What Exactly Is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a combination of two medications: buprenorphine and naloxone, which is often prescribed by professionals to treat opioid use disorder.

12/23/20222 min read

What exactly is Suboxone? What is the mechanism of action of Suboxone?
Suboxone is a combination of two medications: buprenorphine and naloxone, which is often prescribed by professionals to treat opioid use disorder.

Buprenorphine relieves opiate withdrawal symptoms, decreases cravings, and lowers the chance of overdosing. Naloxone prevents injection or misuse of the medicine. Suboxone generics have also been approved by the FDA. Buprenorphine, unlike methadone, oxycodone, heroin, and fentanyl, operates as a partial opioid in the brain.

Because buprenorphine is a partial opioid, it lessens opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms while avoiding the euphoric effects (or "high") associated with full opioids. Furthermore, because buprenorphine is a partial opioid, it has a ceiling effect, which means that there is no additional opioid impact after a specific dose, lowering the danger of overdose.

Naloxone (also known as Narcan) is an opioid antagonist, which means it prevents opioids from being released into the brain. The combination of buprenorphine and naloxone reduces the likelihood of buprenorphine being misused.

Suboxone is a buprenorphine/naloxone combination drug licensed by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). Opioid use disorder is defined as the overuse of opioids that produces severe distress and impairment, according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Opioid abuse is a broad term that refers to any instance in which opioid use deviates from prescribed standards; this can include anything from a simple misunderstanding of instructions to self-medication for other symptoms to compulsive use induced by an opioid use disorder.

Opioids, often known as narcotics, are pain medications that are recommended by doctors to treat chronic or severe pain. Opioids bind to opioid receptors, which are proteins found on nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, gut, and other parts of the body. Opioids inhibit pain signals sent from the body to the brain via the spinal cord because of this function. Even when used as directed, opioids have some downsides and can be highly addictive. The danger of addiction is particularly significant when opioids are used to manage chronic pain over a lengthy period of time.

Opioid use disorder has far-reaching negative implications. The increased prevalence of OUD and opioid overdose mortality has reached epidemic proportions since the 1990s. Between 1999 and 2019, over 500,000 people died from an opioid overdose, including prescription and illegal opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Suboxone is a viable pharmacological alternative to methadone for opioid use disorder (MOUD) due to its minimal risk of abuse, overdose, and side effects.Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) reduces intoxication by binding to the same opioid receptors in the brain as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. This numbing effect reduces opioid cravings and aids in the maintenance of sobriety during the recovery process.

Suboxone is a 4:1 mixture of two chemicals known as buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine, the principal active ingredient, is a partial agonist and a long-acting opioid. The second component, naloxone, works to counteract the effects of opioids and prevent overuse. Both drugs work together to reduce the symptoms of opioid withdrawal in those who are addicted to opioids.

Because Suboxone is provided in an outpatient setting, it allows for more flexibility in administration than other drugs. Suboxone is a medicine that aids in the safe and effective management of opioid withdrawal syndrome.