Suboxone Treatment: How To Prepare For Opioid Withdraw

It can be difficult to make the switch from opioids to buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone). The thought of quitting off opioids after being addicted to them, as well as the actual change (also known as "induction"), can be frightening.

12/21/20223 min read

It can be difficult to make the switch from opioids to buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone). The thought of quitting off opioids after being addicted to them, as well as the actual change (also known as "induction"), can be frightening.

Some people have had the terrible experience of attempting to take buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) without first going through opiate withdrawal, which can make them feel very uncomfortable, though it is rarely harmful. Most people who are addicted to opioids have experienced withdrawal symptoms at some point.

Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, anxiety, and restlessness are all common signs of opiate withdrawal, as are less evident symptoms like dilated (big) pupils and gooseflesh. It is true that while switching from opioids to buprenorphine/naloxone, you will experience some withdrawal symptoms (Suboxone). The care team at Suboxone clinic will be with you every step of the way to guarantee a safe and enjoyable transition.

Why Am I Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms?

Opioids act on "opioid receptors," proteins found throughout the body that allow opioids to perform activities such as pain alleviation and euphoria. Buprenorphine binds to those receptors considerably more firmly than opioids do, and it pushes opioids out. When this happens, the patient may experience "precipitated withdrawal," which is characterized by rapid and intense withdrawal symptoms.

This "precipitated withdrawal" can be avoided by going through a modest withdrawal period before starting buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone).

Despite withdrawal symptoms, starting buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) at home in a comfortable and familiar environment is deemed safe and beneficial for most patients, as it avoids the risks of driving when in withdrawal or starting a new medicine.

Self-management with expert help is even more important in the COVID-19 era to avoid potential viral infection in healthcare settings. If you're not sure if this is the correct path for you, talk to your doctor. To induce significant withdrawal to start buprenorphine/naloxone, different opioid kinds take varied amounts of time (Suboxone). The following are rough estimates of how long it takes to withdraw from certain substances, which varies from person to person:

  • Heroin, oxycodone/Percocet, hydrocodone/Vicodin/Lortab, and kratom are all short-acting opioids that take 12-16 hours to wear off.

  • Long-acting opioids, including as Oxycontin, MSContin, and Opana ER, have a half-life of 20 to 24 hours.

  • Methadone takes about 48 hours to wear off.

  • Fentanyl has a 72-hour half-life, but this varies depending on the manner of administration.

How Do I Get Ready for Suboxone Induction and Opioid Withdrawal?
  • The best approach to prepare for induction is to talk to your doctor ahead of time and get all of your questions answered. Before you start your first medicine, Suboxone clinic providers will assist you through the process.
  • To avoid having to go to the pharmacy after you start to feel bad, make sure you have all of your meds (including buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) and comfort medications) before you begin the withdrawal process.

  • Prepare a relaxing atmosphere at home with access to a restroom, as you may experience unpleasant symptoms such as vomiting and/or diarrhea.

How Can I Deal With The Symptoms of Withdrawal?
  • Your doctor can prescribe specialized medications to aid with withdrawal symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, anxiety, and muscular aches.
  • With a bathroom nearby, you may stay in a pleasant, safe, and private atmosphere. Distraction tactics, meditation, and other comfort measures that work for you are all options.

  • By assigning a numerical value to each symptom, Suboxone clinic's withdrawal tool can help you quantify severity and determine when you're ready to start taking buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone). A tool that is similar to this one may be found here.

  • Pay attention to your body. Keep in mind that if you're feeling so sick that you don't think you'll be able to handle any more withdrawals, you're probably ready to start on a low dose of buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone). To be sure, compare your symptoms to the withdrawal severity tool at Suboxone clinic.

  • If you think something is wrong (for example, if you're dehydrated from vomiting), call Suboxone clinic during business hours or go to urgent care or the emergency department after hours. For the most part, buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) induction at home is deemed safe, and emergency aid is rarely required.