Suboxone Treatment for Opioid Dependence

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Suboxone Treatment for Opioid Dependence

Opioid dependence in the United States is increasing in numbers with those addicted to heroin and prescription opioid analgesics. Opioid use includes morphine, codine, oxycodine, the painkillers oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and heroin. Several different treatment options are available for opioid dependence. Behavioral therapy includes counseling, cognitive therapy, phychotherapy, and the twelve step recovery program developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. Prescriptions can also be used for the treatment of opioid dependence. For example, methodone is used to help treat heroin abusers, and buprenorphine is used to treat opioid dependence, more specifically, Suboxone. What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is manufactured by Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare and is distributed by Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc. Suboxone is used to treat opioid dependence. According to the FDA, Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone in a single tablet. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication that produces less euphoric effects and because of this may be easier to stop taking. Naloxone works by blocking the effects of opioids and should be administered under the tongue as directed so it will not affect the actions of buprenorphine. Suboxone is in the FDA pregnancy category C which means that it is not know if it will be harmful to an unborn baby. In October 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Suboxone for the treatment of opioid dependence. Suboxone is listed as a Schedule III controlled drug with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Physicians may prescribe a month supply and five one-month renewals without any additional face-to-face visits, urine tests or other screenings (Reckitt Benckiser, 2007). Suboxone can cause drug dependence so if the client stops using the medication too quickly it can cause withdrawal symptoms. It is possible that withdrawal symptoms may also occur when starting the...
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