Can Zubsolv be used for pain relief?
Medically reviewed by Sally Chao, MD. Last updated on April 16, 2021.
A combination of buprenorphine and naloxone prescribed to help treat opioid addiction, Zubsolv may also provide pain relief. This is considered an off-label use at this time.
Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. It binds to opioid receptors in the brain, but does not activate them as fully as heroin, oxycodone or hydrocodone. Instead, buprenorphine produces enough of a “high” to stave off withdrawal symptoms for people with opioid addiction who are trying to quit. The naloxone is only added to discourage abuse of buprenorphine.
Individuals who are addicted to opioids often start taking them to treat pain, and some evidence suggests that buprenorphine can reduce pain in people with a history of opioid abuse—even those who have a high tolerance to opioids. It may also cut down on use of highly addictive opioids to treat pain. This is important, as many physicians are reluctant to prescribe opioids for pain due to risk of addiction, abuse and overdose.
Zubsolv (buprenorphine/naloxone) is given as a tablet placed under the tongue.
It is available in six strengths:
- 0.7 mg buprenorphine /0.18 mg naloxone
- 1.4 mg buprenorphine/0.36 mg naloxone
- 2.9 mg buprenorphine/0.71 mg naloxone
- 5.7 mg buprenorphine/1.4 mg naloxone
- 8.6 mg buprenorphine/2.1 mg naloxone
- 11.4 mg buprenorphine/2.9 mg naloxone
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Buprenorphine/Naloxone (Suboxone). January 2021. Available at: https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Buprenorphine/Buprenorphine-Naloxone-(Suboxone). [Accessed March 25, 2021].
- Rosen K, Gutierrez A, Haller D, Potter JS. Sublingual buprenorphine for chronic pain: a survey of clinician prescribing practices. Clin J Pain. 2014 Apr;30(4):295-300. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e318298ddad.
- Roux P, Sullivan MA, Cohen J, et al. Buprenorphine/naloxone as a promising therapeutic option for opioid abusing patients with chronic pain: Reduction of pain, opioid withdrawal symptoms, and abuse liability of oral oxycodone. Pain: 2013 August;154(8):1442-1448. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.
- Zubsolv.com. Zubsolv: Dosage and Administration. Available at: https://www.zubsolv.com/healthcareprofessionals/about-zubsolv/administration-dosing/. [Accessed March 16, 2021].
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- Zubsolv Information for Consumers
- Zubsolv Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Zubsolv (detailed)