Buprenorphine and Naloxone Sublingual Film

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Buprenorphine and Naloxone sublingual film is a combination drug that helps suppress the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. It’s frequently used in maintenance treatment for patients who are recovering from opioid misuse disorder. Known by the brand names Suboxone, Bunavail or Zubsolv, here are some facts about these medications.

What Is Buprenorphine and Naloxone Sublingual Film?

Naloxone is combined with Buprenorphine to form a medication that’s used to treat opioid use disorder. Buprenorphine and Naloxone sublingual film were approved by the FDA in 2010 as a maintenance treatment for opioid addiction. 

The medication is applied beneath the tongue, and it’s an effective drug for providing quick relief from withdrawal symptoms. While this drug is available as a tablet and sublingual film, the sublingual film provides faster relief.

What Is Buprenorphine and Naloxone Sublingual Film Used For?

This drug contains two active substances: Buprenorphine and Naloxone. The medicine is used to treat opioid misuse disorder. Buprenorphine prevents the withdrawal symptoms that show up when a patient stops using prescription opioids or illegal opioids like heroin.

Naloxone blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and the nervous system, such as the euphoric feeling and pain relief that can cause opioid abuse. But it can cause serious opioid withdrawal effects when injected. However, when taken under the tongue, withdrawal symptoms don’t manifest. 

The combination of Buprenorphine and Naloxone is commonly used along with other treatment procedures like counseling and compliance monitoring.

What to Tell Your Doctor Before You Take This Medication

Before using this medicine, you should open up and tell you doctor about any of the following problems you’ve had in the past:

  • Mental illness, drug addiction or alcoholism
  • Seizures, brain tumor or head injury
  • Thyroid, gallbladder or adrenal gland problems
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Urination problems or prostate enlargement
  • Sleep apnea 
  • Breathing problems
  • Abnormal spine curvature that hinders breathing

To prevent adverse drug interactions with this medicine, you need to tell your doctor if you also take any herbal products, antidepressants, stimulants or medication for Parkinson’s disease, mental illness or stimulants.

Does Buprenorphine and Naloxone Sublingual Film Have Any Side Effects?

Common side effects of this medicine include constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, vomiting, nausea or headache. To reduce constipation, drink about eight glasses of water daily, eat more dietary fiber and get moderate exercise. 

If constipation persists, your doctor or pharmacist may recommend a laxative. To prevent lightheadedness and dizziness, you should rise slowly any time you’ve been lying down or sitting for a long time.

What to Do While Taking Buprenorphine/Naloxone

While you’re taking this medicine, you should do the following things to ensure that you enjoy its benefits and reduce or avoid any side effects:

  • Rinse your mouth with water and wet the inner part of your cheek before taking the medicine. 
  • Place the film under the tongue and let it dissolve there. Don’t swallow it.
  • Don’t eat or drink until the film has fully dissolved.
  • Avoid switching between different brands of this medicine.
  • Don’t drink any alcohol while taking Buprenorphine/Naloxone.
  • Tell any other health provider, including your dentist, that you’re taking this medicine.

Learn More About Drugs Used to Treat Opioid Use Disorder

If you feel that you or a loved one is dependent or addicted to opioid use, you can contact any of the BAART program centers close to you. 

Give us a call at 844-341-4040 to schedule an appointment today, or spend a little more time on our blog to learn about recovery from opioid addiction.

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