Taking Suboxone as part of a medication-assisted treatment program for opioid addiction can lead to some side effects, including sexual dysfunction.
The effects of Suboxone on sexual function are rarely discussed, due in part to feelings of embarrassment or shame among those who experience it.
If you or a loved one is experiencing sexual side effects while taking Suboxone, you’re not alone. Here is what you need to know.
What Are The Sexual Side Effects Of Suboxone?
Suboxone is a pharmacological treatment for opioid addiction that can affect the body’s hormones. A potential consequence of this is sexual dysfunction.
Adverse sexual side effects of Suboxone might include:
- erectile dysfunction
- reduced satisfaction during sex
- orgasmic dysfunction
- low libido
- low testosterone
- changes in menstruation
Several side effects on sexual function have been reported by people who were being treated with Suboxone for opioid use disorder:
Suboxone And Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is one of the most commonly reported sexual side effects in people who take Suboxone.
While this can be physically uncomfortable, for most, the greatest discomfort is mental and psychological.
Erectile dysfunction can affect self-esteem, quality of life, and may affect a person’s willingness to continue their treatment with Suboxone, despite the medication’s benefits.
Suboxone And Low Testosterone
Reduced testosterone levels are a potential side effect of Suboxone and the chronic use of opioid drugs more broadly.
Signs and symptoms of low testosterone include:
- reduced sexual desire
- loss of body hair
- fatigue or low energy
- erectile dysfunction
- slowed beard growth
- symptoms of depression
Suboxone And Premature Ejaculation
Premature ejaculation is a common side effect of many medications, including Suboxone.
In one study of 40 men taking Suboxone, at least 18 reported experiencing ejaculatory dysfunction.
Suboxone And Menstruation
Although an uncommon side effect, effects on the menstrual cycle can occur while taking Suboxone, due to its inhibitory effects on the production of certain hormones.
Potential side effects of Suboxone might include:
- shorter periods (hypomenorrhea)
- irregular cycle/loss of one’s period (amenorrhea)
- lighter blood flow
Suboxone And Infertility
Infertility is a potential side effect of Suboxone, due to the effects of chronic opioid use on hormones.
Both men and women can be affected, according to the FDA. The reversibility of effects on fertility are unknown.
What Causes Sexual Dysfunction While Taking Suboxone?
Suboxone, like other opioid-based drugs, can affect the body’s hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis.
This can lead to an adrenal deficiency, which is associated with sexual dysfunction.
Are Sexual Side Effects Of Suboxone Long-Term?
Sexual side effects of Suboxone may persist as long as a person is taking Suboxone. However, treatment options for sexual dysfunction while taking this medication are available.
With treatment for sexual dysfunction, these side effects may be effectively managed. This may involve both pharmacological and behavioral treatments, depending on the cause.
Call Today For More Information About Finding Suboxone Treatment
Suboxone is an effective treatment for opioid addiction. Although it can have some adverse sexual effects, the benefits of this medication largely outweigh the potential side effects.
With counseling and treatment, Suboxone can help support individuals on their journey towards addiction recovery.
If you or a loved one is addicted to opioids, call our helpline today to find a rehab center near you that offers medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction.
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.
- Dove Press—Sexual Adverse Effects and Erectile Dysfunction During Buprenorphine/Naloxone
- Frontiers—Sexual Functioning and Opioid Maintenance Treatment in Women. Results From a Large Multicentre Study
- Urology Health—Low Testosterone: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—SUBOXONE (buprenorphine/naloxone)
- U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)—Sexual dysfunction in men on buprenorphine