Buprenorphine Detox, Side Effects, Overdose, and Withdrawal

Inpatient medical detox and residential primary addiction treatment may be available at our affiliated facility at Level Up Treatment West Palm Beach. For some primary behavioral health treatment clients, medical detox may be required first. If you have a co-occurring severe substance abuse diagnosis, please contact us prior to beginning inpatient mental health therapy. Treatment services may vary. Please call us to learn which treatment options are most suited for your individual needs.

Before talking about the Buprenorphine Detox, it is necessary to understand what is Buprenorphine?

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist used to manage severe pain that is not responsive to alternative treatments. It is mainly used for the maintenance treatment of opioid addiction, such as heroin and narcotic painkillers. However, buprenorphine-based drugs have become addiction threats by themselves. Despite their effectiveness, these drugs can also be highly addictive. It can cause severe respiratory depression (slow or shallow breathing) if it is taken with other depressant drugs like alcohol or benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin. Buprenorphine detox from a reliable treatment facility can prevent these outcomes and provide immediate care if complications arise.

Suboxone and Subutex are two products approved by FDA for clinical use. The main difference is that Suboxone contains both buprenorphine and naloxone, whereas Subutex contains only buprenorphine. Both Suboxone and Subutex are used to treat opioid dependence and are classified as Schedule III drugs by the DEA. These drugs work to prevent withdrawal symptoms when someone stops taking opioid drugs by producing similar effects to these drugs. However, some individuals buy Suboxone on the street in order to prolong their heroin use. For instance, they use Suboxone to cope with withdrawal symptoms and then go back to using heroin. Medical-assisted Buprenorphine detox is key in the recovery path.

Side Effects of Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine or buprenorphine and naloxone may cause side effects. It includes the following:

  • Headache
  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Mouth numbness or redness
  • Tongue pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Back pain

According to the US National Library of Medicine [1], some side effects can be serious, such as:

  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Swelling of the face, throat, tongue
  • Hallucinations
  • Sweating,
  • Confusion,
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Shivering
  • Severe muscle stiffness
  •  Nausea
  • Inability to get or keep an erection

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Lack of energy
  • Pain in the upper right part of the stomach
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Light-colored stools
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Slowed breathing
  • Upset stomach

Buprenorphine Overdose

Combining buprenorphine with other substances like benzodiazepines (such as Xanax, Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin), alcohol, or opioids is extremely dangerous and can cause a drug overdose.

Signs of buprenorphine overdose include:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Buprenorphine

Doctors are required to instruct patients not to use these drugs in conjunction with alcohol. Alcohol and buprenorphine are central nervous system depressants. Therefore, taking them in together leads to an enhancement of their effects, which may include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Increased sweating
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased or decreased blood pressure
  • Increased potential for myocardial infarction
  • Decreased motor coordination
  • Poor response times
  • Extremely impaired thinking processes
Mixing Buprenorphine with other substances can be fatal.
Buprenorphine Detox: Mixing Buprenorphine with other substances can be fatal.

Buprenorphine Detox Withdrawal

Whether taking buprenorphine as prescribed or abusing it frequently, people may experience more withdrawal symptoms if they abruptly stop using it. Buprenorphine Detox Program can help people transition away from the medication to prevent or reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

When Buprenorphine Detox as an inmediate effect appears the withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of heroin. However, they are often milder. The following are some of the physical symptoms associated with Buprenorphine abuse or taking too much of this drug:

  • Poor coordination, limpness, or weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Problems with thinking
  • Blurred vision
  • Shallow breathing
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Shaking or shivering
  • Muscle pain
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in the upper stomach
  • A pounding heartbeat
  • Itching
  • Poor memory
  • Erratic behavior
  • Shifts in mood
  • Depression
  • Insomnia

Buprenorphine Detox Withdrawal Timeline

Buprenorphine-based drugs take longer to act on your body and also remain active for a greater length of time. Because it is a long-acting drug, it can make withdrawal more difficult.

Days 1 – 3

Physical symptoms may begin to show up within 6 – 12 hours after the last use of buprenorphine. A person may experience symptoms such as muscle pain, nausea, and diarrhea.

Days 4 – 7

A person may experience insomnia as the body eliminates the drugs. This the psychological impacts of withdrawal happens, which may include anxiety and irritability.

Weeks 2 – 4

Once the first week is complete, many people become more prone to depression. Therefore, it is best to be treated in an inpatient treatment facility to treat co-occurring mental disorders with talk therapy and possibly medicinal intervention.

Months 2+

At this point, relapse prevention is crucial. Though the drug is out of the body’s system, the brain is still wired to crave the drug. Moreover, buprenorphine cravings can happen years after the drug was used.

Medical Buprenorphine Detox

Medical Buprenorphine detox can help a person safely and comfortably complete withdrawal. As the client gradually reduces the buprenorphine dose or detox from the medication, they can meet with treatment professionals to address any problems they have with dependency or addiction Medical detox does little to address the underlying issues of substance misuse and addiction. For these reasons, detox should ideally be followed by comprehensive addiction treatment that involves behavioral therapy and complementary forms of treatment, such as 12-step meetings.

The inpatient treatment approach works best as it aims to change the person’s behaviors. Also, help them establish social support systems and better methods of coping with stress. A person will likely experience many side effects from their drug use. These side effects may be emotional, physical, or mental. For example, someone in withdrawal will likely experience many uncomfortable feelings and negative thoughts about life during the process of detox. Unfortunately for those with dependency, the Buprenorphine detox process is an unavoidable first step to recovery.

We Level FL Mental Health Center: Primary Mental Health Treatment with Secondary Co-Occurring Treatment

We Level Up FL primary mental health center stands ready to help. Offering secondary treatment therapy for underlying problems like Buprenorphine Addiction often fuels negative behaviors. Taking that first step to get the help you deserve can be life-changing.

We understand how behavioral disorders and secondary co-occurring addiction diagnoses directly impact each other. We Level Up Florida can instill a support system through our mental health treatments that can make you feel valuable. Call us now for a free mental health assessment! Inpatient medical detox and residential primary addiction treatment may be available at our affiliated facility at Level Up Treatment West Palm Beach.


[1] US National Library of Medicine – https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a605002.html