Now offering Telehealth Virtual Appointments! Call or Text our office for more information: 772-332-9975.

The Long Term Side Effects of Suboxone

Exploring the Risks and Concerns

Discover the potential long-term side effects of Suboxone and how they can impact individuals seeking addiction recovery. Uncover the risks and concerns associated with prolonged use of Suboxone, including physical and psychological effects.

Introduction: A Closer Look at Suboxone and Its Long Term Effects

Addiction is a major societal issue affecting millions worldwide. To combat the devastating impact of opioid addiction, medical professionals have developed various treatment options, including medications like Suboxone. While Suboxone has proven effective in managing opioid dependence and helping individuals on their path to recovery, it is crucial to understand the potential long-term side effects that may arise from its prolonged use. This blog discusses the risks and concerns associated with Suboxone, providing valuable insights into its long-term effects on physical and psychological well-being.

The Long Term Side Effects of Suboxone

Long-Term Physical Effects: Navigating the Potential Risks

Suboxone, a medication that combines buprenorphine and naloxone, is commonly used in opioid replacement therapy. While it can be an invaluable tool in supporting addiction recovery, long-term use of Suboxone may lead to several physical side effects. It is essential to understand these potential risks to make informed decisions regarding treatment options.

  1. Hormonal Imbalances:

    Prolonged use of Suboxone causes hormonal imbalances, particularly affecting testosterone levels in both men and women. These imbalances can reduce libido, erectile dysfunction, irregular menstrual cycles, and mood swings.

  2. Gastrointestinal Discomfort:

    Some individuals may experience gastrointestinal discomfort, including nausea, constipation, and stomach pain, due to long-term Suboxone use. These issues can significantly impact a person’s quality of life and require appropriate management.

  3. Liver Function:

    Long-term use of Suboxone may affect liver function. While the medication is generally well-tolerated, regular liver function tests will monitor any potential changes and ensure the ongoing safety of the individual.

  4. Dental Issues:

    Suboxone may cause dental problems, including tooth decay and gum disease. This leads to reduced saliva production or other factors. Maintaining oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups are essential for managing these potential issues.

  5. Respiratory Effects:

    In rare cases, long-term use of Suboxone may cause respiratory depression, especially when combined with other substances that suppress the respiratory system. Individuals on Suboxone should be cautious when taking other medications that can potentially interact and cause adverse respiratory effects.

Long-Term Psychological Effects: Addressing Mental Health Concerns

Beyond physical effects, the prolonged use of Suboxone may also impact an individual’s mental well-being. Understanding and addressing these potential psychological side effects is crucial in providing comprehensive care for those seeking addiction recovery.

Depression and Anxiety:

Some individuals may experience mood changes, including symptoms of depression and anxiety while using Suboxone long-term. These effects are due to underlying mental health conditions, individual differences in drug metabolism, or adjustments in brain chemistry.

Cognitive Function:

Studies have indicated potential mental effects of long-term Suboxone use. While the research in this area is still developing, some individuals may report difficulties with memory, concentration, or processing speed. However, these effects can vary significantly between individuals.

Emotional Blunting:

Suboxone may also lead to emotional blunting or decreased emotional responsiveness. Some individuals may report feeling emotionally numb or experiencing reduced emotions while on Suboxone. It is essential to monitor these effects and communicate any concerns with healthcare providers.

Sleep Disturbances:

Long-term use of Suboxone may potentially disrupt sleep patterns and lead to difficulties with sleep quality or insomnia. Adequate restful sleep is crucial for overall well-being.

Psychological Dependence:

While Suboxone assists addiction recovery, long-term use can result in psychological dependence on the medication. It is essential for healthcare providers to closely monitor individuals on Suboxone to ensure appropriate management and support during the recovery process.

FAQs about the Long-Term Side Effects of Suboxone

Does everyone experience the long-term side effects of Suboxone?

The long-term side effects of Suboxone can vary from person to person. While some individuals may experience specific side effects, others may not experience any at all. Communicating concerns or changes with a healthcare provider is essential.

Can the long-term side effects of Suboxone be managed or minimized?

Many side effects associated with long-term Suboxone use can be controlled or minimized. Open communication with healthcare providers, adherence to prescribed dosages, and a healthy lifestyle can mitigate these effects.

Should I be worried about the potential hormonal imbalances caused by Suboxone?

While hormonal imbalances can be a side effect of long-term Suboxone use, it is essential to note that not everyone will experience this. If you have concerns about hormonal imbalances, discussing them with your healthcare provider is recommended.

Can the psychological side effects of Suboxone be treated?

Indeed, psychological side effects like depression, anxiety, or cognitive challenges can be dealt with using different treatment methods. Reaching out to mental health experts can grant access to techniques and interventions to cope with these effects.

Is it safe to abruptly stop taking Suboxone to avoid potential long-term side effects?

Abruptly stopping Suboxone without proper medical guidance can be risky and may lead to withdrawal symptoms or a relapse. It is essential to work closely with healthcare providers to develop a safe and individualized tapering plan if discontinuing Suboxone is deemed appropriate.

Are the long-term side effects of Suboxone more concerning than the risks associated with opioid addiction itself?

The long-term side effects of Suboxone are balanced with the risks associated with opioid addiction. Each individual’s situation is unique, and your doctors can guide you on the most suitable treatment approach based on an individual’s specific needs and circumstances.


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Drug Addiction Treatment in the United States. Retrieved from

  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Buprenorphine. Retrieved from

  3. Morley, K. C., Logge, W., Pearson, S. A., Baillie, A., Haber, P. S., & Puyat, J. H. (2020). Prevalence and correlates of testosterone deficiency in males receiving chronic opioid therapy: A systematic review and meta-analysis. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 17(1), 90-106.

  4. Johnson, R. E., Fudala, P. J., & Payne, R. (2005). Buprenorphine: considerations for pain management. The Journal of Pain, 6(1), 3-14.

  5. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Oral Health. Retrieved from

  6. Kornør, H., & Waal, H. (2010). Opioid maintenance treatment reduces mortality and morbidity among opioid-dependent patients. BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine, 15(2), 53-54.

  7. Buwanit, R., Buwanit, R., Chattrabhuti, K., Dejpichai, R., & Manchana, T. (2020). Anxiety and depression symptoms among patients taking buprenorphine/naloxone for opioid use disorder. Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, 14, 1178221820924400.

  8. Greenwald, M. K., Comer, S. D., Fiellin, D. A., & Fiellin, D. A. (2014). Buprenorphine maintenance and mu-opioid receptor availability in the treatment of opioid use disorder: implications for clinical use and policy. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 144, 1-11.

    Conclusion: Balancing the Benefits and Risks of Suboxone Use

Suboxone can be a valuable tool in supporting individuals on their journey to recovery from opioid addiction. However, it is critical to be aware of the potential long-term side effects that may arise from its prolonged use. While Suboxone has been generally well-tolerated, it is crucial to monitor and address any physical or psychological effects that may occur. Open communication with healthcare providers and ongoing evaluation of the benefits versus the risks can help strike a balance in optimizing the effectiveness and safety of Suboxone treatment.

It is important to remember that every individual’s experience with Suboxone may vary, and the presence or severity of long-term side effects can differ from person to person. Regular check-ups, open discussions with healthcare providers, and adherence to prescribed dosages can contribute to a better understanding of how Suboxone is affecting an individual and enable appropriate adjustments in the treatment plan.

While Suboxone may present some potential risks, it is crucial to consider its overall benefits in addiction recovery. It can help individuals reduce cravings, minimize withdrawal symptoms, and regain life stability. Counseling, therapy, and support systems can significantly enhance the chances of successful recovery from opioid addiction.

If you are thinking of Suboxone treatment or already using Suboxone, it is essential to consult with your physician. They can provide personalized guidance, closely monitor potential side effects, and ensure the treatment is tailored to individual needs and circumstances.

Remember, seeking help and support is a brave and crucial step toward overcoming opioid addiction. With the right resources, guidance, and a comprehensive treatment approach, individuals can embark on a path to long-term recovery and improved quality of life.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction issues, don’t wait any longer. Call Dr. Kumar now to schedule a confidential consultation. With years of experience in addiction medicine, Dr. Kumar is dedicated to providing personalized and compassionate care to help individuals overcome addiction and regain control of their lives.

Take that important step towards recovery today. Pick up the phone and call Dr. Kumar at 561 210 9999 to start your journey towards a healthier and brighter future. Remember, help is just a phone call away.


Scroll to Top