Why Do I Feel Sick After Taking Suboxone?

Why Do I Feel Sick After Taking Suboxone?

It takes immense bravery to walk the long path towards recovery from substance abuse. When you have gathered the strength to make this decision, it can help to have supportive people and medical interventions at your back to empower you along the way. Suboxone is a common medication used to aid in the healing process from opioid addiction. 

Suboxone is a powerfully supportive treatment option. Made of Buprenorphine and Naloxone, this medication hinders the unpleasant side effects of withdrawal from opiate use. When used in the right setting with the help of medical experts, Suboxone can ease the opioid detox process for those in recovery. But even the best things in life have some consequences. 

Before you begin taking Suboxone, it is important to understand the common side effects of the drug. The more you understand about this treatment upfront, the better prepared you will be.

Why Do I Feel Sick After Taking Suboxone?

Suboxone is a prescription medication that helps folks recover from opioid addiction. While its application is similar to that of Methadone, it is important to understand what distinguishes Suboxone from other recovery aids. The more you understand, the easier time you’ll have in navigating the harsher side effects of the treatment.

You may have heard that folks feel sick in the first few days of beginning a Suboxone treatment program. Suboxone functions by blocking the effects of other opioids. While clinics typically require patients to go through a complete detox before beginning Suboxone, there is a chance that traces of substances may still be in your system. If this is the case, the Buprenorphine and Naloxone combo will cancel out the effects of those opioids, and you’ll experience opioid withdrawal symptoms. Side effects like nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains in the first few days of taking Suboxone could be attributed to this effect.

Another reason you could be feeling sick after taking Suboxone is that you aren’t taking the correct dosage. While it is unlikely to overdose on this drug, it is possible to take too much. This could lead to unwanted effects. Similarly, if you are taking too little of this medication, there is a chance you will experience opioid withdrawal symptoms until your body acclimates to the dose. It is best to keep your doctor informed of any sickness, so they can ensure you’re getting the best dose for your unique needs.

Other Side Effects Of Suboxone

To fully prepare to take Suboxone, you must understand the side effects of the treatment of opioid addiction. Because Suboxone is a combination of Buprenorphine and Naloxone, different from the commonly known Methadone, there are many parts at play that could affect individuals differently. Here are some of the most common side effects to expect when taking Suboxone in recovery from opioid abuse.

Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea

One of the most experienced side effects is feeling sick to your stomach, sometimes accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea. This nausea can happen for several reasons. For example, if you’ve taken the medication on an empty stomach. It is best to always eat a simple meal before taking any prescription drug.

Additionally, Buprenorphine, one of the main ingredients in Suboxone, is a powerful opiate with a strong half-life. Just like taking recreational opiates can cause you to experience nausea, so can those designed for treatment. If you experience this type of mild stomach pain, lie down, and it should pass within 20 minutes. If not, call your doctor.

Severe Headache

Intense headache is an often reported effect of taking Suboxone. This is likely because of the Naloxone component in the drug. If the headaches continue past the initial few doses, talk to a medical professional about your options. You could potentially switch to a medicine that is Buprenorphine only, which doesn’t have as high a probability for headaches.

Other Common Side Effects Include:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Back pain
  • Mouth numbness
  • Constipation 
  • Dizziness, drowsiness, or fainting
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Pain in the tongue
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Blurred vision

What You Need To Know Before Taking Suboxone

What Are the Ingestion Methods?

Suboxone, unlike many prescription drugs, is typically ingested sublingually. This means that it is dissolved in the mouth and absorbed directly into the bloodstream through tissue. Sublinguals typically take effect faster than a medication you need to swallow and digest. 

When taking Suboxone, you will insert either a tablet or a small film under your tongue and allow it to dissolve. While it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about which form of medicine will be better for you, there is typically no difference in the medication itself in the tablet or film form. 

How is it Different from Methadone?

While the drugs are designed with similar purposes of helping folks manage opioid withdrawal during recovery, Methadone is different for a few key reasons. While working with medical teams to determine what is best for you, it is important to understand the difference.

Methadone does not contain the combo of Buprenorphine and Naloxone but still has similar effects in curbing side effects of withdrawal from opiates.  Methadone, however, can be prescribed as a drug for pain management as well. 

While both substances can be highly addictive if not taken properly, Methadone lacks the opioid antagonist component that hinders the euphoric effects of opiates. Therefore, it can sometimes be a more risky treatment option if not closely monitored.

How Long Do I Need to Take Suboxone?

There is no one correct treatment duration for opiate abuse. Some folks take it for a short period of time as part of opioid detox. It is often recommended that you stick to a treatment program for 6 months to a year to ensure recovery. In some cases, doctors suggest taking it even longer. Work closely with medical staff to determine what is the best option for you. 


When armed with the right information, the scary parts of taking Suboxone as part of treatment for opioid addiction are incredibly manageable. It is key to remember that negative side effects are all temporary and are part of a life-changing healing process. If you’re ready to get started on your road to recovery, reach out to the Master Center today.