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…

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…

Stopping Buprenorphine in Three Steps

Readers will sometimes ask for my thoughts about buprenorphine. I’m always happy to respond, time permitting. I’ve described how my patients taper off buprenorphine in prior posts, but the interest out there warrants revisiting the topic. Most people who become dependent on opioids become very fearful of withdrawal. That fear 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…

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…

Buprenorphine Overdose After Naltrexone Treatment

Naltrexone induces mu-receptor hypersensitivity.  Buprenorphine’s protective ‘ceiling effect’ may not prevent overdose in patients with this ‘reverse tolerance’. A new patient described his recent history of respiratory failure several days into buprenorphine treatment.  He was told by his doctors that he experienced an allergic reaction to Suboxone. The rarity of Read more…