What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a brand name medication … the active ingredient in it is Buprenorphine. This is marketed as a tablet or a film, that is placed under the tongue, … from where it is easily absorbed into the circulation and acts on the receptors in the brain, … and effectively stops withdrawal symptoms, and reduces or eliminates craving.

By keeping patients comfortable, it allows for an opportunity to modify drug seeking, and drug using behavior. This is combined with Naloxone to discourage its use by other methods.

Other brand names for Buprenorphine and Naloxone combination are … Zubsolv, (tablet), and Bunavail (film).

In the past, opioid addiction treatment had been restricted to certain approved facilities only. Under Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000, physicians who meet certain qualifications are allowed to prescribe controlled substances that are specifically approved by the FDA to treat opioid addiction.

Currently Buprenorphine, marketed as Suboxone, and Subutex, are the only medications approved for this purpose. Subutex which is Buprenorphine alone, is no longer manufactured or marketed as Subutex, however, it is available as a generic tablet.

Subutex is only approved for:

  1. induction of treatment
  2. for use during pregnancy for those patients who do not wish to use Methadone
  3. for use by patients who have a demonstrated allergy to Naloxone.

Methadone can only be dispensed for opioid addiction treatment by approved Methadone Clinics.

The availability of Buprenorphine by prescription … through community based physicians has brought down the cost of opioid addiction treatment, and, made such treatment accessible to patients within their communities, in the familiar setting of their physician’s office, and without disrupting education or work schedules.

Addiction can not be cured by a pill … the person must be self motivated to treat their opioid addiction … Suboxone prevents withdrawal symptoms, and reduces the craving for opioids; thus making it easier to modify addiction behavior at a gentler pace.