Side Effects

Side EffectsSide effects of buprenorphine are few and well tolerated by most patients; they are usually most troublesome during the buprenorphine induction period. The most commonly reported side effects in order of prevalence include:

  • Headaches
  • Withdrawal syndrome
  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating

Independent clinical trials of buprenorphine have reported many of these same side effects. Other possible side effects include the following:

  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Mood disturbances

(Lintzeris et al., 2001)

Side effects that cause discomfort to the patient should be treated symptomatically or, in the long-term, treated by the following:

  • Lowering the dose of buprenorphine
  • Giving the patient time to become slightly tolerant to the medication
  • Making lifestyle changes (such as increased dietary fiber for constipation)

(Lintzeris et al., 2001)

View ReferencesHide References
Wiegand T, Simone K, Wall M. Toxicity, Buprenorphine/Naloxone. Medscape. 2010. Available at:
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This form provides a list of possible symptoms that a patient may have during buprenorphine treatment, possible causes, and recommended management of the symptoms.
Colleen LaBelle, RN/Boston Medical Center
Physician stage in practice: