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About Suboxone and Subutex

SUBOXONE is an  opioid medication approved  for the treatment of opioid dependence in an office-based setting. In addition to suboxone there are zubsolv and bunavail for the treatment  of opioid dependence. SUBOXONE can also be dispensed for take-home use, just as any other medicine for other medical conditions.

The primary active ingredient in SUBOXONE is buprenorphine.Because buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, its opioid effects are limited compared with those produced by full opioid agonists, such as oxycodone or heroin. SUBOXONE also contains naloxone, an opioid antagonist.

 The naloxone in SUBOXONE is there to discourage people from dissolving the tablet and injecting it. When SUBOXONE is placed under the tongue, as directed, very little naloxone reaches the bloodstream, so what the patient feels are the effects of the buprenorphine. However, if naloxone is injected, it can cause a person dependent on a full opioid agonist to quickly go into withdrawal.

SUBOXONE at the appropriate dose may be used to:
  • Reduce illicit opioid use
  • Help patients stay in treatment
  • Suppressing symptoms of opioid withdrawal
  • Decreasing cravings for opioids

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 Induction - Day 1
The goal of induction is to control the physical withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid dependence as quickly as possible.
  • The patient arrives in a state of moderate withdrawal 
  • Patient picks up suboxone from pharmacy
  • The first dose is administered by the provider and the patient is observed
  • Patient waits for dose to take effect 
  • Administer second dose if needed 
  • Patient leaves with Rx for suboxone
  • Schedule follow-up appointment   

Stabilization & Maintenance
Stabilization is considered the beginning of the maintenance phase. During this phase, both the patient's dose and psychosocial component of therapy are adjusted to achieve the best outcome. Visits during the maintenance phase help determine the efficacy  of the patient's dose and the success of the psychosocial sessions.
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  • The patient attends regular visits
  • A prescription is given for suboxone
  • A urine drug screen is obtained
  • After several weeks of treatment, suboxone is gradually tapered and stopped
  • The decision to taper is made by the patient and the provider
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