Zubsolv: A New Tool in the Fight Against Opiate Addiction

Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
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Methadone is no longer the mainstay of treatment for addiction from heroin and other opiates like Dilaudid, Oxycontin and fentanyl. The past couple years have brought newer medications, giving us more weapons in the war against opiate addiction.

Many of you have heard about Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) for the treatment of opioid addiction (see my previous blog: https://www.goodrx.com/blog/2012/07/30/know-about-suboxone). Suboxone is the leading medication now used for opioid dependence—but now along comes its sister medication.

The FDA just approved a new formulation of buprenorphine with naloxone for the treatment of opioid addiction and it’s called Zubsolv. Listen up.

Why do we care? Opioid addiction is a major health problem in the US, with over two million Americans affected, costing an estimated 25 billion dollars in related healthcare costs.

Is this just substituting one addiction for another? One of the ingredients of Suboxone and Zubsolv is buprenorphine which a milder opiate. Buprenorphine attaches to the opioid receptors which suppresses withdrawal symptoms and reduces cravings. Under your doctor’s care you may be weaned off Suboxone or Zubsolv slowly. The physician prescribing these medications must be monitoring you closely and multiple refills should not be prescribed early in treatment or without appropriate patient follow-up visits.

How do Suboxone and Zubsolv compare? Zubsolv is a dissolvable tablet of buprenorphine and naloxone that has higher bioavailability of the active ingredient, faster dissolve time, a smaller tablet size, and improved taste compared to Suboxone.

What are the side effects of Zubsolv? Side effects are similar to Suboxone and include headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, signs and symptoms of withdrawal, and insomnia.


Dr O.

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