Process improvement for behavioral health

Address concerns about side effects and diversion

An outreach and information session for potential buprenorphine prescribers should also address their concerns that:

  • Patients will suffer adverse side effects from buprenorphine
  • Patients will divert the medication for non-medical use

Side effects

However, buprenorphine side effects are low, and lower than other opioid treatment alternatives such as methadone.

The SAMHSA publication, The Facts About Buprenorphine for Treatment of Opioid Addiction, gives an overview of common buprenorphine side effects.

Diversion prevention measures

Oversight and prescribing procedures, if followed properly, can limit buprenorphine diversion. Some strategies for reducing diversion are covered in greater detail in the following section, Addressing concerns about diversion.


Updated 10/16/20