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Suboxone vs Sublocade – What’s The Difference?

Medically assisted treatments are an effective and sometimes essential way to treating addiction, and two of the most readily used medications, specifically for opioid addiction, are Suboxone and Sublocade. When analyzing Suboxone vs Sublocade, we find many similarities between these medications, from their composition all the way down to their intent but there are just as many differences which we will explore here today.

Suboxone Overview

Suboxone came much earlier than Sublocade, receiving its own approval in 2002. Suboxone is comprised of buprenorphine and naloxone, but also works as an opiate agonist to reduce cravings and minimize withdrawal symptoms of opioid patients. Specific to Suboxone, the medication is administered orally as a film which dissolves under the tongue. Unlike Sublocade, Suboxone must be prescribed by a licensed healthcare professional but can be administered by either a healthcare professional or self-administered at home. The naloxone component acts as a preventative from the recreational user, so the medication is not injected but used as intended. Used properly, Suboxone can be given daily as a single dose, absorbing quickly and peak effect with 40 to 120 minutes and will block the effects of full opioids for at least 24 hours.

Sublocade Overview

Sublocade is a newer medication with the only active ingredient as buprenorphine. Sublocade was approved in 2017 to reduce cravings and eliminate withdrawal symptoms from patients facing opioid addiction without feelings of euphoria and pain relief. Specific to Sublocade, the medication is administered through the form of an injection, which must be given by a licensed healthcare professional and can only be administered 7 days following some other form of buprenorphine treatment. The injection is given no more than once a month to assist with addiction treatment.

Suboxone vs Sublocade – Similarities

  • Both medications must be prescribed as a doctor
  • Both medications contain buprenorphine as a primary ingredient
  • Both medications are approved by the FDA to help minimize withdrawal symptoms and cravings stemming from opioid addiction and abuse
  • Both medications have shown great success in helping individuals recover from opioid addiction

Suboxone vs Sublocade – Suboxone Differences

  • Suboxone is an older medication, approved in 2002
  • Suboxone contains naloxone in addition to buprenorphine
  • Suboxone can be taken daily, and should only be used as an oral film
  • Suboxone is the initial treatment when an individual stops full opioid use
  • Suboxone blocks the effects of full opioids for a short period of time (at least 24 hours).

Suboxone vs Sublocade – Sublocade Differences

  • Sublocade is a newer medication, approved in 2017
  • Sublocade’s only active ingredient is buprenorphine
  • Sublocade is a monthly injection
  • Sublocade can only be prescribed following another buprenorphine-based treatment
  • Sublocade stays active in the body for a long period of time (roughly a full month)

We hope this article has given you a better understanding of Suboxone and Sublocade and the specifics which differentiate the two. The healthcare professional prescribing these medications should be able to answer any additional questions you might have regarding your medically assisted treatment but if you need any additional assistance regarding drug or alcohol addiction, or know someone in need, please reach out to us at 631-728-3100, and we’d be happy to assist you or your loved ones in any way possible.

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