buprenorphine - sublingual, Subutex
GENERIC NAME: BUPRENORPHINE - SUBLINGUAL (BUE-pre-NOR-feen)
BRAND NAME(S): Subutex
USES: Buprenorphine is used to treat dependence/addiction to narcotics (opioids). Buprenorphine belongs to a class of drugs called mixed narcotic agonist-antagonists. It helps prevent withdrawal symptoms caused by stopping other opiate-type narcotics. It is used as part of a complete treatment program for drug abuse (such as compliance monitoring, counseling, behavioral contract, lifestyle changes).
HOW TO USE: Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using sublingual buprenorphine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.Use this medication as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Place the medication under your tongue for 5 to 10 minutes and let it dissolve completely. If you are prescribed more than one tablet each day, you may place all of the tablets under your tongue at once or place two tablets at a time under your tongue. Do not swallow or chew this medication. It will not work as well.Buprenorphine alone is usually used for the first 2 days after you have stopped all other narcotics. It is usually given in your doctor's office. Your doctor will then switch you to the combination buprenorphine/naloxone medication for maintenance treatment. The combination with naloxone works the same way as buprenorphine alone to prevent withdrawal symptoms. It is combined with naloxone to prevent misuse (injection) of the medication.Buprenorphine works best when the first dose is started after signs of narcotic withdrawal have begun or at least 4 hours after last narcotic use. Buprenorphine can cause withdrawal symptoms if started too soon after your last narcotic use. Follow your doctor's instructions for your treatment plan.The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose, take the medication more frequently, or take it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed.Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day.This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as restlessness, watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, sweating, muscle aches) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.Do not inject ("shoot up") buprenorphine. Injecting it is dangerous and may cause severe withdrawal symptoms (see Side Effects section). Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any withdrawal reactions.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/16/2014
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Back to Medications Index