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Buprenorphine Side Effects

Notify your healthcare provider if you are taking buprenorphine and develop serious side effects, such as severe drowsiness, hallucinations, or irregular breathing. In most cases, however, people tolerate the medication well and any adverse reactions that occur are typically easy to treat. The most common side effects include headaches, nausea, and drowsiness.

An Introduction to Buprenorphine Side Effects

Just like any medicine, buprenorphine (Buprenex®, Butrans®, Subutex®, Suboxone®) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
 
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with buprenorphine. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
 

Serious Side Effects

Some side effects of buprenorphine are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
 
  • The urge to take more buprenorphine than prescribed or for a nonmedical purpose
  • Any difficulty breathing, including reduced, shallow, slow, or irregular breathing
  • An irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or problems thinking, walking, or talking
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not really there)
  • Severe constipation
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Unusual changes in behavior or mood (including depression, hostility, agitation, or anxiety)
  • Dizziness when getting up from a seated or lying-down position, which may be a sign of low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
     
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing.
 
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Buprenorphine Drug Information

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