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Suboxone: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Warnings

Clinically Reviewed by: Dr. Robin Campbell, LMFT, PHD

If you or a loved one is grappling with the challenges of opioid addiction, seeking the right treatment option is crucial. Suboxone, a medication containing buprenorphine and naloxone, has emerged as a vital tool in addiction treatment. At New Hope Healthcare Institute, located in Knoxville, TN, we specialize in dual diagnosis treatment for both teens and adults. In this article, we will delve deep into Suboxone, providing you with an extensive understanding of its uses, dosage, potential side effects, and important warnings.

Understanding Suboxone

Suboxone is a prescription medication designed to facilitate recovery from opioid addiction. It combines two active ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, interacts with opioid receptors in the brain, reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings without inducing a euphoric high. Naloxone, an opioid antagonist, plays a crucial role in preventing misuse by blocking the effects of opioids, discouraging attempts to abuse the medication.

Suboxone Uses

Suboxone serves as a versatile and effective tool in addiction treatment:

  • Opioid Withdrawal Management: One of the primary uses of Suboxone is to help individuals manage the often excruciating withdrawal symptoms that accompany the cessation of opioid use. By providing relief from these symptoms, it enables individuals to begin their recovery journey with greater comfort and stability.
  • Craving Reduction: Opioid cravings can be overwhelming, making it challenging to resist the urge to use again. Suboxone is instrumental in reducing these cravings, helping patients maintain their commitment to sobriety.
  • Preventing Opioid Overdose: The naloxone component in Suboxone acts as a safety net, designed to thwart potential overdose situations. If someone attempts to misuse opioids while taking Suboxone, the naloxone can reverse the opioid’s effects, potentially saving lives.

Dosage and Administration

While the precise dosage of Suboxone should always be determined by a healthcare professional, understanding the general guidelines can be helpful:

  • Initial Dose: Most individuals typically start with a low dose, often in the range of 2mg/0.5mg or 4mg/1mg, and it is usually taken once daily.
  • Maintenance Dose: The maintenance dose can vary widely, ranging from 4mg/1mg to 24mg/6mg or even higher, depending on the individual’s response to treatment. Your healthcare provider will carefully monitor your progress and adjust your dosage accordingly.
  • Administration: Suboxone is typically administered as a sublingual tablet or film. This means it is placed under the tongue, where it dissolves rapidly. It’s vital to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions to ensure you receive the maximum benefit from your medication.

Side Effects and Warnings

As with any medication, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects and warnings when taking Suboxone:

  • Common Side Effects: While generally well-tolerated, Suboxone may cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, headaches, and sleep disturbances. These side effects usually diminish as the body adjusts to the medication.
  • Allergic Reactions: In rare cases, individuals may experience allergic reactions to Suboxone, which can include hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. If you encounter these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Drug Interactions: It is crucial to inform your healthcare provider about all medications you are currently taking to avoid potential interactions. Suboxone can interact with certain drugs, and your healthcare provider will need this information to ensure your safety.

Call New Hope Healthcare Institute for Help

If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction, seeking help is the first step toward recovery. Reach out to New Hope Healthcare Institute in Knoxville, TN, by calling 866-806-1027. Our compassionate and experienced team is here to assist you in finding the best treatment options and supporting you on your journey to sobriety.


Suboxone can be habit-forming if not taken as prescribed. It’s crucial to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and attend regular check-ins to ensure proper usage.

The duration of Suboxone treatment varies from person to person. Your healthcare provider will create a personalized plan based on your progress and individual needs.

While there are no specific dietary restrictions, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, is essential during addiction treatment.

Suboxone can cause drowsiness, so it’s crucial to use caution when driving or operating machinery until you understand how it affects you.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed one and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double dose to make up for a missed one. Always consult your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or questions about your medication regimen.

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