Suboxone is the first oral/sublingual medication that has been approved in the U.S. that physicians can prescribe in an office-based setting to those addicted to opioids such as pain medication, heroin, or methadone. Suboxone is an effective medication for opioid addiction that does not require daily or weekly visits to a clinic after the initial induction period. Suboxone blocks the effects of other opioids. This eliminates cravings and prevents withdrawal symptoms such as pain and nausea. Patients can be maintained on Suboxone or go through detoxification. Suboxone is a different typeof opioid than pain pills, heroin or methadone. Because this medication leaves the brain cells more slowly than typical opioids, the withdrawal process is milder and detoxification is generally easier to accomplish. Patients work with a monitoring physician to meet their goals.
Suboxone is composed of two separate medications: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine, which is a partial opioid agonist, has opiate effects that are significantly reduced compared to that of full opioid agonists, such as Norco, oxycodone, or heroin. Naloxone, which is not absorbed by the digestive track when Suboxone is taken orally or sublingually, is added to Suboxone in order to prevent the misuse of the medication if injected.