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How to Take Buprenorphine

by Nick

Before reading this guide, please keep in mind you should only take buprenorphine as directed by your doctor. If you want to take your medicine differently, consult your clinic first. MAT medication requires careful treatment to keep patients safe. Your doctor can talk to you about your options and find one that fits your symptoms and needs. This guide provides a general overview and should not take the place of a doctor’s advice.

Ways to Take Buprenorphine

Patients begin taking buprenorphine at least 12 hours after using opioids and between 48 and 72 hours after taking methadone. Doctors recommend waiting as long as possible between opioid use and buprenorphine treatment. Delaying the beginning of treatment helps you reduce the risk of side effects such as the worsening of your withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine for opioid addiction comes in the following types:

  • Sublingual film: A sublingual film dissolves under the tongue and has a design meant for fast absorption.
  • Sublingual tablet: Sublingual tablets also go under the tongue and may take a little longer to dissolve than sublingual film.
  • Buccal film: A buccal film goes between the gum and cheek to dissolve into your mucous membranes.

Remember to take your medicine as your doctor directs. For example, don’t dissolve a sublingual film in a liquid to take it.

Types of Buprenorphine Medications

The varieties of buprenorphine medicine include:

  • Generic buprenorphine: Unbranded buprenorphine medicine tends to come in the form of a sublingual tablet or film.
  • SUBUTEX®: This branded form of standalone buprenorphine medicine often has the form of a sublingual tablet.
  • SUBOXONE®: Patients take SUBOXONE®, a popular buprenorphine/naloxone combination medication, as a sublingual film.
  • BUNAVAIL®: BUNAVAIL® also contains buprenorphine and naloxone, but it counts as a buccal film instead of a sublingual one.
  • ZUBSOLV®: This medicine takes the form of a sublingual tablet that includes buprenorphine and naloxone.

Many MAT patients receive prescriptions for SUBOXONE®, but everyone has a different MAT experience. Your doctor will help you find an option that fits your symptoms and needs.

What to Consider During Buprenorphine Treatment

As you take buprenorphine, remember to pay attention to any side effects or symptoms you have. Your doctor may have additional treatment options for you that cause fewer side effects. Tell your other care providers you take buprenorphine and make sure your clinic knows about any other medications you take.

Start Buprenorphine Treatment at Health Care Resource Centers

Contact Health Care Resource Centers today to learn more about buprenorphine or begin MAT in New England.

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