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Suboxone Dosage Methods: All You Need to Know

Opioids are legally prescribed medications used to manage or treat pain, but misuse can lead to addiction. Suboxone is essentially a buprenorphine and naloxone combination that is used to treat opioid addiction and address withdrawal cravings during opioid treatment.

Suboxone is basically a name under which it is marketed. It contains two active ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with opioid addiction. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that helps to prevent abuse and misuse of Suboxone.

When taken as directed, Suboxone can help individuals manage their opioid addiction and work towards long-term recovery. Suboxone is a safer option than its other alternative ‘methadone’. However, it is important to note that Suboxone should only be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional, as misuse of the medication can be dangerous and even fatal.

Forms in Which Suboxone Comes

Suboxone is a medication that is primarily used to treat opioid addiction. It comes in two different forms:

  • Sublingual film

This is a thin, dissolvable film that is placed under the tongue. It comes in four different strengths: 2 mg/0.5 mg, 4 mg/1 mg, 8 mg/2 mg, and 12 mg/3 mg.

  • Sublingual tablet

This is a small, dissolvable tablet that is also placed under the tongue. It comes in the same four strengths as the film: 2 mg/0.5 mg, 4 mg/1 mg, 8 mg/2 mg, and 12 mg/3 mg.

Both the film and the tablet contain two active ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that helps to reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms, while naloxone is an opioid antagonist that helps to prevent abuse of the medication. 

Are These Different?

The main difference between the two forms of Suboxone (sublingual film and sublingual tablet) is in their formulation and how they are administered.

Suboxone sublingual film is:

  • Designed to dissolve quickly and completely, usually within 5-10 minutes. 
  • The film is typically easier to handle and administer than the tablet, as it does not require any cutting or breaking before use.

Suboxone sublingual tablet may:

  • May need to be cut or broken to achieve the prescribed dose. 
  • The tablet may take slightly longer to dissolve than the film, but it generally works just as effectively.

Checkout Suboxone film vs tablets.

Methods of Suboxone Dosage: What Is the Proper Way?

Suboxone is a medication that is primarily used to treat opioid addiction. It contains two active ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. The dosage of Suboxone depends on several factors, including the severity of the addiction, the individual's medical history, and their response to the medication. Here is what you need to know about Suboxone dosage methods:

Induction phase

During the induction phase, a healthcare provider will determine the appropriate starting dose of Suboxone based on the individual's level of opioid dependence. The recommended starting dose is typically 2-4 mg of buprenorphine.

Stabilization phase

Once the individual is stabilized on a particular dose of Suboxone, the healthcare provider may adjust the dosage based on their response to the medication. The goal is to find the lowest effective dose that helps to control opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Maintenance phase

Once the individual has been stabilized on a particular dose of Suboxone, they may remain on that dose for an extended period of time, typically several months or more. During this time, the healthcare provider will continue to monitor the individual's progress and adjust the dosage as necessary.

Role of Potency and Dosage

The lowest strength of Suboxone is 2 mg/0.5 mg and is typically used during the induction phase.

4 mg/1 mg is a higher strength of Suboxone and may be used during the induction or stabilization phase.

As for 8 mg/2 mg, this is the highest strength of Suboxone and is typically used during the stabilization and maintenance phases.

However, it is essential to know to follow the dosing instructions provided by a healthcare provider and not to switch between different dosages or forms of Suboxone without first consulting with a healthcare provider. Suboxone can be an effective tool in treating opioid addiction when used appropriately and as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. 

Things to Remember Regarding Suboxone Dosage

  • The dosage of suboxone is individualized based on the patient's level of dependence, medical history, and other factors.
  • When starting suboxone treatment, the initial dose is typically low and gradually increased until a stable dose is achieved.
  • The maintenance dose of suboxone is usually between 8-24 mg per day.
  • It's important to follow the dosing instructions provided by your doctor or pharmacist carefully. Taking too much suboxone can cause serious side effects, including respiratory depression.
  • If you miss a dose of suboxone, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it's almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as scheduled.
  • Do not abruptly stop taking suboxone without first consulting your doctor. Stopping suboxone suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms.

Suboxone is one of the few very effective opioid use disorder treatments. While it has a low potential for abuse, you are still advised to strictly adhere to your doctor’s instructions.

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