Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) is medicine used in medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. This medication bonds with a person’s opioid receptors, which cancels out the effects of opioids, such as heroin or fentanyl, and reduces cravings for opioid substances. It is a useful method of treatment for individuals in recovery from opioid use disorder.
Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) strips are a form of this medication that comes in a dissolvable strip that is placed under a patient’s tongue or between their gums and cheek. This form of Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) has been in use since 2002 and contains the same active ingredients as Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) in pill form but is absorbed more quickly.
Should I Take Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) Strips
Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) strips are useful for individuals working to overcome opioid use disorder. It works by targeting the same brain receptors that opioids do, but the effect of Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) is weaker than the opioids that individuals often misuse such as heroin and methadone. Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) has a “ceiling effect” which means that if a person takes more of the medication to feel greater effects, they will not achieve those desired effects. Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) lowers the effects of opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings to use opioids without the use of substances that can cause harm. Using Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) is an effective method to reduce or end opioid use.
One of the advantages of using Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) strips over other forms of the medication is that it has less potential to be misused. Some individuals have used Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) pills by crushing them up and snorting them. This method is not possible with strips. Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) strips are also absorbed by the body more quickly and effectively than other methods of Suboxone® ingestion.
What Are the Alternatives to Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) Strips?
Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) comes in a few different forms. In addition to the strips a patient could take tablets, which contain the same medication. Typically, a person’s insurance will determine which form of the medication that they will cover, and because the pills are usually more inexpensive than the strips, sometimes insurance providers require the use of the pills.
There is also an injection of buprenorphine that is taken once monthly at a doctor’s office. The advantage of Suboxone® treatment is there is no danger of accidentally missing a dose. Furthermore, it is impossible to misuse an injection because it takes place under medical supervision. The downside of the buprenorphine injection is that it is prohibitively expensive for many people.
How Do I Use Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) Strips?
Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) strips should be used as directed by your doctor. Before taking the medication, drink some water to moisten your mouth. Doing so will help the strip dissolve. After drinking the water, open the foil packet, but be sure that your hands are dry so that the strip does not start to dissolve before it reaches your mouth. After opening, place the medication under your tongue or inside your cheek. It is important to keep the strip in place until it dissolves completely. While waiting for the medication to dissolve, do not talk, swallow, chew, or move the strip otherwise the medication will not work as well.
In some cases, a person is prescribed a second strip per day. If this is the case, place the second strip under your tongue on the opposite side of the mouth or on the inside of the other cheek. It is important that the two strips do not touch one another. If you have been prescribed a third strip you should use it after the first two have completely dissolved.
To prevent potential problems with your teeth you should take a large sip of water and swish gently around your mouth, and then swallow, after you take the Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) strips. Wait at least one hour after using the strips to brush your teeth.
Who Should Not Use Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) Strips?
Consult with your doctor and therapist to determine whether Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) strips are right for you. There are a few limited situations in which it is advisable to use alternative therapies. Her therapist and doctors work with you to determine whether this treatment will be the best option for you as you start your journey to recovery.
How Long Do Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) Strips Stay in Your System
Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) strips are typically prescribed as a daily medication for the treatment of opioid use disorder. The medication stays in a person’s body for 24-48 hours. It is important that a person takes Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) daily and does not suddenly end use. Doing so could make you experience withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) should always be taken as prescribed.
Dependence Of Suboxone® Strips
It is rare that someone who uses Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) strips will demonstrate compulsive behavior regarding Suboxone® use. However, it is possible to become dependent on Buprenorphine (Suboxone®). If a person suddenly ends Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) use it is likely that they will experience withdrawal symptoms as their body learns to find a new normal without Buprenorphine (Suboxone®). When considering this it is important to remember that the use of Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) is much safer than the use of illicit opioid substances. When battling substance use disorder, the risks of medication assisted treatment are outweighed by the risks of continued substance use.
Getting Treatment with Subutex® or Suboxone® Strips
At ReVIDA Recovery® we believe that medications like Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) strips, along with evidenced based therapeutic approaches, can be effective in helping a person achieve recovery. In our program individuals are given careful oversight by physicians and licensed mental health providers to ensure that medications are taken in a safe and effective way. If you are interested in treatment for substance, use disorder, please give us a call at 423-631-0432.
FAQs about Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) Strips
What are Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) strips good for?
Suboxone strips are an effective way to ingest Buprenorphine (Suboxone®), a medication that can help a person recover from opioid use disorder. Suboxone strips have all the advantages of taking Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) in pill form, are more difficult to misuse, and are absorbed into the body more effectively.
How do you properly take Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) strips?
Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) strips are placed under a person’s tongue or between their cheek and gum where they dissolve.
When should you take a Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) strip?
Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) strips are a treatment for opioid use disorder. They should be used as directed by a medical professional. Typically, Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) strips are used once daily.