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How can I minimize the side effects of Subutex?

To minimize the side effects of Subutex (buprenorphine), a medicine prescribed to treat addiction to opioid drugs, including heroin and narcotic painkillers like morphine:
  • Take Subutex exactly as your doctor tells you. Do not take more or less or take it more or less frequently than prescribed.
  • Allow Subutex tablets to dissolve under your tongue, which may take two minutes or more. Do not talk while the tablet is dissolving or chew or swallow the tablet. Never inject Subutex.
  • Do not stop taking Subutex suddenly or without talking to your doctor. Abruptly stopping Subutex may cause withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor can tell you how to stop taking the drug safely when the time is right for you to do so. 
  • Do not take Subutex if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Before taking Subutex, give your doctor and pharmacist a list of your other medicines (prescription and nonprescription) and dietary and herbal supplements. Once you're on Subutex, do not take any new drug or supplement without checking with your doctor and/or pharmacist first. 
  • Do not drink alcohol or grapefruit juice while you are taking Subutex.
  • If you feel dizzy or lightheaded when getting up from a lying position, rest your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
Because certain medical problems can increase the risk of side effects, give your doctor a complete medical history before you start taking Subutex. Be especially careful to mention:
  • allergic reactions to any medicine, especially buprenorphine or any other ingredient in Subutex
  • lung or breathing problems or a curvature of the spine that affects your breathing
  • an enlarged prostate gland (in men)
  • a head injury or brain problem
  • trouble urinating
  • problems with your liver, kidneys or gallbladder 
  • Addison's disease or another problem with your adrenal gland
  • hypothyroidism (low-functioning thyroid)
  • a history of alcoholism
  • mental health problems, especially seeing or hearing things that are not there

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.