Belbuca Approved to Treat Severe Pain

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Posted on

Pain can be very subjective, ranging from mild to severe, and it can be felt differently from person to person. When it comes to severe or chronic pain though, it can be debilitating and negatively impact your quality of life. Everyday tasks like walking to the mailbox or cooking dinner can be difficult for a person with severe pain.

Belbuca (buprenorphine), an option for this kind of chronic pain, was approved by the FDA on October 26, 2015. It is the newest drug approved to help with pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock treatment.

In what forms and dosages will Belbuca be available?
Belbuca will be available as a buccal film in the several strengths: 75 mcg, 150 mcg, 300 mcg, 450 mcg, 600 mcg, 750 mcg, and 900 mcg.

A buccal film is a thin film that sticks to the inside of your cheek and dissolves to deliver the medication over time.

How is Belbuca used?

The recommended dose of Belbuca will be different from person to person. Your doctor will set your dose based on your condition and according to opioid tolerance. Regardless of your dose, you’ll apply a new Belbuca film to the inside of your cheek every 12 hours.

Are there any other buccal film medications?

Yes. Some examples of other drugs that are currently (or will be) available in a buccal film include Bunavail for opioid dependence and Onsolis, another pain medication that should be in pharmacies in 2016.

When will Belbuca be in pharmacies?

According to this press release from the manufacturer, Belbuca is expected to become available in early 2016.

What are the side effects associated with Belbuca?

The most common side effects include nausea, constipation, headache, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, diarrhea, dry mouth, and upper respiratory infection.

Want more information?

Check out the manufacturer website here.

Drugs featured in this story

Filed under