How can taking a drug treat addiction to a different drug?
Taking a daily medication to treat opiate dependency runs counter to logic. But it actually makes perfect sense once you understand Suboxone's, Bunavail's and Zubsolv's unique pharmacology. Drugs such a Vicodin, Oxycontin, Heroin, etc, fully stimulate opioid receptors in your brain, creating a sense of intoxication. Suboxone, Bunavail, and Zubsolv only partially stimulates these receptors and therefore doesn't provide euphoria, but merely mimics the natural endorphins in your own body.
These medications contain two ingredients. Buprenorphone is the active component. Because Buprenorphone tightly binds to the opioid receptor but only partially stimulates it, Suboxone, Bunavail, and Zubsolv not only prevents cravings and withdrawals, but also blocks narcotics from providing their reinforcing "high." These medications also contains Naloxone, which is a powerful opioid antagonist. When the medication is taken as directed, Naloxone is inactive; however, if the medication is abused (if someone attempts to use intravenously) the Naloxone will activate and send the individual into severe opioid withdrawal.
The Science of Suboxone/Bunavail/Zubsolv
How do I take Suboxone?
Suboxone is manufactured as a generic tablet, as well as a branded film. Both versions are placed under the tongue, where they slowly dissolve and are absorbed directly into the tissue (mucosal membances) within your mouth. Suboxone is NOT to be swallowed, as it will become ineffective. You should not swallow or speak the entire time Suboxone is dissolving under your tongue (usually 10-15 minutes).
Surveys indicate that the film form is preferred by patients over tablets because:
The film dissolves faster
The film is more convenient and portable
The film tastes better
The film is easier to taper as it can be cut into smaller pieces
However, the generic tablet is usually much less expensive, especially when using coupons available from websites such as GoodRX
How do I take Bunavail?
Bunavail is the latest innovation in buprenorphine/naloxone medication. Bunavail has a unique delivery system that applies to the inside of your cheek with several unique advantages:
With Bunavail you are able to speak and swallow as it dissolves
Bunavail has a pleasant citrus taste
Bunavail is far less constipating than Suboxone
Bunavail is easy to taper as it can be cut into smaller pieces
How do I take Zubsolv?
Like Suboxone, Zuzolv also dissolves under your tongue, so you should not swallow or speak the entire time Zubsolv is dissolving. Zubsolv offers a proprietary version of buprenorphine/naloxone that has both advantages and disadvantages:
Zubsolv dissolves quite quickly
Zubsolv has a menthol taste
Unfortunately, Zubsolv tablets are very fragile, making it more difficult to break into smaller pieces when it is time to taper.
Change is beautiful