What Are The Side Effects Of Suboxone?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on July 13, 2021

Suboxone treatment can cause a number of side effects. Many of these effects can be mild, while others can be more serious and require further medical attention.

What Are The Side Effects Of Suboxone?

The desirable effects of Suboxone include pain relief and reduced cravings for opioids. This is what makes Suboxone an effective treatment method for opioid dependence.

Suboxone can also cause side effects that disturb the central nervous system (CNS), respiratory system, and cardiovascular system.

Learn more about taking suboxone for opioid addiction treatment

Short-Term Effects Of Suboxone

There are a number of short-term side effects caused by Suboxone.

A few of these include:

  • nausea and vomiting, most often due to precipitated withdrawal
  • weight gain
  • erectile dysfunction
  • loss of interest in sex
  • precipitated withdrawal
  • diarrhea
  • mouth numbness
  • mouth redness
  • headache
  • trouble concentrating

Precipitated Withdrawal

Precipitated withdrawal is what happens when a person takes Suboxone before their body has detoxed from a full opioid agonist, such as heroin.

Taking Suboxone too early (before the stages of opioid withdrawal start) can cause symptoms of precipitated withdrawal to set in within hours.

A few of these side effects include:

  • abdominal pain
  • nausea and vomiting
  • confusion
  • physical impairment
  • fever
  • low blood pressure
  • increased heart rate
  • agitation
  • sweating
  • chills

Read more about precipitated withdrawal from taking Suboxone

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Long-Term Effects Of Suboxone

Suboxone can also cause a few long-term side effects. Most of these are treatable and non-life-threatening. However, they will likely require more medical attention.

Long-term side effects of Suboxone may include:

Effects Of Suboxone On The Liver

Suboxone can take a toll on the liver. If any of the following symptoms occur, get help from a medical professional.

Effects on the liver include:

  • the skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow (jaundice)
  • dark urine
  • light stool color
  • decreased appetite
  • stomach pain
  • nausea

Mental Effects Of Suboxone

When taking Suboxone, you may experience a range of mental and emotional effects.

Some of these include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • substance abuse
  • mental or mood changes, such as agitation, confusion, or hallucinations

Suboxone may also exacerbate existing mental health concerns, such as hallucinations. Speak to your healthcare provider about any existing mental issues before taking Suboxone.

Emotional Effects Of Suboxone

In a study conducted in 2013 by a group of researchers, it was concluded that most chemically dependent people have difficulty identifying their feelings and expressing them effectively.

The study examines emotional reactivity in relation to the long-term use of Suboxone. The researchers found that mood disorders and anxiety are directly associated with substance abuse.

Long-term Suboxone use leads to less self-awareness of being happy, sad, and anxious.

Effects Of Suboxone On Pregnancy

Researchers have concluded that Suboxone is safe to use on pregnant women, but there is still a chance that the medication can affect pregnancy and fertility.

A few of the potential pregnancy-related side effects of Suboxone include:

  • miscarriage
  • low birth weights
  • effects on breast milk

More serious effects on pregnancy include:

  • neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS): This is something that can develop in babies when opioids are used during pregnancy. Symptoms include decreased sleep, tremors, seizures, and sweating.
  • neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS): This happens when a pregnant woman uses a substance or medication during pregnancy. When the baby is born, he or she might experience symptoms of opioid withdrawal.

Life-Threatening Effects Of Suboxone

Most of the side effects of Suboxone are mild, treatable, and primarily uncomfortable.

But there are some effects that, if they develop and persist after using Suboxone, require immediate medical assistance.

The following are signs of serious and potentially life-threatening breathing complications:

  • feeling faint, dizzy, or confused
  • breathing slows significantly or stops
  • blurred vision
  • slurred speech
  • inability to think clearly
  • slowed reflexes
  • difficulty waking up

These side effects can be signs of overdose or a serious reaction to the medication. If left unattended, death is a possible outcome.

Find A Suboxone Treatment Center

If you’d like to learn more about options in the treatment of opioid dependence, reach out to us today.

When you call our helpline, you’ll be connected with a trained specialist who can talk you through Suboxone treatment and find a treatment center that fits your recovery needs.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.

These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on July 13, 2021

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