How To Taper Off Buprenorphine or Suboxone pt. 1

Many patients taking buprenorphine live in fear of a dark world around the corner where they will have to taper off the medication.  They see horror stories on YouTube posted by people who, for some reason, abruptly stopped the medication and kept a video log of their experiences.   My own Read more…

A Person Doesn’t Like Taking Suboxone

I found this old post from ten years ago that I never got around to publishing it. A person doesn’t like taking Suboxone and blames the drug for the lack of change in his life. It plays into the discussion about methadone because it shows the attitudes that can develop Read more…

Can I Get High From Suboxone?

Can a person get high from Suboxone or buprenorphine, the active part of that medication? I suspect most pharmacists, police officers, and legislators would answer ‘yes!’, but the answer is more complicated. The people who serve patients who take Suboxone should learn how the medication works, when it is dangerous, Read more…

Pharmacists, Do Better

This is a ‘bone to pick’ post. Yesterday a patient who has done well on buprenorphine for the past 6 years shared his pharmacy experience. His experience is typical of whatI hear far too often. I understand that pharmacists are overworked and understaffed, but the complaints I hear so often Read more…

Pain treatment becomes more rational

Pain Treatment Becomes More Rational

I’ve spent 15 years treating addiction, mostly to opioids. I’ve worked in residential treatments, methadone programs. I have testified in cases related to overdose deaths. I know the harm that is possible from excess opioid precribing or use. But I also hope that some day, pain treatment becomes more rational. Read more…

FDA: Dental Problems with Buprenorphine

The FDA stated last week that transmucosal buprenorphine has been associated with dental problems, including tooth loss. The statement was based on 305 reports to the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) database since buprenorphine was approved 20- years ago. Many of my patients on buprenorphine medications have had dental Read more…

How to Stop Buprenorphine or Suboxone, Pt 2

In the last post we discussed some of the misconceptions about tapering off opioids.  Today we will discuss a couple basic principles, and then describe the approach I recommend for my patients tapering off buprenorphine. Tapering off Suboxone is not impossible. Opioids act at receptors that normally bind endorphins, which Read more…

Buprenorphine, Not Subbies

I’ve been writing longer and longer posts on SuboxForum so maybe I need to write more here.  This blog archives twelve years of frustration over the ignorance toward buprenorphine, at least until I ran out of steam a year ago.  I grew used doctors refusing to treat people addicted to heroin Read more…

Missing the Point of Buprenorphine Treatment

A forum reader wrote about concerns over a partner on buprenorphine.  Her concerns pointed out a common misperception about the goals of treatment of opioid use disorder using buprenorphine, or using methadone for that matter. Her question, amended for privacy: I married the love of my life.  He is still Read more…

Brandeis and CDC Wrong on Buprenorphine PDMP Data

I’ll share an interesting story about the data used for the prescription drug database in Wisconsin and other states.  I’ve been holding back on writing about this issue in hopes that the reason for the story would be corrected, and I would have no story to tell.  But that hasn’t Read more…

Ten Gripes of Buprenorphine Doctors

I recently gave a lecture to medical students about opioid dependence and medication assisted treatment using buprenorphine, methadone, or naltrexone. I was happy to see their interest in the topic, in contrast to the utter lack of interest in learning about buprenorphine shown by practicing physicians. In case someone from Read more…

Where’s the Buprenorphine asked Mr. Obvious? Thanks, CDC!

A quick note tonight, hopefully with a longer post to follow this weekend… I’ve been frustrated by the people behind the Wisconsin PDMP, or Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, for their mistakes related to buprenorphine. Whoever came up with the numbers made a rookie error when calculating the equivalent morphine dose Read more…