If you’re looking for informative and easy-to-follow Sublocade Reviews, then you’ve come to the right place, my friend. In this article, I’m going to teach you everything you need to know about using the new FDA-approved medicine for opioid use disorder, called Sublocade.
I am EXTREMELY PASSIONATE about opiate addiction recovery, and so my goal is to make this the most helpful Sublocade Review available online. My intention is to serve you well, and I promise to give you a detailed review of the pros and cons associated with using Sublocade for opiate addiction recovery.
I’ll be covering the following topics in this Sublocade Review:
- Sublocade Mechanism of Action
- Sublocade Price
- Sublocade Statistics
- Sublocade Side Effects
- Sublocade Dosage
- How to Use Sublocade
- Sublocade Pros and Cons Breakdown
My ultimate goal is to provide you with a good understanding of the pros and cons associated with using Sublocade for opiate addiction, thus enabling you to make an informed decision on whether or not to use this medication. So without further ado, I now present with my review of Sublocade, which starts with a little history…
Table of Contents
- 1 Brief History of Suboxone and Subutex
- 2 Science and Innovation
- 3 Sublocade Becomes FDA-Approved
- 4 Sublocade Mechanism of Action
- 5 Sublocade Price
- 6 Sublocade Statistics
- 7 Sublocade Side Effects
- 8 Sublocade Dosage and Administration
- 9 Sublocade – Review of Pros and Cons
- 10 Sublocade Reviews – Conclusion
Brief History of Suboxone and Subutex
On October 8th, 2002, the FDA announced the approval of Subutex and Suboxone tablets for the treatment of opioid dependence. Subutex and Suboxone also became the first narcotic drugs available for the treatment of opioid dependence that could be prescribed in an office setting under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act (DATA) of 2000.
As a result of these changes in policy, many opiate-dependent individuals were now able to be treated with Subutex and Suboxone, two drugs that both contained buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist that can relieve opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Some people chose to enroll in Opiate Treatment Programs (OTP’s) and received Suboxone in an outpatient treatment setting (which includes counseling), while others opted for treatment under the care of a private physician.
All over the nation, people were getting the help they really needed, and for over 15 years now, Subutex and Suboxone have continued to save lives, careers, homes, marriages, families, and much more.
Science and Innovation
Over the years, pharmacists have continued to be creative and innovate new opiate replacement medications. For instance, on May 26th of 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Probuphine for the maintenance treatment of opioid dependence.
The Probuphine Implant provides patients with six months of slow-release, steady levels of buprenorphine.
The Probuphine Implant was created to increase convenience and treatment retention, and decrease opioid use and diversion in persons who are already stable on low-to-moderate dosages of oral buprenorphine.
Sublocade Becomes FDA-Approved
On November 30, 2017, the FDA approved a new innovative medicine called Sublocade for the treatment of moderate-to-severe opioid use disorder.
According to the FDA Press Announcement:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Sublocade, the first once-monthly injectable buprenorphine product for the treatment of moderate-to-severe opioid use disorder (OUD) in adult patients who have initiated treatment with a transmucosal (absorbed through mucus membrane) buprenorphine-containing product. It is indicated for patients that have been on a stable dose of buprenorphine treatment for a minimum of seven days.
Buprenorphine for the treatment of OUD is currently approved to administer as a tablet or film that dissolves in the mouth, or as an implant. Sublocade provides a new treatment option for patients in recovery who may value the benefits of a once-monthly injection compared to other forms of buprenorphine, such as reducing the burden of taking medication daily as prescribed (medical adherence).”
Sublocade Mechanism of Action
Sublocade is an injectable, extended-release formulation of buprenorphine that uses Atrigel technology to deliver buprenorphine at a controlled rate over a one month period.
Buprenorphine is a controlled substance and semisynthetic opioid derivative of thebaine. Buprenorphine attaches and binds to the same opioid receptors in the brain and other parts of the body that drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, heroin, and other opioids bind to. Once it attaches to these receptors, it mimics the effects that opioid drugs produce (though it’s not as powerful).
For this reason, buprenorphine is known as a “partial opioid agonist.”
The other opiate drugs I just mentioned are known as “full opioid agonists,” because they activate the receptors in a stronger and more complete way than buprenorphine. See the illustration below.
Since Sublocade treatment provides your body with extended-release buprenorphine in steady levels for a month at a time, this allows the patient to avoid opioid withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings, without the need for having to take an oral form of buprenorphine every day.
Indivior (the makers of Sublocade) reports that the wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) price of Sublocade will be $1,580/month, regardless of dose. The monthly retail cost of Suboxone varies from $300-800/month, making Sublocade substantially more expensive than traditional sublingual applications.
According to Indivior, “We want to help ensure our products are affordable to appropriate patients. We will be offering a SUBLOCADE co-pay assistance program, and also a SUBOXONE® (buprenorphine and naloxone) Sublingual Film co-pay assistance program, that may reduce initial out-of-pocket costs for eligible patients to as little as $5 each month.”
Sublocade was evaluated in a 24-week study in which patients were randomized to one of the following three regimens: six once-monthly Sublocade 300 mg doses; two once-monthly Sublocade 300 mg doses followed by four once-monthly 100 mg doses; or 6 once-monthly injections of placebo.
Results of the research study concluded the following:
All regimens received weekly individualized drug counseling. Both dosage regimens of Sublocade were shown to be superior to placebo in achieving more illicit opioid-free weeks.”
Sublocade Side Effects
As with all pharmaceutical medications, Sublocade does have the ability to cause minor or even severe side effects. Sometimes the side effects will go away with time, and other times they stay and always remain present to at least some degree.
Common Sublocade side effects include:
- Injection site itching or pain
- Increased liver enzymes
Sublocade Dosage and Administration
According to the Sublocade Fact Sheet PDF on Indivior.com, “SUBLOCADE is available in dosage strengths of 100 mg/0.5 mL and 300 mg/1.5 mL buprenorphine. Each dose is provided in a prefilled syringe with a 19 gauge 5/8-inch needle. The recommended dose of SUBLOCADE following induction and dose adjustment with transmuscosal buprenorphine is 300 mg monthly for the first two months followed by a maintenance dose of 100 mg monthly.
The maintenance dose may be increased to 300 mg monthly for patients who tolerate the 100 mg dose, but do not demonstrate a satisfactory clinical response, as evidenced by self-reported illicit opioid use or urine drug screens positive for illicit opioid use.”
Sublocade – Review of Pros and Cons
Now that you’ve been educated on the many aspects of Sublocade, I’m going to provide you with a breakdown of the main pros and cons associated with the use of Sublocade for opioid use disorder.
- Relapse Prevention – Contains buprenorphine which has a long history of helping people avoid opioid withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and relapse.
- Innovative Formulation – With oral buprenorphine you have to take it every day. This can lead to blood concentrations falling and rising. Additionally, patients can stop taking their daily medicine, abuse it, or even sell it to someone without a prescription. A monthly injection prevents all of these issues.
- Simplicity – To get Sublocade treatment, you simply sign up for an Outpatient Treatment Program (OTP) or private practice physician that can prescribe you Sublocade and give you the monthly injection of medicine.
- Temporary Fix – Many people want to be completely opioid-free one day, and if you’ve ever spoken with someone that has tried to come off any buprenorphine formulations, it’s regarded as a pretty difficult task to achieve for the majority of individuals.
- Price – Due to the higher price of Sublocade, this will limit how many people the medication can help.
- Side Effects – Many people will either have mild side effects or no side effects from Sublocade, but some patients will suffer from significant side effects, and the only way to know which person you are is to use yourself as a guinea pig.
Sublocade Reviews – Conclusion
In my opinion, Sublocade is an extraordinary medication that is going to help many people over the years. Buprenorphine formulations have a proven track record at helping people abstain from the addictive use of opioid drugs.
Since Sublocade was literally just approved by the FDA a little over a month ago, there are no Sublocade User Reviews available online at my favorite place to search for these, Drugs.com.
But I have a feeling over the next 12 months Sublocade User Reviews will start coming out all over the internet. Until then, and even after, if you or someone you know has had a personal experience using Sublocade, I encourage you to post about it in the comment box below.
Additionally, if you have any comments or questions related to Sublocade Reviews or anything else your heart desires (related to opiate recovery!) please post them in the comment box below.