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Suboxone Treatment Requirements: Patient's Responsibilities in Suboxone Therapy

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June 29, 2021

Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone), like any medication, has risks and benefits. Both the provider and the patient have a responsibility to make sure patients are using Suboxone responsibly and effectively. This said, patients have several important responsibilities:

1. Take your dose as prescribed by your doctor

The first responsibility of the patient is to take the dose as prescribed and agreed upon between themselves and their provider. There are several good reasons for this: taking less of a dose means that the patient might not reach therapeutic levels and might continue to experience cravings or withdrawal symptoms. Taking too high of a dose too quickly can lead to side effects - GI upset, nausea, and vomiting, etc. If you feel like your dose is too high or too low, it can always be adjusted! The most important thing is communicating with your doctor so that you can safely adjust the medication dose together. 

2. Make sure to attend all your scheduled appointments

Your provider can only help you if you show up for your treatment! In addition, missing appointments may lead to missed refills on your medications, gaps in your therapy, and puts you at risk for relapse. If you need to cancel an appointment, make sure you know in advance how to contact your provider and reschedule or come up with another plan for getting your necessary medications. 

3. Make sure you comply with your clinic’s policies regarding urine drug screening

All clinics that prescribe buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) have requirements for periodic urine drug screening. These drug screens check two things: 1) that the patient has the metabolite of Suboxone in their body, and 2) that the patient does not have other drug products in their body. Ultimately, the testing is for the benefit of the patient; it ensures that patients are not mixing Suboxone with other drugs that might be harmful in combination with Suboxone. It also ensures that the Suboxone is indeed present in the patient’s body. 

4. Commit to your treatment!

Getting your body used to buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) can take some time. Be patient, trust the process, and commit fully to taking your Suboxone as prescribed by your doctor.

To learn more about the success rates and safety of Bicycle Health’s telemedicine addiction treatment in comparison to other common treatment options, call us at (844) 943-2514 or schedule an appointment here.

Photo by Laura James from Pexels


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