Post-op Pain on Suboxone

I often receive emails from patients on buprenorphine (or Suboxone) who are preparing for surgery or other painful medical procedures. Ideally in such cases, the surgeon would have a discussion with the person prescribing buprenorphine, in order to coordinate the plan for treating postoperative pain. In practice such discussions don’t Read more…

Hydrocodone (Vicodin) Addiction and Buprenorphine

I recently accepted a young man as a patient who was addicted to hydrocodone (the opioid in Vicodin), prompting a discussion about treatment options for someone who hasn’t been using very long, and who hasn’t pushed his tolerance all that high. Perhaps it will be informative to share my thought Read more…

Uncoupling of analgesia, tolerance, and euphoria from mu-agonists using buprenorphine

I presented this topic at the Atlanta meeting of ASAM a couple weeks ago.  There are too many slides, but the historical stuff was just too fascinating to leave out.  I wanted to demonstrate,  by lining it up on the side, how time has compressed the most critical discoveries to Read more…

The REAL Future of Partial Agonist Treatment— Pharma are you Listening?

I just wrote a note to a friend who works in the molecular sciences– she has been studying opioid receptors since the early 1980’s, when things were just getting started on a molecular level.  I’m keeping her name to myself, but I’ll share a few thoughts about what is needed to Read more…

Buprenorphine for low-dose opioid use

A reader wrote with a question that I don’t think I’ve addressed on the blog. Do you have a threshold for how much narcotic a patient must be using before you will put them on buprenorphine? I am concerned about narcotic addicts that are using 6-10 Vicodin (hydrocodone) a day Read more…

Is My Suboxone Dose Too High to Have Surgery?

Thanks, all of you who wrote comments to my last post.  I remind everyone once again to consider taking your comments here and after writing them, also taking them to SuboxForum.com.  I am going to put up a new category to discuss topics that were initiated here;  it would be Read more…

Chronic, Nonmalignant Pain: Why Opiates Aren't the Answer

I answered a post today that is similar to many prior posts– a patient with significant pain is no longer getting good pain relief from the pain pills he has taken for the past three years, and he asked whether it was a good idea to change from one narcotic– Read more…

Surgery Preparations for a Suboxone Patient

The questions: I am having surgery and my doc was unaware of some things and I thought that you could confirm them for him?  Could you advise him to take me off the Suboxone 10-14 days prior to surgery?  I have been researching this religously and I have come to Read more…

New Findings About Buprenorphine

Be sure to take a look at ‘buprenorphine news’ halfway down in the right column–  there are new things popping up lately about buprenorphine.  The top two studies are particularly interesting;  the first looked at patients wearing low-dose buprenorphine patches (yes, they are coming folks!) in pain patients to see Read more…

Precipitated Withdrawal

thank you anyway for replying.. So when i do get into seeing a doctor, i must be in withdrawal? I am so confused on this issue.  I am taking suboxone, but most likely have to take the lortab when it is out of my system because of the pain i do Read more…

Some People Get More of a Kick From Opiates Than Others

The strength of opiates varies from person to person depending on individual genetics as describe below.  Doctors assume that they are ‘tipped off’ to narcotic abuse when a patient says ‘codeine doesn’t work for me– I need vicodin’.  The more we learn about opiate metabolism, the more it appears that Read more…

A Reply to Chronic Pain:

I feel that I have a good understanding of suboxone…. With the exception of the pain issue. The reason for my lack of confidence in that area is because first, I have seen less-consistent results in pain patients, and second, some of the claims made by patients just don’t make Read more…