Subutex is used as part of medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, program for opioid addiction. It decreases cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and the chance of relapse.
Precipitated withdrawal can occur when MAT medications are not used properly or are abused.
What Causes Precipitated Withdrawal?
If a person who is addicted to opioids starts a MAT program and has not detoxed correctly, or for long enough, precipitated withdrawal can occur.
Additionally, an opioid-addicted individual may abuse MAT drugs by crushing, snorting, injecting, or misusing them.
This can result in the person experiencing intense, severe symptoms of precipitated withdrawal.
What Is Precipitated Withdrawal?
Precipitated withdrawal symptoms are significantly worse than the already painful, acute withdrawal associated with opioid addiction.
While opioid withdrawal symptoms are gradual and occur over time, precipitated withdrawal symptoms are immediate, and at peak intensity.
Precipitated withdrawal symptoms include:
- drop in blood pressure
- increase heart rate
- intense muscle cramps and pain
- severe abdominal cramping
- extreme sweating
- unmanageable diarrhea
- excessive vomiting
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Risks Of Precipitated Withdrawal From Subutex
Dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and other severe health risks related to precipitated withdrawal almost always require hospitalization, and sometimes even ICU.
If someone has a pre-existing condition, precipitated withdrawal can be even more dangerous or have serious complications.
Some people have to be sedated or even given a general anesthetic until the precipitated withdrawal has run its course.
Preventing Precipitated Withdrawal
Medical supervision is one of the best ways to avoid precipitated withdrawal. Different opioids require different periods of time before a MAT program medication can be taken.
Medical addiction specialists are able to monitor clients and administer appropriate levels of care if a person starts to display symptoms of precipitated withdrawal.
Getting Treatment For Opioid Use Disorder
For those struggling with opioid addiction, seeking substance abuse treatment from a rehab facility that offers medically supervised detox and MAT options may be ideal.
Our specially trained staff can help find an addiction rehabilitation program that meets the needs of you or your loved one. Contact our supportive staff today.
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.
- American College of Emergency Physicians — Treatment Strategies for Precipitated Opioid Withdrawal after Naloxone Rescue
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) — Subutex Label
- International Journal of Drug Policy — “Everything is not right anymore”: Buprenorphine experiences in an era of illicit fentanyl
- Pain — Pharmacologic Treatment of Patients with Addiction