Suboxone Film Dosage
Generic name: buprenorphine and naloxone
Dosage form: sublingual film, soluble
This dosage information does not include all the information needed to use Suboxone Film safely and effectively. See full prescribing information for Suboxone Film.
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SUBOXONE sublingual film is administered sublingually as a single daily dose. SUBOXONE sublingual film should be used in patients who have been initially inducted using SUBUTEX® (buprenorphine) sublingual tablets.
- SUBOXONE sublingual film is indicated for maintenance treatment. The recommended target dosage of SUBOXONE sublingual film is 16/4 mg buprenorphine/naloxone/day, as a single daily dose.
- The dosage of SUBOXONE sublingual film should be progressively adjusted in increments/decrements of 2/0.5 mg or 4/1 mg buprenorphine/naloxone to a level that holds the patient in treatment and suppresses opioid withdrawal signs and symptoms.
- The maintenance dose of SUBOXONE sublingual film is generally in the range of 4/1 mg buprenorphine/naloxone to 24/6 mg buprenorphine/naloxone per day depending on the individual patient. Dosages higher than this have not been demonstrated to provide any clinical advantage.
Method of Administration
Place the SUBOXONE sublingual film under the tongue. If an additional SUBOXONE sublingual film is necessary to achieve the prescribed dose, place the additional sublingual film sublingually on the opposite side from the first film. Place the sublingual film in a manner to minimize overlapping as much as possible. The sublingual film must be kept under the tongue until the film is completely dissolved. SUBOXONE sublingual film should NOT be chewed, swallowed, or moved after placement.
Proper administration technique should be demonstrated to the patient.
Treatment should be initiated with supervised administration, progressing to unsupervised administration as the patient's clinical stability permits. SUBOXONE sublingual film is subject to diversion and abuse. When determining the prescription quantity for unsupervised administration, consider the patient's level of stability, the security of his or her home situation, and other factors likely to affect the ability to manage supplies of take-home medication.
Ideally patients should be seen at reasonable intervals (e.g., at least weekly during the first month of treatment) based upon the individual circumstances of the patient. Medication should be prescribed in consideration of the frequency of visits. Provision of multiple refills is not advised early in treatment or without appropriate patient follow-up visits. Periodic assessment is necessary to determine compliance with the dosing regimen, effectiveness of the treatment plan, and overall patient progress.
Once a stable dosage has been achieved and patient assessment (e.g., urine drug screening) does not indicate illicit drug use, less frequent follow-up visits may be appropriate. A once-monthly visit schedule may be reasonable for patients on a stable dosage of medication who are making progress toward their treatment objectives. Continuation or modification of pharmacotherapy should be based on the physician's evaluation of treatment outcomes and objectives such as:
- Absence of medication toxicity.
- Absence of medical or behavioral adverse effects.
- Responsible handling of medications by the patient.
- Patient's compliance with all elements of the treatment plan (including recovery-oriented activities, psychotherapy, and/or other psychosocial modalities).
- Abstinence from illicit drug use (including problematic alcohol and/or benzodiazepine use).
If treatment goals are not being achieved, the physician should re-evaluate the appropriateness of continuing the current treatment.
Physicians will need to decide when they cannot appropriately provide further management for particular patients. For example, some patients may be abusing or dependent on various drugs, or unresponsive to psychosocial intervention such that the physician does not feel that he/she has the expertise to manage the patient. In such cases, the physician may want to assess whether to refer the patient to a specialist or more intensive behavioral treatment environment. Decisions should be based on a treatment plan established and agreed upon with the patient at the beginning of treatment.
Patients who continue to misuse, abuse, or divert buprenorphine products or other opioids should be provided with, or referred to, more intensive and structured treatment.
The decision to discontinue therapy with SUBOXONE sublingual film after a period of maintenance should be made as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Both gradual and abrupt discontinuation of buprenorphine has been used, but the data are insufficient to determine the best method of dose taper at the end of treatment.
Switching between SUBOXONE (buprenorphine and naloxone) Sublingual Tablets and SUBOXONE Sublingual film
Patients being switched between SUBOXONE (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual tablets and SUBOXONE sublingual film should be started on the same dosage as the previously administered product. However, dosage adjustments may be necessary when switching between products. Because of the potentially greater relative bioavailability of SUBOXONE sublingual film compared to SUBOXONE (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual tablets, patients switching from SUBOXONE (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual tablets to SUBOXONE sublingual film should be monitored for over-medication. Those switching from SUBOXONE sublingual film to SUBOXONE (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual tablets should be monitored for withdrawal or other indications of under-dosing. In clinical studies, pharmacokinetics of SUBOXONE sublingual film was similar to the respective dosage strengths of SUBOXONE (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual tablets, although not all doses and dose combinations met bioequivalence criteria.