Can you take Suboxone on Sublocade? Discover the Safe Combination

Are you struggling with opioid dependence and considering treatment options like Suboxone and Sublocade? Learn about the potential benefits and risks of combining these medications to make an informed decision about your recovery journey. In this article, we’ll explore the key points surrounding the co-administration of Suboxone and Sublocade, shedding light on this vital topic.

Table of contents
  • Understanding Suboxone and Sublocade: Learn about the two medications, their compositions, and how they work in the body.
  • Differences Between Suboxone and Sublocade: Discover the variations in their administration, dosage, and frequency of use.
  • Combining Suboxone and Sublocade: Delve into whether it’s safe to take them together and any potential benefits of this combination.
  • Risks and Considerations: Explore possible interactions, side effects, and the importance of consulting a healthcare provider.
  • Case Studies and Research: Get insights from studies and patient experiences with combined use.
  • What the Reader Will Learn: Gain a comprehensive understanding of combining Suboxone and Sublocade for effective opioid dependence treatment.

Understanding Suboxone and Sublocade

Suboxone is a medication that contains buprenorphine and naloxone, primarily used for treating opioid dependence. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which means it activates the opioid receptors in the brain but to a lesser extent than full agonists like heroin or oxyco Naloxone, on the other hand, is an opioid antagonist, intended to deter misuse by causing withdrawal symptoms if the medication is injected.
Sublocade, on the other hand, is an extended-release injectable form of buprenorphine. It provides a steady dose of buprenorphine over a month, eliminating the need for daily dosing.

Combining Suboxone and Sublocade

Co-administering Suboxone and Sublocade is not a standard practice, and healthcare providers typically do not prescribe both medications simultaneously. The combination may lead to an excessive dosage of buprenorphine, which could increase the risk of side effects or overdose.

Potential Benefits of Combination

While combining these medications is generally not recommended, some individuals with specific medical needs may benefit from such an approach. For example, patients who require a more rapid induction onto Sublocade may start with Suboxone and transition to Sublocade later on.
  • Individualized Treatment: Combining medications may allow healthcare providers to tailor treatment plans to individual needs.
  • Managing Opioid Dependence: In some cases, the combination could provide more effective relief from withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Differences Between Suboxone and Sublocade

Suboxone and Sublocade differ significantly in their administration methods. Suboxone comes in sublingual film or tablet form, which is taken by placing it under the tongue for absorption. On the other hand, Sublocade is administered through a monthly injection, typically into the abdominal region. This distinction affects the convenience and compliance of each medication.
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Suboxone’s sublingual administration allows for more flexibility in dosage adjustments. Patients can take the medication at home after receiving appropriate training. Sublocade’s monthly injection requires a visit to a healthcare provider for administration, which may be less convenient for some individuals.

Dosage and Frequency of Use

  • Suboxone: The dosage of Suboxone can be adjusted easily by healthcare providers to meet the patient’s needs. It is usually taken daily or as prescribed by the doctor.
  • Sublocade: Sublocade is available in fixed doses, and the injection is given once a month. This may be suitable for individuals who prefer less frequent dosing.

Is it Safe to Take Suboxone and Sublocade Together?

Co-administering Suboxone and Sublocade is generally not recommended due to the risk of buprenorphine overdose. Both medications contain buprenorphine, and combining them can lead to excessive levels of the drug in the body. This can result in severe side effects, including respiratory depression and other opioid-related complications.

Possible Risks of Combination

Taking Suboxone and Sublocade together may increase the likelihood of experiencing adverse reactions associated with buprenorphine, such as drowsiness, dizziness, and constipation. Additionally, the combination may hinder the effectiveness of either medication in managing opioid dependence.

Consultation with a Healthcare Provider

  • Expert Advice: If you are considering combining Suboxone and Sublocade, it is crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare provider.
  • Individual Assessment: A healthcare professional can assess your specific medical history, needs, and treatment goals to determine the most appropriate course of action.

Case Studies and Research

Studies on the combined use of Suboxone and Sublocade are limited, and more research is needed to understand the potential benefits and risks thoroughly. Current research primarily focuses on the individual efficacy of each medication in treating opioid dependence.

Individual Efficacy of Suboxone and Sublocade

Both Suboxone and Sublocade have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing opioid cravings, preventing withdrawal symptoms, and supporting long-term recovery. Each medication has its strengths and may be more suitable for certain individuals based on their preferences and medical history.

Patient Experiences and Testimonials

  • Individual Responses: Patient experiences with Suboxone and Sublocade can vary significantly, with some individuals responding better to one medication over the other.
  • Managing Side Effects: Patient testimonials provide valuable insights into managing potential side effects and coping with challenges during the recovery process.

Potential Interactions Between Suboxone and Sublocade

When considering the combination of Suboxone and Sublocade, it is essential to be aware of potential drug interactions. Both medications contain buprenorphine, and co-administration may lead to additive effects or increased side effects.

Drug Interactions with Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine can interact with other medications, leading to adverse outcomes or reduced efficacy. Some medications, such as benzodiazepines or certain antidepressants, may increase the risk of respiratory depression when combined with buprenorphine.

Precautions and Recommendations

  • Medication Review: Before starting any new medications, inform your healthcare provider about your current treatment plan, including Suboxone or Sublocade.
  • Special Considerations: Certain medical conditions or medications may require adjustments to the treatment plan or careful monitoring.

Side Effects of Suboxone and Sublocade

Both Suboxone and Sublocade can cause side effects, which can vary from mild to severe. Understanding the potential side effects is crucial for making an informed decision about their combination.

Common Side Effects

Some common side effects of Suboxone and Sublocade include nausea, headache, constipation, and dizziness. These effects are usually mild and often subside as the body adjusts to the medication.

Managing Side Effects

  • Hydration: Staying hydrated can help alleviate certain side effects like constipation.
  • Medication Timing: Taking the medication at specific times of the day may help reduce drowsiness or dizziness.
  • Reporting to Healthcare Provider: Inform your doctor if you experience any persistent or concerning side effects.

Consultation with a Healthcare Provider

Before making any decisions about combining Suboxone and Sublocade, it is crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare provider who specializes in addiction medicine.

Expert Guidance

A healthcare provider can conduct a comprehensive assessment of your medical history, current medications, and treatment goals to determine the most suitable approach for your individual needs.
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Personalized Treatment Plan

  • Customized Care: Each individual’s journey to recovery is unique, and a personalized treatment plan can optimize outcomes.
  • Addressing Concerns: Consulting with a healthcare provider allows you to discuss any concerns or questions you may have about the medications.

Case Studies on Combined Use

While research on the combination of Suboxone and Sublocade is limited, some case studies provide insights into patient experiences and outcomes.

Case Study Results

Case studies may show varying results, with some individuals benefiting from the combination, while others experience challenges or no significant differences compared to monotherapy.

Consideration for Individual Differences

  • Response Variation: Individual responses to medications can be influenced by various factors, such as genetics, metabolism, and past treatment history.
  • Long-Term Monitoring: Case studies highlight the importance of ongoing monitoring and adjustments to treatment plans based on individual progress.

Patient Experiences and Testimonials

Patient experiences and testimonials provide valuable insights into the real-world application of combining Suboxone and Sublocade for opioid dependence treatment.

Individual Perspectives

Patient testimonials offer a glimpse into the challenges and successes individuals have encountered while using both medications simultaneously. These firsthand accounts can be instrumental in understanding the practical aspects of this treatment approach.

Diverse Experiences

  • Positive Outcomes: Some patients may report positive experiences with the combination, citing improved symptom management and reduced cravings.
  • Challenges Faced: Others may share challenges they faced, such as managing side effects or finding the right dosage balance.

Considerations for Pregnant Individuals

Pregnant individuals who are managing opioid dependence face unique challenges, and the combination of Suboxone and Sublocade requires careful consideration.

Safety during Pregnancy

Buprenorphine, the common component in both medications, is considered safer than full opioid agonists during pregnancy. However, the risks and benefits of combining Suboxone and Sublocade should be thoroughly discussed with a healthcare provider.

Medical Supervision and Support

  • Obstetric Care: Pregnant individuals on Suboxone or Sublocade should receive specialized obstetric care to ensure the well-being of both the mother and the baby.
  • Alternative Treatments: In some cases, alternative treatment options may be considered during pregnancy to minimize potential risks.

Long-Term Treatment Considerations

Long-term treatment with Suboxone and Sublocade requires regular evaluation and adjustments to ensure its continued effectiveness.

Monitoring and Progress Assessment

Regular check-ins with a healthcare provider are essential to monitor treatment progress, address any emerging issues, and make necessary changes to the treatment plan.

Comprehensive Support

  • Psychosocial Interventions: Long-term treatment success may be enhanced by incorporating psychosocial interventions, such as counseling or support groups.
  • Addressing Relapse Risk: Developing strategies to manage potential relapse triggers is crucial for sustained recovery.

Alternatives to Combination Therapy

For individuals who may not be suitable candidates for combining Suboxone and Sublocade, exploring alternative treatment options is essential.

Monotherapy with Suboxone or Sublocade

Both Suboxone and Sublocade have shown efficacy as standalone treatments for opioid dependence. Depending on individual needs and medical history, monotherapy may be a suitable option.

Other Medication-Assisted Treatments

  • Metha: Metha is another medication used in medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependence and may be an alternative for some individuals.
  • Naltrexone: Naltrexone, an opioid antagonist, is another option for individuals who prefer non-opioid-based treatments.

Consulting a Substance Abuse Specialist

When contemplating the combination of Suboxone and Sublocade, seeking guidance from a substance abuse specialist is crucial for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment plan.

Expertise in Addiction Medicine

Substance abuse specialists have specialized training and experience in treating individuals with opioid dependence and can provide valuable insights into the risks and benefits of combining medications.

Benefits of Professional Guidance

  • Individualized Assessment: A substance abuse specialist can assess your specific needs and develop a tailored treatment approach.
  • Monitoring and Adjustment: Regular follow-ups with a specialist ensure that your treatment plan remains effective and is adjusted as needed.

Supporting Mental Health During Treatment

Managing opioid dependence involves addressing not only the physical aspect but also the mental and emotional well-being of the individual.

Addressing Co-Occurring Mental Health Conditions

Many individuals with opioid dependence may also experience co-occurring mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety. Addressing these conditions alongside addiction treatment is crucial for holistic recovery.

Comprehensive Treatment Approach

  • Integrated Care: A comprehensive treatment approach that considers both addiction and mental health aspects can lead to more positive outcomes.
  • Therapy and Counseling: Therapy sessions can aid in addressing underlying issues and developing coping strategies.
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Stigma and Treatment

Stigma surrounding opioid dependence treatment can be a barrier to seeking and receiving the appropriate care.

Reducing Stigma

Educating the public and healthcare professionals about opioid dependence and its treatment is essential for breaking down stigmatizing attitudes.

Empowering Individuals

  • Access to Resources: Providing information and resources can empower individuals to seek help without fear of judgment.
  • Creating Supportive Environments: Creating supportive environments within healthcare settings can encourage individuals to access treatment without shame.

Combination Therapy: A Shared Decision

The decision to combine Suboxone and Sublocade should be made collaboratively between the patient and the healthcare provider.

Informed Decision-Making

Both the patient and the healthcare provider should be actively engaged in the decision-making process, weighing the potential benefits and risks.

Shared Responsibility

  • Open Communication: Transparent communication between the patient and the provider fosters mutual understanding and trust.
  • Respecting Patient Preferences: The final treatment plan should align with the patient’s values and preferences.


In conclusion, while the combination of Suboxone and Sublocade may hold promise for certain individuals with opioid dependence, it is essential to approach this treatment approach with caution. Co-administration should only occur under the guidance of a qualified healthcare provider who specializes in addiction medicine. Individualized assessment, regular monitoring, and consideration of alternatives are crucial elements in optimizing treatment outcomes. Remember that seeking professional support and maintaining open communication can pave the way to a successful recovery journey.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I start Suboxone and Sublocade simultaneously?

Answer: It is generally not recommended to start Suboxone and Sublocade at the same time due to the risk of buprenorphine overdose. It is essential to follow a treatment plan outlined by a healthcare provider to ensure safe and effective treatment.

2. What should I do if I miss a Sublocade injection?

Answer: If you miss a scheduled Sublocade injection, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Skipping an injection could lead to withdrawal symptoms or increased cravings, so it’s crucial to follow the prescribed dosing schedule.

3. Can I switch from Suboxone to Sublocade or vice versa?

Answer: Switching between Suboxone and Sublocade can be under the guidance of a healthcare provider. Transitioning from one medication to another should be a gradual process to ensure a smooth and safe change.

4. Are there any natural alternatives to Suboxone and Sublocade for opioid dependence treatment?

Answer: While some individuals may explore natural remedies for managing opioid dependence, it is essential to consult a healthcare provider for evidence-based treatment options. Medication-assisted treatment like Suboxone and Sublocade is clinically proven to be effective in supporting recovery.

5. How long does Sublocade stay in the body?

Answer: Sublocade is an extended-release medication, and its effects can last up to a month after each injection. However, individual factors, such as metabolism and dosing, can influence the duration of action.

6. Can I drink alcohol while on Suboxone and Sublocade?

Answer: It is best to avoid alcohol while on Suboxone and Sublocade, as alcohol can interact with these medications and increase the risk of adverse effects, such as drowsiness and respiratory depression.

7. Is it safe to take Suboxone and Sublocade while breastfeeding?

Answer: Both Suboxone and Sublocade can pass into breast milk, potentially affecting the nursing infant. If you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, discuss the risks and benefits with your healthcare provider.

8. Can Suboxone and Sublocade be used for pain management?

Answer: While buprenorphine, the active ingredient in both medications, has analgesic properties, Suboxone and Sublocade are primarily indicated for opioid dependence treatment. Using them for pain management should only be under the supervision of a healthcare provider experienced in such usage.

9. What should I do if I experience side effects from Suboxone and Sublocade?

Answer: If you experience any side effects from Suboxone or Sublocade, contact your healthcare provider promptly. They can evaluate your symptoms and recommend appropriate steps to manage or mitigate any adverse effects.

10. Can I drive or operate heavy machinery while taking Suboxone or Sublocade?

Answer: Both Suboxone and Sublocade may cause drowsiness and impaired cognitive function. Until you know how these medications affect you individually, it’s best to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery to ensure safety.

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Neal Patel, Pharm.D. Neal

Neal Patel, Pharm.D. Neal

Dr. Neal Patel is a licensed pharmacist whose expertise is in developing engaging medical communication for a range of audiences, including patients and healthcare professionals. He has experience in community pharmacy and managed care, as well as research and development of therapeutics in ophthalmology, diabetes, and oncology.
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