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While tapering, some people experience difficult withdrawal symptoms. You can reduce symptoms severity with a slow tapering regimen* but you may still experience significant discomfort. Here is a list of OTC and prescription medications you may want to consider to help alleviate the discomfort of withdrawal.

*In addition to reducing the discomfort of withdrawals, a longer-slower tapering program also increases your odds of eventual success.

Typical Suboxone withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Depressed mood
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain and diarrhea
  • Runny nose and tearing eyes
  • Muscle aches and cramping
  • Lower back pain
  • Yawning
  • Light fever
  • Sweating
  • Elevated blood pressure and heart rate

Medications for Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms

The following recommendations are from a 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) nursing publication on the use of buprenorphine (Suboxone).1

Over the Counter Medications

For Muscle Aches

  • Try 800 mgs of ibuprofen, every 6 hours as needed.

For General Pain

  • Try 1000 mgs of acetaminophen (Tylenol) every 4 hours, as needed.

For Gastrointestinal Problems

  • Try 30 cc of Maalox every 2 hours, as needed.

For Diarrhea

  • Try 2 mgs of lopermide (Imodium) every 6 hours, as needed.

For Insomnia

  • Try 50 mgs of diphenyhdramine (Benadryl) at bedtime, as needed.

Prescription Medications

If experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms while tapering, talk to your Suboxone doctor about the possibility of a prescription for one or more of the following medications.

For Abdominal Pain

  • Try 40 mgs of dicyclomine every 6 hours, as needed.

For Nausea and Vomiting

  • Try 25 mgs of promethazine, every 6 hours, as needed.

For Anxiety

  • Try 0.1 mgs of clonidine, every 2 hours, as needed.

Reducing Withdrawal Symptoms While Tapering

You may be able to reduce withdrawal symptoms while tapering by splitting your medication into smaller doses, taken 2 or 3 times per day.

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Page last updated Nov 20, 2015

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