Effects of Long-Term Buprenorphine for Addiction Treatment

Close,Up,Cropped,Image,Millennial,Mixed,Race,Girl,Holding,Pill Opioid addiction comes with certain challenges during recovery. Physical withdrawal symptoms and strong cravings can make it hard to avoid relapse. However, the use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT), such as long-term buprenorphine, may offer an effective way to handle these difficulties.

Buprenorphine helps ease symptoms of withdrawal. It also helps decrease cravings. This allows individuals to focus on recovering from opioid addiction. But are there any issues with taking it on a long-term basis? Keep reading to learn more.

How Does Buprenorphine Work?

This medication is what’s known as a partial opioid agonist, meaning it produces similar effects as full opioid agonists, such as prescription opioids and heroin. However, the effects are much weaker.

Utilizing buprenorphine helps relieve cravings and withdrawal symptoms so that those with an opioid addiction can work through recovery. It also offers other benefits, including:

  • Low risk of misuse or overdose when taken as prescribed
  • Usage can be easily tapered to prevent severe withdrawal
  • FDA-approved and safe, even at higher doses

Possible Side Effects

Buprenorphine comes with a risk of side effects that can occur with short-term or long-term use. Some common effects may include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness

Certain populations may have a higher risk of more serious side effects. For example, those who have liver problems might have an increased probability of liver impairment when taking this medication.

Safety of Long-Term Use

Long-term buprenorphine use is considered safe — as long as it’s taken as prescribed. In fact, treatment with this medication usually lasts for two years. The main concerns about taking this medication on a long-term basis include:

  • Withdrawal: Tapering the use of buprenorphine helps prevent sudden and severe withdrawal symptoms, even after long-term use.
  • Relapse risks: A 2021 study found that long-term use led to a lower risk of relapse compared to short-term use.
  • Dependency: Buprenorphine does produce opioid effects, which might lead to its misuse. But Naloxone is often combined with it to help lower the risk of dependency.

Prescription Drug Addiction Recovery Services in Heber City, UT

Are you looking for medication-assisted treatment for addiction in Herber City, UT? Resilience Health offers this type of care to help individuals with opioid use disorder recover. Please get in touch with us at 435-261-7878 to set up a consultation.

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