Suboxone treatment for opiate addiction

The Ultimate Guide To Suboxone & Pain

(Revised May 2024)

Are you one among the estimated 5+ million Americans who are seeking relief from chronic pain? Or, maybe you’re researching solutions for a gentler experience in withdrawing from opioids. In either case, we’re excited to talk to you about some promising treatment outcomes concerning Suboxone for chronic pain and opioid dependence.

At Direct2Recovery, although we specialize in addiction recovery, about 20% of our patients have been referred to us purely for pain control.  Buprenorphine, off label use, for pain control has been amazing for many of out patients.  They are experiencing improved pain control with fewer side effects, less drowsiness, fatigue, and feeling of intoxication. 

In addition, although 20% of our of our patients see us purely for pain control, about 80% of our patients have some pain complaint as a component of their presenting complaint.

Before reading further, however, please note that the information on this page is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. If you are struggling with chronic pain and opioid use and are looking for answers, please contact us today.

A brief overview of Suboxone

But what is Suboxone, exactly, and why has it become such an effective ally for alleviating pain? First off, it is a combination of two drugs – Buprenorphine and Naloxone. This dynamic duo of drugs works together to alleviate pain as well as aid in opioid withdrawal. To explain, Buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist. That means it activates the opioid receptors in the brain but with less intensity than full opioids like heroin or hydrocodone. Alternatively, Naloxone acts as an opioid antagonist and helps to prevent misuse or abuse of Suboxone.

Its relevance in pain management

In terms of its relevance in pain management, clinical studies reveal that individuals who took Suboxone experienced a marked reduction in both acute and chronic pain as compared to placebo results. Furthermore, ongoing research suggests that Suboxone is a powerful contender in the pain-relief cadre of drugs because it is apparently far less habit-forming than other addictive opiates such as oxycodone.

The importance of understanding its role and limitations

While these studies are encouraging, professionals and patients alike must understand the potential roles and limitations Suboxone plays in improved quality of life. For instance, one of its limitations when used for pain relief is dubbed “the ceiling effect.”  This is when, after a specific dosage, the drug loses its efficacy. This means that individuals with severe or chronic pain may require additional medications or alternative treatment approaches to manage their pain adequately. 

Regarding Suboxone for opioid dependence, it’s essential to understand it’s not a miracle drug or a quick fix for addiction and should not be considered a stand-alone solution. The true potential of this drug for withdrawal and addiction relief reveals itself when mental health therapies such as rehab, talk therapy, and ongoing support are in place and used in conjunction with Suboxone for addiction recovery.

Does Suboxone Help With Relief Pain

Does Suboxone Help With Relief Pain?

Yes! Ongoing research indicates that Suboxone may be effective in treating pain – including neuropathic pain and musculoskeletal pain. Studies also show promising results in managing conditions such as arthritis pain, chronic back pain, fibromyalgia, and even postoperative discomfort.

Its effectiveness in treating different types of pain

Simply put, if you take Suboxone for pain relief, Buprenorphine gets absorbed into your system and starts interacting with opioid receptors throughout the body. By binding to these receptors and activating them only partially, it can effectively reduce sensations of pain.

Clinical evidence supporting its use for pain relief

Clinical evidence has shown that the Buprenorphine in Suboxone can be effective in providing pain relief for specific individuals. One study published in the Journal of Pain Research found that patients who received Suboxone experienced diminished levels of pain when compared to those who received a placebo.

Taking Other Pain Meds with Suboxone

Can You Take Other Pain Meds with Suboxone?

When combined with other opioids or certain pain medications, Suboxone can increase the risk of respiratory depression, intense sedation, and other health complications that could arise when coupling this drug with other pain meds. Therefore, combining pain medications with Suboxone is generally not recommended.

Interaction of Suboxone with other pain medications

One of the key takeaway points about interactions is that if you take this drug with other opioid-based pain killers – that combination could actually decrease the effectiveness of Suboxone, essentially canceling out the pain-relieving qualities of the drug. However, non-opioid pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen are generally considered safe to use alongside Suboxone for short-term relief from mild to moderate pain.

Guidelines for safe usage

First and foremost, talk to your doctor. Your doctor should evaluate your medical history and potential interactions with current medications you might be taking and give you personalized advice based on your specific needs.

You should also follow the instructions for your Suboxone prescription and take it precisely as ordered by your doctor. Abiding by recommended doses will help you reap all more of the benefits of Suboxone while minimizing possible risks to your health.

Another way to use this drug safely is to avoid using recreational drugs or alcohol while taking Suboxone. These substances could potentially nullify the healing impact of Suboxone.

Potential risks and considerations

Suboxone isn’t for everyone, and it could be detrimental to some. For instance, if you are allergic to the drug, it could result in compromised breathing, skin irritations, swelling, or other allergic responses. Additionally, some people may experience uncomfortable side effects from Suboxone, such as nausea or headaches, and digestive discomfort, like constipation or diarrhea. If you are pregnant, you should exercise caution when using Suboxone as it could potentially harm the fetus. Sudden discontinuation of Suboxone without proper medical supervision can potentially cause withdrawal symptoms and an increased risk of relapse into opioid use disorder.

Is Suboxone Considered a Pain Medication?

Initially, Suboxone was primarily used for the treatment of opioid dependence, as its two active ingredients work in tandem, which helps reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with opioid addiction. However, as the drug has endured more testing and research, experts have discovered Suboxone’s analgesic properties can offer relief from certain types of pain by influencing receptors in the brain in a similar way opioids do.

Suboxone’s primary uses and classification

Suboxone is classified as an opioid partial agonist. The primary use of this drug is in the treatment of opioid dependence. In terms of opioid withdrawal and Suboxone, the drug is used in clinical recovery and treatment plans that include counseling and behavioral therapy. 

Comparison with traditional pain medications

Unlike traditional pain medications, which can lead to tolerance and dependency over time, Suboxone has a lower risk of abuse potential due to its unique formulation. It provides gradual relief while minimizing the side effects commonly associated with more potent opioids such as Vicodin or OxyContin.

Understanding its dual role in pain relief and opioid dependence

When used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, Suboxone can help manage both the physical symptoms of withdrawal and provide relief from chronic pain. Its primary active ingredients work together to reduce cravings while also blocking the effects of other opioids on the brain. By targeting specific receptors in the brain, Suboxone not only helps individuals overcome their addiction but also provides significant pain relief.

Does Suboxone Help with Arthritis Pain?

While it is most popularly known for its potential in treating opioid addiction, the effects of Suboxone and arthritis pain are something to consider. Suboxone’s unique combination of Buprenorphine and Naloxone works to alleviate not only the physical symptoms associated with arthritis but also addresses the underlying inflammation that causes the pain. Studies show it may also effectively reduce arthritis-related discomfort and improve joint mobility.

Efficacy of Suboxone in managing arthritis pain

Studies have shown that Suboxone can effectively alleviate moderate to severe pain associated with arthritis. By binding to the same receptors as opioids but with less euphoric effects, it helps reduce inflammation and provides relief without the risk of dependence or overdose commonly associated with traditional pain medications.

Case studies or clinical research findings

Clinical research findings support the use of Suboxone for arthritis pain management. Patients who have tried this approach often report significant improvements in their symptoms. Expert opinions also highlight its potential as an alternative option when other treatments fail or present unwanted side effects.

Patient testimonials or expert opinions

Moreover, patient testimonials and expert opinions further underscore Suboxone’s efficacy in managing arthritis pain. Many patients who have incorporated Suboxone into their treatment regimen have reported significant reductions in joint swelling and stiffness, allowing them to lead more active lives.

Does Suboxone Help with Withdrawal Pain?

Yes! We know firsthand that withdrawal pain can be the biggest challenge in recovering from opioid addiction. Thankfully, Suboxone works to minimize withdrawals and accompanying symptoms such as lethargy, muscle aches, cramping, headaches, and other discomfort that may occur during detoxification.

Role of Suboxone in opioid withdrawal management

With opioid dependency, the brain becomes overly familiar with the presence of these drugs. Suddenly stopping opioids can lead to intense cravings and severe discomfort. This is where Suboxone comes into play.

How it alleviates withdrawal symptoms

By fastening to the same receptors in the brain that opioids target, Suboxone helps alleviate withdrawal conditions while simultaneously blocking the effects of other opioids. Essentially, it acts as a bridge between addiction and sobriety by providing relief without producing a high.  

Success stories or statistical data

According to the World Health Organization, studies showed that withdrawal symptoms and craving levels were reduced by almost half after a month of using Suboxone alongside other supportive mental health treatments.

What Opioids Can Suboxone Help You Get Off Of?

Suboxone may be able to help individuals get off a variety of opioids, including: 

  • Fentanyl
  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Methadone
  • Tramadol

Mechanism of action in opioid cessation

Suboxone’s unique formulation combines Buprenorphine and Naloxone, which blocks the effects of other opioids. Together, these ingredients create a synergistic effect that allows individuals to gradually taper off opioids while minimizing withdrawal discomfort. This dual effect helps to alleviate withdrawal symptoms while minimizing the risk of abuse or overdose.

Success rates and patient experiences

We receive many success stories highlighting the effectiveness of Suboxone and opioid addiction. It provides individuals with a safer alternative that allows them to gradually wean themselves off these substances under medical supervision.


We’ve covered a lot of territory about Suboxone and pain relief in this guide, so let’s take a moment to recap:

  • Suboxone is a medication used in the treatment of opioid dependence, but it also has potential benefits for managing pain.
  • While Suboxone can help with pain relief, it’s important to understand its limitations and consult with a healthcare professional for appropriate usage.
  • Suboxone works by attaching to opioid receptors in the brain, reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid use.
  • Clinical evidence supports the effectiveness of Suboxone in treating pain, including chronic pain and arthritis pain.
  • When taking Suboxone, it’s crucial to be aware of potential interactions with other pain medications and follow guidelines for safe usage.
  • It’s also important to note that Suboxone is primarily classified as a medication for opioid dependence rather than solely as a pain reliever.
  • Patients dealing with arthritis pain might find relief through the use of Suboxone, although individual responses may vary.
  • There are success stories and clinical research findings highlighting positive outcomes when using Suboxone for managing withdrawal symptoms during opioid cessation
  • Suboxone has been known to be successful in helping individuals get off opioids like heroin or prescription medications such as oxycodone or hydrocodone.

While this guide to Suboxone and pain relief provides valuable information on the topic, it’s important to remember that every individual’s situation is unique. That is why we’re here. We can guide you through the process of recovery, and we’ll illustrate how, with the proper treatment, you can experience less pain and freedom from addiction. Contact us today and see how we can help.

Suboxone treatment for opiate addiction

Social Share


News, Resources, Inspiring Ideas And Our Expertise

Health Basics

What is Precipitated Withdrawal?

Precipitated withdrawal or withdrawal symptoms that are instigated by taking another medication.  For instance, if a patient has a dependency on fentanyl and has been

Read More »