What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a medication approved for the treatment of opiate dependence. It contains the active ingredient buprenorphine hydrochloride.

How is Suboxone different from the current treatment options for opiate dependence such as methadone?

Currently opiate dependence treatments like methadone can be dispensed only in a limited number of clinics that specialize in addiction treatment.  There are not enough addiction treatment centers to help all patients seeking treatment.  Suboxone is the first narcotic drug available under the Drug Abuse Treatment Act (DATA) of 2000 for the treatment of opiate dependence that can be prescribed in a doctor's office.  

Are patients able to take home supply of Suboxone?

Yes. Suboxone is less tightly controlled than methadone because Suboxone has a lower potential for abuse and is less dangerous in an overdose  As patients progress in therapy, their doctor may write a prescription for a take-home supply of the medication.

Who can prescribe Suboxone?

Only qualified doctors with the necessary DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) identification number are able to start in-office treament and provide prescriptions for ongoing medication.

How will Suboxone be supplied?

Suboxone medication comes in 2 mg and 8 mg strengths as sublingual (placed under the tongue to dissolve) tablets.

What are some possible side effects of Suboxone?
Cold or flu-like symptoms
Sleeping Difficulties
Moods Swings

*Like other opioids Suboxone has been associated with respiratory depression (difficulty breathing) especially when combined with other depressants.

Where can I go for more information?

Go to the Suboxone webpage

Contact the CSAT Buprenorphine Information Center at 866-BUP-CSAT, or via email at info@buprenor-phine.samhsa.gov or http://buprenorphine.samhsa.gov/