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Fentanyl Withdrawal Management

Low-Dose Buprenorphine Induction:
A Microdosing Approach to Fentanyl Withdrawal Management

Fentanyl Addiction: A Major Health Crisis

Fentanyl addiction has become the top cause of death for Americans aged 18-45, taking a life every five minutes and harming individuals, families, and communities across the country. Quitting fentanyl may feel incredibly hard due to the symptoms of withdrawal, such as pain, anxiety, nausea and strong cravings. Many are scared to seek treatment because they fear the discomfort of withdrawal.

Thankfully, there’s a method called low-dose buprenorphine induction – or microdosing – that can help. It gently reduces the symptoms of withdrawal, making it easier for people to start and stay on their path to recovery with medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

Begin your recovery journey today.

What is Low-Dose Buprenorphine Induction?

Low-dose buprenorphine induction, also known as microdosing, is a careful and gentle way to begin treatment, making the move away from fentanyl smoother. Low-dose induction means:

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Microdosing

This method involves starting with very small doses of the medication buprenorphine.

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Gradual Increase

The dose is slowly increased over 24-48 hours, letting the body adjust gradually.

Fentanyl withdrawal patient and doctor talking

How Low-Dose Buprenorphine Works for Fentanyl Withdrawal

Buprenorphine is crucial in easing withdrawal and smoothly transitioning to MAT. Here’s how it works:

  • Partial Opioid Agonist: This means that buprenorphine connects to the brain’s receptors, similar to opioids, but in a milder way. Buprenorphine is the generic name for the medication. Other names you may see for this medication are (Bupe, Brixadi, Zubsolv)
  • Prevents Withdrawal Symptoms: Starting with small doses, buprenorphine helps reduce the withdrawal symptoms that may happen when moving from fentanyl to buprenorphine.
  • Reduces Cravings: Buprenorphine helps lower the craving for opioids, supporting a move away from addiction.
  • Safer Transition: A slow increase in the dose of buprenorphine assists a smoother and safer change to full medication-assisted treatment, reducing the risk of sudden withdrawal.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment: After the initial phase, buprenorphine or other medicines may be used in the long-term to continue supporting recovery.

The Process of Low-Dose Buprenorphine Induction

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Initial Assessment

You will start with a complete check-up by a healthcare professional to see if microdosing is a good fit.

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Patient Education

Our team will teach you about the treatment, what to expect and how important it is to stick to the plan.

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Starting Dose

You begin with a very small dose of buprenorphine, much lower than what’s usually used to start treatment.

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Gradual Increase

Over 24-48 hours, we will raise the dose of buprenorphine, adjusting it based on how you respond.

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Monitoring Response

Your care team checks in with you to keep a close eye on signs of withdrawal, cravings or any negative reactions, offering help and making changes as needed.

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Reaching Maintenance Dose

Together, we find an individualized dose that helps avoid withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

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Continued Support and Therapy

We work with you on a long-term plan for sustainable recovery, which may include medication alongside counseling and other support.

Man smiling in addiction treatment

Benefits of Microdosing

There are several advantages to starting fentanyl addiction treatment with microdosing:

Man in addiction treatment program smiling

Reduced Withdrawal Severity

This method eases the sometimes challenging withdrawal symptoms.

Lower Risk of Sudden Withdrawal

Starting buprenorphine at a lower dose may lessen the chance of sudden withdrawal.

Earlier Treatment

This approach helps you begin treatment without having to go through full opioid detoxification first.

More Comfort

A gradual increase in the dose may make treatment more comfortable and may lead to better commitment to your treatment plan.

Flexibility in Treatment

This method offers another option for starting treatment, especially helpful if you’re not able to go through a medically monitored detox before starting MAT.

The Importance of a Comprehensive Treatment Plan

While microdosing plays an important role in treating fentanyl addiction, its effectiveness increases when it’s part of a complete treatment plan.

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Integrated Approach

Effective treatment combines medicine with counseling and behavioral therapies.

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Customized to Each Patient

Every treatment plan is made to fit the individual needs and situations of each patient.

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Ongoing Support

Regular support and check-ups are crucial for a successful recovery and preventing a return to addiction.

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Team Effort

Doctors and other addiction medicine professionals, along counselors and support staff, all work together to make the treatment successful.

Frequently Asked Questions about Low-Dose Buprenorphine Induction for Fentanyl Addiction

What is low-dose buprenorphine induction for fentanyl addiction?

Low-dose buprenorphine induction, also known as microdosing, is a method of starting buprenorphine treatment at very low doses. This approach is used specifically for individuals addicted to fentanyl, to minimize withdrawal symptoms and make the transition to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) smoother.

Why is microdosing important for fentanyl addiction treatment?

Fentanyl addiction often leads to intense withdrawal symptoms. Microdosing helps in managing these symptoms more effectively, reducing the fear and discomfort associated with withdrawal, and improving the likelihood that our patients will maintain recovery.

Are additional comfort medications provided during low-dose buprenorphine induction?

Patients may receive additional comfort medications, but this is determined on a case-by-case basis. These medications are used to manage symptoms under careful medical supervision as part of the overall treatment plan.

How long does the low-dose buprenorphine induction process take?

The duration varies depending on individual response, but it typically takes several days to a few weeks to reach a stable maintenance dose.

How does microdosing differ from traditional buprenorphine induction?

Unlike traditional methods where higher initial doses are used, microdosing starts with very small doses and gradually increases them. This is especially important for fentanyl addiction due to fentanyl’s high potency and the severe withdrawal symptoms associated with it.

What are the benefits of low-dose buprenorphine induction?

The main benefits include a lower risk of sudden withdrawal, less severe withdrawal symptoms and a more comfortable transition to long-term MAT.

Are there risks associated with microdosing for fentanyl addiction?

While microdosing is generally safe, it requires close medical supervision to adjust dosages appropriately and monitor for any adverse reactions. The process also takes longer than traditional methods, requiring commitment from the patient.

Can low-dose buprenorphine induction be used for all opioid addictions?

While it’s particularly beneficial for fentanyl addiction due to fentanyl’s high potency, it can be adapted for other opioid addictions, especially where traditional treatment methods have been challenging or unsuccessful.

If you’re struggling with fentanyl addiction,
reach out today (833) 505-4673 to start your treatment journey.