Buprenorphine Transdermal System Withdrawal And Detox

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The buprenorphine transdermal system is available under the trade name Butrans. Butrans is a skin patch that is usually changed every seven days. The patch contains a dose of the opioid medication buprenorphine, which is a partial opioid agonist. The Butrans patch is usually reserved for patients who have severe, ongoing pain and for people who have tried other pain medications already. Buprenorphine can be used as a treatment for opioid addiction and dependence as well and is included in drugs like Suboxone. The Butrans patch isn’t currently approved for that use, however. As a partial opioid agonist, buprenorphine doesn’t have the full, intense effects of other opioids like heroin. However, there is a possibility of misuse, addiction and dependence associated with buprenorphine and the transdermal system. Common withdrawal symptoms of the buprenorphine transdermal system can include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Cravings
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia and sleep disturbances
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Concentration problems
Buprenorphine Transdermal System Withdrawal And Detox
Since buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, withdrawal symptoms, for the most part, are not as severe as they are with other opioids. However, since the transdermal patch includes extended-release medication, it can take longer for withdrawal to begin, and it can last longer than it would with faster-acting, immediate-release opioids. Most of the physical withdrawal symptoms of buprenorphine withdrawal will end around a week after the last of the drug has left the system. Psychological withdrawal symptoms may persist for a month or more. The peak of buprenorphine withdrawal symptoms will usually occur within around 72 hours after the drug leaves the system of the patient. During the first week, a person will experience symptoms such as cramps, aches and pains, mood swings, and anxiety or depression. During week two, the physical discomfort will likely subside, but depression may continue, as can other psychological symptoms, like loss of motivation.
Buprenorphine is itself used as a medication to help people go through opioid withdrawal. Buprenorphine doesn’t have as many risks or intense effects as other opioids, but it can prevent withdrawal symptoms. The best way for someone to eventually come off buprenorphine is usually to taper down their dosage gradually. This needs to be done under medical supervision, particularly with the transdermal patch. Some people may undergo detox from buprenorphine in an outpatient setting. Other people may require a medical detox, especially if they’re long-term patients of buprenorphine or they misuse other opioids.
Buprenorphine Transdermal System Withdrawal And Detox
There are two different scenarios a person might be facing when coming off the symptoms of buprenorphine withdrawal. First, there might be someone who is prescribed the transdermal patch for pain. They may want to stop using it, or their doctor may instruct them to. For this person, detox might be done under the supervision of a physician. Symptoms might be monitored and managed as-needed. On the other hand, if someone has been using opioids for a long time who also uses a buprenorphine product like the transdermal system, a more intensive detox experience may be required. Someone with a severe buprenorphine or opioid addiction and dependence may require an inpatient medical detox. During a medical detox, patients have around-the-clock medical care and monitoring. A medical team can provide the medications and treatments necessary to ensure patients stay safe and as comfortable as possible as they go through withdrawal.
When choosing a detox center, there are specific considerations to remember. First, does the facility have expertise in helping people with opioid dependencies and addictions? Opioids are a powerful class of drugs, and they require specialized treatment. Also, is the buprenorphine detox part of a larger addiction treatment program? Medical detox isn’t a treatment for addiction. Instead, it’s the first step, and then once a person successfully detoxes from buprenorphine and any other substances, they can begin the treatment process.

We’re here not just to help, but to provide you with the addiction treatment that will improve your quality of life and help you make positive changes. Reach out to The Recovery Village, and we can give you more information.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.