Suboxone is beneficial for the treatment of opioid addiction, because it contains buprenorphine, which acts as a partial opioid agonist and reduces cravings and withdrawal, as well as naloxone, which discourages patients from misusing the medication. While Suboxone is effective, that does not mean it is always without side effects. Before taking any medication, it is important to know and understand the side effects that come along with it. One question that people have when starting medication for opioid addiction might be, “Is Suboxone bad for your liver?”
Is Suboxone Bad For Your Liver?
Some people may worry about Suboxone liver damage when they begin taking this medication. So, does Suboxone hurt your liver? In many cases, if you are healthy and have no pre-existing liver conditions, Suboxone is unlikely to harm your liver.
In fact, one study evaluated the health of patients who had been taking buprenorphine, the main ingredient in Suboxone, for slightly over 2 years. Study results found that patients who had hepatitis C experienced elevated levels of liver enzymes, which could suggest liver damage, after taking Suboxone. However, levels were elevated only slightly and were not medically significant. Study authors concluded that Suboxone is safe for long-term use and has a low risk of causing liver damage.
While it seems that Suboxone is generally safe and does not result in opiate liver damage for most people, there is a possibility that some people may be at increased risk of Suboxone and liver damage. For example, there have been cases of patients experiencing liver injury after taking buprenorphine. Most instances of liver injury have occurred in patients who have misused buprenorphine or injected it, rather than taking it as prescribed.
The good news about Suboxone is that it contains the active ingredient buprenorphine, in combination with naloxone, which discourages patients from misusing the medication. This also reduces the likelihood of patients injecting buprenorphine or misusing it in some way that results in Suboxone liver damage.
Suboxone and Hepatitis C
Suboxone liver damage is rare among those without pre-existing liver conditions, but some people may be at increased risk of liver problems with Suboxone, including people with hepatitis C. Researchers have determined that while buprenorphine may result in increased liver enzyme levels for those with hepatitis C, the increases are mild and medically insignificant. These researchers recommended that patients taking buprenorphine should be monitored with occasional liver functioning tests if they have risk factors for liver damage, such as history of alcoholism, intravenous drug use, or other existing liver conditions.
In summary, Suboxone and liver damage is rare in healthy individuals who use the medication as prescribed and do not have pre-existing liver conditions. For those with hepatitis C or other liver conditions, it is important to consult with a doctor about the safety of taking Suboxone. You may be able to safely take Suboxone with a liver condition, as long as you engage in ongoing monitoring of your liver functioning through consultation with your doctor.
Does Suboxone Harm Your Kidneys?
If you’re wondering, “Is Suboxone hard on your liver?” you may also be concerned about the potential effects of Suboxone on your kidneys. Much of the research has not revealed any kidney damage with long-term buprenorphine use, and studies have also shown that buprenorphine is safe for individuals with kidney failure, as it does not accumulate in the body in high amounts among these individuals.
If you have a pre-existing kidney condition, it is important to inform your doctor of this fact and follow any recommendations when taking Suboxone.