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Sublocade Injection

Generic name: buprenorphine (injection) [ BUE-pre-NOR-feen ]
Brand name: Sublocade

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Aug 22, 2023.

What is Sublocade?

Sublocade (buprenorphine) is used to treat opioid dependence (addiction to opioid drugs, including heroin and narcotic painkillers) in people who have received buccal or sublingual buprenorphine for at least 7 days.

Sublocade extended-release injection belongs in a class of medications called opiate partial agonists. Buprenorphine works to prevent withdrawal symptoms when someone stops taking opioid drugs by producing similar effects to these drugs.

Sublocade is only available under a special program. You must be registered in the program and understand the risks and benefits of this medicine.

Sublocade is not for use as a pain medication.

This medication guide provides information about the Sublocade brand of buprenorphine injection. Buprenex is another brand of buprenorphine injection that is used to treat moderate to severe pain.

Sublocade side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Sublocade: hives, difficult breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Opioid medicine can slow or stop your breathing, and death may occur. A person caring for you should give naloxone and/or seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.

Sublocade may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Tell your doctor right away if you develop withdrawal symptoms or an allergic reaction even weeks or months after your last dose of Sublocade.

Common Sublocade side effects may include:

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.

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with Sublocade if you are allergic to buprenorphine.

Tell your doctor if you also use stimulant medicine, opioid medicine, herbal products, or medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. An interaction with Sublocade could cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome.

To make sure Sublocade is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Buprenorphine may affect fertility in men or women. Pregnancy could be harder to achieve while either parent is using this medicine.

If you use buprenorphine during pregnancy, your baby could be born with life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, and may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding, tell your doctor if you notice severe drowsiness or slow breathing in the nursing baby.

How is Sublocade given?

Sublocade is injected under the skin. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

After each injection, you may see or feel a small lump under your skin where the medicine was injected. This could last for several weeks but the lump should eventually get smaller. Avoid rubbing or massaging the skin where an injection was given and wearing tight clothing over the area.

Your doctor will determine how often you will receive Sublocade.

You will need frequent blood tests to check your liver function.

Sublocade is only part of a complete treatment program that may also include counseling and other types of addiction support. Tell your doctor if you feel that this medicine is not helping to improve your symptoms of addiction.

In an emergency, your family or caregivers should tell medical personnel that you are using this medicine. Make sure any follow-up doctor knows you use this medicine.

Do not stop using Sublocade suddenly, or you could have unpleasant symptoms (such as agitation, confusion, tingling or electric shock feelings).

Dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Opiate Dependence - Maintenance:

Sublocade injection: following a minimum of 7-days of treatment with a transmucosal product delivering the equivalent of 8 to 24 mg buprenorphine per day:
-Initial dose: 300 mg subcutaneously once a month for 2 months
-Maintenance dose: 100 mg subcutaneously once a month
-Maintenance dose may be increased to 300 mg monthly for those tolerating lower dose and demonstrating a less than satisfactory clinical response, e.g. self-reported illicit opioid use or positive urine drug screens.

Initiating therapy with subcutaneous injections has not been studied; subcutaneous injections should only be initiated following induction and dose-adjustment with a transmucosal buprenorphine-containing product.
Monthly doses should allow for a minimum of 26 days between doses; occasional delays in dosing of up to 2 weeks are not expected to have a clinically significant impact on treatment effect.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Sublocade injection.

What happens if I overdose?

In a medical setting an overdose would be treated quickly.

Your doctor may recommend you get naloxone (a medicine to reverse an opioid overdose) and keep it with you at all times. A person caring for you can give the naloxone if you stop breathing or don't wake up. Your caregiver must still get emergency medical help and may need to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on you while waiting for help to arrive.

Anyone can buy naloxone from a pharmacy or local health department. Make sure any person caring for you knows where you keep naloxone and how to use it.

What should I avoid while receiving Sublocade?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.


Fatal side effects may occur if you also drink alcohol or use other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow breathing.

Using opioid medicine during pregnancy may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.

Sublocade is available only under a special program. You must be registered in the program and understand the risks and benefits of this medicine.

What other drugs will affect Sublocade?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medicines at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you use, which may increase side effects or make the medicines less effective. Tell your doctor if you also use an antibiotic, antifungal medication, seizure medication, or medicine to treat HIV or hepatitis C.

Many other drugs can be dangerous when used with opioid medicine. Tell your doctor if you also use:

This list is not complete and many other drugs may interact with buprenorphine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.


Active ingredient: buprenorphine.
Inactive ingredients: ATRIGEL delivery system: biodegradable 50:50 poly(DL-lactide-co-glycolide) polymer and a biocompatible solvent, N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP).


Curia Global Inc., Albany, NY 12203, USA.

Popular FAQ

It is available in a number of dosage forms under the brand names Sublocade, Brixadi, Probuphine (discontinued), Belbuca, Butrans, Buprenex, and Subutex (discontinued). Continue reading

Sublocade and Brixadi are both subcutaneous long-acting buprenorphine injections that may be used for the maintenance treatment of opioid misuse disorder in adults. Sublocade was approved on November 30, 2017, and Brixadi was approved on May 23, 2023. Sublocade is administered once a month, with a minimum of 26 days between doses. If extended travel is deemed necessary, a single 300mg injection may be given to cover 2 months. Brixadi is given once a week or once a month. Continue reading

Sublocade should only be administered into the stomach area (abdomen), except for a 2-inch circle around your navel (belly button), as a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection. It must be given by a certified healthcare provider who has met certain qualifying requirements, including only prescribing Sublocade for the treatment of opioid dependence. Sublocade is administered monthly with a minimum of 26 days between doses. Continue reading

Most patients with Medicaid typically pay low or no cost for Sublocade (buprenorphine) if it is a preferred drug treatment by their state health plan. Your health plan and costs are determined by your state Medicaid program. Continue reading

Probuphine and Sublocade are long-acting forms of buprenorphine. There is no evidence that one is better than the other. They are both used in long-term medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD). Continue reading

Sublocade (buprenorphine) is made by Indivior. Sublocade (buprenorphine) is an extended-release, once-monthly subcutaneous (under the skin) injection that steadily releases buprenorphine into your bloodstream for the treatment of opiate dependence (opioid use disorder). Sublocade is only given by a healthcare provider. Serious harm or death could result if administered intravenously. Continue reading

Sublocade (buprenorphine) is classified by the DEA as a schedule 3 controlled substance with moderate abuse potential. Medicines in schedule 3 have a potential for abuse less than those in schedule 1 and 2 (for example, heroin or oxycodone). Abuse of schedule 3 substances may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence. Sublocade is used for the treatment of opiate dependence (opioid use disorder or opioid addiction). Continue reading

Sublocade is given by a health care provider once a month by subcutaneous (under the skin) injection in the abdominal (stomach) region (with at least 26 days between doses). Your doctor will order this medicine for you, and you will receive it in a clinic or doctor's office. Continue reading

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Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Sublocade only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.