Complications of Intravenous Buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex) Abuse

Endophthalmitis from IV drug use















Since I started this blog, some of my readers have educated me about how frequently addicts use Suboxone and Subutex intravenously. I think some of these addicts have become blasé about the reality of complications that can occur from injecting a medication that’s not meant to be injected.

Like oral opioids, Suboxone and Subutex tablets and films aren’t sterile. Bacteria live everywhere, including inside an on oral medication. Since the medication is meant to be taken by mouth, these bacteria don’t harm the user when swallowed or used sublingually as intended. But when injected, these bacteria have the potential to cause catastrophic illness, depending on the nature of the bacteria.

Skin and bloodstream infections, endocarditis

Most commonly, we see cellulitis, a soft tissue infection, around the site of the injection. Sometimes the infection walls off and forms an abscess that usually must be drained. The infection can spread to the walls of the vein, causing angiitis. These infections can spread to the rest of the body, and can lodge in special areas that cause big problems. For example, endocarditis, an infection of one of the heart valves, occurs more commonly in IV drug users. It’s difficult to treat endocarditis, and requires lengthy antibiotic treatments. Sometimes this infection can destroy the heart valve and the patient may require surgical replacement of the valve. People can die from this serious infection.

Some of Singapore’s large population of intravenous heroin users switched to buprenorphine when it became available, but with that availability came an increase in complications from addicts who injected buprenorphine rather than use it as intended.

Researchers studied a series of one-hundred and thirty intravenous buprenorphine addicts that came to a Singapore hospital for treatment for infections. Of those, 31% had cellulitis. In nearly half of those patients, skin and blood cultures were positive for bacteria, most for Staph aureus. Twenty-four percent of the patients with skin infections eventually required surgical procedures, and the average length of stay in the hospital was eight days. (1)

A different study, also done in Singapore, looked at twelve consecutive patients admitted to the hospital with infective endocarditis from using buprenorphine intravenously. Eleven of the twelve patients had Staph aureus in their bloodstream, and five of them died. The average length of stay was 48 days, and multiple medical complications were noted. Three patients required open heart surgery. (2)

Fungal Endophthalmitis

Bacteria aren’t the only unwelcome travelers hitching a ride on a buprenorphine tablet. Fungal endophthalmitis is rare in people who have not had eye surgery, yet it is seen in intravenous addicts in general, and now specifically in addicts injecting sublingual tablets. At least four cases of endophthalmitis in intravenous users of buprenorphine tablets occurred within a year at one Australian hospital. These serious inner eye infections developed due to a type of Candida fungus usually found in the mouth. One of the patients admitted injecting a tablet that had been in her friend’s mouth for a short time, prior to diversion of the tablet to the patient. The oral candida species likely contaminated the buprenorphine tablet through this method.

In the 1980’s, a series of cases of candida endophthalmitis was seen in users of brown heroin. At that time, scientists thought the Candida came from lemon juice used to break down the heroin for injection. However, none of these four intravenous buprenorphine abusers used lemon juice. (3)

It is possible we will see more cases of fungal infections in patients who inject buprenorphine that has partially dissolved in another person’s mouth, due to the oral contamination of the pill.

Talc Granulomatosis

Tablets meant to be taken by mouth or sublingually (under the tongue) often contain talc as a filler. Heroin is sometimes cut with talc, to make more product to sell on the street. When these substances are injected, they can cause talc granulomatosis. Many addicts don’t get regular check-ups and most are reluctant to tell doctors about their IV drug use, even during serious medical problems. This condition is likely under-recognized because on the chest X-ray, talc granulomatosis looks like other interstitial lung diseases. The talc crystals lodge in the lungs, and cause an immunologic response. This in turn causes trouble breathing, dry cough, and low oxygen levels. Respiratory failure and death can occur in the worst cases, since there are no definite effective treatments. In some studies, patients with talc granulomatosis have improved when given corticosteroids, but tend to get worse again as soon as the medication is stopped.

Tablets meant to be used under the tongue aren’t sterile and aren’t suitable to be injected. Tablets diverted from patients who partially dissolve them in their mouths may be particularly hazardous due to contamination with mouth bacteria.  Addicts who inject tablets meant for orally use risk catastrophic health problems beyond overdose.

If you are an intravenous drug user, don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re safe because you use new needles and “works” each time. New needles do reduce the risk of contracting hepatitis and HIV, but oral pills still contain substances that were never meant to be injected.

  1. Ho et al., “Cutaneous complications among i.v. buprenorphine users,” Journal of Dermatology, 2009, Jan;36(1) pp22-
  2. Chong, “Infective Endocarditis due to intravenous Subutex abuse,” Singapore Medical Journal, 2009 Jan;50(1):34-42.
  3. Alboltins et. al., letter to the editor, Medical Journal of Australia, April 18, 2005, Vol 182(8) p.427.
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59 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dbc910281927681 on August 30, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Oh my goodness! Let me tell everyone, shooting Suboxone or Subutex is a terrible idea. Shooting anything is a terrible idea, but especially Suboxone or Subutex. Even though the Subutex doesn’t have the Nalaxone, and yes, if you are stabilized on Suboxone, you likely won’t feel the Nalaxone when you shoot, you are injecting some serious ‘crap’ into your system. The active ingredients are so small in comparison to the size of the strip or tab that you are injecting mostly filler material. This is probably one of the more dangerous drugs to shoot up. On top of that, unlike other drugs, since it has a high first pass metabolism, you aren’t even going to catch a ‘buzz’, or a ‘better buzz’. It is the addict in you that is telling you to shoot up – as there is no advantage to doing this, only risk – extreme risk. Now, if you’ve got a vial of pure pharmaceutical grade Buprenorphine, maybe things are different… but who has that?


  2. Posted by Dave Steele on December 29, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    If you were to crush a buprenorphine pill and heat it up, then wouldn’t that kill any bacteria?


    • Good question, I’m not sure. I’m guessing most addicts just apply heat until the pill dissolves, perhaps not long enough to sterilize the solution. Some bacteria are heartier than others, and fungi are different than bacteria. Sterilization also depends on the length of time the substance is heated, as well as the degree of heat, I believe.


      • Posted by billybob on January 9, 2013 at 6:47 pm

        Heating the solution only kills some of the bacteria, even if it is completely boiling. Also, this dissolves more crud in the water that can precipitate out once it is in your body and will clog you up more. Most harm-reduction advocates suggest cold water when people are injecting pills. Other drugs are usually heated though

      • Thank you! I didn’t know that.

      • I hesitated to post this comment, because I sure don’t want to advocate injecting anything…but since he is describing a process that can possibly reduce harm done by injecting the film, I posted it.
        I do get many comments describing in detail how to misused certain opioids, and I don’t post them because this blog is about recovery and not addiction.

  3. Posted by Conny on February 19, 2013 at 7:03 am

    I’ve been injecting suboxone since my husband walked out when our son was one years old. He is now 12. I thought I was beening clever as I was no longer breaking the law and taking my son into the drug culture. The person I get the suboxone from has candida. I haven’t talked to a doctor cause I’m too ashamed but I’m very sick. My ankles have swollen and my legs hurt. My eyes play up and the back of my neck hurts alot. When I lay on my back in bed and cough my heart gives me a stab of pain. I do smoke but if I take a deep breath my lungs hurt. Things were bad but turned woarst fast when I ran out of veins and started to inject into arteries. Some days I wish I would just drop dead or buy some herion and end it. I’m SO scared for myself and my son.
    Thankyou for your comments. Is there anyway to improve my circulation and my quailty of life, I’m 47 and don’t have much hope to reach the end of the year.


    • Wow, the extent of possible medical issues is very worrisome. I think shame over being addicted is a luxury you can’t afford if you want to live. Please go to a hospital emergency room and tell them everything. Now.


    • Ok I promise to be gentle with this. You have a child, most addicts don’t care firstly until they get they’re fix, your sick. Get some help, I’m on suboxone because I was out of sorts. I’ve been on it for 10 months now and helps me a lot, as it is prescribed. I will not b on it forever. Listen my dear, the way to increase circulation us to STOP doing drugs, u r kidding yourself that suboxone will save u, it won’t. Yes it can help , but you gave already broken the first rule of using something to help you, you try to get high off something that is supposed to help you!. YoU have a kid!!!!! Get help!!!


      • Posted by conny on September 16, 2014 at 11:19 am

        Yes I have stopped, last year, u must have missed my next blog when I started up Chinese medicine.
        Thanks for your concern…… I’m moving forward and my son is my. Major priority.

  4. Posted by Conny on February 20, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Thank you for your reply. I went to the Alfred in Melbourne. They took blood and did an x-ray then let me go home. The doctor said my symptoms were anxiety and that I looked far too healthy to be on deaths door! Thank god. And thank you as I otherwise wouldn’t have gone. This really is my rock bottom, I just aren’t capable of doing this any more. Now I just have to get my eyes checked. Maybe I’ve dodged a huge bullet. Fingers Crossed..


  5. Posted by James SanMarco on April 15, 2013 at 6:05 am

    I am a 24 year old guy in Pa.I started using opiates and such as a teenager.I got clean plenty of times just never could stay away for good.I started buying suboxone on the street about a year and a half ago and soon after made injecting it an everyday habit.Let me tell you everything you read here is fact if not worse.Im 6’5 180 so im pretty skinny and very vieny at least I was.From injecting this crap like I do religiously I have destroyed every visable vien/arterie I can possibly get the stuff in.When I do manage to hit a vien my blood is now thick and full of clot looking things so bad it leaves no question I have done sum serious damage here.This December I was admitted into ICU for severe chest pain and breathing complications.The doctors summed it as phnumonia but I knew in my mind it had sumthing 2 do with my habit wich I just read above how it affects your lungs.Even tho I continue to use suboxone this way like an immature idiot I am very avid on making others aware of the serious effects of using this drug this way.And on top of everything like stated above it hurts you worse than just about any IV ingested drug and doesn’t do much for you when looking at the consequence.For me I defidently feel the presence of the drug a little more when injected but I mean come on sumthin that’s literally shortening your life drastically everytime you shoot straight jelly into your life force I have to say isn’t worth it.I hope ne1 thnking of using suboxone IV comes across this info B4 destroying there coronary,yes the human body is an amazing thing but once ur packed with so much filler your viens are not ever healthy as they once were I have a few friends that used suboxone IV like me and quit 4 a good year and still have relly no visible viens.Also I would like to add when I was in the hospital for my breathing trouble they neede to administer me IV antibiotics,needless to say this is now a process.It took 3 or 4 different nurses trying many times to even semi get an IV in me and when they were successful the solution had trouble passing and eventually blew the vein out.I asked a doctor that was in to see me if he ever saw nething like this sum1 having this much trouble getting an iv and he said yes, in elderly patients. So every1 needless to say IV use of suboxone is a terrible terrible idea,trust me im not trying to b wishy washy I am a hardcore addict who loves mood altering substances,but for heavens sake don’t do sumthing that has virtually no reward and dire consequences,not that I promote drug use of ne kind for any1 but if you are a user don’t do this or I promise you will be lucky to live to regret it.If the addict in use just has to take subs other than how u should,try taking a spoon dissolving it and snorting it.Once again I don’t push the abuse of drugs im just trying to make as many aware as I can so you don’t end up destroying your health as I did and many friends of mine have done.Were all made out of the same stuff flesh, blood, organs and a standard coronary, if you inject suboxone you WILL either end up with poor health or 6 feet, make the right choice, if you survived your iv habit by not overdosing, wich is luck as heck in it self, don’t end up dead over sumthn that was designed to help you with your addiction, once again im no uncle tom, I wish like heck you could use subs IV with no more risk than nething else but unfourtunately you cant or you will destroy yourself its just the way it is. Just come to grips with the fact your drug use was fun while it lasted and you survived it, b thankful theres sumthing that can keep the yucky feeling and cravings at bay and is no where near as addictive and relatively easier to obtain in a pinch than methadone, use subs 4 what they were intended 4,to keep ya off the junk and stabilize your life easier than cold turkey.PLEASE IF YOU ARE THINKING OF OR ALREADY USING SUBOXONE IV STOP IMMIDIATELY, IT WILL HURT YOU!!!!!! And finally In closing, befor u make the mistake of picking up this habit just think a year or less from now if complications don’t arise even befor then, you will b just like me and conny and many other people, left wondering how many years/decades you shaved off your life for sumthing so ridiculous,Plez heed my warning guys, unfourtunately suboxones fairly new and there isn’t a whole lot of talk about the effects of abuse, mark my words as people continue to use subs IV u will here more and more of rock hard veins, complete loss of veins,complications and deaths.Trust me this December I officially became the poster child of why this is a bad thing to do.Lastly guys,lifes to short as it is,theres so much that can kill you out there as it is, theres no need to die by your own hand, let me and others who unfourtunately already seen first hand the dire side effects Be the guinny pig here, were laying feet up X s in our eyes, Don’t be foolish, hopefully in the near future there is more awareness on this particular thing, but if your reading this you either know its a bad idea and not to do it or you will want to stop now. Be safe evry1 don’t forget theres more to thnk about than your own selfish urges to get high neway possible, theres folks that love you that don’t deserve the strife of loosing you over sumthing so incredibly stupid and if you don’t have folks Gods got you and he didn’t put you here to kick the bucket over sumthing so petty.


    • Posted by JamesRyder on November 5, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      Even though your post is about five miles long . thank you. swim just dif a shot for the first time and is gonna be swims last. you saved someone bro


      • i agree you saved two bud thanks i know a guy who has done it twice now and he wont do it again

      • Posted by Crazybitch1980 on July 27, 2014 at 11:16 am

        thanks for the post, I learned a lot from this, I also say that you will save many lives from people reading this. especially if they have any sense let to them at all. Its been going on 2 years ow an I bet ya today will be the last one for this ole gall

    • Posted by joey on April 22, 2014 at 9:41 pm

      I feel you bro. I too am from pa and have been iving sub’s in every form for the last 10 to 12 years shooting around 8 times a day. I recently was hospitalized with a 90% collapsed lung the worst the dr had ever seen. I was watching TV when I had a nagging pain in my back that was just a bit uncomfortable so I figured I’d just wait it out as I always do when I get chest pains which is a common accurance with me but within 20 min I had such a pressure in my chest and back shoulder blade it felt as if standing on my chest smothering me. with every breath it got worse to the point that I couldn’t take a breath. Turns out that filler and insualluables from suboxone mainly due to the fact that I had it at will and could shoot whenever I desired as apposed to shooting less when I was on dope somehow ruins your lungs. After a month in the hospital with a chest tube and corrective surgery on my lung soon as I got out first thing I did was run for the needle. Due to the fact that all my veins were dead or rock hard when I first got to hospital they needed to put an iv in me and couldn’t which could have coated me my life my deflated lung was pushing against my heart and time was crucial. They had to ram a thick hose under my arm between my ribs the whole way to my chest cavity and suck out surrounding air build up all while I was awake with no anesthesia he pushed so hard and fast it lifted me off the bed. Believe me people this banging sub’s shit ain’t no joke. Scariest shit that ever happened to me and I still went running back first Chance I got. I live in fear every night all for some shit that doesn’t even get you high after a month no matter how much you do. A small piece is no different from doing 5. But that doesn’t stop me from trying


      • i’ve been doing iv bupe for about a year and i recently stopped. im also having some trouble breathing, so i wanna ask you about it… what is actually wrong with lungs in this case and what is the treatment? and how are you doing now?

    • Posted by dax on October 2, 2014 at 10:31 am

      I have 1 question for you. i was also using bupe IV and i stopped about 3 weeks ago. Now i have some breathing difficulties but everything else seems to be ok. my psychiatrist says it becouse IV bupe is bonding to some chest muscles… My question is what your breathing difficulties were and how long it took you to recover and are you fully recovered now (if not, what health issues do you have)?


      • …bonding to your chest muscles???
        I don’t know what your doctor means.

      • i dont know exactly, but iv bupe bonds differently then sublingual and somehow it affects muscles like heart and diaphragm… i dont cough, my only symptom is “weak breathing”, like i cant breathe in enough air…
        p.s. sorry for my english…

    • I too have been a drug attic. I take 3/4 to a whole sub a day. Your post stoodout to me because I too have shot up the subs.. I would put them in a spoon and crush the pill. Then I would take out a cigarette cotton and pour about 40cc water in it and drain that orange goop right in my syringe. Then I would pin the tail on the donkey and Instantly knew I was in pure sin and Russian roulette. I knew better as I was a undereducated addict doing what someone else taught me. I began to d this daily and was working at Montana Rockworks supporting my kids and woman. I knew that I was destroying myself doing hard labor and shooting, but I liked to be high and Sub got me high all day. The rush it gave me was simply the rush of seeing my blood flash in the rig and I called it beam me up Scotty. I know this sounds horrible, but let me tell you the whole story before you judge me. I met a girl hooked on oxycontin and I fell in love with her. I battled her off many times before I myself had to have knee surgery. I was a health freak and a football player fresh in my early 20s. When I had the surgery it was easy to get into the pills . I believed in Jesus and had a good relationship with him so I got off all the pills. When I did that I went through withdrawals and someone gave me a suboxone. I swear as soon as I started taking it God was hard on my conscience but I pushed him away and said “I cant be perfect right now sorry”. That was when my ife went down hill. When I met a guy that introduced me to meth, I began mixing the two….until one day I shot up both at once and had a severe Pulmonary Embolism! I fought for my life unable to breath. My heart pounded and would race and then stop and I could not breath.. Everything went dark and my wife was in my arms. I said I loved her and “Jesus Forgive Me” and I knew I was dying. But a miracle happened as God did not let me die. Insead this cycle went on with my heart stopping and pounding for 32 Hours. Don’t do drugs Jesus Bless You Amen!


      • orange poop? my daughter found her boyfriend a heroin addict since he was born and started using mmm 10 plus yrs ago ready to shoot up this morning in the bathroom of course she woke the whole house up… he told her he has been shooting up his suboxone. I seen his syringe loaded with a clear liquid. If it was suboxone would it be clear also?

      • I would think the brand Suboxone would be orange. Maybe if he were injecting generic buprenorphine it would be clear.

  6. Posted by rob on June 6, 2013 at 8:43 am

    ive been injecting strips for 7 monyhs and just recentjy felt what u r talking about. my chest is feeling rough. so i looked it up and found this i live in pa i went a month just dissoveing strips with no cotton sucking that shit up and shooting it. iam done this shit has be feeling crazy like what iam i doing


  7. Posted by Mr.Knight_001 on June 18, 2013 at 12:07 am

    I have been shooting buprenorphine for 3 1/2 years. In the past few months have started having problems. Swollen ankles is what started then heart flutters and then the ankles feet and legs got swollen and tight as the day went on. I went to the hospital and thought it was endocarditis, pumped me full of antibiotics and took diuretics. My ankles went down to normal which I hadn’t seen in two months. Right after going back to work they got swollen again. Seems every day they get a little worse and go down a little when I put them up at night. But I’ve had alot of other symptoms also. I have kinda chicken legs and typically my ankles are damn neer size of calves, legs up to thighs swollen, I have woke up every Saturday with the worst headache I. My life, so bad it hurts to move, can’t eat and nothing will help, by Saturday night, later sat night I get much better. But by end if day at work my legs are so soar and stiff it’s crazy, I have foamy pee and today I started to see like a little rash on inside if legs right above ankles, kinda red dots and some red around maybe from being irritated. My legs are sore to touch and when h set te in a coffee table or have my legs crossed like Indian style they leave indentions, like obvious indentions. I’m 28 year old male never had any surgeries allergies or any health problems, really. Till now, the hospital ran ultrasound on my heart for valve damage and didnt seem to be any and they put me to sleep and put camera down throat and took pic of heart and didnt show anything, the first ultrasound they took if heart, there was some fluid arojnd it but cleared it up with antibiotics. They did ultrasound of legs for blood clots and didnt find anything. Came home and legs went back to being swollen like explained. Don’t know what’s going on. Anyone hear similar situation or anything like read same problems then is love to hear what you’d have I say, thank you


    • Please go back to your doctor. There are so many things that could be going wrong that only a doctor can run the tests to determine the cause of the swelling.

      Some of my fears would be pulmonary hypertension from injecting. Particulate matter in injected substances can lodge in pulmonary vessels and cause pressure to back up. pulmonary problems from other causes, like COPD, emphysema, causes leg swelling. Severely low blood proteins can cause lower extremity swelling, from a very poor diet lacking protein. Severe anemia causes leg swelling. A bad liver with cirrhosis can cause fluid to back up into the legs. Left heart failure can cause leg swelling, but it sounds like you had a full workup for that. And varicose veins, a relatively more benign problem, can cause swelling.

      Can Suboxone cause swelling? I’ve never seen it, at least when used sublingually, but I wouldn’t completely rule that out, either. But I think you have to make sure there’s not a more serious cause before saying it’s the Suboxone.

      You just need to go back to your doctor.


    • Posted by rach on June 25, 2013 at 6:55 am

      My left leg has started swelling, the calf and ankle, foot area only. It always happens whe I’m sitting with my legs dangling down like sittin on the edge of a table high enough my feet don’t touch the floor. If my feet touch the floor, it doesn’t happen. It gets so big and tight, I can’t put shoes or tight jeans on. If I sit cross legged or prop it up, it makes it normal again. It just started, and iv been worried. I came off a 7 yr dope habit and have been using subs iv for 14 months. My heart flutters but iv got bad anxiety and depression so iv always thought it was from that. I’m getting off subs in 2 weeks though, thank god. I’m ready to be done. Plus I havent any viens left either


      • That’s worrisome. If one leg is swollen, you could have a blood clot in the vein of the lower leg. Please go to the doctor right away.

  8. Posted by conny mieser on June 20, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Hi it’s Conny, The medical profession kept telling me that I was healthy, but I went to a Dr in Chinese Medicine, he said my blood flow was tight, life force extremely low and blockages between my organs. It has taken over a month of weekly acupuncture, massage. herbs and yoga!!…….. My health has returned!!! and my blood flow is back and yes my swollen ankles are gone :-) my god I was sick! I hope the Dr keeps this email up, Also I HAVE stopped injecting as well. Love to you all Conny.


  9. Posted by Jason on August 3, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    It is true. I learned the hard way but it could be worse. I am still in the hospital, been here 3 days and counting. IV suboxone film, and occasionally a tablet, earned me a fungus in my left eye. I am now legally blind in it. No doubt about where it came from it was 4 sure the IV subs. They did a test on my heart and say that it looks ok, thank god. I feel like a fool using the thing that was made to get me better to destroy myself. Like other people on this blog my veins are virtually gone. The hospital has to use an ultrasound machine to get a vein. I don’t know if my vision will get any better or not. It has improved from the day I came in, now I can tell that it is a big E on the top of the chart. 3days ago I couldn’t see anything but a blurry white rectangle where the chart was. Take it from me, if you are gonna use suboxone USE ONLY AS DIRECTED!!!


  10. Posted by Jordan Toth on January 27, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Omg I’m so scared now I only be shooting sub film for 4 months tops but I been have chest pain around my heart also my legs and arms go numb very quickly when sitting or laying certain ways! A little pain in the back of my eyes! It does nothing to get me high I guess I do it cuz I’m depressed I feel like that’s my time! I put a half of a 8mg strip on the spoon squirt about 100 CC of water and I suck up like 20 CC about 3 times a day I let the cotton and sub solution on the spoon on the Med cabinet! :( I’m so worried about my health and the future of my two beautiful boys! I’m going to the hospital ! Any advice? I’m crying right now scared out of my mind ! I feel like going in the bathroom n doing my thing! That’s my release but that’s gone now! I don’t know wat to do now? I also live in pa greensburg pa that’s close to Pittsburgh! Any doctor u can recommend to help me??


  11. Posted by st on March 14, 2014 at 5:31 am

    I been iving sub for 6 years with steril syringes and .2 syringe filters for 4 of it. When I started using filters I stopped having sweeling in my legs, but my nails and skin have gotten worse, and my vision has gotten worse with headaches/.pain in my eyes. Eye doctor says my eyes are perfect, and nothing explains pain, but I can only believe subutex causes these problems… I keep wanting to get off, but addiction is a bitch. I biggest concern is my eyes as this has been going on for 6 months or so.. only take a 1/4 pill a day, but this stuff is just nasty for IV. I think Heroin would be less damaging this this crap.


  12. Posted by One Big Mess on March 24, 2014 at 2:34 am

    Thank you for posting this info about Suboxone/subutex Bacteria. I don’t think Suboxone Shooters are the only ones suffering from this strange side effect. I have been on Suboxone for 10 years. After a Heroin/OxyContin Addiction. I’ve never used a needle.
    Over the years Ive noticed strange things happening to my body. Skin conditions, swelling in legs, constant sinusitis, strange mucous in eyes, etc…
    But the past 3 months have been the worst. I’m heading to the Emergency Room in the morning.
    About six months ago. I switched over to the Films. I am very sick.
    From What Ive been reading. My symptoms sound very similar to Lymes or Candida.
    I’ve always wondered about The Suboxone. Thanks for uncovering this. People should know about the symptoms and side effects. There are many others out there suffering. I’ve come across many Posting questions about these same conditions. Most People aren’t injecting their subutex/suboxone.


    • You have completely missed my point.


      • your an idiot janaburson…life is short… if these people want to do whatever with they’re body then let them…none of your business dumba$$… I shoot pandas & sub all the time for years and I have had no ill effects…I hold a great job and no1 knows about my habits unless I let them know…have a strong mind people…do it right if your going to do it at all…and dont listen to idiots about drug addiction who have never even smoked a joint & are lame@ss squares… party on!..LIFE IS SHORT MAKE THE MOST OUT OF IT & HAVE FUN DOING IT…

      • Just curious…why are you reading my blog about pain pill addiction?
        Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad you are reading. Maybe you can read something that will be of use later.
        I wish you the best.

  13. Posted by mark a. swope on May 10, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    thank you so much for the information i have been iv using subs on and off for five months and that is not even with continual use and almost all my veins are ruined i have stopped injecting and my veins are still hard as rocks and i can feel bumps in my arms where i injected it the most. i am very scared that i have messed my heart up like i said i have stopped but i still am very scared about what i have done to my body. I have been an iv drug user for 13 years and most of that was heroin. i would say that is the only thing that should be iv’ed ever and thats certainly not the smartest thing in the world but i never got rock hard veins from it….


  14. Posted by lost in ky ;) on June 6, 2014 at 1:19 am

    I want to thank everyone for the information ive found on this post. I have recently started shooting the subs and I do not even get high from it but I know that as long as I do the subs I wont be able to do my choice drug (oxycodone) because of the blocker in the subs, my ankles stay swollen and my heart flutters frequently and I have bruises and knots all over my body from missing and not being able to find a vein, I discust my self when I look in the mirror and see what I’ve became but, I suppose im getting better every day…. This info really helped me and I will spread the word to my friends who also use…… #N33dsomeRehabAndMentalhealth:/


  15. Posted by Michael on July 19, 2014 at 5:59 am

    I just want to say that I was thinking to try subutex IV and after reading all of this I have decided to stick with sublingual. Thank you so much for this!


  16. Definitely! Even though the strips seem safe to the consumer, who knows what happens once it congeals within the blood. Who knows where it sticks, what organs/ enzymes/ capillaries it deactivates and clogs. (a)nd who knows, really, anything about this drug other than “Oh, great it’s a full mu opioid receptor agonist!”

    It’s an old drug with no research intravenously. It’s Rx’ed APO and sublingually for a reason.

    Ever wondered why it says: do not cut, chew or swallow? The answer is simple; Who knows where the 10mg (ae:8/2mg film) of active substance lies within that 40mg (actual weight) strip. It’s not like it’s an indole and you can just swipe a black light over it to see exact concentrations.

    It’s use has become too widespread and over-prescribed. Week tops/ two if you’re a “Horse” maniac and then taper off sublingualy.

    The oral bioavailability of buprenorphine plays a large role in the way it’s being marketed: SUBLINGUALY!

    Shoot the strips gives you 100% bioavailability. Therefore, if you take that route.. WELCOME to a whole NEW world of withdrawal.

    Just my two cents!

    About me!
    Clean from dope 15 days. Still IV-ing Bupe films. Bupe is the next one to mark off of my list.

    Thanks guys!


  17. I had no idea. Left the hospital two weeks ago yesterday!
    My start was about fifteen years in ago after a bout of Diverticulitis followed by a three week love affair with a PCA in the local butcher store or (hospital) as some like to call them. I don’t completely fault the physicians for my choice to continue down the path I decided to follow, but after a time period of “feeling no pain” for the first time in decades it’s not an easy choice to make when they ask “How’s your pain level” , humm if I just say “oh doc it’s at least a nine” I get a shot at a life long supply or “I’m okay doc, I can handle it” welcome back all my old aches and pains… Humm!!! I’m sure someone can relate.
    So fast forward six years, “I got to kick this sh*t, everyday chasin’,this sucks” Six days in the local rehab (2006, I put the date in for the Subox relevancy, they were fairly new with it then but everyone I saw coming out of rehab with it was jumping right back in. I chose working without a net or cold turkey as we used to call it!) So with three years completely clean the old back injury comes_a_knockin’ doc says “try some of these” I know better but … I’ll do it different this time, stick right to to script. That lasted an amazing two years, with the obligatory ups every three to five months, you know the one ” doc that’s just not working anymore” doc says “okay”.
    So enough boring back story! A close friend with twelve legitimate years clean goes back to the “horse”. It blew me away but I said I’ve got some oxy’s that will crush up nice and it a pharmaceutical so its got to be clean, I’ll use some cotton and all that talk oF FILLERS, not me……..

    I’ve had two heart attacks after I got clean and this chest pain I’m feeling today is just like another one. Three days of tests and they say my heart looks fine. The chest Xray is unremarkable, but it hurts like a bastard! Send me home with some new meds and hope for the best. Its been over a week now and it still hurts let me go on the internet and research. What’s this bit about talc, sounds just like how I feel.
    But I Only Did It Maybe Twenty Times!!!
    I’m scared sh*t and I can’t tell my wife, she’ll leave me, I can’t tell the doc’s they’ll treat me like scum! I’m so freaked out, what can I do, even if I die they’ll do an autopsy and find the granules in my lung’s!

    What can I do I’m so scared?


    • Please go back to your doctor and tell her everything. You’d rather die than face a possibility your doctor will treat you like scum? Addiction is a disease, and a good doctor will know this and behave accordingly. Yes there are asshole doctors, and I pray you don’t meet one, but you’ve got to go back and tell her everything.


  18. Posted by Angela on August 21, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    I am so glad I came across this information. My husband has been shooting suboxen for about three months now and his body is covered with a fungal infection. He has also had a lot of leg, foot, and back pain. I knew it all had to be from the suboxen. I have shared this information with him. I hope it will scare him enough to make him stop. He is a longtime addict. 20 plus years. I am about to the end of my rope with all of it. Our life is in shambles due to his addiction. I know this is a disease, but addicts need to realize it is treatable. They have to try. It is constant devestation for the families of addicts.


  19. WOW i thought i was alone in this crap, i was addicted to pain pills for a long time,and then i found subs, after about 4 months a friend showed me how to shoot my strips and there began a whole new addiction, i have been shooting them now for about 9 months, and luckily i have had no major issues other than the occasional missed shot, until i started waking up with headaches and i never get headaches unless i drank alot., i havent shot one now in a week, and slowly am starting to feel a little better but after all the research i have done its not worth it, we only get one chance at life there is no starting over, so i agree its not worth it i dont wanna die yet. my question is after going back to doing these the right way will the body heal its self and go back to normal. please let me know what u all think


  20. thank you.i too now want to quit an am sc got to stop.ared for my life but at same time have seen death all around me when i was on junk for 10 years.but i havta quit or die.specially shooting experiencing problems w my legs an feet goin numb an my eye hurts an adk why.


  21. Posted by bruce on October 19, 2014 at 2:12 am

    I wanted to try shooting my subs, but now you guys got me afraid to try it. I find the best way to feel anything is not to be greedy. I do a little everyday and then one day I take a little more and I feel it. When I think about shooting it , I think about my son and that makes me change my mind. Also drawing close to God in pray helps me say no.


    • The whole point of buprenorphine (suboxone) is that you don’t “feel it.” It’s supposed to take care of withdrawal symptoms so that you can function normally. Please talk to your doctor and counselor about how you are doing.


  22. Posted by tornado on November 25, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    I’ve been an addict for nine years now. I got clean and kept going back. I’m on suboxone and when used right it’s awesome. But like everything we addicts find ways to abuse it such as shooting it. Or by not taking it so that we can get high on our drug of choice. I feel this constant battle inside m of me. One week I’m happy and clean and happy that I’m clean. The next week I’m mad that everyone’s getting high and I’m not. It’s as though I get jealous. It’s a sick incideous disease and I hope everyone finds a way and strength through it. I have done so many people in my life much wrong and constantly hurt the people I live. If you ever need anyone to talk to I’m here for you.


  23. Posted by Cam on December 1, 2014 at 3:39 am

    this really is a lot of great information. i wish it was enough for me to quit shooting my subs. i have been iv’ing bupe now for over a year. i usually do up to 4mg 2-3 times daily but have also done whole 8mg strips at once. i guess i never really understood the ceiling effect. at this point my tolerance is to high to take them as prescribed, and i’m to afraid of withdrawl to taper off. either way subs make me feel normal. they don’t get me high they just make me feel okay, but i can justify my sub usage with the positive effect it has had on my life wether i am taking it the right way or not. im off dope and pills and i am not hanging around with the scum of the earth, im thinking about myself and my future, and working on my passion and purpose in life and doing what i need to do to accomplish just that. before filtering my subs with an oral syringe and micron filter i had many complications as well. now i convince myself i have established a safer way of iv’ing the product, even tho i kno i am still kidding myself.


    • Actually due to the ceiling effect, your tolerance isn’t likely to be any higher than if you were using them properly. You could likely switch to sublingual use without any withdrawal. I’m betting your blood level would stay about the same. Anyway, please talk to your doctor.


      • Posted by Cam on December 4, 2014 at 12:21 pm

        is any doctor still going to prescribe suboxone after they find out a client has disproven the naloxone myth and admits to misusing the substance for over a year intravenously. i would like to see how my next appointment goes if i did. i’m sure i won’t be texting him to setup an appointment anymore or meeting him at any coffee shops or back allies anymore. hell maybe if word gets around about this maybe the dick will actually be forced to accept health insurance and won’t ask for $200 under the table for every visit.

  24. Posted by Cam on December 10, 2014 at 9:06 am

    it is very unfortunate that there is not enough well educated doctors commited to treating substance abuse. most just want there money and the ones that actually want to help addicts kick you off after your first relapse. i wish i could get off, but i fear that someone will take my spot if i ever really need it again, and with as many addicts that need help, will i ever get in to see a doctor ever again? i live in north dakota and there is only 3-4 who are even certified. sorry to rant but these problems have been on my mind a lot lately and it is interesting to see there is a blog dedicated to this information. thank you.


  25. Powerful. Thanks all


  26. Posted by Theseus on March 9, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    I am a pharmacologist, so please let me give you some words of advice:

    If you do inject Subutex, please always use a micron filter (0.2µm, ask your pharmacist!), and use a sterile saline solution (NaCl) instead of water from the sink or bottle. Using new needles and syringes is a no-brainer. But please do not forget the micron filters. One warning though: Don’t use them too long, because as they are filled up with the fillers, etc. they are contaminated and it is just a matter of days until the filter is filled with bacteria. Although they themselves won’t get through, their toxins will. And you get a really bad infection if you inject something from a filter used for several days!
    So always use a new micron filter for every batch. To be more cost effective, I’d recommend making larger batches and throw the used micron filter away after that. For example: Crush 5 Subutex 8mg tablets and make yourself a 40mg / 10ml buprenorphine in saline solution (or 40mg / 20ml if you prefer that) and store it in a larger sterile syringe with a sterile cap/lock (ask the pharmacy!). Also write down the concentration you chose.

    Even better would be to not shoot them at all. But if you can’t resist, before shooting them up like an idiot (e.g. just filtering it through cigarette filters and using water), do it at least as safe as possible.
    With the micron filter you can at least keep the fillers, larger particles than 0.2µm and also most bacteria out of your solution.

    But beware: If something is already contaminated with bacteria and fungi, they may produce toxins and those do get through the micron filter, because they are smaller than 0.2µm!


  27. Posted by Theseus on March 9, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Also: If a pill was once in the mouth of somebody else or even in the mouth of yourself, do NOT inject that. Not even with a micron filter!
    The best way would be to always wash your hands and your desk where you prepare the solution and then try not to touch the pill itself. Open it from the blister and put it into the saline solution without touching it. Then just wait for it to dissolve. After 5-10 minutes you just stir a little bit and filter it with the micron filter.


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