Suboxone (buprenorphine – naloxone)
Suboxone contains two active ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone.
Buprenorphine belongs to a group of medications known as partial opiate agonists.
Naloxone belongs to a group of medications known as opiate antagonists.
Suboxone is used, together with an overall addiction treatment program that includes medical, social, and psychological support, to treat adults who are dependent on opiates (narcotics) such as oxycodone or morphine. A person addicted to narcotics who suddenly stops taking the narcotic may experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
Buprenorphine works by replacing the physical effects of the narcotic the person is addicted to, which can help make it easier to treat their addiction. Naloxone is added to the medication to prevent it from being misused (i.e., to prevent it from being injected into a vein). Naloxone has no effect if given under the tongue as the medication is intended. But if suboxone is misused and injected into a vein (also called “shooting up”), naloxone will work by blocking the effects of buprenorphine, leading to withdrawal symptoms.
Suboxone may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking suboxone, speak to your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Suboxone dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Opiate Dependence: Buprenorphine monotherapy is generally used for induction; Suboxone may be used for induction in patients dependent on heroin or short-acting opioid products.
INDUCTION dose: Day 1: Initial dose: 2 mg/0.5 mg or 4 mg/1 mg sublingually; followed in intervals of approximately 2 hours with additional doses of 2 mg/0.5 mg or 4 mg/1 mg to control acute withdrawal symptoms up to a total day 1 dose of 8 mg/2 mg
Day 2: 16 mg/4 mg sublingually.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between buprenorphine – naloxone and any of the following:
- abiraterone acetate
- amphetamines (e.g., lisdexamphetamine, dexamphetamine)
- antihistamines (e.g,. cetirizine, doxylamine, diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine, loratadine)
- antipsychotics (e.g., chlorpromazine, clozapine, haloperidol,olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone)
- azole antifungals (e.g., ketoconazole, itraconazole)
- barbiturates (e.g., butalbital, phenobarbital)
- benzodiazepines (e.g., lorazepam, diazepam)