Does Suboxone increase energy?

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While energy increases are not typical with Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone), drowsiness and fatigue are commonly listed as adverse effects

Suboxone and methadone are two medications used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). Both medications occupy brain opioid receptors and carry a risk of over-sedation, respiratory depression, and death by overdose. 

Compared to methadone, Suboxone is much safer because of its pharmacological ceiling effect. However, if used inappropriately or in combination with other sedating drugs, Suboxone can be dangerous. 

Why do I feel happier when I take Suboxone?

Suboxone makes people feel happier because it has some opioid agonist effects. It activates the same receptors that other opioids do, which may cause some euphoria. For this reason, buprenorphine may be abused by some people. 

Suboxone may also have some inherent anti-depressant effects. It is better at reducing depression in people with OUD than naltrexone, which is another medication used to reduce craving and relapse.

Buprenorphine-containing medicines are now under study as treatment options for major depressive disorder in people without OUD, although only modest benefits have been reported so far. 

Why does Suboxone make me feel agitated and restless?

Insomnia is listed as a common adverse effect of Suboxone, so it does have some wakefulness-promoting effects.

Furthermore, if Suboxone is taken while other opioids are still present in the body, it can trigger a typical withdrawal syndrome. These symptoms include restlessness, agitation, sweats, and tremors. 

Some opioids, like fentanyl and methadone, in particular, can last for days in the system. Therefore, if you have noticed this problem during Suboxone initiation, talk with your provider to ensure a smooth transition.

Claire Wilcox, MD

Claire Wilcox, MD, is a general and addiction psychiatrist in private practice and an associate professor of translational neuroscience at the Mind Research Network in New Mexico; and has completed an addictions fellowship, psychiatry residency, and internal medicine residency. Having done extensive research in the area, she is an expert in the neuroscience of substance use disorders. Although she is interested in several topics in medicine and psychiatry, with a particular focus on substance use disorders, obesity, eating disorders, and chronic pain, her primary career goal is to help promote recovery and wellbeing for people with a range of mental health challenges.

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