Generic Name: buprenorphine and naloxone (oral/sublingual) (BUE pre NOR feen and nal OX one (OR al / sub LIN gwal))
Brand Name: Bunavail, Suboxone, Zubsolv
What is buprenorphine and naloxone?
Buprenorphine is an opioid medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.
Naloxone blocks the effects of opioid medication, including pain relief or feelings of well-being that can lead to opioid abuse.
Buprenorphine and naloxone is a combination medicine used to treat narcotic (opiate) addiction. Buprenorphine and naloxone is not for use as a pain medication.
Buprenorphine and naloxone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about buprenorphine and naloxone?
This medicine can slow or stop your breathing. Never use this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Buprenorphine and naloxone may also be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medicine in a place where others cannot get to it.
MISUSE OF NARCOTIC MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking buprenorphine and naloxone?
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to buprenorphine or naloxone (Narcan).
To make sure buprenorphine and naloxone is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
any type of breathing problem or lung disease;
enlarged prostate, urination problems;
liver or kidney disease;
abnormal curvature of the spine that affects breathing;
problems with your gallbladder, adrenal gland, or thyroid;
a history of drug abuse, alcohol addiction, or mental illness; or
a history of head injury, brain tumor, or seizures.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. If you use buprenorphine and naloxone while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.
Buprenorphine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
How should I take buprenorphine and naloxone?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. This medicine can slow or stop your breathing. Never use buprenorphine and naloxone in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed.
This medicine may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. MISUSE OF NARCOTIC MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Selling or giving away buprenorphine and naloxone is against the law.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Use dry hands when handling the tablet or film. Drink a glass of water to moisten your mouth. Place the sublingual tablet or sublingual film under the tongue and allow it to dissolve. Place the buccal film in your mouth against the inside of your cheek and allow it to dissolve. Do not chew or cut a tablet or film, and do not swallow it whole.
If you switch between medicines containing buprenorphine, you may not use the same dose for each one. Follow all directions carefully.
Do not stop using buprenorphine and naloxone suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.
You will need frequent blood tests to check your liver function.
Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take buprenorphine and naloxone. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you are being treated for narcotic addiction. Make sure your family members know you are using this medicine in case they need to speak for you during an emergency.
Never crush or break a buprenorphine and naloxone pill to inhale the powder or mix it into a liquid to inject the drug into your vein. This practice has resulted in death with the misuse of buprenorphine and naloxone and similar prescription drugs.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep this medicine in the foil pouch until ready to use. After opening a pouch, you must use the medicine right away. Discard the empty pouch in a place children and pets cannot get to.
Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Buprenorphine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
Do not keep leftover buprenorphine and naloxone pills. Ask your pharmacist where to locate a drug take-back disposal program. If there is no take-back program, flush any unused pills down the toilet.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. A buprenorphine and naloxone overdose can be fatal, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.
Overdose symptoms may include blurred vision, severe drowsiness, slurred speech, loss of coordination, thinking problems, weakness or limp feeling, and weak or shallow breathing (breathing may stop).
What should I avoid while taking buprenorphine and naloxone?
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with buprenorphine and naloxone. Check your food and medicine labels to be sure these products do not contain alcohol.
This medicine may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how the medicine will affect you. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.
Buprenorphine and naloxone side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once or seek emergency medical attention if you have:
extreme weakness or drowsiness, weak or shallow breathing;
confusion, blurred vision, slurred speech;
nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out; or
withdrawal symptoms--diarrhea, vomiting, shaking or shivering, runny nose, watery eyes, muscle pain, and feeling very hot or cold.
This medicine is more likely to cause breathing problems in older adults and people who are severely ill, malnourished, or otherwise debilitated.
Common side effects may include:
tongue pain, redness or numbness inside your mouth;
constipation, mild nausea, vomiting;
headache or other pain;
sleep problems (insomnia);
increased sweating; or
swelling in your arms or legs.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect buprenorphine and naloxone?
Taking this medicine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous or life-threatening side effects. Ask your doctor before taking buprenorphine and naloxone with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
a sedative--diazepam, alprazolam, lorazepam, temazepam, triazolam, Restoril, Valium, Xanax, and others.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with buprenorphine and naloxone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
More about Suboxone (buprenorphine / naloxone)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about buprenorphine and naloxone.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.10.
Date modified: January 10, 2017
Last reviewed: July 29, 2016