What is Sublocade?
Sublocade (buprenorphine extended-release) is the first and only once-a-month injectable buprenorphine treatment for moderate to severe opioid use disorder. It is given as a monthly injection in the abdomen.
How is Sublocade different from Suboxone?
Buprenorphine is the same active ingredient found in Suboxone, but while Suboxone is taken every day by mouth as a film placed under the tongue, Sublocade is given as a once-monthly injection under the skin.
How long does Sublocade last?
Sublocade lasts for one month (26+ days). After 26 days, the treatment starts to wear off and you will need a repeat Sublocade injection within two weeks. Every month, you will need to come back to Wrightsville Beach Counselors to receive a maintenance injection of Sublocade. If you forget to get your monthly Sublocade injection, you should visit the clinic as soon as possible to restart treatment.
How do I take Sublocade?
Sublocade is given by an injection in the lower abdomen. Unlike other injections, the needle is inserted just under the skin, not into the veins. Sublocade injections cannot be self-administered. You must visit a certified clinic such as Wrightsville Beach Counseling Center to receive a monthly Sublocade injection.
How can I get Sublocade?
Sublocade is only available by prescription at certified clinics through a drug safety program controlled by the FDA. You cannot get Sublocade from your pharmacy or self-administer the injection. This is because Sublocade injections must avoid the veins. Serious risks, including death, have been observed with intravenous injection of Sublocade. To prevent these risks, the FDA only allows Sublocade to be given by trained healthcare providers. This means you must visit Wrightsville Beach Counseling Center in person to receive your monthly Sublocade injection.
How much does Sublocade cost?
The cost of Sublocade varies depending on your insurance. If you do not have health insurance, you may be eligible for a Copay Assistance Program administered by the company that produces Sublocade. People who are eligible for the Copay Assistance Program may pay as little as $5 per month for their Sublocade injection.
What are the risks of taking Sublocade?
The most serious risks associated with Sublocade are observed when the injection is given in the veins, not under the skin as intended, or self-administered by patients. These risks include life-threatening breathing problems, overdose, and death. When given as intended by a trained healthcare provider, most people will not experience serious side effects from Sublocade. You may experience some pain or soreness at the injection site, but this should go away within a few days. Because the injection forms a small lump under the skin, there is a small risk that the tissue may be damaged or that a blood clot will form. Other side effects that have been observed in patients include adrenal insufficiency, elevated liver enzymes, constipation, nausea, headache, and fatigue.
Is Sublocade right for me?
Sublocade may be a good treatment option for you if you have a moderate to severe opioid use disorder. Before starting Sublocade, you must be taking sublingual Suboxone film and undergone dose adjustment over the course of at least one week. This is so we can observe you for side effects and make sure you will not react poorly to treatment with buprenorphine. If you are not currently taking Suboxone and are interested in Sublocade treatment, our providers can guide you through the process of starting Sublocade safely. Sublocade may not be appropriate for you if you are allergic to any of its ingredients, if you are pregnant, or if you have serious liver problems. However, the only way to know for sure if Sublocade is an appropriate treatment option for you is to discuss Sublocade with a healthcare provider.