Suboxone Strips: How To Use Them

Suboxone strips are used to treat opioid use disorder, which is an FDA-approved indication (OUD).

12/21/20223 min read

Suboxone Strips: What Are They?

Suboxone strips are used to treat opioid use disorder, which is an FDA-approved indication (OUD). They help people who are addicted to opioids manage their cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone strips or films are being used off-label for the treatment of chronic pain in a small number of patients. Suboxone is available in two different forms: strips (films) and tablets (pills). Suboxone strips are dissolvable strips containing a mixture of two medications: "buprenorphine" and "naloxone," two opioids. The strips/films can be placed sublingually (under the tongue) or buccally (inside the cheek) and dissolve quickly. Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) can also be taken as a tablet or pill, which you can learn more about here: Suboxone Tablets.

Why is Suboxone Available as a Sublingual Film/Tablet Rather Than a Pill that Must be Swallowed?

Because it is more "bioavailable," buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) is best absorbed under the tongue or sometimes inside the cheek. This means that by dissolving via the tissues of the mouth, more medication can enter the system than by being digested in our acidic stomachs. Because most patients are accustomed to taking medications, transitioning to a sublingual film or tablet can be difficult. This guide will show you step-by-step how to use a Suboxone strip.

Tablet vs. Suboxone Film
Both strips (films) and tablets of buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) function equally well to treat opioid use disorder. Depending on what is available at their local pharmacy or what their insurance plan covers, a patient may receive either the strip or the pill. Patients usually begin with the strips, which are perhaps the most popular kind available. Between the two formulas, there are a few minor variances.

Some patients prefer one over the other because the strips or tablets have a less bitter flavor. The pills, on average, take a little longer to dissolve than the strips. When used correctly, however, both compositions function equally effectively. Talk to your doctor if you've taken one or the other and want to try a new formulation.

Suboxone Strips: How Do I Use Them?

Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) strips come in packets. The strip is shaped like a rectangle and is yellow in color.

  1. Keep the strips/films in a cool, dry location. They don't need to be kept in the fridge.

  2. If you're starting buprenorphine/naloxone for the first time, make sure you eat something fifteen minutes to half an hour before taking your film (Suboxone). This is to avoid nausea or stomach distress.

  3. Make sure your mouth is free of food before taking your dose.

  4. To aid in the dissolution of the strip, wet your lips with water before using it.

  5. When you're ready, open the packet and grab the strip by the corners as much as possible to avoid tearing or dissolving it.

  6. Place the tablet under your tongue and hold it there for a few minutes.

  7. Until the strip is completely dissolved, try not to talk or move it in your mouth. On average, this takes between two and five minutes.

  8. The strip should not be chewed, sucked, or swallowed because it will not be fully absorbed this manner.

  9. You can either spit out any saliva that has accumulated in your mouth or swallow it once the strip has completely dissolved. Because they don't enjoy the taste of saliva, some people choose to spit it out. If you're going to do this, make sure it's after the strip has completely disintegrated and all that's left is saliva.

  10. Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) has a minty/sour taste that might be unpleasant at first. The majority of people rapidly become accustomed to the flavor.

  11. Wait five minutes after removing your strip before drinking water or eating anything to ensure that the strip is completely dissolved before washing any saliva down.

  12. The effects of buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) usually begin 10 to 30 minutes after the strip is applied.

Dosage of Suboxone Strips

Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) strips available in a variety of doses. The smallest strips are typically 2 mg in size, while the largest are often 12 mg. The film is the same size, but the higher dose strips have more medicine in them.

Suboxone Film Strips Side Effects

Nausea is a typical adverse effect of buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone), especially in the beginning. As the body becomes accustomed to the medicine, this side effect usually fades. Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) can also cause dizziness or exhilaration. Patients who are already accustomed to opioids, on the other hand, are less likely to experience this. If these side effects do occur, they might last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours until the drug wears off.

Constipation is a side effect of opioids in general, particularly buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone). Don't be alarmed if you experience any unpleasant side effects when taking buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone), especially at initially. Many of these adverse effects subside when your body adjusts to the medication throughout the first several days. Talk to your doctor if any of the side effects you're having don't go away. There are a variety of alternative drugs available, as well as numerous suggestions and tactics for minimizing any negative side effects.

Is Suboxone Therapy a Good Fit for You?

Please contact our Suboxone clinic online Suboxone doctors if you believe buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) is right for you. We'll be happy to address any queries you may have. Call us at (877) 957-2149 or make an appointment.