Buprenex for Opiod Detox and Withdrawal (aka Suboxone/Subutex)

Buprenorphine (Buprenex)  | Introduction:

Buprenex is a medication that is FDA approved for pain management. Buprenex is an injectable form of Buprenorphine HCl which is administered intramuscularly. Physicians in the 1990’s found Buprenex was an effective treatment for opioid abstinence syndrome. Physicians started prescribing dependent patients Buprenex for opiod detox and withdrawal as an off label medication.

Today, Buprenex is seldom used to treat opioid dependency primarily due to the development and FDA approval of Suboxone. The treatment of opioid dependency with Suboxone is as effective as Buprenex but also adds an additional safety measure; the inclusion of the concomitant medication Naloxone also known as Narcan. Naloxone lowers the probability of relapse and overdose by inhibiting the effects of subsequently administered full agonist opioids such as heroin, oxycodone and methadone.

Can I be prescribed Buprenex for Opiod Detox and Withdrawal?

No, not presently. Suboxone and Subutex are the only Buprenorphine based medications that can be prescribed or dispensed for this indication outside the Opiate Treatment Program setting.

Off Label (Black Label) drugs are medications that physicians use for two or more separate conditions other than their intended use. One use is the FDA recommended use and the other condition is not FDA recommended. However physicians on rare occasions do treat clients with FDA approved medications for conditions other than their FDA recommended use.

An excellent example of an off label medication is Rifaximin which is currently prescribed off label to treat hepatic Encephalopathy. Rifaximin’s current FDA recommended use is for the treatment of traveler’s diarrhea caused by E. coli.

Encephalopathy means brain disorder. Hepatic Encephalopathy is a brain disorder caused by elevated ammonia levels in the blood. The condition creates subtle personality changes, confusion, lethargy, involuntary twitching and tremors.

E. coli is short for Escherichia coli bacterium and is usually found in the lower intestines of warm blooded organisms. E coli is mostly harmless bacterium but some specialized serotypes can cause serious food poisoning which can be fatal.

Use of Buprenorphine could also be applicable treatment for those that hooked-on pharmaceutical Opiods. The FDA is currently evaluating its use and approved the first medical implant to curb Opiod dependence in 2016.

Buprenorphine stops cravings, blocks withdrawal symptoms to prevent “dope sickness” and blocks the “high” from heroin and other opioids.
Because Buprenorphine has been reported to help the general public should look forward to Buprenex for Opiod Detox and Withdrawal. It has also served to facilitate insulating users from risky behaviors and lowers the possibility another OD. Additionally, those that are hooked on opioids and living with a chronic illnesses (e.g., HIV) should more easily stick to their chronic illness treatment and better outcomes if they are on Buprenorphine treatment.

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