Does Suboxone interact with anesthesia?

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Suboxone could interact with anesthesia, but it depends on the type of medication being used for your anesthesia. 

What is anesthesia?

Anesthesia is a general term for a group of medications used to prevent pain during surgery and other medical procedures. Anesthetics are administered by licensed professionals such as anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists, dentists, or other healthcare providers as necessary. 

Anesthetics are available in various dosage forms such as intravenous injection, topical lotion, patch, and spray, or via inhalation. They can be used in both minor or major medical procedures, depending on the clinical need. 

What are the risks of taking Suboxone with Anesthesia? 

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) made a major revision to their 2020 guidelines stating that discontinuation of Suboxone is not required before surgery since higher-potency pain medications can be used during surgery. 

However, since the use of Suboxone can decrease how effective opioid medications are, possibly causing inadequate pain control, not all providers agree on whether or not Suboxone should be stopped. Therefore, if you are taking Suboxone and need elective surgery, you should discuss your pain management plan with your surgeon and medication for addiction treatment (MAT) provider before the surgery. 

Brittany Hoffmann-Eubanks, PharmD, MBA

Brittany Hoffmann-Eubanks, PharmD, MBA, received her Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Business Administration degrees from Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and completed her community pharmacy residency with Midwestern University and a local community pharmacy.

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