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Sublocade vs Suboxone - What's the difference between them?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on March 20, 2023.

Official answer


Both Sublocade and Suboxone contain buprenorphine, a medication that can help people beat opioid addiction by minimizing withdrawal symptoms and easing cravings. But there are differences between them, such as:

  • Sublocade contains only buprenorphine. Suboxone contains both buprenorphine and naloxone (naloxone helps protect people from an inadvertent opioid overdose)
  • Sublocade is an injection and Suboxone is a film that you put under your tongue
  • Sublocade is given once a month and Suboxone is taken as a single-dose daily
  • Sublocade needs to be injected by a health care professional under the skin (subcutaneously) but Suboxone can be given either by a health care professional or taken home for at-home use
  • Subclocade was approved in 2017 and Suboxone has been available since 2002.

Suboxone can be initiated early by a doctor as part of an opioid treatment program. Sublocade can only be given to people who have already been on Suboxone or another buprenorphine treatment for at least seven days previously and have shown they can tolerate it well.

Sublocade may reduce the burden of taking daily medication for patients in recovery, as well as hinder diversion or abuse of oral buprenorphine.

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