Pain medications are often prescribed to people who are on Suboxone. But can you take pain meds while on Suboxone? This question is one that many doctors and patients find themselves asking frequently, so we decided to put together an article to help answer this question for everyone. We will discuss the answers given by medical professionals and some of our thoughts about how taking pain medication may affect your treatment with Suboxone. – Pain medications can be beneficial for treating chronic conditions such as arthritis, migraines, and injuries. Each person needs to determine if the benefits of taking pain medication outweigh the risks while on Suboxone therapy. – The main factor in determining whether you should take a pain med is your tolerance to opiates and opioids. Opiate tolerance means that it takes higher doses of an opioid drug (such as Vicodin or Oxycodone) to produce desired effects. Suppose you are experiencing less relief from these drugs than when you first started using them. In that case, this could indicate decreased tolerance to opioids, which may not bode well with Suboxone treatment due to cross-tolerance between opiate substances like heroin and buprenorphine (the active ingredient in Suboxone.) It is possible to take opiate-containing drugs such as Vicodin or Tylenol #. However, they should be taken at their lowest effective dose. The effects of these medications may also not last as long as usual when taken with buprenorphine. – Another factor that needs to be considered before taking pain medication while on Suboxone therapy is the patient’s response. Some people can take pain meds without any issues whatsoever. Still, others experience negative side effects from even very low doses of opioids due to genetic variations within drug metabolism enzymes. -It is important for all patients considering taking opioid-containing pain medication(s) while on Suboxone therapy to discuss their individual drug metabolism profile with their prescribing physician. This is because some people metabolize opioids and buprenorphine at different rates, increasing or decreasing the risk of certain side effects occurring (such as overdose). – While we recommend discussing your options with a medical professional before taking pain meds with Suboxone therapy, there are always factors that cannot be completely predicted ahead of time, such as how you will react based on your genetic makeup. Thus, it is still very possible for someone with no CYP 450 issues to experience negative side effects from opioid-containing medications when combined with Suboxone treatment. Furthermore, even if you do not experience any adverse reactions from opioids while on Suboxone treatment, it is still possible to overdose (even if you’ve taken opiates before without any issues). – Opioid overdose can occur when someone with an opiate tolerance takes too much of prescribed opioid medication, or even just slightly more than the recommended amount. Opioids are particularly dangerous because they suppress breathing to such a degree that they can stop completely (causing death). Even if you have taken pain medications before without any issues, this does not necessarily mean that you will be immune from experiencing negative side effects and/or overdosing while taking Suboxone treatment as well. – If your doctor prescribes opioids for you while also prescribing Suboxone therapy, we recommend using extreme caution and keeping in close contact with them should any problems arise due to interactions between these medicines. However, since some people do fine on both opioids and buprenorphine, it may be possible to take opioids while on Suboxone therapy. It is therefore important you speak with your doctor about this issue and make the best decision for yourself. – Another factor that must be considered when taking pain medications before and during Suboxone treatment is how long each medication stays in one’s system. For example, suppose someone takes hydrocodone (Vicodin) daily for a month or more. In that case, they might not even feel any effects from buprenorphine after just two days of abstinence because their body may have already eliminated the Vicodin at such a low concentration. If so, continuing opioid use would render periods of abstaining ineffective as only small amounts of buprenorphine would be entering the brain. – Some people might assume that taking opioid-containing medications with Suboxone treatment is beneficial because they will experience fewer withdrawal symptoms, but this may not necessarily be true for everyone. It all depends on how you respond to opioids alone in general without buprenorphine present at a low level due to both your metabolism and drug history (including any detox attempts). Thus, what effect opioids have when taken during or after Suboxone therapy cannot yet be said. There are simply too many variables involved that need further investigation in clinical trials before concluding. Ready to get started? Our counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call us at 424-499-2603.
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