Pain Home > Subutex Warnings and Precautions

If you are using Subutex for opioid dependence, it is important to know that this medication can cause potentially serious problems, such as liver damage and potentially life-threatening breathing problems. Other safety precautions with Subutex involve warnings about using this drug while pregnant or breastfeeding. In addition, it can cause negative reactions when combined with alcohol and a number of other medications.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

Talk with your healthcare provider prior to using Subutex® (sublingual buprenorphine) if you have:
 
  • A history of breathing problems, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or any other lung disease
  • Heart disease
  • An irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • A slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • A head injury, brain tumor, or increased pressure around the brain
  • A history of a stroke
  • A history of seizures
  • Problems urinating
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Gallbladder or pancreas disease
  • Liver disease, such as cirrhosis, liver failure, or hepatitis
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
 
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Breastfeeding
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant.
 
In addition, tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
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