Is Suboxone a viable option for pain management? Anyone can suffer from chronic pain that lasts more than 3 months. Opioids have been used to manage pain for centuries and are widely considered one of the most effective drugs for chronic pain. Pharmaceutical companies have developed opioid medications, including buprenorphine, to help patients seeking pain relief.
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone, a sublingual drug, is not approved to be used as pain medication. Suboxone is used for the treatment of narcotic (opiate), addiction (opioid abuse disorder). Suboxone is administered sublingually or directly to the cheeks (buccal). Suboxone is a complex medication. It contains buprenorphine (a partial opioid agonist) and naloxone (a pure opioid antagonist). This blocks opioids’ effects, which can include pain relief or feelings (euphoria), that can lead to abuse.
The Use of Buprenorphine to Treat Pain
Buprenorphine is an opioid and can be used alone to relieve pain. Buprenorphine, which is the primary ingredient in Suboxone, is metabolized slowly by the liver, making it less effective than other pain medications. People may take more buprenorphine due to the slow processing. This can lead to overdose.
The naloxone in the medicine can cause withdrawal symptoms when it is injected. It also blocks the effectiveness of other opioids. The patient is less likely to misuse their medication as a result. Suboxone may be used in the following ways:
- Less immune system suppression
- Patients with kidney problems and seniors will find it easier to use the product
- Lower tolerance development
- Neuropathic pain is more effective
- Lower ceiling effects for respiratory depression
- FDA-approved uses for Suboxone
Buprenorphine can be used to treat severe pain in patients who will need to take pain medication continuously for a prolonged period of time and cannot be treated with other medications. Buprenorphine should never be used to manage pain that is not controlled with medication that can be taken as needed.
So What are the Dangers of Suboxone for Pain Management?
Most Buprenorphine products, such as Suboxone and Subutex, are not FDA-approved for pain relief. This would mean that any such use is off-label and therefore not recommended. Suboxone is a dangerous medication for pain management. It has a very long half-life, sometimes lasting as much as 60 years. Buprenorphine, which is a powerful opioid, can be used in conjunction with 30 doses of Morphine, making an overdose easily attainable.