Suboxone® can be a useful aid to patients with opioid dependency and addiction problems, helping them reduce their use of illegal narcotics such as heroin. However, it’s vital to monitor anyone undergoing treatment with Suboxone to ensure they’re taking the right amount. CLS Diagnostics is a specialist toxicology service based in Franklin, Massachusetts, that provides fast and accurate testing for the presence of opioids and a range of other substances. Call the lab or make an appointment online today to learn more.
Suboxone is a proprietary name for a combined medication containing the opioid drug buprenorphine and the opioid antagonist drug naloxone hydrochloride. In combination, these two drugs act to help primarily heroin addicts reduce their usage and dependence.
Buprenorphine is a powerful narcotic that was originally used as a painkiller before its development as a substitute for more harmful opiates. Naloxone acts to block the effects of opioids, reducing the pain relief and euphoria that contribute to opioid abuse.
Suboxone substitution offers a method of treatment that helps wean opiate addicts away from heroin or morphine by replacing their drug of choice with the less harmful buprenorphine, which mimics some of the effects of the opiate. Studies on the use of buprenorphine in treating heroin addicts show it has comparable effectiveness to methadone, but users experience lower levels of dependency.
Buprenorphine-based drugs are subject to abuse in the same way as other prescription opioids and related drugs. Patients taking Suboxone may be self-administering larger doses, using the drug through nonprescription ingestion routes, or move onto stronger drugs when they no longer achieve the same high.
Testing patients who’re using Suboxone or other opioid drugs should be a routine practice for medical professionals, and CLS Diagnostics can perform accurate testing for the presence of any opioids.
Testing for Suboxone levels will show you whether your patient is adhering to their prescribed dosage or if there are indicators of abuse. Buprenorphine is present in urine for up to six days after ingestion, with the optimal testing window at three days.
Prescription doses of Suboxone routinely produce test results up to 1 ng/ml, but patients who are abusing the drug could show levels up to 20 ng/ml. If screening tests show higher than expected levels of Suboxone, CLS Diagnostics confirms the analysis using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).
Call CLS Diagnostics or schedule an appointment online today to find out more about their Suboxone testing service that helps you optimize care for your patients.