work?
As we all know, suboxone is comprised of two separate medications: buprenophrine and naloxene. This mixture allows effectively diminishing the feeling of dependence to opiates while reversing all other effect that the opiates have to our body.
Buprenophine is also an opioid but it has significantly weaker effects compared to that of other narcotics such as vicodin and heroin. Independently, it is also used to treat opioid addiction or to control moderate pain and even sometimes used for nausea in anti-emetic intolerant patients. But it is mostly available in a variety of formulations such as suboxone.
Buprenorphine is both an agonist and antagonist opioid receptor modulator. The buprenorphine in suboxone combine with the opioid receptors located in the nervous system, supplementing as a narcotic to prevent withdrawal symptoms and reduce the patient’s cravings for opioids. While buprenorphine acts as an opioid agonist and displaces all other opiates from going into contact with the receptors, it prevents the euphoric effects given by other opioid agents.
On the other hand, naloxene in suboxone is especially mixed to counter the effect of opioid, especially in chronic or acute overdose. It reverses or neutralizes the bad effects caused by opioid agents such as the depression of the central nervous system, respiratory depression, and hypotension. Naloxene is usually taken as a combination with opioids so that the risk of abuse of the opioid component is minimized.
Although the effectiveness of suboxone has been proven for most patients, both of its components have mild to severe side-effects. The side-effects of suboxone stem from the fact that the body is unable to metabolize most of it. Because this is how the drug is naturally catalyzed by the body, adverse effects become unavoidable.
Since suboxone is basically just another narcotic drug, it makes you wonder if it could cause the same addiction that you want to cure in the first place. The simple answer is yes. Although suboxone is made as a mixture of both a competitive inhibitor against other opioid compounds and a neutralizer to suppress the effect of the opioid, there are still risks of being addicted to it. Worst, diagnosing suboxone addiction is actually tricky and trying to wean the patient off the drug is even trickier. No matter what, it is considered an inconvenient drug. This is currently an issue that is being targeted by several pharmaceutical companies.
Narcotic addiction has been a long time problem that is yet to be given a sure way of treatment. A lot of treatments involving this addiction carries their own risks and at their best are hit or miss. Rehabilitation for opiate dependence is a grueling task that has varied results. But suboxone is currently the only drug that most people can rely on for now. This is more of a reason why it is really important to know how this drug works and the effects that it has on our bodies.