Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Suboxone

(Buprenorphine / Naloxone)

  • Pill
  • Sublingual film
  • Dissolving tablet
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Treats drug dependence.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Suboxone (Buprenorphine / Naloxone) works well to reduce cravings and treat opioid dependence. It's most effective if you have an addiction to heroin or short-acting-opioids.

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  • Effective at preventing abuse or misuse in people who are addicted to opioids. Works best for people addicted to short-acting opioids or heroin.
  • Your doctor can adjust the dose to a level that controls withdrawal symptoms until you're stable. Studies show the right dose depends on the person and how the drug works for them.
  • Fewer side effects and drug interactions compared to other similar medicines.
  • Not as good for people who are dependent on long-acting opioids or Methadone because of the risk of a long withdrawal.
  • Like all opioids, it can cause slowed breathing, coma, and death from overdose, especially if you mix with other nervous system depressants like pain medicine or alcohol.
  • You have to be very careful with your dose. Changing the size or strength of a film can affect the amount of drug absorbed into your body, and could cause under- or over-dosing.
  • The film can cause reduced sensation in your mouth, painful burning tongue, or burning mouth syndrome.
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Side effects for Suboxone (Buprenorphine / Naloxone)

From clinical trials of Suboxone / Opioid dependence (16 mg buprenorphine/4 mg naloxone) ( 214)

  • HeadacheHeadache36% for Suboxone vs.22% for placebo
  • Withdrawal syndromeWithdrawal syndrome25% for Suboxone vs.37% for placebo
  • PainPain22% for Suboxone vs.19% for placebo
  • NauseaNausea15% for Suboxone vs.11% for placebo
  • SweatingSweating14% for Suboxone vs.10% for placebo
  • Sleep difficultySleep difficulty14% for Suboxone vs.16% for placebo
  • ConstipationConstipation12% for Suboxone vs.3% for placebo
  • Pain abdomenPain abdomen11% for Suboxone vs.7% for placebo
  • Widening of blood vesselsWidening of blood vessels9% for Suboxone vs.7% for placebo
  • ChillsChills8% for Suboxone vs.8% for placebo

What to expect when you take Suboxone (Buprenorphine / Naloxone)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • A doctor should supervise your use of this medication as part of a complete treatment program.
  • Can make you drowsy and dizzy.
  • Avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
  • Suboxone film and Zubsolv tablets have different dosing. Be careful.
  • Don't mix with alcohol or other sedating drugs.
  • Drink water before putting the film under your tongue.
  • Don't cut, chew or swallow the film.
  • If you need to stop taking it, work with your doctor to slowly lower your dose. It'll help you avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Risks and Warnings for Suboxone (Buprenorphine / Naloxone)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • dehydration
    • taking drugs that lower blood pressure

    Suboxone (Buprenorphine / Naloxone) can cause severe low blood pressure, fainting, and a drop blood pressure when you change positions, called orthostatic hypotension. You might be more sensitive if you're already taking medicine to lower your blood pressure so be careful. It's important that you tell your doctor about these symptoms before changing your dose or stopping your medication suddenly.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Suboxone (Buprenorphine / Naloxone)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Like all opioids, it can cause slowed breathing, coma, and death from overdose, especially if you mix with other nervous system depressants like pain medicine or alcohol.
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Don't mix with alcohol or other sedating drugs.
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Suboxone (Buprenorphine / Naloxone) can cause respiratory depression, coma and death when mixed with alcohol or other drugs that slow the nervous system. Most reports are with people who abused Suboxone (Buprenorphine / Naloxone) with other medications by self-injecting without their doctor knowing. People with lung problems should let their doctor know before taking Suboxone (Buprenorphine / Naloxone).
Sleep
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Can make you drowsy and dizzy.
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Some medicines can affect enzymes that break down Suboxone (Buprenorphine / Naloxone). Certain drugs to treat infections, HIV, and seizures can change the amount of Suboxone (Buprenorphine / Naloxone) in the body. Tell your doctor about any medications you are taking and if you notice muscle aches, restlessness, anxiety, tearing eyes, runny nose, excessive sweating, yawning or inability to sleep. These may be symptoms of withdrawal.
Weight gain or loss
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Buprenorphine, one of the medications in Suboxone (Buprenorphine / Naloxone) passes into breast milk. Women with a history of long-term opioid use increase the risk of neonatal withdrawal syndrome. Symptoms include irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, tremor and lack of weight gain. Opioid withdrawal in infants is a life-threatening emergency and needs medical help right away.