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Sublocade - Milwaukee WI

SUBLOCADE contains buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, and is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe opioid use disorder in patients who have initiated treatment with a buprenorphine-containing product, followed by dose adjustment for a minimum of 7 days. (taken from the DailyMed government website  Although buprenorphine is available as a generic drug, there isn’t a generic form of Sublocade. The generic form of buprenorphine comes as tablets. But Sublocade has a different form of buprenorphine, so that’s why it’s given as an injection. Sublocade injections slowly release buprenorphine into your body over time.


Sublocade Treatment Information

Sublocade injection is used to treat opioid addiction. Sublocade continuously releases medicine all month at daily sustained levels.  Sublocade is given to people who have started addiction treatment with an oral form of buprenorphine placed under the tongue or inside the cheek (such as Suboxone or Subutex). The SUBLOCADE (buprenorphine extended-release) injection is a clear, viscous, colorless to yellow to amber, sterile solution for subcutaneous injection only (i.e. under your skin) by trained healthcare professionals. It comes in pre-filled syringes.


Sublocade is available only in a certified healthcare setting under a special program. You will not be able to give yourself this medicine.


SUBLOCADE should be used as part of a complete treatment program that includes counseling and psychosocial support.


Spectrum treats patients in a holistic manner and treats the addiction and any mental health disorders that commonly occur with addiction. This type of treatment is called “dual diagnosis” treatment. We have trained professionals who are experienced in treating addiction and mental health disorders. We also have trained therapists who offer 1:1 therapy for various addiction issues, depression, anxiety, trauma, bipolar, and other mental health issues. 


Sublocade is for Opioid Addiction and is not approved for Pain Management

Sublocade cannot treat chronic pain like an opioid does. Sublocade is designed and approved to help alleviate opioid addiction only.


Opioids are very strong pain medications and have been used over the past decades to help patients recovering from surgery or for cancer patients. Unfortunately, opioids may be inappropriate for long term pain management of arthritis, or lower back pain, or other chronic and debilitating disorders. That’s because taking opioids for a long period of time typically may result in dependence in the patient. Some patients may then become addicted to opioids and then suffer from the harmful long term effects of addiction such as drug seeking behaviors, aggression, behavioral changes, and withdrawals.


Opioids have very serious risks and side effects, including the risk of addiction.  See the list of useful Websites below for more details. 


Switching from Suboxone to Sublocade

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 

  • 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 is taken by the patient at home or daily.

  • 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.


Stopping Sublocade

When you take Sublocade, it helps stop withdrawal symptoms from opioids. However, your body may become physically dependent on Sublocade. (This means that your body needs the drug in order to function like usual.)


Usually, withdrawal from Sublocade is milder than withdrawal from opioids. Symptoms of withdrawal from Sublocade can include:


  • anxiety

  • nausea or vomiting

  • muscle aches

  • trouble sleeping

  • Loose stools or diarrhea


Keep in mind that Sublocade is a long-acting medication that stays in your body for a while. So, withdrawal from it may happen weeks to months after your last dose.


Tell your doctor if you’re having any withdrawal symptoms after stopping Sublocade. They can recommend ways to help manage your symptoms.


Sublocade Website(s) for More Information

Sublocade and Vivitrol are both prescription medications used to manage opioid use disorder. In addition, Vivitrol is also used to treat alcohol use disorder.


The official Sublocade website


Mayo Clinic


National Institute of Health

REMS Sublocade Information

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