In this article, I’m going to compare Zubsolv vs Suboxone and provide you with an in-depth review on the differences and similarities of these opiate replacement medications.
Upon doing some digging, I found out a major complaint about Zubsolv that no other articles reviewing Zubsolv vs Suboxone have even mentioned.
I don’t see how other bloggers missed this.
I’m really excited to bring this complaint to more people’s attention, because I want to provide a helpful article reviewing Zubsolv vs Suboxone…and that means doing more than just copying what every other article is saying.
I have no financial ties to either Zubsolv or Suboxone, and this review is only going to state the facts.
Once you read about a very common complaint about Zubsolv, and why people have this complaint, you’ll be well-educated on the biggest difference regarding Zubsolv vs Suboxone.
Which is a difference than no one else seems to be referencing in their Zubsolve vs Suboxone articles.
Table of Contents
- 1 Suboxone Overview
- 2 Zubsolv Overview
- 3 How is Zubsolv Different from Suboxone?
- 4 Zubsolv Major Difference
- 5 Zubsolv Reviews (Complaints)
- 6 My Take on this Phenomenon
- 7 The Doctor’s Argument
- 8 Is Zubsolv Right For Me?
- 9 Zubsolv vs Suboxone – Conclusion
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.
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 14 years now, Subutex and Suboxone have continued to save lives, careers, homes, marriages, families, and much more.
Suboxone is a prescription medication containing buprenorphine and naloxone. 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 heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, 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.
Buprenorphine helps opioid-dependent individuals because the daily use of the drug prevents opioid withdrawal symptoms and opioid cravings.
Buprenorphine is very effective at this.
Naloxone is the other compound present in Suboxone.
Naloxone is a pure opioid antagonist. It’s the drug given to people that overdose because an injection of naloxone puts the opioid-user into instant withdrawal, thus saving them from health issues and death.
Naloxone was put into the Suboxone formulation to deter people from injecting it, which would lead to precipitated withdrawal. Taken orally, naloxone isn’t bioavailable. A common misconception is that naloxone blocks the opiates.
This is false.
The truth is that buprenorphine binds so strongly to the opioid receptors that it’s actually the buprenorphine which blocks opioids.
In July 2013, Zubsolv was approved for the maintenance treatment of opioid dependence by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Zubsolv is a product for the treatment of opioid dependence. Zubsolv has comparable efficacy and safety as well as the same active components as previously approved buprenorphine/naloxone sublingual formulations.
However, Zubsolv offers several differences from Suboxone which the company specifically designed to meet the needs of their patients:
- Higher Bioavailability
- Faster Dissolve Time
- Preferred Menthol Flavor
- Broader Range of Dose Strengths
Essentially, Zubsolv and Suboxone are identical medications. They both contain a 4:1 ratio of buprenorphine/naloxone.
However, there are several differences (mentioned above), so let’s dive a little deeper into these differences.
How is Zubsolv Different from Suboxone?
When comparing Zubsolv vs Suboxone, one needs to examine each of the differences to get an accurate view on how these medications measure up with each other.
Zubsolv vs Suboxone:
- Formulation – Suboxone is available as a film or tablet, while Zubsolv comes as a very small tablet.
- Bioavailability – Zubsolv has better bioavailability than Suboxone. Your body can more effectively absorb and make use of the buprenorphine in Zubsolv, thus, the tablets contain less of the active ingredients. For example, a Zubsolv white circular tablet with a strength of 5.7 mg/1.4 mg equates to an 8 mg Suboxone film or tablet.
- Taste – Suboxone has a citrus orange taste (that reminds me of Tang!) and Zubsolv has a minty taste. One study showed that patients preferred the taste of Zubsolv over Suboxone.
Zubsolv Major Difference
Okay, now it’s time to reveal the major difference between Zubsolv and Suboxone…the difference that all of the other Zubsolv vs Suboxone articles have failed to mention.
And it’s a pretty big deal.
Are you ready for it?
Remember, I’m not taking sides here. I’m just providing you with information that I believe is important to know about when comparing Zubsolv vs Suboxone.
According to my research, many people that were doing well on Suboxone and then were switched to Zubsolv, started to realize it wasn’t working as well.
How do I know this?
At the end of other Zubsolv vs Suboxone articles, there are plenty of comments from people telling these horror stories.
Furthermore, on the popular authority website Drugs.com, the Zubsolv reviews and average rating out of 10 points is far lower than Suboxone. Suboxone has an average rating of 9.0, while Zubsolv has an average rating of only 6.5.
Zubsolv Reviews (Complaints)
In this section, I’m simply going to print some of the Zubsolv reviews that I found online where people were complaining about the effects of Zubsolv.
Zubsolv Reviews from ChooseHelp.com
Kenny’s Zubsolv Review: “I just recently (last week) was prescribed Zubsolv 5.7/1.4mg due to my insurance stopping coverage of suboxone. I have been on Suboxone 8mg/2mg for the past 4 years. My first dose of Zubsolv was 2 days ago. A few hours afterwards I began to feel sick. I felt very confused , tired and headache. I felt as if I was in withdraw with a combo of being overmedicated. I had to switch back to Suboxone for now as I have a wedding coming up and refuse to feel sick. I dont know if it’s just me or what but I don’t understand why I felt that way after taking Zubsolv. I tried it twice more thinking maybe it was a coincidence but the same thing happened again. Not sure what I’m going to do come July 1st when my insurance stops paying for Suboxone.”
Carlos’s Zubsolv Review: “I switched to Zubsolv and it’s been 11 days. I feel like I’m going through an almost full-blown withdrawl – sweats, cravings, sleeplessness, etc. They keep using the term “absorbtion rate” and how 1 tablet is equal to 1 film. Bull. It’s a cheaper drug and that’s the bottom line. It’s about the insurance companies saving money. I’m going to ride the month out but if I see my doctor and am still going through this, I’m going back to suboxone – out of pocket. I’d rather take 1 suboxone a day than 2 Zubsolv.”
Click here to read more comments at the end of the Zubsolv vs Suboxone article on ChooseHelp.com.
Zubsolv Reviews from Drugs.com
Zubsolv Review for Opioid Dependence: “I have been on and off suboxone for years from taking pain pills for bad neck pain and headaches. I was doing great for a few months until my doctor prescribed me Zubsolv 2 months ago. I noticed immediately I felt withdrawal symptoms and shortly afterwards I stated having stomach problems. I gradually became deathly ill and have been in and out of the ER 3 times with all kinds of GI problems along with a feeling of gas pains all over from my feet, head to my hands. Bad headache, trouble breathing, blurred vision, cannot think clearly, depression and so on. I think there is something else in Zubsolv that is doing this as I have racked my brain with how this all started. I have episodes of delirium and feel like I’m not going to make it.”
Zubsolv Review for Opioid Dependence: “I was on suboxone strips which was working great for over a year then new insurance put me on zubsolv and the body aches started, constant yawning, then diarrhea. Feels like withdrawals all over again it is miserable and it hurting me at work always tired. Now I pay $650 for my suboxone a month out of my pocket cause insurance covers only some rubbish placebo. Do not recommend can put you back to square one.”
Zubsolv Review for Opioid Dependence: “2 yrs on generic suboxone tablets (Roxanne Labs or Amneal brands only decent generics). I’ve tried to taper with my Doc once but mentally wasn’t ready. Dosage was 16mg/day or 2x8mg/day. Found out My insurance copay is the same on Zubsolv (name brand) as Generic Suboxone. Strange I thought since Name brand Suboxone Films AND Bunavail are still PRE-AUTH ONLY. Now, bare with me. Films have been on market for years but Zubsolv is $10 overnight? Ok. It’s been about 10 days since starting Zubsolv. 5.7mgX2/day. No way this is a competitor to Suboxone. I love the under 10min dissolving time AND toothpaste flavor. Wife asked if Ive been taking my medicine. Yep. Im irritable, short tempered, VERY Lerhargic ZUBSOLV ACTS AS A REALLY IS A DIFFERENT DRUG FOR ME.”
Zubsolv Review for Opioid Dependence: “I was addicted to pain meds after surgery at 20. Then I started doing heroin to stay out of W/D. 7 long years later on heroin I heard a news clip for Suboxone heading here from Europe. I jumped on the phone and got an appointment. It went great. I went through W/D for 72 hours dying all the way through. The doctor started with 1-8mg. Sub., then 2, then 3. Finally it worked for me (24mg.) I have been on Suboxone almost 17 happy years. One day my doctor wanted to switch me to Zubsolv cause he had 15 free sample script and wanted me to try it . At first it was amazing (11-4) 2x’s a day, 4 hours later I was W/D. It’s horrible for me. It does not work for everyone. I’m back on Subs and back to my life. Zubsolv can’t compare to my Suboxone!”
Okay, I think that’s enough. Pretty much all of the 1-Star reviews on Drugs.com say the same things, and there are plenty more to read.
Click here to read more Zubsolv Reviews on Drugs.com.
My Take on this Phenomenon
At this point I also need to mention that more people give positive Zubsolv reviews than negative Zubsolv reviews. And I believe I know why some people write negative Zubsolv reviews.
It all comes down to biochemical uniqueness.
There are 7 billion people on this planet, and though we are all human, there are 7 billion individual biochemical profiles.
It is for this reason that medications and supplements can effect people’s biochemistry differently.
Let me tell you a story about my experience using different versions of the same medications. In my mid-20’s, I went to the doctor for anxiety and depression, and I was put on Paxil and Valium.
The name-brand Paxil CR 12.5 mg yellow tablet was what I started off with, along with yellow diazepam 5 mg (generic Valium). My doctor had free samples of the Paxil CR and that’s why I got to use those vs generic Paxil (paroxetine HCL).
Both of these formulations of the medications worked very well for me.
However, a few months later the doctor ran out of Paxil CR, and I was then switched to a generic version, which was paroxetine HCL 20 mg. It was a white tablet.
Within a few days of switching formulations, I started to feel awful. My symptoms came back with a vengeance, and along with that, I also started to get lots of side effects from the new formulation.
I ended up getting off the paroxetine and staying on the diazepam, and I felt pretty good.
That is…until my pharmacy switched generics from a yellow 5 mg tablet to another generic-producing company. This new diazepam was orange, and it made me feel way different.
The yellow diazepam worked very well, and the orange didn’t control my anxiety as well, and it made me more tired and “out-of-it” than the yellow diazepam. I found a pharmacy close by that carried the yellow diazepam and was very happy!
And you know what? These weren’t the only two cases where I was benefiting from a drug, was switched to another version, then didn’t have the same results…even though technically it was the same medicine.
A bit later in life, I was on citalopram 20 mg (generic Celexa). It worked very well. Then, my pharmacy switched to another generic. Within a few days my symptoms were back.
I called my doctor and asked to be switched to the name-brand Celexa. Once I got on 20 mg Celexa, my symptoms went away and I felt great.
Back when I used to be addicted to opiates, I would buy pills from my drug dealers.
I loved oxycodone. However, when I tried Roxicodone (a brand of oxycodone), it didn’t get me high one bit. It prevented me from going into opiate withdrawal, but I’m telling ya…
Even when I took a 30 mg Roxy, it did nothing in the realm of getting me high.
I would have rather taken a 10 mg non-Roxicodone form of oxycodone.
During the few years that I was addicted to opiates, every once in awhile all I could get was Roxicodone 30 mg blue tablets…and they were expensive ($30 a pop).
I hated having to spend so much money on pills that didn’t make me feel the opioid effects. But I was grateful that they at least prevented withdrawal symptoms.
Opiate withdrawal sickness is the worst.
Okay, I spent longer on this section than I intended, but I really wanted to hammer-home my point.
What’s my point?
Due to individual biochemistry, different medicines and even different versions of the same medicine can have completely different results.
If you research online, you’ll find countless stories of people that got switched from one version of a drug to another, usually because of insurance reasons or because the pharmacy switched, and then the individual had a return of symptoms after the switch.
Isn’t that a pain in the butt?
The Doctor’s Argument
When I told my doctor about the symptoms returning after being switched to different generics of the drug, he said it was “all in my head.”
He assured me the other versions of the medications had the same active drug and thus the same effects.
I did my own research on this, and I learned why there is an epidemic of patients complaining to their doctors about this, even though the doctors typically say it’s not possible.
Apparently, even though two medications can have the exact same drug and quantity of active drug in them, the shape of the drug molecule can be different.
I read an article on biochemical engineering drugs, and the author stated that people can have different effects or lack of effects from different versions of the same medicine because their body’s might not “recognize” the shape of the drug molecule.
Shape is a fundamentally important molecular feature that often determines the fate of a compound in terms of molecular interactions with preferred and non-preferred biological targets.
Thus, different people with different biochemical makeups can respond more favorably or less favorably to the same drugs, simply due to the unique shaping of the drug molecules.
Also, even when different versions of medications contain the same active drug or drugs, the delivery system can be different. Generic drugs typically use drug-delivery agents that are cheaper and not as effective as the drug-delivery compounds that name-brand drugs use.
Furthermore, due to biochemical uniqueness, someone might respond better to a generic drug than a name-brand, that is, if the drug-delivery system goes well with their biochemical makeup.
There are many different drug-delivery systems, and some are much more effective (and expensive) than others.
Here is a cool image of a “Targeted Nanoparticle Drug-Delivery System.”
This has no relevance to the article. I just wanted to say “targeted nanoparticle.”
The next time a doctor tells you “it’s all in your head” when you complain about not getting as good of results using a different brand or different generic, now you can start telling them about your knowledge on biochemical engineering and teach them a thing or two!
Is Zubsolv Right For Me?
If you were switched from Suboxone to Zubsolv by your insurance (due to the price of Zubsolv being cheaper) and/or your doctor, you may need to give Zubsolv a try.
And if you’ve never tried either medicine, you may wish to start out on Zubsolv.
A lot of people do really well on Zubsolv and claim that it’s a miracle drug.
I agree with this statement.
Zubsolv is a miracle drug that works for most people.
However, if you try out Zubsolv and it doesn’t work well with your individual biochemistry, then talk to your doctor about using a different medication, such as Suboxone film, Suboxone tablets, Subutex, or a comparable generic version.
Back in my day, all that was available to me was Suboxone tablets, and they worked very well.
But many people complain about this drug as well.
Here is some sound advice for anyone taking prescription medications:
- Try out a drug.
- If it works, don’t switch to another version.
- If your pharmacy switches generics and the generics give you negative effects, ask the pharmacist to order you the previous generic you used.
- If they won’t, call other pharmacies to see if they carry it.
- If the drug that works better costs more money for you, find out a way to budget your money so you can afford it. Having good mental health is priceless.
If a generic form of a drug is not working well for you, you may wish to try a name-brand version, as these typically have better drug-delivery systems. Better drug-delivery mechanisms lead to more of the medicine being absorbed, which leads to better efficacy of the drug.
Zubsolv vs Suboxone – Conclusion
In the case of Zubsolv vs Suboxone, you’re now equipped with all of the similarities and differences, and you can make an informed decision on what to do next.
To reiterate, I think Zubsolv is an extraordinary medication in the treatment of opioid dependence.
Some people say they like it better than Suboxone, and some people say they like Suboxone better.
Why are there differences of opinion?
Zubsolv vs Suboxone Key Concepts:
- Zubsolv vs Suboxone Uses – Zubsolv and Suboxone are both used in the treatment of opioid dependence.
- Zubsolv vs Suboxone Similarities – Zubsolv and Suboxone both contain 4:1 ratios of buprenorphine/naloxone.
- Zubsolv vs Subxoone Differences – Bioavailability, Formulation, Taste, Price.
- Zubsolv vs Suboxone Reviews – Some good, some bad, depending not on the effectiveness of Zubsolv or Suboxone, rather, depending on the individual biochemistry of the person taking the drug.
Click here to get a Zubsolv Coupon from Zubsolv.com.
Zubsolv and Suboxone are both awesome medications and I highly recommend them, however, some individuals have a rather difficult time tapering off these drugs.
I wrote a free ebook that I posted on my blog, which is over 6,000 words, that has a Step-by-Step Plan for tapering off Suboxone, and this same plan can also be used to help you get off Zubsolv or Subutex (if and when the time comes for you).
Click here to check out the Free Ebook. Bookmark it, because it will be very helpful to you in the future.
If you have any comments or questions on the comparison between Zubsolv vs Suboxone, please post them in the comment box below.