Buprenorphine is a synthetic opioid used in smaller doses to control moderate pain in non-opioid addicted patients and opioid addiction in larger doses.
Buprenorphine is effective in treating opioid addiction because it produces an agonist, or binding chemical, that reduces withdrawal side effects. Some popular forms of buprenorphine include Subutex, Temgesic, and Suboxone.
Clinical uses for buprenorphine include treatment for chronic pain and depression. There are many benefits to treating pain with this drug, for example the drug has a long half-life, a very good safety profile, and no immunosuppressive effect to name a few. Buprenorphine is also used as a spinal anesthesia in some countries.
Buprenorphine is also used as a recreational drug, typically by inhaling it. Users of the drugs report a slight euphoric feeling when taking buprenorphine this way, but it usually only lasts the first few doses.
Users have also reported signs of withdrawal once they stopped using it. Buprenorphine is popular because it takes a very small amount to experience desired effects. Very few people use the drug strictly for recreational purposes; most are prescribed buprenorphine to help with their opioid addiction.
Buprenorphine Side Effects
Common side effects include the following:
Constipation, diarrhea, drowsiness, nausea, stomach pain, and weakness.
There are many severe side effects of buprenorphine usage, if you experience any of these you should contact your primary care physician or go to a hospital. These side effects include:
Allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing or hives, facial swelling, irregular heartbeat, persistent dizziness, slurred speech, and yellowing of the eyes.
In the event you are unsure if you are experiencing a side effect related to using buprenorphine you need to seek medical help immediately.
Buprenorphine has many beneficial uses from chronic pain relief to addiction therapy, but it should never be taken recreationally. The only time you should take buprenorphine is under the supervision of a healthcare professional.