Suboxone Sublingual Film is a prescription medicine used to treat adults addicted to opioid drugs – prescription or illegal – as part of a complete treatment program that includes counseling and behavioral therapy.
This article will discuss:
- Medication Information
- Phases of Treatment
- How to Take Suboxone Sublingual Film
- Side Effects of Suboxone Sublingual Film
Suboxone Film is intended for administration under the tongue or inside the cheek and is available in various dosage strengths. It works to prevent withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid addiction.
Suboxone Film contains the ingredients buprenorphine and naloxone.
- Buprenorphine is known as a partial agonist. It can attach to the same receptors as other opioids and reduce their effects by blocking them from the same receptors.
- If a person who is dependent on a full opioid agonist attempts to inject Suboxone Film, the naloxone is likely to cause withdrawal signs and symptoms.
Suboxone has become the preferred treatment medication for opioid addiction. Unlike methadone, which is dispensed daily from a specialized treatment center, Suboxone can be prescribed by your doctor. He or she can help you come up with a personalized treatment plan.
Phases of Treatment
Many people use Suboxone at the start of treatment, as well as in continuing treatment and recovery. The first phase of Suboxone use is the withdrawal phase, where symptoms are most uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. Suboxone helps alleviate and potentially eliminate opioid withdrawal symptoms. Under the supervision of a doctor, you will move from the withdrawal phase to the maintenance phase.
While Suboxone can help manage the symptoms of withdrawal that come from quitting opioids, a comprehensive treatment program is essential. Counseling and therapy can help develop new ways to cope with pain, stress, and other issues in your life. Follow-up appointments with your prescribing physician are important in ensuring a successful recovery while on Suboxone.
You must have a prescription from an approved prescribing physician to obtain Suboxone. The medication should not be taken for any other conditions other than the condition prescribed.
How to Take Suboxone Sublingual Film
- Always take your Suboxone Film exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
- Fold along the dotted line and tear downward at the slit to open the film package or use scissors to cut along the arrow.
- Before taking Suboxone Film, it’s a good idea to drink some water to moisten your mouth. This helps the film dissolve more easily.
- Make sure your hands are dry. Hold Suboxone Film between two fingers by the outside edges of the film.
- Place it under your tongue close to the base and let the film dissolve completely. Suboxone is absorbed into the bloodstream through mucosal membranes.
- Most people find that it is easier to develop a routine where they take the medication at the same time every day.
- Suboxone Film takes about five minutes (but sometimes more) to dissolve completely.
- Don’t chew or swallow the Suboxone Film. Less medication will be absorbed into your bloodstream, it will not work as well, and your withdrawal symptoms could worsen.
- Never swallow or spit out the film because the film has not finished dissolving.
- Talking while the film is dissolving can interfere with how well Suboxone is absorbed.
Side Effects of Suboxone Sublingual Film
Contact your doctor if you experience any negative side effects associated with Suboxone. Some of those side effects can include:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Stomach pain
- Low energy
Additionally, never discontinue Suboxone without first talking to your doctor. Stopping treatment immediately can cause adverse effects and potentially lead to symptoms of opioid withdrawal, such as:
- Joint, muscle pain
- Dilated pupils
- Feeling restless