The primary active ingredient in SUBOXONE is buprenorphine.
Because buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, its opioid effects are limited compared with those produced by full opioid agonists, such as oxycodone or heroin. SUBOXONE also contains naloxone, an opioid antagonist.
The naloxone in SUBOXONE is there to discourage people from dissolving the tablet and injecting it. When SUBOXONE is placed under the tongue, as directed, very little naloxone reaches the bloodstream, so what the patient feels are the effects of the buprenorphine. However, if naloxone is injected, it can cause a person dependent on a full opioid agonist to quickly go into withdrawal.
SUBOXONE at the appropriate dose may be used to:
- Reduce illicit opioid use
- Help patients stay in treatment by
- Suppressing symptoms of opioid withdrawal
- Decreasing cravings for opioids