Suboxone is a combination of Buprenorphine and Naloxone prescribed for opiate addiction, most commonly to heroin and prescription pain killers like Morphine, Hydrocodone and Oxycontin. Suboxone is a “partial-agonist” opiate, this means that it occupies the opiate receptors in your brain (so you don’t have cravings or feelings of withdrawal) but does not cause feelings of being “high”.


Suboxone comes in many forms, but the two most popular are, sublingual tablets and sublingual film, aka “strips”. Both forms are designed to be slowly dissolved under the tongue. The strips come in 2 dosages, 8mg and 2mg, which can be cut into smaller pieces with scissors to obtain the required dose.  The tablets are available in 1.4mg to 11.4mg. There’s also a trans-dermal patch available, under the brand name Butrans, which works like a nicotine patch administering the dosage over time. Its important to note, however, that the patch contains only Buprenorphine and not Naloxone (more on that later). Recently, a new delivery system has been developed. Bunavail is a “buccal film”, meaning it dissolves inside the mouth, by being pressed against the cheek.  Its available in dosages ranging from 2.1mg to 12.6mg.


Suboxone – sublingual film

Zubsolve – sublingual tablets

Butrans – transdermal patch

Bunavail – buccal film

further reading

NAABT – The National Alliance of Advocates
for Buprenorphine Treatment

Outpatient Addiction Treatment in Denver
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