If you are in recovery from an opioid addiction, there is a good chance that you’ll be prescribed Suboxone to help with withdrawal symptoms. Of course, as with any type of medication, there will be side effects that may be similar to symptoms experienced during withdrawal. For instance, you may feel nauseous or anxious while taking it, and the severity of these side effects may be influenced by your eating, sleeping or other lifestyle habits.
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Symptoms of Anxiety
There are a number of signs that you may be suffering from anxiety such as depression or thoughts of suicide. However, there may be more mild symptoms such as loss of appetite or an inability to sleep through the night. You may also engage in negative self-talk, which is the process of saying things about yourself that are overly harsh without any evidence. For example, you might tell yourself that you’ll never pass your math test or keep your job for more than a few weeks because you’re a loser.
You may also feel more irritable or experience changes in mood or personality because of your anxiety. For instance, you may not feel like going out with your friends, playing with your pets or watching sports on television. You may also lash out at people where before you may have been relatively calm under pressure. Your doctor may be able to suggest ways to help manage your anxiety and the impact that it might be having on your life and ability to remain sober.
You May Become Dependent on Suboxone
Ironically, there is a chance that you could become dependent on the very thing that you’re using to overcome your current addiction. Again, if you feel as if you can’t take this medication as prescribed, you are encouraged to speak with your doctor as quickly as possible. It may be necessary to have your doctor administer the substance so that it is taken properly and safely. It may also be necessary to look into other medications or processes that can be used to manage withdrawal symptoms.
You May Feel Fatigued
This may partially be because of the fact that you may not sleep well as a result of taking this medication. Ideally, you will get between seven and eight hours of uninterrupted rest per evening. Of course, even if you weren’t dealing with drug withdrawal symptoms, you may struggle to get that much sleep each night. This is because it can be difficult to get the rest that you need when your back hurts or you can’t turn your mind off because of your anxiety.
However, you may still feel fatigued even if you are getting adequate sleep on a regular basis. During the day, you may feel like it’s difficult to complete simple tasks such as getting out of bed or getting on the bus to go to work. Ideally, you will not drive or engage in other dangerous tasks if you are not fully focused on what you are doing.
You may need to take time off from work or seek special accommodations to ensure that you can do your job safely. These accommodations may include extra breaks, tasks that don’t involve heavy lifting or anything else that allows you to be productive without causing a hardship for your employer.
One of the key differences between being tired and suffering from fatigue is that drinking a soda or taking a brisk walk won’t increase your energy levels. Once again, your doctor may be able to suggest ways to overcome this burden and retain a reasonable quality of life.
In some cases, the fatigue will be worst at the beginning as your body can expend a lot of energy trying to mask or otherwise protect you from the pain that you’re in. As the days and weeks progress, you should begin to feel a little more like yourself again.
You May Struggle to Use the Bathroom
Constipation is often cited as a side effect of using Suboxone, and this may lead to a variety of secondary issues such as abdominal pain and swelling. If you are struggling to use the restroom in a timely manner, you may need to go to the hospital for additional treatment. However, this condition may also be managed by ensuring that you drink water with every meal and eat a diet that contains fiber. You may also consider getting additional exercise each day as moving around can help your digestive system work in a more efficient manner.
You May Notice Symptoms of Liver Damage
Your liver plays a key role in allowing pain medication to do its job. However, months or years of opioid abuse may damage your liver and make it less effective at filtering them out. Over time, this can result in significant damage to this organ and cause a number of health issues including jaundice, a limited appetite or mild to severe pain. Using Suboxone can cause or contribute to existing liver issues, which may lead to these or other symptoms.
Signs of jaundice include yellowing of the eyes, changes in skin color or chills. In mild cases, you may believe that you have the flu or are simply dealing with general withdrawal symptoms. It’s important to understand that jaundice may not be directly caused by using this medication. Instead, it could be caused by a lack of appetite or other symptoms related to no longer using opioids.
You May Experience a Drop in Libido
Your libido refers to how much you desire sex at any given time. When you have a low libido, you may be wholly disinterested in being romantic with your partner or engaging in any other types of sexual activity. If you are married or in a committed relationship, a lack of sexual interest may become a source of friction within your partnership.
By itself, a drop in libido isn’t something that is going to put your life in danger. However, if it is something that you are concerned about, you are strongly encouraged to see your doctor or others who may be able to help. It may also be a good idea to speak with a mental health professional about your experiences and what you can do to manage or overcome your issues. If you are in a relationship, couples counseling may be an ideal way to work through sexual issues caused by your use of Suboxone.
You May Have Trouble Breathing
The use of Suboxone can result in shallow breathing or other respiratory issues that may need to be addressed quickly. If you are struggling to get a full breath, feel like you are choking or are otherwise in discomfort, get to the hospital as quickly as possible. For mild respiratory issues, you may be able to get away with visiting a local urgent care facility to get the care that you need.
Other Issues to Consider
Prior to taking Suboxone, you should let your doctor know about any other medications that you’re currently taking to minimize the risk of a dangerous interaction. You should also refrain from drinking alcohol as it can reduce its effectiveness and can also exacerbate any side effects that you might experience.
If you are looking for an effective way to overcome an addiction to opioids, the folks at Live Free Recovery Services are here to help. We can provide you with more information about Suboxone and how to use it safely. We can also provide you with additional services such as inpatient withdrawal programs, individual therapy sessions and other tools that can help to foster a long-lasting recovery. Feel free to contact us today by phone or email to learn more about how our team can help you or a loved one achieve sobriety.