What Is Suboxone For?

Question by Tyler: what is Suboxone for?
I need to know what the uses for Suboxone are. Are they only used for recovering opiate addicts?

Best answer:

Answer by Mathieu
According to the official American Suboxone Prescribing Information, “SUBOXONE sublingual film is indicated for maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. Prescription use of this product is limited under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act.”

Under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA) codified at 21 U.S.C.
823(g), prescription use of this product in the treatment of opioid dependence is
limited to physicians who meet certain qualifying requirements, and have notified the
Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) of their intent to prescribe this
product for the treatment of opioid dependence.

According to the official Health Canada Suboxone Product Monograph, “SUBOXONE (buprenorphine and naloxone) is indicated for: substitution treatment in opioid drug dependence in adults. The intention of the naloxone component is to deter intravenous (IV) misuse. Patients prescribed SUBOXONE should be carefully monitored within a framework of medical,social, and psychological support as part of a comprehensive opioid dependence treatment program.”

So yes Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) is only prescribed to patients with a diagnosis of “opioid dependence” or “dependence syndrome” as specified by The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) or The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10).

Overall the point in using using Suboxone is to stop or greatly reduce the use of illegal (including abuse of prescription opioids) opioids, reduce IV opioid use, and to stop the opioid withdrawal syndrome. When taking Suboxone a patient does not have to worry about going into physical withdrawal and can focus on treating their addiction. Physical withdrawal is not addiction, addiction is defined as a primary, chronic, neurobiologic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. It is characterized by behaviours that include one or more of the following: impaired Control over drug use, Compulsive use, Continued use despite harm, and Craving (also known as the four c’s).

However buprenorphine is used in other forms, like the drug BuTrans (buprenorphine) Transdermal System which is indicated for “the management of moderate to severe chronic pain in patients requiring a continuous, around-the-clock opioid analgesic for an extended period of time.” In Canada BuTrans is approved for “the management of persistent pain of moderate intensity in adults requiring continuous opioid analgesia for an extended period of time.”

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