Bunavail: Newly Approved for Opioid Addiction

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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Bunavail (buprenorphine/naloxone), recently approved by the FDA, is a medication used to help with opioid addiction, along with counseling and support.

Bunavail joins other medication treatment options like Suboxone already available to help with addiction. Your doctor will be able to help decide which option is right for you.

When will Bunavail be available?
Bunavail is expected to launch late in the third quarter of 2014, around October.

Are there any similar products currently available?

Yes. Similar medications include Suboxone sublingual film (buprenorphine/naloxone), buprenorphine/naloxone sublingual tablets, and Zubsolv sublingual tablets (buprenorphine/naloxone).

How is Bunavail used?
Bunavail is a buccal film that will dissolve in the cheek. It is the first and only buccal film available that delivers buprenorphine.

In what strengths will Bunavail be available?
Bunavail will be available as a 2.1 mg/0.3 mg, 4.2 mg/0.7 mg, or 6.3 mg/1 mg buccal film.

Is Bunavail considered a controlled substance?

Yes. Bunavail is a schedule III controlled substance. Schedule III or CIII means that Bunavail has the potential for abuse and dependence.

What’s the difference between sublingual and buccal?

Sublingual tablets and films (like Suboxone and Zubsolv) are designed to dissolve in your mouth under the tongue, where a buccal film (like Bunavail) is designed to dissolve in the cheek.

Are there any other differences between the Suboxone sublingual film and the Bunavail buccal film?

Yes. Buccal buprenorphine/naloxone (Bunavail) is designed with BEMA or BioErodible MucoAdhesive drug delivery technology which allows for efficient and convenient delivery of medication.

What does this mean for you? Bunavail has a quicker absorption than Suboxone film, so you need a lower dose of medication. Using a lower dose is better because of the lower number of side effects, and due to the potential for abuse of buprenorphine-containing products.

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