Monday, May 16, 2011

Does Suboxone Have Even Worse Withdrawal Symptoms Than Heroin or Methadone?

We recently had a patient come to us to detox off Suboxone. He was a professional and had been told that he needed to come off the Suboxone in order to get a new job. He was on an average dose and had been on this dose for about 5 years. He went through our standard detox, getting off Suboxone over about 10 days.  During the detox we prepare his brain for being cleaned by giving tiny doses of Naltrexone. He did ok during the detox but once he was fully detoxed he became quite confused and this continued for over a week. Even a month later he was still very weak and not able to function well at all. 

We have had other patients have protracted withdrawal symptoms when they come off Suboxone but this was the most dramatic case so far. Suboxone is a new drug and does not have a long track record. It is now being prescribed very frequently. I hope that we don’t find that doctors prescribing Suboxone are causing more harm than good.

- Peter R. Coleman, M.D.

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