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Can Suboxone Cause High Blood Pressure?

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High blood pressure is not a common side effect of Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone). Common adverse effects of Suboxone include:

  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Nausea, and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness and fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Generalized muscle aches and cramps
  • Insomnia
  • Fever
  • Blurred vision 
  • Dilated pupils
  • Tremors
  • Feelings of a skipped heart beat
  • Attentional problems
  • Respiratory suppression
  • Overdose if taken in excess or with other sedating medications
  • Euphoria, misuse, addiction (possible, but lower than other opioids)
  • Withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation
  • Precipitated opioid withdrawal (if other opioids are present in the system)

Why Did My Blood Pressure Increase When I Started Suboxone?

Stress and changes to the body can often cause elevations in blood pressure. In fact, withdrawal itself can cause Blood pressure increases. If you do notice elevations in blood pressure while going through withdrawal and starting Suboxone, this is the much more likely explanation rather than the medication itself, which is not known to be associated with elevated blood pressure. 

If you experienced blood pressure increases when you started Suboxone, it will likely be short-lived, and likely more due to the stress and withdrawal itself than to the medication. Always consult your provider closely as you first begin Suboxone. They will likely check your blood pressure and other vitals signs prior to visits to ensure that you are as healthy as possible while taking this medication 

How Long Will High Blood Pressure Last?

Your Suboxone dose doesn't cause your high blood pressure. However, your withdrawal process can raise your blood pressure readings. 

Withdrawal from opioids is stressful, and your entire body is under pressure. Your heart beats faster, your blood vessels tighten, and your blood pressure rises. Those numbers will remain elevated until your withdrawal is finished. 

Opioid withdrawal can last 10 days or longer, but most people feel their worst during the first few days.[1] 

If you're enrolled in a treatment program for opioid use disorders, your team will watch your blood pressure readings carefully and offer medical treatment as needed.

Sources

  1. Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings. World Health Organization. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK310652/. 2009. Accessed July 2022.
  2. Cardiac Effects of Opioid Therapy. Pain Medicine. https://academic.oup.com/painmedicine/article/16/suppl_1/S27/2472479. October 2015. Accessed July 2022. 
  3. Important Safety Information and Indication. Suboxone. https://www.suboxone.com/. Accessed July 2022.

Medically Reviewed By 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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