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Will Suboxone Make You Gain Weight?

Opioid addiction is something that most people need help to overcome. Suddenly stopping “cold turkey” is not a good option, with less than 25 percent of all opioid addicts remaining sober for a full year.

Today, physicians and patients alike benefit from using Suboxone as a form of medication-assisted addiction treatment. Unfortunately, a few stubborn Suboxone myths still linger.

So How Does Suboxone Work?

Before addressing a Suboxone myth, it’s important to first understand how the medication works. In 2002, the FDA approved buprenorphine (brand name Suboxone) for the treatment of opioid addiction. The medication has impressive advantages when used to treat opioid addiction. For example, Suboxone suppresses withdrawal symptoms for up to 24 hours. What’s more, it does not produce the same rush of euphoria seen in other medications, like methadone.

Suboxone is comprised of two different medications. The main ingredient is buprenorphine, a medication classified as a “partial opioid agonist.” It produces a lower effect than full opioid agonists, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, and heroin. Buprenorphine attaches to the brain’s opioid receptors, blocking out the effects of other opioids.

The second ingredient in Suboxone is naloxone. Traditionally used to block the effects of other opioid medications, naloxone has been around for years. It is stocked in emergency rooms for use with suspected opioid overdose.

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Take our free, 5-minute “Am I A Drug Addict?” self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with drug addiction. The evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.

The Great Weight-Gain Myth

One of the most popular Suboxone myths is that the medication causes patients to gain massive amounts of weight. In truth, all opioids can cause you to retain water. You may notice your face looks a little more puffy than normal, but that is usually no cause for alarm.

When you combine chronic constipation with water retention, it’s easy to feel like you’re packing on pounds.

Another side effect of opioid abuse is constipation. When you combine chronic constipation with water retention, you can easily feel like you’re getting fat. One of the best ways to confirm your suspected weight gain is to step on a scale. It’s highly likely you’ve been retaining water during your drug abuse and you’re just noticing it now that the addiction fog is lifting.

If you or someone you know is suffering from opioid addiction, consider looking for opioid addiction treatment centers in your area.

Related Reading: Buprenorphine’s Black Eye

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