If you take opioid pain relievers and can’t seem to stop taking them, you may have developed a dependency. Suboxone, a prescription medication, can help manage this dependency, allowing you to stop or prevent additional withdrawal symptoms. Dr. Radha Lewis is pleased to provide this therapy at Discover Health in San Francisco. If you feel you may be struggling with opioid overuse, book a confidential appointment by calling or using the online scheduler to find out if you’re a good candidate.
Suboxone is a prescription medication used to treat adults who’ve developed a dependency or addiction to painkillers known as opioids. Prescription medications in this category include codeine, Fentanyl, heroin, Norco, OxyContin, and Percocet.
Opioids help minimize pain by causing your brain to create endorphins. Opioids not only block pain but can make you feel really good because of these endorphins. While they’re meant for temporary use as directed by a doctor, continuing to use them can actually change your brain, leading to intense urges to use the drug. This can cause your brain to stop producing endorphins naturally, which becomes more likely the longer you use opioids. Your tolerance can increase over time, meaning you’ll need opioids in greater amounts for the same results.
Symptoms of opioid dependency and abuse vary from person to person and can show up in your behavior, moods, emotions, and body. Potential signs include:
• Not being able to limit yourself to doctor-recommended amounts of the drug
• Feeling the need to take the drug continually
• Obtaining opioids that aren’t prescribed by your doctor
• Chills, diarrhea, shaking, or vomiting when you stop taking opioids
If you suspect you have a problem with opioid addiction, see Dr. Lewis for a private and confidential exam. With compassion, she’ll explain how the medication works, discuss your symptoms, and answer any of your questions. She’ll take your concerns seriously as you work together to determine whether your opiate use is a problem and whether Suboxone might be a good option.
Suboxone contains buprenorphine, an ingredient that attaches to the same receptors as other opioids. This helps suppress your withdrawal symptoms and minimize cravings. The naloxone contained in Suboxone helps prevent misuse of the medication. Potential side effects include constipation, drug withdrawal syndrome, headache, nausea, vomiting, and allergic reactions. Talk to Dr. Lewis about your medical history and any allergies you have to ensure safe and effective treatment.
The Suboxone program on its own is $399, which includes the initiation of your therapy, plus $165 per follow-up visit. Suboxone therapy is also included in the cost of membership at Discover Health.