Understanding opioid dependence

Opioid dependence—physical addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin—affects many people in the US. Unfortunately, many people who struggle with opioid dependence may be reluctant to ask for help because of the stigma attached to the notion of "drug dependence."

Opioid dependence is a complex health condition with many elements that are caused or made worse by continued opioid use. Key elements include social, psychological, and biological components. Opioid dependence can occur as the brain adapts to the regular use of opioids over time. People who are opioid dependent may continue using opioids despite experiencing harmful consequences.

You are not alone

Opioid dependence is a chronic disease that can affect anyone. It could be a friend, a co-worker, a spouse, a brother, a sister, or a parent.

If you or someone you know may be dependent on opioids, you are not alone. In 2013, there were nearly 2.4 million reports of people that had abused or were dependent on opioids—such as heroin—or prescription painkillers.

Know your opioids: Opioids can be prescription painkillers. For example, Oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl—better known by the brand names as OxyContin®, Vicodin®, Percocet®, and Actiq®—are opioids. The street drug heroin is also an opioid.

12 years or older.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings. NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014.

All brand names cited above are the property of their respective owners. Vicodin is a registered trademark of Abbott Laboratories. Percodan and Percocet are registered trademarks of Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Actiq is a registered trademark of Cephalon, Inc. MS Contin and OxyContin are registered trademarks of Purdue Frederick Company.

For opioid dependence treatment: SUBOXONE® (buprenorphine and naloxone) Sublingual Film (CIII)

Here for your journey

Whether you're trying to stop using opioids for the first time or you're ready to try again... it's not a time to go it alone.

There are a number of treatment options for opioid dependence and SUBOXONE Film may be an appropriate option for you. Talk to a doctor qualified to treat opioid dependence to find out which treatment is right for you.

SUBOXONE Film along with counseling and psychosocial support may help you—or someone you care about—manage opioid dependence.

Savings card eligibility and online support for your recovery *Details here WATCH INTRO VIDEO  

SUBOXONE® (buprenorphine and naloxone) Sublingual Film (CIII)

About treatment

It is possible to get on the path to recovery and there are many different treatment options.

Here are some of the types of treatment available:

  • In a clinic with methadone—methadone is medication-assisted treatment used to block the euphoria or "high" associated with other opioids
  • Counseling—addresses the psychological and behavioral aspects of addiction
  • In-patient treatment programs—highly structured programs in hospitals and residential treatment centers that offer around-the-clock support
  • Twelve step programs—based on a set of guiding principles that outline a course of action to work towards recovery from addiction
  • In-office medication-assisted treatment—prescription medications are used to help suppress withdrawal symptoms and decrease cravings, along with counseling and other support

One type of medication-assisted treatment is SUBOXONE Film, with counseling and psychosocial support. Together with a doctor who is qualified to treat opioid dependence, SUBOXONE Film may help you—or someone you care about manage opioid dependence.

Find a doctor who is qualified to treat opioid dependence.

SUBOXONE® (buprenorphine and naloxone) Sublingual Film (CIII)

Getting ready for treatment

There are four things you can do

If you think you may be opioid dependent and feel you are ready to take action, here are 4 practical steps.

Start here, start today:

*For eligible patients using insurance, this card covers up to $50 each month on your copay. Limit 1 fill per month. For eligible new patients using insurance, this card allows for 2 fills the first month for a total copay savings of up to $50 off. Patients who have used a savings card for SUBOXONE Film in the past 12 months are not eligible for the additional new patient offer. For eligible patients not using insurance, this card covers up to $1.11 off per individual 2 mg Film (up to 90 Films or $100 per month), $2.22 off per individual 4 mg and 8 mg Film (up to 90 Films or $200 per month), and up to $4.44 off per individual 12 mg Film (up to 60 Films or $266 per month). Multiple fills are allowed each month up to maximums listed.

SUBOXONE® (buprenorphine and naloxone) Sublingual Film (CIII)

Treatment with SUBOXONE Film

ELIGIBLE PATIENTS MAY GET YOUR PRESCRIPTION FILLED FOR FREE*
Print your card now *See full offer details

SUBOXONE Film is approved for use in both induction and maintenance treatment of opioid dependence in appropriate patients.*

  • For dependence on short-acting opioids, like heroin or prescription painkillers, SUBOXONE Film, which contains buprenorphine and naloxone, may be recommended to help you begin and maintain continuity of treatment
  • When transitioning from dependence on long-acting opioids, like methadone, a buprenorphine-only medication may be recommended

If a doctor qualified to treat opioid dependence prescribes SUBOXONE Film, your treatment can begin. The following are potential stages of treatment with SUBOXONE Film. Only your doctor can decide what is an appropriate treatment plan for you.

  1. Induction—you begin your treatment (or restart it if you’ve relapsed) under the supervision of a doctor. For your first dose, you must be in a moderate state of withdrawal. You work with your doctor to reach a dose of SUBOXONE Film that works for you.
  2. Maintenance—Your doctor will help you to transition to the maintenance phase of treatment when you:
    • Are no longer experiencing withdrawal symptoms
    • Have minimal to no side effects
    • Do not have uncontrollable cravings

    You can take your medication regularly as prescribed as long as you comply with all of the elements in your treatment plan including responsibly handling the medication, staying free from illicit drug use, and seeking counseling and/or psychosocial support.

  3. Medical taper—The decision to discontinue therapy with SUBOXONE Film after a period of maintenance should be made as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. It is important that you work with your doctor to determine when the time is right to slowly lower your dose, taking care to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Throughout treatment, you should discuss any concerns you have about relapse with your doctor.
Selected Safety Information

*SUBOXONE Film is not recommended in patients with severe hepatic impairment and may not be appropriate for patients with moderate hepatic impairment. However, SUBOXONE Film may be used with caution for maintenance treatment in patients with moderate hepatic impairment who have initiated treatment on a buprenorphine product without naloxone.

For more information on adverse events click here.

Indication

SUBOXONE® (buprenorphine and naloxone) Sublingual Film (CIII) is a prescription medicine indicated for treatment of opioid dependence and should be used as part of a complete treatment plan to include counseling and psychosocial support.

Treatment should be initiated under the direction of physicians qualified under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act.

Important Safety Information

Do not take SUBOXONE® (buprenorphine and naloxone) Sublingual Film (CIII) if you are allergic to buprenorphine or naloxone as serious negative effects, including anaphylactic shock, have been reported.

SUBOXONE Sublingual Film can be abused in a manner similar to other opioids, legal or illicit.

SUBOXONE Sublingual Film contains buprenorphine, an opioid that can cause physical dependence with chronic use. Physical dependence is not the same as addiction. Your doctor can tell you more about the difference between physical dependence and drug addiction. Do not stop taking SUBOXONE Sublingual Film suddenly without talking to your doctor. You could become sick with uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms because your body has become used to this medicine.

SUBOXONE Sublingual Film can cause serious life-threatening breathing problems, overdose and death, particularly when taken by the intravenous (IV) route in combination with benzodiazepines or other medications that act on the nervous system (ie, sedatives, tranquilizers, or alcohol). It is extremely dangerous to take nonprescribed benzodiazepines or other medications that act on the nervous system while taking SUBOXONE Sublingual Film.

You should not drink alcohol while taking SUBOXONE Sublingual Film, as this can lead to loss of consciousness or even death.

Death has been reported in those who are not opioid dependent.

Your doctor may monitor liver function before and during treatment.

SUBOXONE Sublingual Film is not recommended in patients with severe hepatic impairment and may not be appropriate for patients with moderate hepatic impairment. However, SUBOXONE Sublingual Film may be used with caution for maintenance treatment in patients with moderate hepatic impairment who have initiated treatment on a buprenorphine product without naloxone.

Keep SUBOXONE Sublingual Film out of the sight and reach of children. Accidental or deliberate ingestion of SUBOXONE Sublingual Film by a child can cause severe breathing problems and death.

Do not take SUBOXONE Sublingual Film before the effects of other opioids (eg, heroin, hydrocodone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone) have subsided as you may experience withdrawal symptoms.

Injecting SUBOXONE may cause serious withdrawal symptoms such as pain, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, sleep problems, and cravings.

Before taking SUBOXONE Sublingual Film, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you are pregnant or become pregnant while taking SUBOXONE Sublingual Film, alert your doctor immediately and you should report it using the contact information provided below.*

Neonatal withdrawal has been reported following the use of buprenorphine by the mother during pregnancy.

Before taking SUBOXONE Sublingual Film, talk to your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed your baby. SUBOXONE can pass into your breast milk. You and your doctor should consider the development and health benefits of breastfeeding along with your clinical need for SUBOXONE Sublingual Film and should also consider any potential adverse effects on the breastfed child from the drug or from the underlying maternal condition.

Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or perform any other dangerous activities until you know how SUBOXONE Sublingual Film affects you. Buprenorphine in SUBOXONE Sublingual Film can cause drowsiness and slow reaction times during dose-adjustment periods.

Common side effects of SUBOXONE Sublingual Film include nausea, vomiting, drug withdrawal syndrome, headache, sweating, numb mouth, constipation, painful tongue, redness of the mouth, intoxication (feeling lightheaded or drunk), disturbance in attention, irregular heartbeat, decrease in sleep, blurred vision, back pain, fainting, dizziness, and sleepiness.

This is not a complete list of potential adverse events associated with SUBOXONE Sublingual Film. Please see full Prescribing Information for a complete list.

*To report negative side effects associated with taking SUBOXONE Sublingual Film, please call 1-877-782-6966. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information about SUBOXONE Sublingual Film or SUBOXONE® (buprenorphine and naloxone) Sublingual Tablet (CIII), please see full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide at www.SuboxoneFilmREMS.com.