A derivative of the opioid alkaloid thebaine that is a more potent and longer lasting analgesic than morphine. It appears to act as a partial agonist at mu and kappa opioid receptors and as an antagonist at delta receptors. The lack of delta-agonist activity has been suggested to account for the observation that buprenorphine tolerance may not develop with chronic use. This analgesic binds to one of the subclasses of opioid receptors called mu receptors.
Buprenorphine was first developed over ten years ago for pain management. It bumps conventional opiates off the receptors in the brain, replacing those opiates and stimulating the receptors in a similar way. The brain then tells the body that it is satisfied and doesn’t need to go into withdrawal. It will therefore not only eliminate withdrawal symptoms, but cravings for opiates as well. When a patient is weaned off of Buprenorphine, it doesn’t cling as tenaciously to the receptors as a real opiate. Therefore, the patient has energy and is fully functional even as his dosage is lowered. It is an entirely different experience than weaning off of conventional opiates. There is no fatigue, depression or anxiety commonly associated with the cessation of addicting opioids.
The Buprenorphine does not become a substitute for the addiction, but instead treats the otherwise-painful symptoms of withdrawal. Once the body has been thoroughly detoxified, the Buprenorphine treatment ends with no visible effects.
Buprenorphine Addiction Treatments
Buprenorphine has been is being used successfully in the detox of opiate dependent patients in programs like those offered at the Lakehouse Recovery Center. The Lakehouse attributes most of their success to a holistic approach to recovery, which allows the patient to detox in a comfortable, safe and supervised environment that is also conducive to personal growth. The increasingly successful treatment of opiate addiction has only been made possible by the development of new treatment protocols utilizing Buprenorphine, a breakthrough in the treatment of opiate addiction.
Scientists have been seeking a remedy for opiate addiction for generations. Believe it or not, morphine was used to treat opium addiction, heroin was created to treat morphine addiction, and methadone was developed to treat heroin addiction. While each of these steps created a less intense drug, they required carefully measured dosages for an indeterminate amount of time. Finally, with Buprenorphine, science has found what it has been looking for. With buprenorphine, the body experiences the plateau effect. No high is created and you cannot abuse this drug.
Subutex and Suboxone
Subutex and Suboxone are medications approved for the treatment of opiate dependence. Both medicines contain the active ingredient, buprenorphine hydrochloride, which works to reduce the symptoms of opiate dependence.
Subutex contains only buprenorphine hydrochloride. This formulation was developed as the initial product. The second medication, Suboxone contains an additional ingredient called naloxone to guard against misuse.
Subutex is often prescribed during the first few days of treatment, while Suboxone is used during the maintenance phase of treatment.