Sublocade Treatment

Sublocade Treatment

Sublocade is a monthly injection that reduces opiate cravings and withdrawal symptoms to help patients achieve a complete recovery.

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What is Sublocade Treatment for Opiate Addiction?

Sublocade is a brand name, month-long injectable medicine that contains the active ingredient buprenorphine. It is used to treat adults who are dependent on opioids. In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Suboxone for treating opiate addiction.

A 2015 study conducted by Harvard University determined that buprenorphine treatment in conjunction with therapy and/or counseling at least triples the probability an individual will achieve opioid abstinence during active treatment versus counseling alone.

The Impact of Heroin and Opiates on the Brain

When someone is abusing opioids, the opioids bind to the neuroreceptors in the brain, providing euphoria and pain relief. As a person continues to abuse opioids, their brain becomes more tolerant and requires increased doses for the same effect. But, their brain chemistry has changed, which increases their impulsivity and desire while decreasing their predictive thinking skills. When someone that is dependent or addicted to opioids stops using opiates and those neuroreceptors are not receiving the opioid, people will feel severe withdrawal symptoms.

How Does Sublocade Work?

Sublocade (buprenorphine) injections are administered once a month and inhibit people from craving opiates or experiencing withdrawal symptoms that are associated with opioid abuse. Buprenorphine competes with the abused opioid, trying to attach to the same neuroreceptors in the brain. Because buprenorphine has a stronger binding ability, it blocks out the abused opioid. In addition, since it is a partial antagonist and provides a limited opioid effect, buprenorphine is able to suppress withdrawal symptoms without euphoria.

What are the Benefits of Sublocade?

When combined with therapy or counseling, Sublocade injections can have significant benefits. Monthly injections of buprenorphine treatment can:

Reduce Cravings and Withdrawal Symptoms

Sublocade provides a steady release of medication in the body, effectively reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid dependence. This helps patients manage their addiction more comfortably and maintain their daily activities without the constant struggle against cravings and discomfort.

Block Effects of Illicit Opioids

Buprenorphine binds to the same neuroreceptors as other opioids but doesn’t produce the same high. This blocks the euphoric effects of illicit opioids, making their use less appealing to help patients avoid relapse and achieve long-term recovery.

Lower Misuse or Relapse Potential

By providing a controlled, long-acting form of medication, Sublocade lowers the potential for misuse. The monthly injection ensures a consistent therapeutic level of medication, reducing the risk of relapse by removing the daily decision to take medication.

Help Patients Stay in Treatment

The once-monthly injection schedule makes it easier for patients to stay in treatment. By eliminating the need for daily dosing, reducing cravings, and mitigating withdrawal symptoms, patients can focus on other aspects of their treatment plan, like counseling.

Is Sublocade Treatment Trading One Addiction for Another?

Buprenorphine stops withdrawal symptoms and reduces compulsive behavior, loss of control, and cravings, but does not create a new dependence. When all symptoms of addiction cease, remission begins, and Sublocade does not switch one opioid addiction for another.

The difference lies in physical dependence and addiction. Buprenorphine maintains some of the preexisting physical dependence, but is easily managed medically and eventually allows for tapering off of buprenorphine. Physical dependence, unlike addiction, is not a medical condition requiring treatment and is a normal side effect of long-term opioid use.

Sublocade vs. Methadone: What's the Difference?

For many years, doctors have used Methadone to treat heroin addiction; however, people who take Methadone are typically required to visit the clinic daily to obtain their medicine. This can be a barrier to treatment for some, and many communities do not have local Methadone clinics, making it difficult to acquire. Sublocade is a better option for opioid addiction treatment, as it is easily administered in a physician’s office once a month. Methadone users may also require more and more Methadone over time, as it does not have diversion technology such as Naloxone.

Treat Opioid Use Disorder With Sublocade

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If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid use disorder, help is just a call or click away. Our Sublocade providers and professional counselors can help you on the road to recovery. Reach out today and experience a newer, healthier way to live.

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Are Sublocade and Suboxone the Same Treatment?

While they both contain buprenorphine, Sublocade and Suboxone are not the same treatment. Suboxone also contains naloxone, an opioid blocker that helps to prevent the abuse of buprenorphine. Suboxone is a film that dissolves under the tongue and can be taken once or twice daily, while Sublocade is a monthly injection given by a healthcare provider that does not contain naloxone.

Compared to Suboxone, Sublocade lasts for a longer period, ensuring you don’t have to think about taking medication daily or even weekly. It also provides a more steady level of medicine in your system. However, it is not as flexible as Suboxone and may not be efficient for those who require a higher dose of buprenorphine.

Find Sublocade Treatment Near You

BRIGHTSIDE has multiple locations across the state of Illinois to support you on your recovery journey, no matter where you are. Explore our clinics and connect with a compassionate care professional near you to take the first step towards an addiction-free life.

  • Same Day Appointments
  • Convenient Locations
  • Comfortable Environment
  • Unlimited Access to Staff

Frequently Asked Questions About Sublocade

Sublocade contains the active ingredient buprenorphine. Unlike other buprenorphine medications, it is a long-acting injectable form of medicine.

No, Sublocade is not for injection into veins. It is intramuscular, which means a medical professional injects the Sublocade ‘shot’ into muscles, not veins. Injecting it into veins can cause serious injury.

There is no pure Suboxone shot. However, some people may refer to Sublocade as the Suboxone shot because it’s administered as an injection.

Sublocade is not an opioid blocker. However, it can prevent withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with opioids. It does this by partial agonism at the mu-opioid receptor. Vivitrol is an opioid blocker that is given as a monthly injection.

The most common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

These side effects are usually mild and resolve on their own.

No, these two treatments are not the same. They are both long-acting injectable medications used to treat opioid use disorder, but they contain different active ingredients. Sublocade contains buprenorphine, while Vivitrol contains naltrexone and is an opioid antagonist, which means it blocks the effects of opioids.

This treatment isn’t right for everyone. You may be a suitable candidate if you’re:

On a stable dose of buprenorphine-containing medication: It’s essential to be on a stable dose of buprenorphine before starting treatment. The maximum daily dose of buprenorphine for patients ready for Sublocade is 16mg. This is because the peak blood level of buprenorphine after the first injection may be higher than your usual dose, which could cause withdrawal symptoms.

Having trouble tapering off Suboxone: People having trouble tapering off Suboxone may be a good candidate for Sublocade treatment. It is more beneficial for individuals than Suboxone because it provides a steadier form of medication that can help prevent withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Not consistent with daily sublingual doses: If you’re not consistently taking your daily sublingual doses of buprenorphine, you may be an excellent candidate for this treatment. This is because it can provide a steadier medication level, which may help prevent withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Yes, it is safe to make the switch to this treatment option.

No, it does not get you high. The buprenorphine works to prevent withdrawal symptoms and cravings, but it does not produce the same euphoric effects of other opioids.

Sublocade is a prescription medication, so a doctor must prescribe it. Brightside Clinic doctors are experts in using Sublocade to treat opioid addiction. We can help you determine if it’s the right medication for you. Contact us today to learn more and to schedule an appointment to change your life.

What are the Disadvantages of Sublocade?

Some people may experience barriers to access with this treatment. There are some disadvantages to using a subcutaneous injection, which include:

Control: You don’t have the option to increase or decrease your dose for up to 30 days. This can be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on your needs. If you need to increase your dose, you’ll have to wait until your next injection.

Availability: This treatment is not widely available and may not be an option in all areas. Brightside Sublocade doctors have the expertise and experience to provide this life-changing medication.

Will My Insurance Cover Sublocade Treatment?

This treatment option is more expensive than other forms of buprenorphine. Sublocade cost is about $1,500 per injection, while the cost of Suboxone is only about $100 for a month’s supply. However, insurance may cover some or all of the cost.

Brightside representatives are available to help you determine if your insurance will cover the cost of Sublocade. Don’t assume help isn’t available because of the cost.

Starting Sublocade: What to Expect

When your withdrawal symptoms are controlled with Suboxone or another buprenorphine-containing medication, you can start treatment. You should be on a stable dose for at least seven days before beginning your first subcutaneous injection.

Your Brightside Clinic doctor will inject Sublocade into your upper arm or abdomen. The injection site will be cleaned with an alcohol swab, and a small needle will be used to inject the medication under the skin. The initial dose of Sublocade is 30 milligrams (mg), but this may be increased or decreased based on your needs.

After the injection, you will be monitored briefly for any adverse reactions. Your next dose will be given 30 days after your initial dose, and at each subsequent visit, your doctor will assess your response to Sublocade and make any necessary adjustments to your dose. Most people will need to stay on Sublocade for at least six months, but some may need to continue treatment for longer.