Buprenoprhine is a synthetic opiod that chiefly acts as sedative and analgesic. It is more effective than morphine and serves as a drug of choice in pain management for opiod dependents. It augments an addict’s pain tolerance and reduces the pain sensitivity. It should be taken with doctor’s prescription in view of the fact that it may result to euphoria, mood alteration, respiratory depression and dizziness.
Brand names: DEA-approved drugs Subutex and Suboxone. Other brands include Buprenex, Temgesic are not approved for opiod treatment.
How is Buprenorphine taken?
This drug is taken sublingually (under the tongue).
Effects of consumption
Buprenorphine reduces opiod dependence. This is a partial opioid agonist that blocks the drug’s effects in the body. It gives a "high" which is lesser than morphine and codeine. It is less addictive than other opioids and may be stopped without complexity.
Impact on the mind/body and health risks
There were reports that Buprenorphine produces euphoria and respiratory depression. If taken under the supervision of a physician, it leads to a reduction of the withdrawal symptoms and hinders the euphoric effects of opiods. It decreases the danger of respiratory depression and gives an agonist effects that aids opiod users to stop the cycle of dependence. Its primary purpose is to decrease or avert opiod withdrawal symptoms.
Buprenorphine side effects
Psychological: depression, insomnia and irritability
Physical: constipation or diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, dilated pupils, flu-like symptoms like runny nose, teary eyes, low-grade fever, cramps and muscle pain.
Signs of abuse of this substance
It may cause habituation and addiction to some users. Withdrawal symptoms may result if buprenorphine sublingual medication is swallowed or chewed. Injection may also cause severe withdrawal symptoms. It should not be taken after intake of any opiate agonist like methadone and morphine. Buprenorphine may lead to cravings and drug dependence when used by non-opiod dependents owing to its opiod agonist contents.
Signs of Buprenorphine overdose:
- Constricted pupils
- Loss of consciousness
- Cold and clammy skin
Buprenorphine should not be mixed with tranquilizer because it can cause death. It also impairs driving ability. Alcohol should not be taken when undergoing Buprenorphine medication because it intensifies the dizziness and drowsiness effect of the drug.
This drug also exaggerates the dizziness effects of the following medications:
- Anxiety medicines
- Pain relievers
- Muscle relaxants
Common treatment options
To prevent acute withdrawal symptoms gradual decrease of Buprenorphine under the close supervision of a physician is required. Detoxification and drug treatment programs are required if the user developed drug tolerance and dependence in this drug.
Buprenorphine withdrawal/detox symptoms
Buprenorphine precipitates the signs and symptoms of withdrawal like craving, distress/irritability, insomnia, and dysphoric mood. Physical signs of withdrawal may include nausea and vomiting, muscle pain and cramps, dilation of pupils, diarrhea, sweating, tearing and piloerection.