According to the National Library of Medicine, 3 million people in the United States have had or currently suffer from an opioid use disorder (OUD). While this statistic is incredibly concerning, there is hope in the fight against opioid addiction.
Many treatment options exist for those with OUD, including medication assisted treatment through healthcare professionals, like Dr. James K. Cardi. One incredibly valuable service offered by Dr. Cardi are the medications Suboxone and Sublocade, which have shown great success in addiction treatment when combined with behavioral therapy and counseling.
If you struggle with OUD, Sublocade or Suboxone could be the right choice for you. Continue reading to learn more about these medications and their benefits.
Suboxone vs. Sublocade
Sublocade and Suboxone are two prescription medications that are used to treat opioid use disorder. Both Sublocade and Suboxone contain the active ingredient buprenorphine and both help to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms while a person is going through detox. Either medication can be part of an effective treatment plan for OUD. However, there are a few key differences between them.
Suboxone has been available for over two decades. This medication contains buprenorphine as well as naloxone, which helps prevent people from abusing Suboxone and acts as a safeguard against accidental opioid overdose.
Suboxone is taken as buccal or sublingual film or tablet. This means that it is placed under the tongue or between the gums and cheek and allowed to dissolve.
Sublocade was approved in 2017 and, unlike Suboxone, it contains only buprenorphine. It is taken as an injection given by a doctor. Sublocade offers an extended-release of buprenorphine, so only one injection per month is required. In order to receive Sublocade injections, you must first be on a different form of buprenorphine, like Suboxone, for at least seven days. A Sublocade injection is preferable to some people because it offers discretion and lessens the burden of taking a daily medication.
How Do Sublocade/Suboxone Work?
The active ingredients in Sublocade and Suboxone affect the same regions in the brain as opiates, helping those in recovery from OUD prevent relapses.
Buprenorphine is an opioid agonist, which means that it can attach to the same receptors in the brain as other opioids. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. In comparison to full opioid agonists, such as methodone, an opioid partial agonist does not affect the brain as strongly. This results in reduced cravings. Buprenorphine is also slow-acting, so it prevents withdrawl symptoms without causing a high.
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist. Opioid antagonists bind to the opioid receptors in the brain and prevent them from becoming activated. Naloxone helps prevent people from abusing opiods by negating their rewarding and euphoric effects. It does not help eliminate withdrawal symptoms or cravings.
Sublocade and suboxone have helped millions of people with opioid use disorders reclaim their lives. Both medications have benefits such as:
- Preventing ‘cold turkey’ symptom withdrawals
- Allowing patients to slowly and painlessly wean off opioids
- Carrying a low risk of being abused
- Reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms
- Causing no long-term organ damage
How Can I Recognize OUD?
If you suspect you or someone you know is abusing opioids, look out for the following signs of opioid use disorder:
- Uncontrollable cravings for opioids
- Inability to control opioid use
- Becoming socially isolated
- New or sudden financial struggles
- Lack of impulse control
- Weight loss
- Frequent flu-like symptoms
- Poor hygiene
- Diminished libido
If you feel you have an opioid use disorder or at risk for developing one, it is important to contact your doctor immediately. The sooner you address opioid dependence, the better.
A medicated assisted treatment program that integrates Suboxone or Sublocade can help you achieve a sustainable recovery from OUD. These medicines have helped many people achieve sobriety, as they allow them to complete the rehabilitation process without experiencing uncontrollable cravings or severe withdrawal symptoms. If you or a loved one are struggling with opioid addiction, the expert team at James K. Cardi M.D. can help you start your journey towards recovery with the use of Suboxone and Sublocade medications.
If you are struggling with opioid addiction, let the expert team at James K. Cardi, M.D. help. Dr. Cardi is a highly experienced, board-certified internist who can guide you through your recovery journey with Suboxone and Sublocade medications. Request an appointment online or call our office at (401)- 440-1977 to set up an appointment.