What Are the Most Common Buprenorphine Side Effects?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 19 March 2019
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Buprenorphine is a prescription medication which is designed to treat moderate to severe pain. As is the case with all medications, unpleasant side effects are possible. Some of the most common buprenorphine side effects include nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness. Other possible buprenorphine side effects include itching, anxiety, or mood changes. Most of these side effects are relatively mild, although serious side effects such as severe abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, or an allergic reaction are possible.

Dizziness and drowsiness are among the most commonly reported buprenorphine side effects. These symptoms are usually mild and go away after the body adjusts to the medication. Extreme caution should be taken when performing activities requiring coordination or concentration while under the influence of this drug. It is particularly important not to drive after taking medications such as buprenorphine. These symptoms may be reduced by moving slowly when changing positions, as standing suddenly or making sudden movements can often increase the feelings of dizziness.


Gastrointestinal disturbances, especially nausea, are frequently reported buprenorphine side effects. This nausea can range from mild to severe, and in many cases, additional medications can be given to prevent or control the nausea. Other gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation or vomiting may also occur as a result of taking this type of pain reliever. Severe stomach pain should be reported to a doctor right away, especially if accompanied by the development of excessive sweating. These symptoms may indicate the presence of serious complications and should be evaluated further.

Psychological disturbances or mood changes sometimes occur as buprenorphine side effects. These changes need to be reported to a medical professional immediately, as the dosage may need to be changed, or the medication may have to be discontinued. Some of the most common changes involve anxiety, irritability, and depression. Some patients may become angry and violent, while others may have thoughts of suicide. In rare cases, the patient may begin to see hallucinations.

While severe allergic reactions are not among the most common buprenorphine side effects, they are by far the most serious. This type of reaction requires immediate medical attention, as it is a potentially life-threatening complication. Symptoms typically include itching, rash, hives, swelling of the face and throat, and difficulty breathing. This type of medical emergency can occur even after successfully tolerating this medication in the past. Any questions or concerns about the various potential buprenorphine side effects should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.



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