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Buprenorphine and Naloxone Side Effects

Common side effects of buprenorphine and naloxone include headaches, pain, and nausea. While these problems generally require little or no treatment, potentially serious reactions are possible while taking this medication. If you experience more serious side effects, such as difficulty breathing, severe constipation, or fainting, notify your healthcare provider right away. Other, less common side effects can include vomiting and hot flashes.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Buprenorphine and Naloxone

Just like any medicine, buprenorphine and naloxone (Suboxone®) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with buprenorphine and naloxone. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Serious Buprenorphine and Naloxone Side Effects

Some side effects are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • The urge to use more buprenorphine and naloxone than prescribed
  • Any difficulty breathing, including reduced, shallow, slow, or irregular breathing
  • Confusion or problems thinking, walking, or talking
  • Severe constipation
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Signs of liver damage, such as yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin (jaundice) or high liver enzymes (as found using a blood test)
  • Dizziness when getting up from a seated or lying position, which may be a sign of low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Unusual changes in behavior or mood, such as:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing.
Even when used in normal doses, buprenorphine and naloxone can be lethal for people who are not accustomed to taking opioids. This is why it is important to keep this medication out of reach of children and pets (see Suboxone Overdose for more information).
What Your Pharmacist Wishes You Knew About Chronic Pain Medications

Buprenorphine and Naloxone Drug Information

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