buprenorphine - naloxone
In this drug factsheet:DIN (Drug Identification Number)
|02295695 ||SUBOXONE 2MG/0.5MG TABLET|
|02295709 ||SUBOXONE 8MG/2MG TABLET|
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
This combination medication contains two active ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone.
Buprenorphine belongs to a group of medications known as partial opiate agonists.
Naloxone belongs to a group of medications known as opiate antagonists.
The combination medication is used, together with an overall addiction treatment program that includes medical, social, and psychological support, to treat adults who are dependent on opiates (narcotics) such as oxycodone or morphine. A person addicted to narcotics who suddenly stops taking the narcotic may experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
Buprenorphine works by replacing the physical effects of the narcotic the person is addicted to, which can help make it easier to treat their addiction. Naloxone is added to the medication to prevent it from being misused (i.e., to prevent it from being injected into a vein). Naloxone has no effect if given under the tongue as the medication is intended. But if the medication is misused and injected into a vein (also called "shooting up"), naloxone will work by blocking the effects of buprenorphine, leading to withdrawal symptoms.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
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How should I use this medication?
This medication must be prescribed by a qualified doctor who meets specific requirements regarding the use of the medication. The dose of this medication varies depending on the individual situation and will be adjusted by your doctor.
The usual recommended starting dose is 4 mg (of buprenorphine) once daily. The maximum daily dose is 24 mg. Over time, your doctor may gradually decrease your dose until the medication has been stopped. Do not try to adjust the dose or stop the medication on your own.
Buprenorphine - naloxone is used for a minimum of 2 months. Do not stop taking this medication on your own. Your doctor will advise you on how to taper the medication to avoid withdrawal symptoms, when it is time to stop using buprenorphine - naloxone.
The medication should be placed under the tongue until it has dissolved (this usually happens within 2 to 10 minutes). Do not swallow the tablets. If more than 1 tablet is needed at a time, both tablets should be placed under the tongue at the same time.
It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor for instructions. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the sight and reach of children. Accidental use by a child is a medical emergency and may result in death.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
2 mg/0.5 mg
Each white to creamy white hexagonal tablet embossed with sword logo on one side and "N2" on the reverse contains 2 mg buprenorphine (as hydrochloride) and 0.5 mg naloxone (as hydrochloride dihydrate). Nonmedicinal ingredients: acesulfame potassium, citric acid anhydrous, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, maize starch, mannitol, natural lemon and lime flavour, povidone K30, and sodium citrate.
8 mg/2 mg
Each white to creamy white hexagonal tablet embossed with sword logo on one side and "N8" on the reverse contains 8 mg buprenorphine (as hydrochloride) and 2 mg naloxone (as hydrochloride dihydrate). Nonmedicinal ingredients: acesulfame potassium, citric acid anhydrous, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, maize starch, mannitol, natural lemon and lime flavour, povidone K30, and sodium citrate.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take buprenorphine - naloxone if you:
- are allergic to buprenorphine, naloxone, or any ingredients of the medication
- are breast-feeding
- have acute alcoholism
- have delirium tremens
- have not been taking opioid pain relievers regularly
- have severely reduced liver function
- have severely reduced lung (breathing) function