Suboxone Side Effects: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

When it comes to addiction and addiction treatment, most of us are familiar with some well-known substances like alcohol, opioids, marijuana, and more. 

When it comes to addiction in the United States however, one type of addiction is more prevalent now than ever before. Opiate addiction has risen its way to a full-blown public health emergency for the U.S. and, as of 2017, there are a lot of different strategies that are being implemented to combat it. 

One of these strategies is improving access to treatment and other recovery services as well as backing evidence-based treatments like medication-assisted treatment. Medication-assisted treatment is also known as MAT and it features a unique combination of medication to support a healthy and safe withdrawal as well as behavioral therapies that help address underlying causes of addiction.

The most common medications used in MAT are known as methadone, buprenorphine, and naloxone. Each of these medications is best suited for certain situations and types of addiction.

For example, naloxone has been proven to be most effective when it comes to helping with withdrawal and detoxification from alcohol. Buprenorphine on the other hand is most effective when it comes to opioids.

A combination of buprenorphine and naloxone is another type of medication that is known as Suboxone. It is one of the most common and effective medications that is prescribed to treat dependence on opiate drugs like heroin or prescription painkillers.

Suboxone works by relieving withdrawal symptoms and reducing cravings. It is often taken in the form of a sublingual film, which is a dissolving strip that can be placed on or under the tongue. It may be used as a short term medication during detox at the beginning of recovery, or it can be used as a more long term maintenance option during recovery. Each type of use has its own impacts on the body and those can be different depending on the periods of time of use.

Short Term Side Effects of Suboxone

In the short term, Suboxone is highly effective at preventing cravings, as we talked about before. The exact way it does this is by attaching itself to our brain’s opioid receptors. 

Suboxone, like all medications, can sometimes have some unintended side effects. Some of the most common side effects of Suboxone, when taken in the short term, are:

  • Headache
  • Stomach cramps & constipation
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Difficulty sleeping 
  • Blurred vision

These side effects typically go away on their own after some time. Other short term side effects of Suboxone can be due to the way in which it is taken. 

Remember, Suboxone is typically taken as a dissolving strip that is placed under the tongue. This has been known to sometimes cause mouth pain, numbness, or tingling. 

Other effects of Suboxone can be more serious and may be indicative of an allergic reaction. These include hives, skin rashes, breathing problems, or swelling.

Long Term Effects of Suboxone and Suboxone Abuse

When it comes to the more long term effects of Suboxone use, there is less research that has been fully completed. As of now, there are no known lingering long term side effects that impact physical well being from using Suboxone as prescribed. 

The only currently cited long term effect is the slightly increased risk of physical dependence on the medication. This is known to be very rare and only occurs when the body becomes fully reliant on a substance to function.

In general, Suboxone has been found to be less risky when it comes to addiction or dependence than other opioid-based medications and that is why it is used to help alleviate the feelings of a withdrawal syndrome in those who are opioid-dependent. 

Opioid withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly unpleasant and range in severity from mild to very distributive. The good news is that Suboxone when coupled with treatment programs and behavioral therapies can help these symptoms and more.

Benefits of Suboxone Use

The benefits of using Suboxone to treat an addiction to opioids like heroin, Vicodin, or any other legal or illegal drug are tremendous. Suboxone has been found to be one of the most effective and safest ways to alleviate risk of overdose. 

Across the country, opioid-based overdoses have been increasing since the late 1990s. These deaths actually account for over 70% of all overdoses across all types of substances. Meaning that considerably more than half of all overdoses are related to opioids alone! 

Suboxone eliminates a substantial part of that risk because it does not simply replace one addiction with another. Instead, it works by helping alleviate the withdrawal and craving symptoms from opioid addiction allowing one to focus on what makes them feel the way they do and respond by using substances. 

Seeking Suboxone Treatment in Arizona?

At Pinnacle Peak Recovery, we know that it can be a lot to process all of the benefits and drawbacks of different addiction treatment programs and approaches. That’s why we specialize in providing the most up-to-date and scientifically accurate information to those who may be struggling with addiction or may have a friend or family member who is struggling. If you are looking for more information on Suboxone recovery call Pinnacle Peak Recovery at 480-787-2409.


What are the negative side effects of Suboxone?

The most common negative side effects of taking Suboxone are:

  • Headache
  • Stomach cramps & constipation
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Difficulty sleeping 
  • Blurred vision

How long should you take Suboxone?

You should take Suboxone exactly as prescribed by your doctor. This could be for a short term or long term treatment plan. Every person and treatment is different so it is important to always speak with your prescriber and follow their directions when it comes to taking medication.

Does Suboxone make you tired?

Suboxone is not commonly known to cause fatigue. Instead, those taking Suboxone may actually find themselves having trouble getting to sleep rather than feeling overly tired. However, side effects are different for each person and if you are having concerns, it is always best to seek advice from your doctor.

Does Suboxone cause anxiety?

Suboxone is not known at this time to cause anxiety. Suboxone helps to relieve some of the side effects of withdrawal and cravings for opioids and, with these symptoms being relieved, it is possible that you may notice some feelings like anxiety or other symptoms of mood disorders that may be related to co-occurring disorders or other causes. If you are having concerns, we recommend that you reach out to your doctor or care team.

Pinnacle Peak Recovery