Can Suboxone Change Your Personality & Is It Permanent?

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Despite some claims made online to the contrary, Suboxone isn’t typically associated with personality changes, especially on a long-term basis. 

Suboxone’s Potential Short-Term Effects on Personality

Suboxone isn’t typically associated with changes to mood and personality.

Suboxone combines the drugs buprenorphine and naloxone and is typically used to help treat people who have opioid use disorder (OUD).[1] It is a partial opioid agonist which means it helps to curb cravings for opioids.

Taking Suboxone as intended helps treat opioid withdrawal symptoms. However, suddenly stopping your medication or otherwise not taking it as prescribed may cause you to undergo withdrawal, which may cause temporary irritability and mood swings. [2] 

Can Suboxone Affect Your Personality on a Long-Term Basis?

No. Research doesn’t show Suboxone having a notable long-term effect on personality. In fact, because Suboxone treats OUD and OUD itself can cause worsening depression and anxiety, treatment with Suboxone alone may reduce symptoms of depression or anxiety by treating the underlying OUD. [3] 

Does Suboxone Cause Mood Swings?

Reviewing what medical literature is currently available, mood swings are not commonly associated with Suboxone. While the claim Suboxone causes mood swings is often repeated, actual medical research doesn’t back this claim as far as we know.

If you do experience changes in mood, mood swings, or personality changes while on Suboxone, talk openly with your doctor. There may be multiple causes of changes in your mood other than your medication.

Sources

  1. Buprenorphine Sublingual and Buccal (opioid dependence). MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a605002.html. January 2022. Accessed August 2022.
  2. Possible Psychosis Associated With Buprenorphine Withdrawal. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. https://journals.lww.com/psychopharmacology/Citation/2017/12000/Possible_Psychosis_Associated_With_Buprenorphine.27.aspx. December 2017. Accessed August 2022.
  3. Effects of Buprenorphine on Responses to Emotional Stimuli in Individuals with a Range of Mood Symptomatology. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5793829/. September 2018. Accessed August 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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