Can Subutex Cause Anxiety?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on July 14, 2021

Feeling anxious while taking Subutex is common, but this may not be a side effect of the drug itself. Anxiety may be a sign of a separate issue, including stress, a co-occurring anxiety disorder, or another treatment-related cause.

Does Subutex Cause Anxiety?

Subutex is a prescription medication that is used to treat opioid use disorder. Although anxiety can occur while taking Subutex, this is not a common side effect.

It’s more likely for people with opioid use disorder to feel less anxious while taking Subutex, due to its ability to help treat physical and psychological effects of opioid withdrawal and cravings.

Experiencing anxiety while taking Subutex may be a sign of opioid withdrawal, drug misuse, stress, or a co-occurring mental health condition.

Learn more about taking Subutex for opioid withdrawal

Causes Of Anxiety While Taking Subutex

Subutex is not generally known to cause new anxiety in people without a history of anxiety or substance abuse.

Co-Occurring Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorders affect an estimated 40 million Americans and commonly co-occur with substance abuse and addiction.

People with an anxiety disorder may continue to feel anxious while taking Subutex if that anxiety is left untreated.

People who have co-occurring anxiety and opioid use disorder may benefit from a dual diagnosis treatment program, which can offer both mental health and substance use treatment.

Opioid Withdrawal And Anxiety

Anxiety is a common symptom of opioid withdrawal. If someone is receiving too low a dose of Subutex, or isn’t taking it properly, this might cause symptoms of opioid withdrawal to emerge.

Other signs of opioid withdrawal include:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • insomnia
  • sweating
  • chills
  • runny nose
  • restlessness

Experiencing opioid withdrawal symptoms while taking Subutex may indicate a need for a dose adjustment. If this happens to you, consider contacting your doctor to discuss this issue.

Injecting Subutex

Subutex is prescribed in the form of a tablet that is meant to dissolve in the mouth. Attempting to inject Subutex could cause serious withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety.

Injecting Subutex is a sign of drug abuse. If someone is injecting Subutex, a more intensive treatment program or a switch to a different medication may be recommended.

Use Of Other Drugs

Anxiety is more likely to be reported by people who misuse other drugs while taking Subutex. This includes the misuse of benzodiazepines and cannabis (marijuana).

Taking Subutex in any way other than prescribed—such as mixing it with other drugs or self-medicating—can lead to adverse drug reactions, including new or worsened anxiety.

Other Sources Of Stress

Everyone feels anxious at some point. But anxiety is especially common during stressful times, such as major life changes, relationship problems, or issues with employment.

Anxiety may not always be caused by the use of a medication.

It can also be influenced by a person’s environment, the level of social support a person has, as well as factors such as diet and exercise.

Can Subutex Help With Anxiety?

Some research suggests that Subutex may help reduce anxiety in people with opioid dependence who receive buprenorphine (Subutex) treatment.

Subutex can help with anxiety in part because it can treat opioid withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and opioid cravings.

Beginning treatment for opioid addiction can also help address common sources of anxiety in a person’s life, including financial or relationship problems caused by their addiction.

Signs Of Anxiety While Taking Subutex

Anxiety is commonly experienced by people from all walks of life in the United States, including people with substance use disorders.

Common signs of anxiety include:

  • excessive worry
  • feeling very restless or on-edge
  • difficulty concentrating on tasks
  • insomnia
  • feeling easily tired or fatigued
  • feeling very irritable

Chronic symptoms of anxiety can lead to additional problems, such as difficulties at work, school, or in the home.

This can be difficult for people to manage without some form of intervention.

What To Do If You Have Anxiety While Taking Subutex

Anxiety is common among people with opioid dependence or addiction issues. If you’re experiencing anxiety while taking Subutex, the first thing to do is talk to your doctor.

Your doctor can help you by creating a customized treatment plan for your anxiety, or by referring you to a treatment provider who specializes in treating anxiety and substance abuse.

What can help for anxiety while taking Subutex:

  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • relaxation techniques
  • mindfulness-based stress reduction
  • physical activity
  • individual counseling

If you have an anxiety disorder, finding an addiction treatment center that offers mental health treatment in addition to medication for opioid use disorder may be helpful.

Finding Subutex Treatment For Opioid Abuse And Addiction

If you or a loved one is experiencing anxiety while taking Subutex, or is looking for Subutex treatment for opioid addiction, we can help.

Call our helpline today to learn more about the effects of Subutex and how to find treatment for opioid addiction and anxiety at a rehab center near you.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on July 14, 2021
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