This medication contains 2 medicines: buprenorphine and naloxone. It is used to treat opioid dependence/addiction. Buprenorphine belongs to a class of drugs called mixed opioid agonist-antagonists. Buprenorphine helps prevent withdrawal symptoms caused by stopping other opioids.Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that blocks the effect of opioids and can cause severe opioid withdrawal when injected. It has little effect when taken by mouth or dissolved under the tongue. It is combined with buprenorphine to prevent abuse and misuse (injection) of this medication. This combination medication is used as part of a complete treatment program for drug abuse (such as compliance monitoring, counseling, behavioral contract, lifestyle changes).
How to use
There are different brands and forms of this medication available. Because different products may contain different amounts of buprenorphine and naloxone, do not change brands or dosage forms without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.
Use this medication during your treatment maintenance period as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Place the medication under your tongue for 5 to 10 minutes and let it dissolve completely. If you are prescribed more than one tablet each day, you may place all of the tablets under your tongue at once or place two tablets at a time under your tongue. Do not swallow or chew this medication. It will not work as well.
After the medication is fully dissolved, take a large sip of water and swish gently around your teeth and gums, and then swallow the water. This will help to prevent problems with your teeth. Do not brush your teeth for at least one hour after using this medication.
For most patients, buprenorphine alone is usually used for the first 2 days after you have stopped all other opioids. It is usually given in your doctor's office. Your doctor will then switch you to this combination buprenorphine/naloxone medication for maintenance treatment. The combination with naloxone works the same way as buprenorphine alone to prevent withdrawal symptoms. For some patients, this combination product may be used to start treatment (called induction). Follow your doctor's directions carefully.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose, take the medication more frequently, or take it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day.
Buprenorphine/naloxone may cause withdrawal symptoms especially if you use it soon after using opioids such as heroin, morphine, or methadone. Follow your doctor's instructions for your treatment plan.
If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as restlessness, watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, sweating, muscle aches). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used this medication for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal.
Do not inject ("shoot up") buprenorphine/naloxone or inhale it through the nose ("snort"). Doing so is dangerous, and will likely cause severe withdrawal symptoms (see Side Effects section) due to the naloxone in this medication, especially if you have been using opioids such as heroin, morphine or methadone. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Tell your doctor right away if you experience any withdrawal reactions.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.