Is it the Suboxone causing my flushing and sweating?
Medications such as Suboxone and ZubSolv, used to treat opioid dependence, often do not have any concerning side effects. Patients take the medication on a daily basis and report feeling as if they are not even taking anything.
The benefits of taking these medications, which contain the mixed opioid partial agonist/antagonist, buprenorphine, include reduced opioid cravings and reduced opioid withdrawal symptoms. In fact, many patients say, while they are on Suboxone or ZubSolv, that they feel as if they were never addicted to opioids in the first place.
Unfortunately, some patients who take these highly effective meds will experience one or more side effects. One side effect that about 12% of patients will have is hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating.
Should I be concerned if I have been sweating from buprenorphine?
Of course, it would be great if you did not have to worry about any side effects. It’s bad enough having to be reminded of your opioid addiction each day when you take your dose of Suboxone or ZubSolv.
However, the good thing is that sweating from Suboxone, or sweating from ZubSolv for that matter, is not a big deal. It is a known side effect from the medication and it is not a sign of anything ominous or concerning.
While you can rest assured that sweating is not a serious problem, you are still going to want to do something about it. It is important that you report any side effect, even Suboxone sweating, to your doctor right away.
How do I stop the sweating from Suboxone or ZubSolv?
Your doctor may suggest trying out a lower dosage of your medication. For example, if you are prescribed the ZubSolv 8.6-2.1 mg tablet, your doctor might recommend reducing it to ZubSolv 5.7-1.4 mg. Or, if you are taking Suboxone 8 mg strips twice daily, you might be instructed by your doctor to take one-and-a-half or one-and-three-quarters of the Suboxone Films.
One issue with Suboxone is that it is only available in a limited number of strengths. Suboxone 8 mg and 2 mg are widely available. There is a 4 mg, but few pharmacies carry it in stock or are willing to order it.
While ZubSolv is available in more dosage strengths, pharmacies may be less likely to carry them as well. Another alternative is to ask your doctor if they are willing to work with a compounding pharmacy that can closely customize your buprenorphine dosage.
If I take Suboxone, would it help to switch to ZubSolv to relieve side effects, such as sweating?
ZubSolv and Suboxone are both very similar medications. Both prescription drugs contain buprenorphine and naloxone.
As stated above, buprenorphine is a mixed opioid receptor activator and blocker. While it is technically an opioid, it functions differently from most opioids. However, it can still cause some common opioid side effects, such as constipation, insomnia, headache, nausea, and sweating.
Naloxone is a powerful opioid blocker that is not active when you take your Suboxone or ZubSolv as directed, meaning that you place it under your tongue to dissolve. Naloxone is included as an abuse deterrent to prevent people from injecting their medication rather than taking it under the tongue, or sublingually.
Is injecting Suboxone or ZubSolv a widespread problem? Probably not. Yet, because it is proven to be safe to include naloxone in the mix, experts agree that it is a good idea to use it to discourage intravenous abuse of these medications.
Unfortunately, there is little benefit to be gained by switching from Suboxone to ZubSolv, other than possibly a better tasting medication. Both drugs have the same ingredients and the same side effect profile. ZubSolv has a minty flavor and less of an aftertaste.
The other advantages claimed by Orexo, the manufacturer of ZubSolv, is that it dissolves quickly under the tongue and it is available in more strengths than Suboxone.
What if I cannot lower my Suboxone or ZubSolv dosage?
While your doctor may suggest lowering your dosage, what if you are functioning optimally on your current dosage? What if you are willing to put up with a little flushing and sweating to get the benefits of a clear head without brain fog and more energy to get through the day?
If you are happy with your current state of functioning optimally without drug cravings or withdrawal sickness, you may be hesitant to agree to a lower dosage. Will your doctor have other alternatives to offer?
Interestingly, there are some other ways to address excessive sweating caused by Suboxone or ZubSolv. If your doctor is not aware of these other options, it may be worth asking that they do some research and discuss what might work best for you in a followup visit.
Can Black Cohosh Root help to reduce Suboxone sweating or ZubSolv sweating?
Black cohosh, also known as fairy candle, black snakeroot, or black bugbane, is a plant that can be found along the eastern regions of North America, in both Canada and the US. Native Americans were known to use this flowering plant for medicinal uses.
It is possible to buy capsules containing Black Cohosh Root extract from the grocery store, health food store, or even on Amazon. But, can black cohosh help with Suboxone sweating? Will black cohosh root extract capsules reduce or eliminate ZubSolv sweats?
Some patients swear by the effectiveness of black cohosh supplements. In addition to buprenorphine-related sweating, the supplement is used for hot flashes related to menopause.
There is little, if any, scientific evidence of the effectiveness of black cohosh root in treating any health-related condition. On Amazon, most reviewers were very happy with the product, while some stated it was a waste of money.
One Amazon reviewer suggested a product named i-cool, available at Walmart, as a superior alternative to black cohosh. Will i-cool help with Suboxone sweats? I have not heard any reports of patients using it for this purpose.
Are products such as black cohosh root extract or i-cool safe?
These products appear to contain natural products that are not likely to produce any serious reactions or drug interactions. However, with any supplement, it is critically important to discuss it with your doctor before taking it.
While supplements that contain plant products, fish oils, or other natural substances are not classified as drugs and not regulated by the FDA, they can potentially have drug-like effects and side effects. Always speak with your doctor before starting any vitamin or nutritional supplement.
What about Nutridone? Can that help to reduce sweating from Suboxone and similar meds?
Nutridone is a nutritional supplement that is apparently sold at some methadone clinics. It is also available on Amazon and probably in stores. The description promotes the product as having no iron, making it “appropriate” for methadone patients who suffer from hepatitis C.
Nutridone also has added milk thistle, which is believed to cleanse or detox the liver. It also has added Vitamin D-3. Otherwise, it is a standard vitamin supplement with a variety of recommended vitamins and minerals and some amino acids.
A similar product, also available on Amazon, is Vitadone, which is also a multivitamin. Vitadone claims to promote regularity, reduce sugar cravings, and it claims to support people with a history of opioid addiction.
Of course, multivitamins are a good idea, though you might find that a standard product, such as Centrum Silver, is more affordable and also contains the necessary vitamins and minerals.
Does cinnamon help to reduce Suboxone sweats or ZubSolv sweats?
I have seen some mention in various forums where people claim that cinnamon supplement capsules are helpful in reducing buprenorphine-related sweating. There are also claims regarding cinnamon helping with sweats from methadone and other opioids.
Cinnamon in excess may not be healthy and might also cause serious problems. There have been reports of breathing problems, liver damage, an increased risk of cancer, mouth sores, low blood sugar, and possibly interactions with prescription medications.
Definitely, as with any supplement, speak to your doctor before considering a cinnamon supplement.
What about antiperspirants? Can these products help?
Some patients claim that they have been able to manage the side effect of sweating by using antiperspirants. One brand that has been mentioned is named Carpe, or MyCarpe. This antiperspirant product claims that it can be used on various regions of the body and not just underarms.
While this product was created in collaboration with dermatologists and utilizes natural ingredients, you should be careful in using antiperspirants. Antiperspirants typically block pores, preventing healthy perspiration and possibly causing rashes and even skin infections.
Is ditropan a medication that can help with opioid-induced sweating?
Ditropan, also known by the generic name, oxybutynin, is an anticholinergic drug typically prescribed for problems with having an overactive bladder. Ditropan is also known to help with hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating.
It may be worth bringing this up to your doctor. Ask your doctor if ditropan, or oxybutynin, might help to reduce your sweating. Of course, as a prescription medication, ditropan has its own set of possible side effects.
Some side effects of ditropan include dizziness, dry mouth, drowsiness, nausea, headache, weakness, and dry eyes. Using ditropan to treat a side effect of Suboxone or ZubSolv is sort of like releasing cats into the wild to reduce a rat problem. While you may have less rats, now you have a cat problem.
Can clonidine help to reduce the sweating side effect of buprenorphine drugs?
If you have been addicted to opioids and you have seen a doctor for treatment, you are possibly familiar with the prescription medication, clonidine. Clonidine is an old blood pressure medication which is sometimes prescribed for people with hypertension, or high blood pressure, when nothing else works.
The reason that clonidine is not a preferred, first line treatment for high blood pressure is that it has a long list of unpleasant side effects. Clonidine can cause anxiety, dry skin, confusion, depression, sleepiness, and reduced urine output.
You may be familiar with clonidine because it is also used to reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms. Because of its effects in reducing the tone of the sympathetic nervous system, taking clonidine can make opioid withdrawal more tolerable.
Clonidine is helpful during the induction period of starting Suboxone therapy.
It is especially helpful in getting patients through the transition from when they stop taking opioids until they are able to start buprenorphine. This is known as the induction period, which can be difficult for some patients.
It is especially difficult when the patient has been using street fentanyl, which tends to stay in their system for a long time, possibly causing precipitated withdrawal, meaning that taking buprenorphine leads to worsening withdrawal symptoms. Clonidine, and other “comfort meds” can make all the difference in helping patients to get through the induction period and safely on to Suboxone, ZubSolv, Subutex, or Bunavail.
However, clonidine may not be the best choice to help with Suboxone-caused sweating. The problem, as with Ditropan, is that clonidine itself has many side effects. Still, it is worth bringing it up with your doctor to see if it is a viable option for you.
Would it help to switch from Suboxone or ZubSolv to the monthly Sublocade shot?
Sublocade is a monthly subcutaneous buprenorphine injection that can replace taking daily Suboxone or ZubSolv. It is an effective alternative with the benefit of the patient not having to worry about taking something every day. Also, the doctor has fewer concerns about any patient diverting (selling or giving away) their medication.
Another monthly injection that is similar to Sublocade is Brixadi. Currently, due to a patent dispute with Indivior, the company that manufactures Suboxone and Sublocade, Brixadi has been blocked from release in the US.
Will switching to Sublocade help with sweating and other side effects caused by buprenorphine? Since Sublocade forms a solid structure under the skin that releases the equivalent buprenorphine of Suboxone 16 mg daily, it is unlikely that your side effects from Suboxone or ZubSolv will go away by switching.
One downside of Sublocade is that once you get the injection, the medication is in your system for the entire month, or longer. This means that if you have side effects, there is no easy option to reduce the dosage. To stop treatment mid-month, the medication would have to be removed surgically.
Sublocade’s advantages do not include less side effects compared to sublingual buprenorphine. As stated, the main benefit of Sublocade is not having to take daily medication.
Should I not take Suboxone or ZubSolv because it makes me sweat?
Opioid addiction is a serious and life-threatening condition. The success rate of quitting and staying off opioids long-term without medical treatment is fairly low. Even months of residential rehab, while helpful, do not have the success rate of a long-term medication-assisted treatment program with medications such as Suboxone or ZubSolv.
Because of the success of these medications in treating opioid addiction and saving lives, it may be worth putting up with a side effect such as flushing and sweating. As we have discussed, there are a variety of options that may help with the side effect that you can bring up with your Suboxone doctor.
The conversation about dealing with the Suboxone sweating side effect is ideal for a telemedicine or telehealth medical visit or video consultation with a concierge Suboxone doctor. Why take the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in a busy doctor’s office waiting room when you simply want to have a discussion about your health and medication side effects?
Many Suboxone patients agree that, even though excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, is a frustrating and annoying side effect, it is far better than the alternative of risking opioid relapse. Buprenorphine-based medications are highly effective in helping people return to full functioning, so they can continue with their work and with regular family life without having to worry as much about opioid cravings or withdrawal symptoms.