Everything You Need to Know About Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine (or bup) is a prescription medication used to treat chronic pain or addiction to opioids like heroin. It is also known by its brand names, Suboxone® and Subutex®.

Bup is typically administered by dissolving a pill or film strip under your tongue. If taking medication daily is hard for you, bup is also available as a once-a-month shot under the skin of the belly.

Buprenorphine helps get rid of cravings and withdrawal symptoms without causing a high. People who take bup often say that their cravings go away, they feel “clear in the head,” and their chronic pain feels better.

The risk of overdosing on bup is extremely low when used as prescribed. However, mixing it with other drugs or alcohol increases the risk of overdosing.

Side effects are rare but may include headaches, stomach upset, or trouble sleeping. Buprenorphine is completely safe and has been used for over 30 years.

How do I get buprenorphine?

Talk to your medical team to see if buprenorphine could be a good fit for you. Primary care doctors can prescribe bup or you can go to any number of clinics (like methadone clinics) to get started.

You may need to make multiple or even daily visits to pick up your dose, particularly if you’re using a clinic. Check with your provider to make sure you don’t miss a dose.

Check our Resources page to find a clinic in your county.

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