Suboxone is a pharmaceutical drug used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for substance use disorders (SUD), especially for opioids like heroin and painkillers. Its active ingredients are buprenorphine and naloxone. While Suboxone can be an excellent option for many people, it is known to cause side effects – elevated blood pressure is not one of them. However, high blood pressure is a common side effect of withdrawal from opioids. Here’s a quick guide on what to know about high blood pressure while recovering from opioid addiction.
What are the common side effects of Suboxone?
- Nausea and vomiting
- Problems with concentration
- Numb mouth and tongue pain
- Dizziness and fainting
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blurry vision
- Back pain
Some people may also experience mental health-related side effects like nervousness, depression, and anxiety. For these reasons, Suboxone should only be taken under the supervision and guidance of a medical professional.
However, there’s no link between Suboxone and high blood pressure. Still, factors related to opioid dependency recovery may cause high blood pressure, which can often be confused as a Suboxone side effect.
Can Suboxone cause high blood pressure?
Suboxone does not directly cause high blood pressure. As mentioned, high blood pressure is not a common side effect of Suboxone use, and there seems to be no direct link between its use and high blood pressure.
In contrast, the official Suboxone webpage indicates that low blood pressure is a potential side effect of the sublingual film presentation, both on its own and as a result of an allergic reaction. But there’s no indication that Suboxone increases blood pressure.
The reason behind high blood pressure & Suboxone
Opioid withdrawal syndrome can last between 4 and 20 days, depending on whether withdrawal is from using short or long-acting opioids like heroin and methadone. During this period, your body is under constant stress, and high blood pressure is a potential symptom.
Opioid withdrawal has 3 phases, the early, peak, and late stages:
- The early stage starts when you stop consuming opioids, common symptoms include anxiety, frustration, and constant thoughts about opioids, aka cravings.
- During the peak phase, symptoms become the most intense. Most people experience intense cravings, unusually hot or cold sensations, sweating, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, rapid heart, and high blood pressure. In addition, some people may experience psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression.
- By the late stage, symptoms become gradually more manageable. The immediate physical symptoms, like elevated blood pressure, will be milder starting about one week after the last opioid use. Still, long-term psychological symptoms like cravings may take months or years to overcome with treatment and dedication.
Because people are often prescribed Suboxone by the time they’ve completed the peak phase, a stage in which their blood pressure is considerably higher, this has led to the belief that Suboxone caused the spike in blood pressure.
What can you do if you suffer high blood pressure during opioid treatment?
Most people feel at their worst during the first few days of withdrawal and slowly start feeling better over time. The amount of time your blood pressure can remain high will vary from person to person, but you can at least rest assured that Suboxone is almost certainly not causing the spike, which is an expected symptom of withdrawal.
Although Suboxone is not known to be linked with elevated blood pressure, you may want to keep a close eye on it during withdrawal and any adjustment period.
If you suffer from high blood pressure, your doctor or care team might decide not to proceed with medication-assisted treatment. In this case, a comprehensive detoxification program is vital to helping you navigate opioid withdrawal safely and effectively.
Is suboxone safe?
Suboxone is considered safe and effective when taken as directed by a doctor in the correct dose for the intended use. It is most effective when prescribed and taken in combination with counseling, support groups, or behavioral therapy. Remember that treating any severe medical condition requires a doctor’s oversight and input.
If you are participating in a treatment program for opioid dependence, you should inform your doctor or a medical professional team of any symptoms. They will have the experience and means to help you manage them and recover successfully.
Consider Suboxone addiction treatment
With support from your family and a medical detox center, Suboxone treatment can be highly effective in your addiction recovery journey. Upon entering Suboxone treatment, you’ll undergo a health assessment to develop a tailored treatment plan. In most cases, MAT is combined with behavioral therapy, group support, and other practices to provide comprehensive treatment.
If you or someone you love is struggling with opioid addiction, consider learning about Suboxone treatment.