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Does suboxone CAUSE anxiety attacks??
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Does suboxone CAUSE anxiety attacks??

I started taking Suboxone in mid July 09. I am 36 yrs. old and I have NEVER suffered from anxiety/panic attacks.
At the end of Aug. I experienced what I was later told was my first anxiety attack. It was the most awful thing I have ever experienced. I thought I was dying or losing my mind. I could not breath, had the cold sweats, shakes, couldn't think correctly, etc. I have experienced 1 more since then that was so bad it landed me in the ER. (And wow - when you tell a health care worker you take suboxone you immediately start to get treated like crap by health care workers). I went to see MY Dr. after the horrible ER trip and I was prescribed xanax to take when I feel one may be coming on. I do not like xanax and take a half of a 1 mg. when I feel like one may be coming on. (I have had approx. 5 total anxiety attacks - 2 REALLY bad ones). What I am wondering is.....could the Suboxone be causing me to have these attacks??? I have always been a fairly laid back, mellow person. I have now developed a phobia of these attacks. I get very scared when I think I am feeling the symptoms of one coming on. I asked my Dr. if the suboxone could be playing a part in this and I was told no...she did not think so. (I do have a lot of outside issues causing me a great deal of stress too) but throughout my life I have dealt with very stressful situations without anxiety attacks. I do not want to take the suboxone anymore. I do feel it is playing a part in these attacks.
Would anyone please share with me it they too have also had this side effect from taking suboxone?

I've been feeling very alone about this. I have a few friends that suffer from anxiety attacks...but none of them take suboxone.

Thanks Everyone and good luck to all of us trying to stay clean!!
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Avatar_m_tn
Suboxone does cause extreme cases of panic attacks. Trust me my doc told me it wasnt the subs. But i never had a panic attack in my life till subs. And whene i quit the subs they went away. Oh and sub w/ds are way worse then regulaur w/ds its pretty much as bad as heroin. I thought i was goin to die man.
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480448_tn?1403547723
Pretty much anything can cause anxiety or panic attacks, and everyone is different.  Suboxone generally speaking doesn't cause too many issue for the chronic user, however, if you have taken them long enough, any change in your dosing schedule can cause problems, because, like rawwwr said above, Suboxone causes a VERY severe withdrawal for most people trying to discontinue them.  Therefore, it is entirely possible that the Suboxone contributed to the panic attacks the first time.

Problem with anxiety and panic is that they cause a cycle of anxiety.  Once you've experienced something like a panic attack.....you become terrified of the thought that you would ever have to endure those kind of feelings again.  There, the cycle begins.  You start to worry about having another attack, then you start worrying about worrying about an attack, and so on and so forth.  See how something like that can easily spiral out of control?

Therefore, WAY more important than figuring out what exactly CAUSED the intitial attack, it is more important to address the anxiety and figure out ways that will work for YOU to keep it at bay.  Obviously, it goes without saying that with a history of addiction, you must be careful with something like Xanax.  A med like that really is better suited as a temporary course of treatment anyway, due to the tolerance and dependence issues.  My advice to you would be to speak with your doc about trying an antidepressant, and if need be, therapy.  Talk therapy (or "CBT", cognitive behavoiral therapy) is paramount for anxiety sufferers, b/c not only does it allow you to "vent" about these very frightening feelings, but also, it teaches you TOOLS for coping with a panic attack when it strikes.  This is all new for you, and I sincerely hope very short lived for your sake.  But, it wouldn't hurt I don't think...for you to explore the idea of therapy anyway, struggling with recovery....it has obvious benefits for you on top of any new anxiety issues you're dealing with.

Please let us know how you're doing.  You'll find a lot of support and information here.  Also, if you haven't already, check out our "Addiction" foums here on MH.....you couldn't find a better group of people, all sharing, and all trying to help one another through recovery.

Best of luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you both for your responses.

I do think the suboxone plays a part in the anxiety attacks. I had never experienced anxiety attacks until taking this medication. I do agree though....it is about finding a solution and not focusing on the "whys". I do not want to take medication any longer. I want to stop taking the suboxone. I mentioned this to my Dr. and she said that right now might not be the best time due to some stressful situations going on. I have no fear what so ever of taking dones again...I have no desire at all. I just want to be totally off of meds all together. I am trying new meditation methods and Tai Chi to help relieve anxiety. I am VERY scared of what I am going to go through when coming off of the suboxone. Nursegirl - you summed it up perfectly when you said the "cycling and spiraling" of fear that comes with anxiety attacks....it does just that.  I am so afraid of having an attack....I almost give myself one. I do know that I want to stop taking the suboxone. I am very scared after reading posts from people that have stopped taking it. I want to taper off to try and eliminate the bad withdrawals. Please tell me....does tapering off really work? Will it help reduce the W/Ds?

Rawwrrrrr - how did you make it through the WDs? Did you taper or just cold turkey?

Thanks so much for both of your imput.
Greatly appreciated. Helps to know that I am not alone.

Thanks.
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Avatar_m_tn
i am on suboxone and have been for many months. All of a sudden i started to have panic attacks and messed up thoughts that seem to gte in the way of everyday life. I thought for a little that i was losing my mind over school and having extreme panic attacks i couldnt veen go to class or take a test. I would try to study and instantly start having an anxiety attack and breakdown and not even be able to get anything done. Sometimes i fear being alone and these problems interfered with my perosnal life andf relatrionships. Someone has left me because of this and it only made it worse. I have anxiety attacks everyday and I am wondering if it could be from the suboxone. I am only usually taking 1 mg a day. I fear that maybe i am not taking enough? i dont know but im afraid im losing y mind
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Avatar_f_tn
i have been on suboxone for years and years.  Everytime I try to get off suboxone i relapse.  Suboxone causes many different disorders.  Try and take the same amount everyday, this will help your panic attacks.  You might want to be careful when you take less suboxone, that is when your panic attacks may come.  Suboxone is suppose to help with anxiety.  Dont ask your doctor, if they dont take it, they dont know!  Suboxone has made me crazy nervous 24/7 and i have extreme OCD.  But i would rather live with these symptoms than use again.  Hope you find away to cope with yours!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there, Suboxone ABSOLUTELY can be the culprit. I've done research and there were finding from last year with 40% of women in (what I am assuming is) our age group having this problem. It's the naloxene in it. I tapered off, and was only on .50 mg/a day and was having panic problems for the first time in my life too. It took 5 days to come clear - SMALL amounts of benzos are ok, but they are a depressant, so be careful - you don't want to feel worse! You CAN do this. I'm so glad to have the poison out my system...docs don't know CR$%. I know subs work for some (all the power to them - honestly), but for me, I will I had c/t ed instead. It prolonged my problems. Good luck - you can do it!
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm suffering from the same thing with suboxone about 3 hours after I take it high blood pressure anxiety head aches terrible stuff as a matter of fact I'm at the ER now because of chest pain I think it do to suboxone
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Avatar_f_tn
I too have severe anxiety attacks or panic since I started taking Subs. Acually the same day I took the meds for the first time I got one so bad my husband took me to the hospital. I get severe migraines, constipation and its hard for me to read(I work behind a computer all day). I know that this is supposed to be a miracle drug to get off of pain pills but I just dont know anymore. I get so tired that on my way home from work I almost pass out behind the wheel of the car. I was taking 8mgs a day and now I take a 2mg and split it in to. Can anyone give me advice. I was getting klonopin from my subs doctor but now he tells me he is not a shrink and that maybe I have other issues. I have stopped taking subs for a couple of months and I relasped but I didnt have any type of panic or anxiety attacks anymore. So, I just dont know what to do anymore.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have started having the exact same symptoms you are describing. I started taking suboxone to help me get off tramadol. I have been taking the drug for about 3.5 months. It has caused edema in my legs and just recently I have had the same types of panic attacks. I'm a born again Christian and believe that the drug is opening my conscience up to allow me to be spiritually attacked. I could be wrong and please don't think that I'm trying to preach at you. The most important thing is that I did not have this problem before I started taking this medication and now I do, and from the looks of all these comments allot of other people also have this same problem that they did'nt have before they started taking the medicine. My original dosage was 8mg/2mg twice aday. I have tappered off to 8mg 2mg once a day, but I split it in half and take it in the morning, and then in the afternoon. I will keep you in my prayers and give you and update in a few weeks.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well I'm relieved in a way to know I'm not the only one! I abused pain pills for 5 yrs and then 2 months ago I got on Suboxone. At first I was so happy that finally there was something to help me. Well about 2 weeks after first starting to take it I started having dreams that I died in a car crash every night. Then 4 days later I suffered my first anxiety attack. I truly thought I was going to die. My chest hurt so bad I thought I was having a heart attack and I'm 25. My husband had to call an ambulance and I was in the er all nite. Once I knew I had an anxiety attack I was shocked. Well the next morning I felt fine so I thought that hopefully I wouldn't get another one and what do you know since my first anxiety attack I had at least 5. I was in the hospital several times and my husband was starting to believe I was losing my mind. Last week I figured it out. I've never felt so not me or this scared of death nor had I ever had anxiety attacks, chest pain or depression. The Suboxone was the problem.. And as soon as I quit taking it I started feeling better. Its been 5 days now and I still have some chest pain but no more anxiety attacks. I'm praying the chest pain stops soon. Thanks to all of you for writing down your expierences cause this has made me feel a bit normal again! God Bless!!
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Avatar_m_tn
i need help bad to get off pain med i live in newark nj  but having trouble because  i have trouble walking and such any  help out thereb bplease
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello Everyone,

I have been on Suboxone for 6-7 years and started with about 16mg. a day and now down to about 6-8 mg. a day. Suboxone is truly a miracle helper. It got me off heroin and pills. Now that I have read all these posts due to having some sort of panic attack myself for the first time in 6-7 years, I don't know if it is a miracle or nightmare. Im very laid back, never had any anxiety problems, Im a paramedic and have just as much or more stress than the next guy. I keep things in and it does build up, but never to a panic attack. The last few months I tapered down even more to about 2-4mg. a day and about two days ago had my first attack. Text book s/s with feeling of doom, rush through body, no pain but heavy chest and bloated stomach like air getting trapped in abdominal area, sweats and cold, sudden rapid heart rate and increased blood pressure, dry mouth. So I stepped outside walked around drank sips of water and yelled to my wife for help. Scariest thing ever. Though I would never see my wife, 3 year old, and new baby due on X-Mas. The extreme episode lasted about 1-2 minutes and had about 5-6 of those, but whole weird feeling lasted about 6 hours after I finally got driven to the ER. Like I said, Im a paramedic and would never go to the ER unless I thought I was dying. Like other posts I have read, the ER people looked down on me and got bad treatment once I said I was on Suboxone. They ran ECG, blood work, full nine yards and found nothing. So I was thinking maybe dehydration cause the water and walking around seemed to help it (I think I was just not thinking about it when I was walking and drinking water). Anyway, got sent home went to work with no sleep due to being in ER until 0500 and went to work. Had no problems that day ate dinner played with kid, watch some TV and went to bed. Nothing! Woke up next day went to work and went to our weekly management meeting. I ate a muffin and all of sudden about 5 minutes later I felt a rush of doom go through my body, scared me to death, then pulse jumped up to easily over 100 while sitting down. I excused myself and walked outside, then it all hit me at once for about 1-2 minutes, coming and going, about 5-6 times. Once again, for some reason, walking around and sipping water causes me to get a little better. Maybe helping because helps me not think about it, no sure. Had to have my boss drive me to ER again. Went to the same hospital but different city location. Once again, same stuff described, same bad treatment from nurses, especially when I said I already was seen and the whole Suboxone. She didn’t care that I too was in the medical field and have been clean of everything for over 10 years. The MD started the tests again and from the beginning stated anxiety or panic attack. I though he was crazy. For the heck of it I started to slow down and concentrate breathing, talk to wife about anything so I didn’t think about it, this seemed to help a little. (Had to do something because they took my water away…no water while in ER…lol) I thought this time maybe it was triggered from food and something wrong with my stomach area due to the bloating, gassy, which turned into my other s/s I described earlier. I still didn’t have a diagnosis and the previous ER visit had nothing for me because all s/s subsided prior to even getting seen due to the ER eing slower than the DMV. All tests negative and he gave me an Ativan. I was hesitant because it’s just another drug I may get addicted to. I took the Ativan and it helped take away all s/s within minutes of it kicking in. He gave me an RX and told me to follow up with my Suboxone MD. Now I feel like I wussy…lol. I will look differently towards my patients now when I’m working as a paramedic. It was crazy cause I had no control, but nothing triggered it. I do have lots of stressors in my life, but who doesn’t. After reading all of your posts and other blogs, seems like this might be accurate. I feel relieved that I may not be dying, but at same time feel like a joke of everyone. Not sure if I want to take additional Ativan, I’m going to talk to my Suboxone MD for further info and instructions. Could this be caused from the Suboxone or tapering off a little? Not sure, but the whole bloating, gassy feeling after I eat all the time makes me now think it’s going to trigger again. Exactly what the last article I read said…lol. Thanks for everyone’s post, it was helpful.
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Avatar_f_tn
I took suboxone about 10 years ago for a year, went off due to financial reasons (no generic back then). Saw people in re-hab for ( work as health care professional) Sub addiction, suffer horrible w/d's. If you have been Sub on that long, you might up your dose to what it was before your anxiey attacks, and taper VERY gradually. I'm not giving you personal advice. Just sharing what I have seen with patients and my own experience. Some people went down 1/2- 1 mg  weekly, until they were at 1/4 mg. They then took non-addictive (non benzodiapine) anti-anxiety meds to come off. They had the easiet tapering. You have been on a long time and it may take many months to taper that slowly. But, iif you want to be able to be functional and healthy consider tapering as gradually as possable. Shock your body as little as possable. Sub is an opiate-blocker but is also an opiate. Plus, Sub is pure chemicals. The more synthetic the opiate, the harder the withdrawl (withdrawal). Herion withdrawl (withdrawal) is shorter than Norco, Vic, Lortab, Oxy or Perc withdrawl (withdrawal). The hardest/longest opiate w/d is Sub, Methadone & Fentanyl. The more synthetic the more people suffer in w/d. Our bodies have a harder time withdrawing from more synethetic opiates. Saw this working in re-hab. Herion addicts were in & out 7 days, Methadone & Sub addicts needed 30 days.  Don't know if you are taking the dose all at once, not divided. That makes a difference too. Many Dr's perscribing Sub don't have enough knowledge of it. Often shocked how some Drs perscribe Rx's for people with  little information about how it's chemical structure and how it affects the body. Good luck.
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Avatar_m_tn
I've been on suboxone for six years, no issues then reckitt and benkesser decide to stop making the pill and make the film, I hung on for as long as I could going to different pharmacies w back order of it, now it's completely out everywhere so I had to make a decision either switch to one of three generic brands, or switch to the film, since the film is made by the same people as the tablet , I decided the film, I've began taking it, the first day was fine, no issues, no euphoric feeling either, the pills gave me a small euphoric feeling for about an hour after dosing, wich I liked . But that's fine, whatever asking as there's no w/ds but the next day after my morning dose I fell asleep and must've swallowed some I didn't think it would be an issue, but I had a severe panic attack, and have been having them almost every day to every other day been on the strips a week and a few days now, and today every time I take a dose I get extreme anxiety that lasts for a few hours, now I don't wanna take anything, but am worried about withdrawals, my question to anyone with knowledge of this is what did you do, what should I do? Should I try a generic w the best reviews? Or rough it out, this ***** because I had no issues with the pill now im forced with this issue and I'm afraid any advice would be very appreciated thanks
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480448_tn?1403547723
If I may ask, what was your aversion to switching to the films?  They actually are much more effective in the way they are absorbed.  The pills didn't have an evenly distributed amount of the medication, which could end up being a problem if someone was splitting them into smaller pieces.  The films contain a more even distributed amount of the medications.


I'll be honest with you, it sounds very much like this is an anxiety reaction, conditioning if you will.  For starters, you were so worried about switching, so that was in your mind, and then, you became a little concerned after you swallowed the film (which isn't going to harm you in any way, a good deal of the medication can end up being swallowed at times).

Now, you're experiencing anxiety with each dose, which makes me suspicious that it's an anxious reaction, your mind is contributing the anxious feeling to taking that film, so each time you do, it's kind of a self fulfilled prophecy that you feel anxious, you know?

By all means, talk with your sub doctor, but it genuinely sounds like more of a psychological reaction to me.
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Avatar_m_tn
greetings friends, I started suboxone at 16 mg induction in july and was told to take another 16 that night.  extreme sickness and nauseousness.  i immediately reduced myself down to 6 mg a day and was told that my doc would drop me as a patient if i did not stay with his co-dependency model of treatment.  F*^k that! I fired him and went back to my doctor in Loveland even though it was an hour drive.  I finally jumped off last week after 7 months of this program at my docs prompting.  The anxiety was extreme at times and intense.  I believe suboxone is the culprit and i used valium to counter it but there are natural alternatives to buffer with the valuim.  please know that you do not have to be on this drug for years and any doctor who desires to keep you in this program for longer than a year is just continuing the cash cow that you have become for him.  So right now i am feeling a little anxious in week 2 of no suboxone and realize this will take a couple of more weeks for my body to purge.  Eat well, breath deeply, and know that you are worthy of the beauty and mystery that lies ahead for you, you can do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I have been off Suboxone  for two months and still feel horrible. I was having horrible anxiety that I never had until I took Suboxone. Trying to talk about that to the people who were perscibing it I got eye rolls and was told that it was my situation and I have probably had anxiety my whole life and thats why I was self medicating. Well I found a little piece the other day and after I took it my anxiety came back ten fold. I have been on methadone before and never experienced anything like the anxiety I had on Suboxone.  Im not staying its not good for some people but if you are experiencing a high level of anxiety on it you are not alone. And the longer you are on it the worse it will get.  I have yet to talk to anyone who has been able to come off of it without going back to methadone or their drug of choice. I will say if you are going to see a perscriber ask them if they know how to come off of it comfortably.  I was never given a straight answer.  There are some good docs out there just not the ones I have had.
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Avatar_m_tn
Btw. If anyone is thinking of going to the obic clinic in San Francisco for suboxone be aware the lowest milligram they taper to is 4. So you are expexted to kick when you are on 4 milligram a day.
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