Certain anxiety medications may be used under the strict supervision of your Medication for Addiction Treatment (MAT) provider while taking buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone).
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a common mental health disorder characterized by feelings of fear, dread, and uneasiness. People with anxiety frequently have intrusive thoughts or concerns that may cause them to avoid certain situations due to worry.
Anxiety also can cause physical symptoms such as:
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or rapid thoughts
- Rapid breathing and/or heart beating
Anxiety is a normal emotion that is experienced by all human beings. However, anxiety disorders go beyond the regular anxiety felt from time to time.
Anxiety can seriously affect a person’s ability to navigate their daily life by causing individuals to overreact when their emotions are triggered and unable to control their responses to various situations.
What anxiety medications are safe to take with Suboxone?
Since anxiety can negatively impact treatment outcomes (e.g., increases risk for continued opioid use, alcohol misuse) among people with opioid use disorder (OUD), it is important to treat this common mental health condition.
The good news is that anxiety is a highly treatable condition, even if it co-occurs with OUD. Most people with OUD and anxiety will require a combination treatment approach beyond just medication.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), or “talk therapy,” is a highly effective treatment where people with anxiety can identify and cope with specific challenges or concerns in a structured and safe environment.
There are a few prescription medications that your MAT provider can prescribe to help treat your anxiety in combination with CBT.
Since anxiety medications can have serious interactions with your MAT medication, you will need to be closely monitored by your MAT provider. In addition, every person’s body and health are different; therefore, the specific medication you are prescribed will vary and must be individualized.
In general, your MAT provider may prescribe a medication from certain drug classes like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and benzodiazepines (in very limited situations).
If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety and OUD, contact your healthcare provider or MAT provider to discuss your treatment options.
By: Brittany Hoffmann-Eubanks, PharmD, MBA
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