Suboxone has been shown to be an effective treatment in relieving withdrawal symptoms during Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) of Opioid Use Disorder, especially with outpatient recovery. The main ingredient in Suboxone is Buprenorphine, a partial agonist that reacts with the brain’s opioid receptors without creating the euphoria of stronger opioids. You can create a dependency on Suboxone, but there is a ceiling and you can eventually taper off.
When tapering off from Suboxone, most people experience withdrawal symptoms, such as low energy, low appetite, irritability, and insomnia. A good tapering schedule, however, will help reduce their severity. No reduction should be attempted until all withdrawal has subsided from the last dosage reduction.
One other symptom of withdrawal can be depression, so it is important to keep up with your MAT individual and group therapy sessions. Treating all the behaviors and emotions that are unique to you will make a lasting and successful recovery possible. It is also helpful to maintain a healthy diet and a good daily routine or work schedule.
It is best to work with your doctor and treatment team to create a tapering schedule that will be most effective for your total recovery. Everyone is different, but in general, a gradual reduction in the total daily dose (e.g., no more than 10% to 20% every one to two weeks) can be successful. Here are some sample dose reduction rates and schedules.
By Dale Willenbrink
Source: The National Alliance for Buprenorphine Treatment