Suboxone Shot (Extended-Release Buprenorphine): A Comprehensive Overview


As opioid use and abuse become more common in our society, the risk to safety, health, and the general well-being of our population grows with it.

With increases in opioid use and reductions in health, there is an emerging need for therapeutic interventions and alternatives that address the issue of dependence on opioids.

Amidst these alternatives, one promising remedy is the Suboxone Shot or Injection – also referred to as Prolonged-Release Buprenorphine.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits, unique characteristics, and the processes through which the Suboxone Shot works.

By doing so, we’ll reveal how and why it is so important to the management of opioid dependence. Let’s get started!

What is a Suboxone Shot (Extended- Realse Buprenorphine)?

The Suboxone Shot, also called Extended-Release Buprenorphine, is a medication designed to treat opioid dependence.

Within it resides buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist that facilitates reduced withdrawal symptoms as well as reductions in cravings for the drug.

Despite acting in a similar way to other opioids, this shot does not cause intense euphoria and is therefore considered to be less likely to be abused.

Unlike daily dosing requirements of other forms, the Suboxone Shot offers sustained relief over time with controlled, convenient administration through intramuscular injection.

As with many medications – especially those in the opioid realm – this therapy requires oversight by medical professionals. This often occurs within special addiction clinics, though some general practices may also offer this supervision.

Suboxone is also most effective at reducing opioid dependence when it is administered in combination with therapy.

Doing so provides a balanced approach to addressing opioid dependence by minimizing the risk of addiction while supporting individuals on their journey to recovery.

Suboxone vs Sublocade

Before diving deeper into the suboxone shot, it is essential to note it’s different from sublocade shots.

While both contain long-release formulations of buprenorphine, subloclade is an injection that only needs to be used once a month.

On the other hand, Suboxone requires more frequent shots, which means dosing is more flexible.

Suboxone Shot: How It Works and Uses

At the core of the Suboxone Shot is buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist. Unlike full opioid agonists which induce intense euphoria and have a higher risk of addiction, buprenorphine provides a controlled and milder opioid effect.

This mechanism positions it exceptionally well for tackling opioid dependence, expertly mitigating the discomfort of withdrawal signs and persistent cravings all while sidestepping the induction of comparable euphoric states.

Indications and Uses of The Suboxone Shot

As we’ve mentioned above, the primary application of the Suboxone Shot lies in addressing opioid dependence.

Its efficacy lies in its ability to bind opioid receptors, curb many of the unpleasant withdrawal effects, and reduce cravings which effortlessly aids in the journey of recovery.

Individuals may prefer Suboxone over other buprenorphine forms as it has an extended-release period.

This means it does not require daily dosing to provide the benefits and therapeutic effects.

The Suboxone Shot is also available in varying doses, types, and strengths. This means each person can cater their Subxone use to their own personal needs.

Administration of Suboxone Shot

The Suboxone Shot is introduced to the human body using intramuscular injection, commonly in the upper arm region (an injection into the muscle).

Through this regulated technique of application, the medication is effectively introduced into the bloodstream.

There are differing approaches available to suit different stages, which means treatment strategies can be tailor-made.

Most importantly, the administration of the Suboxone Shot occurs while under the attentive oversight of medical experts, whether in a clinical setting or within the confines of a physician’s facility.

This not only ensures patient safety but also the optimal efficacy of the drug throughout your system.

Benefits of the Suboxone Shot

Eases Withdrawal & Cravings

One of the primary benefits of the Suboxone Shot is how it can effectively reduce and even eliminate all unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that can occur when an individual is coming off opioids.

This includes reducing cravings, which means patients can better focus on their recovery journey.

Minimizes Overdose Risk

The controlled and milder effect of buprenorphine in the Suboxone Shot significantly reduces the risk of overdose compared to full opioid agonists, providing a safer path to recovery.

Long-lasting Impact

The extended-release nature of the Suboxone Shot means that patients experience sustained relief from withdrawal symptoms. This means recovery can be more likely over time.

Integrated with Therapy

The Suboxone Shot is most effective when integrated with therapy and counseling.

It provides stable support for the patient to build coping mechanisms. This enables patients to actively engage in overcoming their dependence and facilitating a brighter future.

Reduces Misuse Potential

Due to its partial action and mild effects (with no euphoria), the suboxone shot has a significantly lower potential for misuse and abuse compared to other opioids. This contributes to a more controlled and manageable treatment process.

Comparison with Other Treatments

While the Suboxone Shot offers several advantages, it’s important to consider alternative treatments to make informed decisions that ensure you are choosing the best option for you.

Suboxone Tablets/Films

While tablets and films contain similar ingredients to the shot, these require daily dosing. This can increase the risk of forgetting to take your medication and diversion. As such, the less frequent administration of the shot can be better.


This is a full opioid agonist rather than a partial one and requires daily visits to the clinic. This can be cumbersome and restrictive for some users.


This opioid antagonist blocks the effects of opioids, but it doesn’t address withdrawal symptoms or cravings as effectively as the Suboxone Shot. This means it may be less likely to work.


The Suboxone Shot introduces a pivotal tool in the management of opioid dependence, incorporating an extended-release buprenorphine component.

Its ability to reduce negative withdrawal symptoms, mitigate the risk of overdose, provide sustained relief, and harmoniously integrate with therapeutic strategies establishes it as an all-encompassing solution to opioid dependence.

This accomplishment is rooted in the benefits of buprenorphine treatment, offering a safer pathway toward recovery.

Nevertheless, it remains essential for individuals to use Suboxone only while under the watchful care of medical professionals.

It’s also vital to communicate any extraordinary or severe side effects to their healthcare provider, and actively participate in a comprehensive therapeutic strategy.

With the ongoing opioid crisis impacting countless lives, the Suboxone Shot extends a ray of hope to those looking to liberate themselves from the cycle of dependence.


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