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Buprenorphine

Primary Use and Dependence

This drug is a semi-synthetic narcotic derived from thebaine and is currently used for the treatment of narcotic addiction.

Its primary uses in medicine are in the treatment of those addicted to opioids, such as heroin and oxycodone, but it may also be used to treat pain.

Although Buprenorphine is an opioid, and thus can produce typical opioid effects and side effects such as euphoria and respiratory depression, its maximal effects are less than those of full agonists like heroin and methadone. At low doses Buprenorphine produces sufficient agonist effect to enable opioid-addicted individuals to discontinue the misuse of opioids without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

When used for long periods of time or at high doses, some people develop a need to continue taking buprenorphine. This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction.

If you suddenly stop taking buprenorphine, you may experience WITHDRAWAL symptoms including anxiety; diarrhea; fever, runny nose, or sneezing; goose bumps and abnormal skin sensations; nausea; vomiting; pain; rigid muscles; rapid heartbeat; seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not there; shivering or tremors; sweating; and trouble sleeping.

Because of buprenorphine’s opioid effects, it can be misused, particularly by people who do not have an opioid dependency.

Buprenorphine as an opioid use disorder treatment is carefully regulated. Qualified physicians are required to acquire and maintain certifications to legally dispense or prescribe opioid dependency medications.

Call our addiction help advisors to find qualified physicians and programs that use buprenorphine to assist those with opioid or opiate addiction.