Mental Health  |  OST Drug Issues Pathway - Side Effects of buprenorphine/naloxone

Mental Health

OST Drug Issues Pathway - Side Effects of buprenorphine/naloxone

Very common (reported in at least 10% of patients)

  • Headache, withdrawal syndrome (usually during induction phase of treatment)
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Increased perspiration.

Common (reported in at least 1% of patients)

  • Chills/ 'flu'-type symptoms
  • Peripheral oedema
  • Tiredness/ malaise
  • Parasthesia
  • Reduced appetite/ weight loss
  • Somnolence
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abnormal liver function
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Depression/ increased anxiety
  • Diarrhoea
  • Cough/ pharyngitis/ rhinitis
  • Hypertension
  • Rash/ pruritus/ urticaria
  • Vasodilation
  • Lacrimation disorder
  • Reduced libido
  • Amblyopia
  • Impotence
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Leg cramps/ myalgia/ back pain/ chest pain/ general pain
  • Dental caries

Many of these symptoms will resolve within a few days of commencing treatment. Other, more long term concerns may be managed by changes in behaviour and lifestyle, eg the increased incidence of dental caries can be managed by improved oral hygiene, dental visits and dietary changes.

*See Section 6.2 Managing Side Effects page 44 and Appendix 4 Side Effects page 101 of " New Zealand Practice Guidelines for Opioid Substitution Treatment 2014"


Last updated : Thursday, January 09, 2020
Next review date : Friday, January 08,2021

Disclaimer: This site is intended to be flexible and frequently updated. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, all information should be verified.