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Difference between Suboxone and Subutex

Suboxone and Subutex

Introduction

Suboxone and subutex belong to the opioid group and are used in case of treating opioid addictions i.e. opium based pain killer addictions. Opioid de- addiction is indicated in the form of psychological and physical dependence-dependence on these pain killers due to chronic painful conditions. While a psychologically dependent patient attempts to recover, there are many withdrawal symptoms a person may experience, like headache, poor judgement, trembling (shaking) of hands, and loss of attention span and focusing.

Differences in action of the drugs

Although subutex and suboxone are very similar substances, the main difference lies in the contents. Subutex contains buprenorphine, whereas suboxone contains buprenorphine as well as naloxone. The substance naloxone is used to reduce the feeling of extreme happiness which comes after taking opioid drugs and also reduces the desire to take the drugs. These drugs are chiefly used to treat opioid addiction. Buprenorphine is a semi-synthetic opioid (prepared artificially with the help of chemicals) and has several attributes that makes it beneficial for people who are detoxing. It blocks the action of opioid drugs like heroine, morphine, etc. The use of other opiates along with buprenorphine produces a lower level of euphoria and thus discourages its use. Treatment with these drugs may range from a month to year. Several factors, including severity of addiction and frequency of use of the pain killers, contribute to the length of treatment. The treatment usually begins with higher doses and slowly goes to lower doses until the drug is no longer needed. Use of these drugs may cause withdrawal symptoms however, the severity is less than those of heroine, morphine etc.

Side effects of buprenorphine i.e. Subutex include slow breathing, dizziness, lightheadedness, feeling of warmth / heat, reddening of skin, especially of face and neck, lower backache, painful urination, sweating etc. Misuse of this medication can cause addiction, overdose, death, especially in a child/ person using the medicine without doctor’s advice. Common Suboxone side effects include tongue pain, redness / numbness in mouth, constipation, mild nausea, vomiting, headache or other pain, sleep problems like lack of sleep, increased sweating, swelling in your arms or legs. If taken during pregnancy it may produce a life threatening situation. Withdrawal symptoms may also occur in newborns. Following symptoms may occur as a result of overdose where the patient should seek for emergency medical help- Lack of clear vision(blurring), confusion , difficult or troubled breathing, dizziness, faintness, light headedness when getting up from lying position / sitting position, drowsiness, slow breathing or shortness of breath, pale or blue lips, fingernails,/skin, pinpoint pupils, relaxed and calm feeling, sleepiness and unusual tiredness or weakness.

Both the medicines are available in the form of films which are kept below the tongue (sublingually) and tablet forms, however it should be taken strictly under medical advice and any symptom which may follow during the treatment should be reported to the health care advisor.

Summary:

Subutex contains only buprenoprhine while Suboxone contains buprenorphine as well as naloxone. Suboxone helps reduce the craving for opioids and alcohol while helping control the withdrawal symptoms of an opioid addiction. Subutex only helps beat an opioid addiction.


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