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Will I go through withdrawal when I want to come off of Suboxone?

Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) is a partial opioid agonist, and patients are physically dependent on taking buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) daily in order to feel normal and healthy. Because of this physical dependence, patients can experience Suboxone withdrawal symptoms if it’s stopped abruptly. Suboxone withdrawal can include nausea, headache, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, muscle aches, sweating, diarrhea, and drug cravings.

We do not recommend patients stop taking buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone). Addiction is a chronic condition, and because of that, we recommend long-term use of buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone). However, if you desire to taper off Suboxone, consult with your medical provider in order to slowly taper your dose, as this will help prevent buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) withdrawal symptoms.

Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH

Dr. Rollston is a Family Medicine Physician at Cambridge Health Alliance, Affiliate Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Primary Care Blog, and Founder of Doctors For A Healthy US, LLC. She earned her Medical Degree from East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine and her Master of Public Health from The George Washington University. Her professional interests focus on social influencers of health & health disparities, addiction medicine, sexual & reproductive health, homelessness & supportive housing, and rural health.

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