When you decided to stop using heroin, you were nervous about withdrawal and cravings. If you went to get treatment, would they help with those concerns? Even though you had hesitations, you were ready to stop using heroin and decided to go get help.
As the doctor goes over your medical history, he asks if you are taking any medications. You tell him no, just that your substance of choice was heroin. He informs you that you will be taking Suboxone, which will help you get through withdrawal and reduce your cravings. You are relieved and are excited to start this new journey. Until the nurse who checked you in hands the doctor your medical history, and it states you are currently taking medication. You explain it is just for your allergies and that you didn’t think it was important. The doctor informs you that you can’t take both medications together and that it could have been very dangerous if you had. It’s just allergy medicine, what harm could it have done?
In 2021, 97% of fatal drug overdoses in Tennessee were caused by accidental poisoning. ReVIDA® Recovery works to provide educational tools to the public surrounding substances and treatment options. With locations throughout the Appalachian area, we are increasing the accessibility to medication-assisted treatment as well as outpatient therapy and skill-building. Today, we are looking at hydroxyzine and Suboxone, and how the two interact.
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What Is Hydroxyzine?
Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine and is primarily used for treating allergic conditions such as chronic urticaria. It is available by prescription only and comes in tablets, capsules, or liquid. Hydroxyzine can also be used for treating anxiety and managing tension. In some cases, it is used to reduce anxiety and promote sleep before a surgical procedure. Side effects are typically mild and can include dizziness, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, coughing, and chest pain.
What Is Suboxone?
Suboxone – generically known as buprenorphine – is commonly used to treat withdrawal symptoms and cravings in those with an opioid use disorder. It is an opioid agonist, meaning it binds with opioid receptors within the brain, similar to heroin and fentanyl. However, it is only a partial agonist and does not fully activate the receptors. The effects of Suboxone do not produce the same “high” as prescription or illicit opioids.
Suboxone also contains naloxone, an opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids. Naloxone is commonly given in cases of an opioid overdose. Suboxone has a ceiling effect, and taking more will not increase its effectiveness. This is due to the naloxone and is why the medication is effective for treating those with opioid addiction.
Drug Interactions Between Hydroxyzine and Suboxone
Any time you are taking more than one medication, a doctor should be involved in the process. While not recommended to be taken together, in some cases hydroxyzine and Suboxone can be used at the same time. Typically, the two will increase the level of side effects when mixed. This includes:
Most of these symptoms are manageable and do not cause too many issues. One of the most common side effects experienced is extreme drowsiness, which can cause injury from accidental falls. It is best not to drive until you know how the medications affect you.
If symptoms such as rash, fever, hives, fast heartbeat, and swelling of the eyes and face occur, seek medical attention immediately. It is possible you are allergic to one of the medications or that an adverse reaction to mixing the two is happening. Your doctor will be able to direct you on how to proceed with your medications.
Identifying Hydroxyzine and Suboxone Interactions
It can be difficult to identify if the medications are interacting or if you are just experiencing normal side effects. When taking hydroxyzine and Suboxone together, keep track of all symptoms and side effects experienced. If the symptoms stay mild and eventually go away, the medications are likely not interacting and shouldn’t cause any harm. If the symptoms progress or become severe, it is time to talk to your doctor. There are other medications for allergies, anxiety, and opioid use disorders, and your doctor will be able to recommend other options if the combination of hydroxyzine and Suboxone is causing adverse effects.
Why Would I Take Suboxone and Hydroxyzine Together?
Both Suboxone and hydroxyzine have a purpose and may be prescribed together for different reasons. For a person in recovery looking for anxiety treatment, hydroxyzine may be prescribed as an alternative to benzodiazepines. This treatment may be temporary as anxiety increases during withdrawal, or the person may stay on hydroxyzine for continued anxiety treatment. Suboxone treats opioid withdrawal symptoms and helps curb cravings. Taking Suboxone can cause increases in anxiety and depression, and adding hydroxyzine can help manage these symptoms. Both medications are only available through a prescription, and a doctor will take your history into account before prescribing or treating you.
How to Manage Hydroxyzine and Suboxone Interactions
Experiencing interactions between hydroxyzine and Suboxone can be uncomfortable and in rare cases, life-threatening. Breathing distress can lead to coma and even be fatal if not addressed by a medical professional. Sedation is another negative interaction that can cause extreme drowsiness, making it unsafe to drive. It is best to keep track of all medications you are taking and make note of any adverse effects.
When managing interactions between hydroxyzine and Suboxone, be sure to do so under a doctor’s discretion. It is not recommended to take more medications to manage symptoms as these can cause more interactions to occur. Even simple over-the-counter medications can cause more adverse interactions and create more symptoms. The best way to manage interactions is by discussing with your doctor, who may decide to change the dosage or the medications altogether.
Suboxone Treatment at ReVIDAⓇ Recovery in Tennessee
Wanting to break free from an opioid use disorder is a great first step in the right direction, but doing so can be scary. Finding a treatment program for Suboxone where you can get therapy, coping skill classes, and prescriptions for Suboxone will be the key to starting your recovery journey. Suboxone doctors are well-versed in treating addiction, and you don’t have to worry if you are taking another medication. They will work with you to make sure you are getting the treatment you need safely and comfortably.
If you or someone you love is ready to leave opioids behind, treatment is available at ReVIDA® Recovery. Our Suboxone program can help you find success in recovery and surround you with support and care. The staff at ReVIDA® Recovery are ready to help you reclaim your life today, and will always treat you with the respect you deserve. Call us today at 423-631-0432 to learn more about our program offerings.
What other food or drug interactions does hydroxyzine have?
Hydroxyzine interacts with alcohol and other central nervous system depressants. It can increase drowsiness and cause sedation-like effects. Some antipsychotics can cause irregular heart rhythm when taken with hydroxyzine. Grapefruit, grapefruit juice, and any products containing grapefruit should also be avoided while taking hydroxyzine.
What other food or drug interactions does suboxone have?
Suboxone should not be taken with alcohol, other opioids, certain antidepressants, and antifungals. Avoid grapefruit, grapefruit juice, and products containing grapefruit as they can cause interactions with Suboxone.