Dangerous Combination: Suboxone® and Xanax®

January 30, 2018

It is not uncommon to take different prescriptions at the same time. You may have anxiety that needs to be treated with one medication, a stomach problem that requires another, and high cholesterol that can be lowered with this other pill. It is important to be honest with your doctors on what other medicines you are taking, since some medicines do not react well with each other. If you or a loved one are considering treatment for pain pill or heroin addiction, it is important to be upfront on what you are taking, especially if you are taking Xanax® or another benzodiazepine.

What is Xanax®?

Xanax® is a brand name of a medicine called a benzodiazepine. This medication is a central nervous system depressant which is in a medical category that includes tranquilizers, sedatives, and hypnotics. All of these are substances that can slow brain activity and produce a calming effect. This makes them useful for treating anxiety and sleep disorders. Xanax®, a well-known benzodiazepine, is a prescribed medication that is used to help those who suffer from moderate to severe anxiety and panic attacks. It can also be used to treat moderate depression. There are different dosage levels depending on the individual’s needs. When taking a medicine like Xanax®, it is important for the physician to closely monitor the patient’s symptoms and progress in order for them to get the most relief they can. Because of its potential for abuse, patients must be responsible and follow instructions as given by the physician.

What is Suboxone®?

Suboxone® is a prescribed medication used to treat opioid addiction. It contains a combination of naloxone and buprenorphine and is used to reduce withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings in those recovering from an addiction to opioids. Suboxone® was the first opioid medication approved under DATA 2000 for the treatment of opioid dependence in a private office setting. Patients taking Suboxone® can live a more productive life learn how to not be dependent on pain pills and/or heroin. Physicians closely monitor a patient’s progress and help find the appropriate dosage.

Combining Suboxone® and Xanax®

When taken individually, both Xanax® and Suboxone® are effective medications. One is helpful in calming the mind of someone struggling with anxiety, and the other is extremely beneficial in helping one recover from anxiety, However, when the two drugs are combined, the results can be devastating. Xanax®, a benzodiazepine, and Suboxone®, a form of buprenorphine, can be deadly when combined. Xanax® and Suboxone® together might create a central nervous system depression that could result in respiratory failure. Other side effects may occur as well, such as slurred speech, extreme drowsiness, loss of consciousness or coma. Unfortunately, combining Suboxone® and Xanax® is common despite the severity of the risk involved. Benzodiazepines in general are considered to have a high potential for abuse, putting those with substance abuse issues at serious risk even if they are given a legitimate prescription for the medication. In turn, those who are prescribed Suboxone® are wanting to treat their substance abuse, as the drug is used to treat opioid addiction. The combination of Suboxone® and Xanax® is one that must be avoided, as it can result in serious health effects, including death. If prescribed either medication by a doctor, the patient must be honest regarding the fact that they are already using the other. It is also important to ask the pharmacist about potential drug interactions with any other medications you are currently taking. Abuse of either substance comes with risks that should be avoided.

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