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Latuda & Suboxone

August 1, 2022

Table of Contents

Latuda and Suboxone can have some interactions that need to be considered before the medications are taken together.

Some patients may benefit enough from taking both medications that it is worth the potential risk of combining, as long as the medications are taken carefully and only as prescribed. This decision should be made by the prescribing physician along with the patient through a process of shared decision making. 

Latuda & Suboxone Interactions

Latuda  (brand name for the drug lurasidone) is a mood stabilizing drug, largely used for patients with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or other mental health conditions.

Suboxone, (brand name for a combination of the drugs buprenorphine and naloxone) can have a number of interactions that are important to understand before taking at the same time as Latuda.[1]

Both drugs can affect the central nervous system and cause a degree of drowsiness (CNS). The buprenorphine in Suboxone can increase the CNS depressant effect of Latuda.[1] This can increase the risk for drowsiness, sedation, and in severe cases, respiratory depression.[2]

There have been a few other examples of side effects occurring as a result of co-administration of Latuda and Suboxone at the same time. Both medications can cause some urinary retention which may be worse if used together: A 2018 study noted that a patient developed acute urinary retention (AUR) after taking Suboxone, lurasidone, and trazodone together.[3] While these outcomes are very rare, they are still possible, which is why it is important to communicate with your doctor openly about what medications you are taking and any side effects you are experiencing. 

Can Latuda & Suboxone Be Taken Together?

Yes, and they are often taken together without consequence. It is certainly safe for many individuals to take these medications together. However, as explained above, certain individuals may experience side effects that can range from mild (like some urinary retention) to more severe (like respiratory depression). If a person taking both medications experiences serious side effects, they should contact their doctor as soon as possible. 

The FDA’s Stance on the Combination

The FDA’s present stance on taking Latuda and similar drugs with Suboxone is that doctors and patients need to weigh the risks and benefits of taking the drugs together. Both drugs may need to be taken on a long-term basis, and both can treat serious health issues.

It may be worth a patient taking a potentially risky combination of medications in some circumstances if it helps the patient overcome OUD while simultaneously treating a serious mental health condition such as bipolar or schizophrenia. 

Risk Assessment & Important Considerations

No two individuals are the same. A patient may feel that the benefits of taking Latuda and Suboxone at the same time are worth the risks, and generally it is safe to do so. Others may prefer to be cautious and try a different treatment for OUD if they are on Latuda. At the end of the day, the patient always has the autonomy to decide what is best for their own body.

Make sure you always discuss these decisions with a medical professional. Never start or stop taking medications without first getting advice from your physician.

Elena Hill, MD, MPH

Elena Hill, MD; MPH received her MD and Masters of Public Health degrees at Tufts Medical School and completed her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. She is currently an attending physician at Bronxcare Health Systems in the Bronx, NY where she works as a primary care physician as well as part time in pain management and integrated health. Her clinical interests include underserved health care, chronic pain and integrated/alternative health.

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Citations

  1. Lurasidone (Latuda). National Alliance on Mental Health. https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Lurasidone-(Latuda). February 2020. Accessed July 2022.
  2. Buprenorphine Sublingual and Buccal (opioid dependence). MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a605002.html. January 2022. Accessed July 2022.
  3. An Additive Mix? Acute Urinary Retention in a Patient With Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Treated With Suboxone, Lurasidone, and Trazodone. Focus. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6493095/. July 2018. Accessed July 2022.
  4. FDA Urges Caution About Withholding Opioid Addiction Medications From Patients Taking Benzodiazepines or CNS Depressants: Careful Medication Management Can Reduce Risks. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/media/127688/download. September 2017. Accessed July 2022.

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