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Will I be able to function on Suboxone?

Yes! The goal of starting patients with addiction to opioids on buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) IS to help them become MORE functional. If you have become addicted to opiates (like oxycodone/Percocet, hydrocodone/Vicodin, hydromorphone/Dilaudid, methadone, heroin, or fentanyl) and you do not have these substances in your body, you will feel awful (withdrawal symptoms like sweating, muscle aches, agitation, diarrhea). Your life may have crumbled from preoccupation with opioids, leading you to be unable to fulfill daily obligations (like going to work, taking on responsibilities, taking care of kids, family, and friends).

Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) works by stabilizing your brain’s opioid receptors so you do not have cravings or withdrawals and you feel NORMAL. This allows you to once again engage in fulfilling and meaningful experiences.

All medications have potential side effects, and the same is true for buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone). Fortunately, buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone)’s side effects are not common and tend to be mild. Common buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) side effects include nausea, headache, dizziness, fatigue, insomnia, excessive sweating, and stomach cramps, among others. 

As with any new medication, when you first start Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone), we recommend patients refrain from driving or engaging in other potentially hazardous activities until they know how their bodies will react to buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone). After a few days, however, you should be able to engage in all activities while taking buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone); there are no activity limitations.

Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH

Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH, is a board-certified Family Medicine Physician and Head of Research at Bicycle Health. She earned her Medical Degree from East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine (in the Rural Primary Care Track) and her Master of Public Health (MPH) from The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Dr. Rollston completed her residency at Tufts University and Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard-affiliated community healthcare system in Greater Boston, with emphases in addiction medicine and sexual & reproductive health. Her professional interests focus on social determinants of health & health equity, addiction medicine, gender-based violence, sexual & reproductive health, rural health, homelessness & supportive housing, and immigrant health. Dr. Rollston has published on these topics in The Lancet, Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, American Journal of Health Promotion, Journal of Appalachian Health, and Medical Care.

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Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH

Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH, is a board-certified Family Medicine Physician and Head of Research at Bicycle Health. She earned her Medical Degree from East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine (in the Rural Primary Care Track) and her Master of Public Health (MPH) from The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Dr. Rollston completed her residency at Tufts University and Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard-affiliated community healthcare system in Greater Boston, with emphases in addiction medicine and sexual & reproductive health. Her professional interests focus on social determinants of health & health equity, addiction medicine, gender-based violence, sexual & reproductive health, rural health, homelessness & supportive housing, and immigrant health. Dr. Rollston has published on these topics in The Lancet, Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, American Journal of Health Promotion, Journal of Appalachian Health, and Medical Care.

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