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NOVA Health Recovery Addiction Treatment Center | 703-844-0184 | Offers Sublocade and Suboxone | Addiction Doctor | Alexandria, Va 22306 | Web based visits

  • Sublocade is an extended release Buprenorphine product designed to be injected once a month subcutaneously in the abdominal area
  • Buprenorphine is and agonist-antagonist of the Mu opioid receptors and is utilized for pain management, opioid addiction, and off-label for depression.
  • The commonly known name for buprenorphine is Subutex or Suboxone if it is combined with Naloxone. That medication is used for opioid use disorder to prevent relapse and withdrawal as a a part of Medication assisted therapy of addiction.
  • Buprenorphine is a partial Mu opioid receptor agonist and an antagonist at the Kappa opioid receptor. This allows the buprenorphine to stimulate the opioid receptor, for example, to give some pain relief as a full agonist such as morphine would do, yet it prevents complete activation thereby preventing a person from getting high.
  • Buprenorphine-naloxone combination prevents abuse of the drug by causing the naloxone to be released in the blood if the medication is injected as some patients with addiction may attempt. Likewise, if the medication is swallowed, a similar event may happen.
  • If buprenorphine-naloxone is administered to a person fully loaded with an opioid such as heroin or oxycodone, the person will have partial withdrawals as the antagonist part of buprenorphine takes effect, causing withdrawing effects
  • The issue with oral mediation assistance for addiction is that people can choose not to take the medication and relapse. Success with mediation treatment in addiction can be 90% success if the patient can maintain, without relapse, the medication program of buprenorphine. On the other hand, detox without medication results in a 90% relapse rate to addiction and high level of death from overdose.
  • Sublocade is produced by indivior, is a straight buprenorphine product that is injected monthly into the subcutaneous area of the abdomen
  •  The Patient must be on a suboxone and stable at an 8mg-2mg dosing for at least a week prior to initiating Sublocade injections. (Note: Buprenorphine –naloxone medication mixtures are dosed in a 4:1 pattern I.e. 8 mg buprenorphine:2mg naloxone  of 4mg buprenorphine:1 mg Naloxone as examples.)  Straight Buprenorphine is usually used in pregnancy.
  • Sublocade is a Buprenorphine product in 300 mg and 100 mg dosing contained in an Atragel slow release compound that allows monthly injections . The medication is released slowly over a 30 day cycle. Studies demonstrate that even after a single injection and no further treatment, the ‘liking index’ for opioids is near 0 after 6 months. This means there is minimal withdrawal or cravings in most patients if they were to receive only a single injection.
  • The medication, once injected, enforces compliance as it is in a depot formulation. Cravings for opioid are low and even if you were to inject heroin or another opioid, it would be hard to override the partial blocking effect of the buprenorphine. This decreases the chance of overdose by other means of drug use.
  • Side effects include possible death if injected into a vein as the Atragel will congeal if it is in the blood stream. Allergic reaction is unlikely, but possible. Infection is another possibility. Buprenorphine is safe in pregnancy.
  • The Sublocade can be removed after injection by excision of the area within the first 15 days if needed.
  • If you were to need a surgery, you would require higher doses of pain medication to overcome the Sublocade.
Injection Month 1
  • Sublocade is delivered to a physician office refrigerated. It is warmed up at the time of injection, given by a 20 G 1 inch needle subq.

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