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Medications You Cannot Take With Buprenorphine (Suboxone®)

by General Marketing

Suboxone®(buprenorphine) is a treatment for opioid addiction. Buprenorphine has been used clinically since 2002 and has proven to be an effective treatment option. Learn more about this drug and other medications you should avoid while using it to safeguard your health.

woman about to take a pill

How Buprenorphine Works

Buprenorphine belongs to a class of medications called partial opioid agonists and works to reduce cravings for other opioids. This drug activates the brain’s opioid receptors as if an opioid is in the body, but with weaker effects.

This long-acting drug is usually prescribed in a sublingual tablet that dissolves under the tongue, allowing it to be effective for 24 hours or more.

Buprenorphine is safe to take alone, but its complete treatment can be affected if taken with some of the following medications.

Negative Effects of Buprenorphine and Other Drugs

Drug interactions with buprenorphine can increase your risk of serious side effects like shallow breathing, extreme dizziness and, in rare cases, death. These interactions include benzodiazepines:

  • Klonopin (clonazepam)
  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Valium (diazepam)
  • Restoril (temazepam)
  • Ativan (lorazepam)

pills in hand

Increased Effects

Other drugs can increase buprenorphine’s effects because of their ability to slow your metabolism and heart rate. As your metabolism slows, the medications don’t break down as quickly, causing them to be in your bloodstream longer than intended.

These drugs include:

  • Some antidepressants like Nardil (phenelzine) and Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Antibiotics like Biaxin XL (clarithromycin) and Ery-Tab (erythromycin)
  • Antifungals such as Diflucan (fluconazole) and Sporanox (itraconazole)

Decreased Effects

In contrast, some medications can decrease buprenorphine’s effects, causing the drug to not be as effective. This issue happens when your metabolism increases and breaks down the drug at a much faster rate. Thus, the necessary therapeutic concentration of the drug in your blood and tissue will not be reached.

Steer clear of the following when on buprenorphine:

  • Some seizure medications like phenobarbital, Tegretol (carbamazepine) and Dilantin (phenytoin)
  • Rifampin, a treatment for tuberculosis
  • St. John’s wort, a flowering plant known for treating depression

Consult with your trusted medical doctor if you are currently on any other medications and are planning to start taking buprenorphine. It is important to communicate with your doctor throughout your treatment to ensure your safety.

Contact Health Care Resource Centers for Treatment

At Health Care Resource Centers, we provide office-based treatments for opioid addiction to support you on your journey to recovery. We pair the medication with in-house counseling services to ensure your recovery without requiring daily visits.

To find out more information on what we can do for you, contact us today.

Medically Reviewed By:

Health Care Resource Centers Clinical Team

Health Care Resource Centers Clinical Team

Health Care Resource Centers Clinical Team

The Clinical Team at Health Care Resource Centers is our team of physicians and medical directors within the organization. HCRC is a CARF accredited organization and has been providing addiction treatment services for over 32 years in the New England area.

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