We currently have a dire public health crisis in the U.S., as the opioid epidemic has reached catastrophic proportions. An estimated 55,000 people in the U.S. die each year from a drug overdose, and 60% of these deaths are caused by opioids. The jump in fatalities over the past 15 years has been staggering, a more than 3-fold increase.
How Does Buprenorphine Work?
Buprenorphine is used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help people reduce or quit their use of opiates, according to the National Alliance of Advocates
for Buprenorphine Treatment (NAABT). The drug is designed to work by:
- Lowering the potential for misuse
- Diminishing the effects of physical dependence to opioids, such as withdrawal symptoms and cravings
- Increasing safety in cases of overdose
Buprenorphine belongs to a class of drugs called, mixed opioid agonist-antagonists. The drug is administered in tablet or sublingual form (stips under the tongue).
Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist whose job is to administer small opioid doses to a person who is addicted to a stronger opioid. The drug provides a way for a patient to be weaned off their pre-existing addiction while minimizing opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Buprenorphine Side Effects
Unfortunately, buprenorphine use comes with many side effects.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that Suboxone was the “primary drug” in 420 reported deaths since 2003. Many users of buprenorphine have reported tooth loss, addiction and a variety of other side effects.
- Stomach/abdominal pain
- Breathing problems
- Fast/irregular heartbeat
- Mental/mood problems (agitation, confusion, hallucinations)
- Liver disease/damage
- Allergic reaction
- Tooth loss
*This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Which Products Contain Buprenorphine?
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the following buprenorphine products:
- Bunavail, Belbuca (buprenorphine and naloxone) buccal film or tablet
- Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) oral/sublingual (given under the tongue) / Brand Names: Bunavail, Suboxone, Zubsolv
- Zubsolv (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual tablets
- Subutex (buprenorphine) oral/sublingual (given under the tongue)
- Probuphine (buprenorphine) implant
- Buprenex / Sublocade (buprenorphine) injection
- Butrans (buprenorphine) transdermal/skin patch
- Buprenorphine-containing transmucosal products for opioid dependency
Buprenorphine Overdose Symptoms
- Confusion / delirium
- Beady eyes/small pupils
- Extreme sleepiness/inability to “wake up”
- Loss of consciousness
- Breathing problems (slowed, irregular breathing or no breathing at all)
- Slow or erratic pulse
- Respiratory arrest (absence of breathing)
- Cold, clammy skin, or bluish skin around the lips or under the fingernails (jaundice)
Buprenorphine Addiction Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of addiction can be psychological, behavioral and physical. The first sign of buprenorphine addiction is not being able to stop using it. Other symptoms may include:
- poor coordination
- shallow or slow breathing rate
- nausea, vomiting
- physical agitation
- poor decision making
- abandoning responsibilities
- slurred speech
- sleeping more or less than normal
- mood swings
- euphoria (feeling high)
- lowered motivation
- anxiety attacks
This is What Happens to Your Brain on Opioids: National Geographic Video
Why Our Firm is Filing Individual Buprenorphine Suits Instead of a Class Action Lawsuits
Although we are one of the Nation’s leading class action firms, Schmidt & Clark, LLP, has decided not to file such a claim in the buprenorphine litigation and is currently only entering individual claims on behalf of parties. We chose this course because it has been our experience that opioid class action lawsuits often result in higher attorney fees and lower overall payouts to our clients.
If you or a loved one became addicted to buprenorphine or suffered an accidental overdose or another injury after taking the opioid, you may be entitled to compensation by filing a buprenorphine lawsuit and our lawyers can help.
Do I Have a Buprenorphine Class Action Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in buprenorphine lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you have been victimized by Big Pharma, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and we can help.