Methadone To Suboxone : Is This For You
So you are a patient at a Methadone Clinic and are thinking about switching from Methadone to Suboxone. Perhaps you are a potential patient looking into the benefits of methadone or the benefits of suboxone treatment for the treatment of opioid addiction. For many, Methadone is a better choice. The newer medication, Suboxone has many benefits of its own.
If you are thinking about trying to switch from Methadone to Suboxone, there are many things to consider. First, it is no small task to switch from one medication to another. You could be have problems from several days to several weeks just with the medication. Many individuals on methadone may not do as well on Suboxone because Suboxone is “not as strong” as methadone and may not give you the relief you are seeking. Finally, there are treatment benefits to Methadone that are usually not available with Suboxone. Make sure you closely weigh you options before making the switch from Methadone to Suboxone.
Methadone To Suboxone : Medication Problems
During a switch from Methadone to Suboxone, one may encounter severe problems with opioid withdrawal. In order to switch from methadone to suboxone, your doctor will make you begin to go through the beginnings of opioid withdrawal as is necessary for Suboxone Induction. If a person on Methadone just begins taking Suboxone, the Suboxone can throw you into immediate opiate withdrawal because of the way Suboxone works.
Also, if the initial phase of the switch goes well, it could be one to two weeks before you feel comfortable on the Suboxone. You should know that some patients never feel better on the Suboxone and end up going back to Methadone or having a relapse. You need to consider if you are willing to go through the possibility of these problems happening.
Methadone To Suboxone : Suboxone Is Weaker
Methadone is a full mu opioid agonist. This causes it to be more dangerous during overdose, but it does have the advantage of the patient being able to go higher and higher on the dose until they are doing well. In fact, under proper supervision, the doses of Methadone can be very high.
For those individuals who may not need very high doses of Methadone in order to relieve cravings or addictive behavior (seeking the more drugs, continued illicit opioid use, stealing, etc.), the switching from Methadone to Suboxone may be possible. A rule of thumb is that if a person is able to get down to a total of 40mg per day of methadone, they may do well switching from Methadone to Suboxone.
Methadone To Suboxone : Other Pitfalls
Although having to attend a Methadone clinic frequently is a major problem for many, it has its benefits. Patients having frequent contact with Methadone Clinic staff are likely to get more of their need addressed. Other mental health concerns such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar illness will be treated at the clinic. Individual therapy will be available for those in need. For many, even job training may be there.
For those individuals who have jobs or less severe family and housing problems, switching from Methadone to Suboxone may make sense. Contact with a doctor is usually one time per month once stable on the medication. Typically, if a patient is wanting counseling, they will need to be referred to an outside counselor by their doctor. Job training will not be available. However, being on Suboxone has other benefits. Not having to visit a doctor or clinic daily or even weekly is a relief for many. Many feel they have more privacy being able to be seen my their own physician. They don’t want to be noticed going to a Methadone Clinic.
Methadone To Suboxone : Summary
Switching from Methadone to Suboxone has changed the lives of many patients who have an addiction to opiates. Suboxone treatment is more convenient, seems to carry less of a stigma, and it requires less time. Not every patient is a good candidate for Suboxone treatment and would be better served on Methadone. Those who have unstable housing, high opioid addiction needs, and other severe mental illnesses may do better with the staff contact at Methadone Clinics. Before making a switch from Methadone to Suboxone, be sure to weight these considerations and discuss them with your doctor.
Dr. Rich has written more articles on various aspect of Suboxone treatment including including Suboxone Prescription : Where To Get One. You can access our free Suboxone treatment directory to find a Suboxone doctor near you.