Q. Is it advisable to take Fentanyl and Suboxone together?

Answered by
Dr. Balaramareddy
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
Published on Aug 05, 2019 and last reviewed on: Aug 07, 2019

Hello doctor,

I am getting a cardiac cath this morning. I am currently on Suboxone 12 mg, 6 in AM and 6 in PM. When I asked what they will be using to sedate, they said Fentanyl and Versed. I asked for Profol but got no answer. I spoke to a male nurse, not an anesthesiologist. If the Fenytal overrides the sub will I be in withdraw? Also, are there safety issues combining these medicines? Should I cancel this procedure?

Dr. Balaramareddy

Anesthesiology General Practitioner


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Usually, for cardiac procedure anesthesiologist will prefer Fentanyl than Propofol because Fentanyl is opioid and it causes good pain relief and sedation and there is a high probability of heart stability and the chances of losing your breath and consciousness with Fentanyl is very less but still you will be made to sleep and remain pain-free.

Propofol causes deep sleep. You may lose your complete consciousness, you may lose your breathing and go to mechanical ventilation. So it is always good to go head with Fentanyl and Versed. Your medication will not interfere with the drugs, do not worry.

Thank you doctor,

So you are saying Suboxone which limits any opioid from being effective is not contraindicated with Fentanyl?

Dr. Balaramareddy

Anesthesiology General Practitioner


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The Suboxone which you are taking morning and night is for pain control right. It is a combination of Buprenorphine and Naloxone which are pain killers which act on opioid receptors.

One thing you have to understand is usually Naloxone alone will be used to treat the opioid-induced side effects like deep sedation or respiratory depression occurring in patients in the hospital setup. So if you are using Suboxone (Naloxene+Buprionorphine) which are having two different actions they will have addictive effect when used with Fentanyl.

So, definitely, you have to tell the anesthesiologist that you are using this so that he can reduce the dose of Fentanyl during your procedure and he can give Buprenorphine alone as you are already used to it or some other form of analgesia.

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