Is taking Suboxone® just trading one habit for another?

No. With successful Suboxone® treatment, the compulsive and addictive behavior will slowly go away. This treatment will also cause opioid withdrawal symptoms to disappear.

What does Suboxone® treat?Opioid addiction, including opioids such as methadone, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, dilaudid, fentanyl, and heroin.

How does Suboxone® work?

Suboxone® attaches to receptors in the brain with a higher attraction than other opioids. The way that it attaches causes less euphoria, decreased physical dependence, and carries a low potential for misuse. Suboxone® has a ceiling effect, which means that higher doses don’t increase effectiveness after a certain dose. Suboxone® also has a relatively mild withdrawal profile, suppresses withdrawal symptoms from other opioids, decreases cravings for opioids, reduces illicit opioid use, and blocks the effects of other opioids.

How long will I need to be on Suboxone®?

Some patients will remain on Suboxone® long-term, while others will be prescribed it for a short time. This depends on the unique patient treatment requirements. Suboxone® has been clinically proven to be safe for both short and long-term treatment.

How long does Suboxone® stay in the body?

Suboxone® may stay in the body for up to two weeks.

When can I start taking Suboxone®?

This varies depending on the opioid you have been taking. You need to be in active withdrawal from your current opioid in order to start Suboxone®. If you are taking Methadone, it is best to have no Methadone in your system prior to starting Suboxone®. This is for your safety.

How does naltrexone/Vivitrol® work?

Naltrexone is a tablet, taken once per day, that blocks the effects of opioids in the brain and blocks the euphoric effects and feelings of intoxication with alcohol. It also reduces cravings for both opioids and alcohol. Vivitrol®, the long-acting formulation of naltrexone, is given via injection every 28 days. The tablet form and the injection form work the same way, and if taken appropriately are equally effective.

How long does Vivitrol® last?

The injection lasts 28 days, but can be re-administered anytime between day 21 and day 28. Some individuals may experience increased cravings during the week prior to their next injection.

When can I start taking naltrexone tablets or get the Vivitrol® injection?

ALL opioids, including Suboxone®, must be out of your system prior to starting naltrexone.

What are the most common side effects of Suboxone® and Vivitrol®?

The most common side effects are nausea and headache. Often these resolve in a few days after starting the medication. Sometimes, changing the time of day Suboxone® is taken or lowering the dose slightly is helpful.

 Do Suboxone® and naltrexone show up in urine drug screens?

Yes, Suboxone® can show up as buprenorphine, norbuprenorphine, and naloxone.

 What do I do if I become pregnant on Suboxone® or Vivitrol®?

Pregnant patients will be switched to Subutex® if they are on Suboxone®. Vivitrol® will not be continued as it is not FDA approved for pregnancy at this time.

These FAQs are for educational purposes only. They are not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Always follow your provider’s advice concerning Medication-Assisted Treatment.