Buprenorphine/naloxone is a combination medicine used to treat opioid dependence. It works in the brain and nervous system to help prevent withdrawal symptoms in someone who has stopped taking opiates.
Buprenorphine is an agonist that can prevent symptoms and suppress cravings. Naloxone is present in this combination medicine to discourage misuse.
Buprenorphine/naloxone tablets come as 2 mg/0.5 mg and 8 mg/2 mg and are taken under the tongue. Common daily doses of buprenorphine/naloxone are between 12/3 mg and 16/4 mg, although some people need higher or lower doses. You should normally reach your ideal dose of buprenorphine in a few days.
Place the medication under your tongue for 5 to 10 minutes and let it dissolve completely. Do not swallow, crush, cut, or chew the tablet. Do not eat, drink, smoke, or talk while the tablet is dissolving.
Do not suddenly stop taking buprenorphine/naloxone without checking with your doctor. You may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as pain, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, sleeping problems, and cravings. If you need to stop buprenorphine/naloxone, your doctor may need to gradually lower your dose.
Possible side effects of buprenorphine/naloxone:
Not everyone gets side effects; some of buprenorphine/naloxone’s more common side effects are:
Side effects often wear off over time; any new medication can take time to adjust to.
Returning to treatment?
If you’ve been on buprenorphine/naloxone or buprenorphine before and experienced difficulty, you should discuss this with the doctor. It may be that you were on too low a dose last time, or this may not be the medication for you.
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