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Latuda & Suboxone

Peter Manza, PhD profile image
Reviewed By Peter Manza, PhD • Updated Feb 25, 2024 • 7 cited sources

Latuda and Suboxone are very different drugs, but both can cause sedation. When they’re taken together, that sedation can be significant.

Your doctor can help you assess the risks and benefits of using these medications at the same time. You should stay in close contact with your doctor if you use them together. If interactions appear, you may need to change your treatment plan.

What Is Latuda?

Latuda is a mood-stabilizing medication that is prescribed to treat schizophrenia, bipolar depression and other mental health conditions.[1] It is known generically as lurasidone.

The medication is an antipsychotic that works by balancing levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. In research studies, people with bipolar disorder who take Latuda show improvement in overall quality of life and ability to function well.[2]

Latuda can cause side effects, and some of them are serious. The following problems have been documented in people using the medication:[6]

  • Higher risk of stroke in older patients
  • Tardive dyskinesia (uncontrolled facial movements or tics)
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (mental status changes, rigid muscles and fever)
  • Metabolic changes, including diabetes and weight gain
  • Blood cell count changes

If you have severe liver or kidney disease, your doctor may need to adjust your dose to ensure you can process the medication appropriately.[6]

Your doctor can help you understand the risks and benefits of this medication, and together, you can decide if it’s appropriate for you.

Latuda & Suboxone Interactions

Suboxone (brand name for a medication that contains buprenorphine and naloxone) can interact with Latuda.[3] Understanding what those interactions look like is an important part of staying safe if you use them together.

The buprenorphine in Suboxone is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant.[3] At high doses, it can cause slowed breathing. The naloxone inside buprenorphine can protect against severe CNS signs, but adding Latuda could cause more problems.

CNS depression is a common side effect of Latuda.[6] Some people feel sleepy and slow while using the medication, even at the doses their doctors recommend.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says combining depressant drugs can slow down breathing and increase the risk of organ damage, overdose and death.[7]

There have been a few other examples of side effects occurring as a result of co-administration of Latuda and Suboxone. Both medications can cause some urinary retention, which may worsen if used together. A 2018 study noted that a patient developed acute urinary retention (AUR) after taking Suboxone, lurasidone and trazodone together.[4]

Ensure that your doctor and pharmacist know you’re taking Suboxone before they recommend or fill a prescription for Latuda. Your team can assess the risks and determine if this combination is right for you.

Can Latuda & Suboxone Be Taken Together?

As explained above, certain individuals may experience side effects that can range from mild (like some urinary retention) to more severe (like respiratory depression). If a person taking both medications experiences serious side effects, they should contact their doctor as soon as possible. 

The FDA’s Stance on the Combination

The FDA’s present stance on taking Latuda and similar drugs with Suboxone is that doctors and patients need to weigh the risks and benefits of taking the drugs together.[5] Both drugs may need to be taken on a long-term basis, and both can treat serious health issues.

It may be worth a patient taking a potentially risky combination of medications in some circumstances if it helps the patient overcome OUD while simultaneously treating a serious mental health condition, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. 

Risk Assessment & Important Considerations

No two individuals are the same. A patient and doctor may feel that the benefits of taking Latuda and Suboxone at the same time are worth the risks, and generally, it is safe to do so. Others may prefer to be cautious and try a different treatment for OUD if they are on Latuda. At the end of the day, the patient always has the autonomy to decide what is best for their own body with the guidance of their doctor.

Reviewed By Peter Manza, PhD

Peter Manza, PhD received his BA in Psychology and Biology from the University of Rochester and his PhD in Integrative Neuroscience at Stony Brook University. He is currently working as a research scientist in Washington, DC. His research focuses on the role ... Read More

  1. Lurasidone (Latuda). National Alliance on Mental Health. February 2020. Accessed March 2023.
  2. About Latuda. Accessed March 2023.
  3. Buprenorphine Sublingual and Buccal (Opioid Dependence). National Library of Medicine. January 2022. Accessed March 2023.
  4. An Additive Mix? Acute Urinary Retention in a Patient With Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Treated With Suboxone, Lurasidone, and Trazodone. Focus. July 2018. Accessed March 2023.
  5. FDA Urges Caution About Withholding Opioid Addiction Medications From Patients Taking Benzodiazepines or CNS Depressants: Careful Medication Management Can Reduce Risks. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. September 2017. Accessed March 2023.
  6. Latuda Prescribing Information. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 2013. Accessed January 2024.
  7. Polysubstance Use Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. February 2023. Accessed January 2024.

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