Posted 10/14/2009 4:07 AM (GMT -6)
AS a Chronic Pain patient with back pain and a patient who takes Suboxone for pain releif, I would recommend NOT starting on Suboxone if he's a truck driver and only takes one vicodin a day. It does have a very potent pain med in it, Burprenorphine which has been around forever, but they use it in MICROgrams for pain relief in other countries for severe pain. This is a BIG jump in pain meds, actually a huge jump. And it does havet he same side effects as any other opiates, atleast to me it does. The drowsiness is still there, even after a year and half of taking it. And lots of people dont find good pain releif with it, I just got lucky with it as it's done wonders for my pain.
Also, what IF (hoping to God this never happens to your husband but what IF?) he's in an accident, and needs emergency pain relief and/or surgery, Buprenorphine (suboxone/Subutex) blocks other narcotics from from working, they have to give a HUGE amount while watching his breathing (full blocking can start around 4-6mgs). This alone can cause issues if he's dying in pain and he gets an ER doctor that doesnt know squat about how Suboxone works and your husband ends up suffering tremendously. It happens all the time, I've heard many horror stories.
But I'm not saying this may not be a good pain med for him, it just might be. It has about the same side effects as other pain meds, but lots of people have reactions to the naloxone in it, but this can be helped by switching to Subutex which is just the Buprenorphine by itself, or spitting out the saliva while sucking on the suboxone. Also the naloxone has no effect (unless your allergic as a VERY tiny amount does pass through the body, but not enough to cause withdrawals as buprenorphine is much more binding then even the nalxone/naltrexone) and it does have a peak dose where taking more will do absoutly nothing else, they say usually that's at 32mg, but some doctors say it can be as low as 6mg, so overdosing on it is very rare.
Also you must remember that it's 25-50 times stronger then morphine, so it's not something to mess around with. They are working on trials on doing a patch of buprenorphine which will be FDA approved just for chronic pain here in the states. I just dont understand why a doctor would recommend this for pain when he's taking just one vicodin a day, But they're the doctor, not me.
But just in case you havent checked this place out yet, go to the NAABT websight which is full of all the information about Buprenorphine you can dream of, and they even can send you a free package of information all about it, it comes in a white folder which has papers with illustrations and a CD to listen to and bruchures, they dont sell anything, they're just there to inform people about Buprenorphine treatment and they have a section on it's use of Suboxone/Subutex for pain.
If I where you, I would defiently get a 2nd opionion if this doctor doesnt offer any other options and just offers Suboxone. Their's so many other better options out there, especially with him driving for a job. Well if you have any other questions, just let me know, I'll be happy to answer anything.
PS, please dont take anything I say over what a doctor says, as I'm not a medical perfessional or have absoutly any training in the medical field. I'm just stating my personal experieince with Suboxone, and as we all know, everyone has diffrent experiences with diffrent medications, what works for me may or may not work for the next person.