Suboxone vs Methadone: Which is Best for Me
For years, methadone has been the preferred treatment for opioid addiction.
However, in recent years, a new treatment has begun to emerge that has proven just as effective in some cases. Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone intended to assist in helping people getting off opioids.
With two great choices available, you might be wondering – which treatment is best for me?
What Is Methadone?
Methadone is a synthetic narcotic analgesic that has long-lasting effects in the body. Because of this, it only needs to be taken once a day in order to suppress opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Even better, because methadone works by attaching to the opioid receptors in the brain, it blocks the effects of other opioids. This means that if you continue to try and take your favorite opioid drug, it will have no discernible effect.
What Is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a potent combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is actually a partial opioid agonist that attaches to the opioid receptors, preventing you from getting high on other opioids.
However, naloxone is an antagonist. This addition works to prevent you from abusing and overdosing on Suboxone during the withdrawal process.
The Benefits of Suboxone Over Methadone
Some research indicates that Suboxone might be a better choice than methadone.
A study that looked at patients who had already had six months of either Suboxone or methadone treatment found that 71.4 percent of patients on Suboxone reported that they were abstinent from heroin use.
This compared to only 37.7 percent of patients on methadone reporting abstinence.
Other than research, Suboxone is a good choice for people with a heavy addiction, as it lowers the chance of misuse or overdose of the medication.
Additionally, it seems to be a cheaper alternative – a Greek cost-effective analysis reported that the average costs for one year of Suboxone treatment were 2,876 euros, compared to 5,626 euros for methadone.
The Benefits of Methadone Over Suboxone
There are some studies that might lead one to believe methadone is a better choice than Suboxone.
In one study that looked at 54 patients on either methadone or Suboxone, five participants on Suboxone reported illicit drug use compared to none on methadone.
Overall, because methadone is a proven treatment, many people find it a safer choice because more physicians understand how it works.
Which Is Better?
The truth is that both medications are comparable in their effectiveness.
One study completed in the UK looked at heroin addicted patients over a period of six months. During the study, they were given either Suboxone or methadone to treat their withdrawal.
The results showed that were both were equally effective at preventing relapse, meaning either could be a good choice for you.
Therefore, if you’re stuck between the two, just keep in mind that there is no bad choice. Both will assist you in your journey to sobriety.
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