Starting Suboxone treatment can be a confusing undertaking, as there is not a lot of information out there about the medication compared to others.
If you have recently been prescribed Suboxone, you might be wondering what your specific dosage means and why your healthcare provider has given it to you.
Depending on where you are in your Suboxone journey as well as your individual characteristics, your dosage will vary. To help you understand more about your Suboxone dose, this guide will cover:
- What Subuxone is
- The different forms of Suboxone and its dosage options
- Typical dosages, including the induction and maintenance dose.
Let’s get into it.
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a medication typically used to treat Opioid Use Disorder.
Its two active ingredients are buprenorphine and naloxone, and they work together to reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms and ease the body’s transition into no longer functioning with opiates in the system.
More specifically, buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that engages with the opioid receptors in the brain to help reduce withdrawal symptoms and make relapse less likely to occur.
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist and aids opioid addiction treatment by reducing the effects of opiates currently in the system and minimizing further cravings.
Due to the nature of buprenorphine, Suboxone is classed as a “partial opioid.”
While it is not as addictive and potentially harmful as full opioids, there is still a chance for dependency and adverse effects to occur.
This means that Suboxone should only ever be used under the guidance of a licensed medical professional.
Forms of Suboxone and Dosage Options
There are two different forms in which Suboxone may be prescribed to you: a sublingual film strip or a sublingual tablet.
These come in different dosages to suit different needs during an opioid addiction treatment program.
It also means that the dosages can be individualized for each patient, which is important as that allows each individual to properly adjust to and metabolize the medication.
Sublingual film strips
Suboxone sublingual film strips are clear film strips that contain the medication.
They are placed under the tongue or between the gums and cheek lining and left to dissolve naturally within the mouth.
Once the film has been dissolved, the body will begin absorbing the Suboxone and its effects will take hold.
Sublingual tablets function in a similar manner as sublingual film as they also dissolve within the mouth. The tablet is usually placed under the tongue to allow for enough saliva to dissolve it in a timely manner.
The typical dose of Suboxone depends on what you are using the medication afor nd the stage that your treatment.
Suboxone film usually comes in four different dosages:
- 2 milligrams (mg) buprenorphine/0.5 mg naloxone
- 4 mg buprenorphine/1 mg naloxone
- 8 mg buprenorphine/2 mg naloxone
- 12 mg buprenorphine/3 mg naloxone.
Generic Suboxone tablets usually come in:
- 2 milligrams (mg) buprenorphine/0.5 mg naloxone
- 8 mg buprenorphine/2 mg naloxone dosages.
These are administered in different amounts at different times in the recovery process.
The dosage you receive largely depends on your individual characteristics, which allow for a customized treatment plan to be created in order to give you the best chance of living a drug-free lifestyle.
The induction dose of Suboxone refers to the dosage you take when you first cease to take opioids. This dosage is designed to stop the immediate withdrawal symptoms you may experience from no longer taking opioids.
The typical induction dosage looks like this: 2 mg buprenorphine /0.5 mg naloxone to 8 mg buprenorphine/2 mg naloxone administered in one or multiple doses on the first day, and 16 mg/4 mg administered in a single dose on day two.
After your initial induction dosage, your doctor will have a good idea of the level of Suboxone that will help to manage your opioid withdrawal symptoms.
From there, they will be able to prescribe a maintenance dosage, which is a daily dose that allows you to manage your symptoms on a day-to-day basis and focus on the other forms of treatment you may be undergoing.
A maintenance dosage of Suboxone can range anywhere from 4 mg buprenorphine/1 mg naloxone up to 24 mg buprenorphine/6 mg naloxone – the maximum dose that may be prescribed.
The exact dosage varies from person to person, as a successful opioid addiction treatment program requires an individualized approach.
Suboxone is a highly effective medication that will vastly improve your chances of recovering from Opioid Use Disorder.
It comes in different forms, and different dosages are available in order to allow for an individualized approach to your treatment program.
Your specific dosage will depend on how long you have been taking the medication and how your body has reacted to it thus far.
When taken correctly, Suboxone will give you the best chance at beating opioid addiction and living a drug-free life.