Buprenorphine or Subutex is a partial opioid agonist used to treat those with opioid use disorder or opioid dependency. It does provide mild pain relief, so it was once used as a pain reliever. Although some will say that buprenorphine does not cause a euphoric state if it is taken properly, it can cause a slight euphoria. However, buprenorphine does have a ceiling effect; once you get to a certain dose, usually 24mg, taking more of the drug will not increase the high you experience. Buprenorphine is used in medication-assisted treatment because it both prevents withdrawal symptoms from occurring in an opioid-dependent person and also significantly reduces cravings.
Does Buprenorphine Help You Sleep?
Several studies have been done on the effects of buprenorphine and sleep. One study has shown that people who are commonly treated with buprenorphine have both sleep disturbances and depressive symptoms. Another study that was done showed that more than two-thirds of people on buprenorphine reported sleep disturbances. And, previous studies that were done showed that roughly 71% of patients on buprenorphine reported sleep difficulties.
Buprenorphine Does Not Increase Sleep Quality
According to a study presented at SLEEP 2017, patients on buprenorphine may have sleep disturbances, however, they reported improvements in the duration and quality of sleep. Researchers have noted that dizziness and sleepiness are common when opioid treatment is first started, but once a patient develops a tolerance, that goes away. So, does buprenorphine help you sleep? No, buprenorphine treatment causes sleep disturbances in most people. Overall, substance abuse disorders cause a high prevalence of sleep abnormalities in people. The National Institute of Health reports that:
Buprenorphine significantly increased time spent awake, decreased non-rapid eye movement sleep, and increased latency to sleep onset. These disruptions in sleep architecture were mitigated by coadministration of the nonbenzodiazepine sedative/hypnotic eszopiclone. The buprenorphine-induced decrease in adenosine levels in basal forebrain and pontine reticular formation is consistent with the interpretation that decreasing adenosine in sleep-regulating brain regions is one mechanism by which opioids disrupt sleep. (NIH)
Once a person is in recovery, whether they decide to go with medication-assisted treatment using buprenorphine or a complete detox, it’s important to develop healthy sleep hygiene. Reduce fluid intake and make sure to refrain from anything with caffeine in it several hours before bed. Also, try to limit the amount of nicotine that is used a couple of hours before going to sleep. Sleep with the television off, in a dark room, and make sure that any electronic devices are off at least 30 minutes before bedtime. It’s also important to make sure the temperature of the room you are sleeping in is cool and comfortable. One last thing that may help improve sleep is keeping a consistent sleep schedule each night.
What Are The Side Effects Of Buprenorphine?
Buprenorphine is a great medication for those that cannot stay clean off of opioids. It has saved a lot of lives and has led many people in recovery back to having productive lives. However, buprenorphine does have several side-effects associated with it and some of which can be rather serious. Here are some of the side-effects of buprenorphine:
- Increased sweating
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Drowsiness especially after a dose
- Abdominal pain
- Skin rashes, itching, or hives
- Weight gain especially in females
- Changes in menstruation
- Lowered sex drive in both males and females
One of the most significant side-effects of buprenorphine, and something that many people aren’t aware of until it’s too late, is that it can cause severe tooth decay. Overall, however, the benefits of the drug far outweigh any risks.
Treatment for Buprenorphine Addiction
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Evoke Wellness at Cohasset offers evidence-based addiction treatment. Our solution-focused addiction treatment will lead you on a road to long-lasting recovery. You don’t have to suffer any longer, call us today.