How SUBLOCADE works
SUBLOCADE is delivered continuously at a sustained level throughout the month.
It is important to know how Sublocade works and why the medicine in Sublocade, buprenorphine, is different from other opioids.
SUBLOCADE is injected by a treatment provider as a liquid and, once inside the body, turns to a solid gel called a depot (dee-poh).
The depot gradually releases buprenorphine at a controlled rate all month.
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Sustained levels throughout the month
Buprenorphine is delivered at sustained levels. This means that the levels of buprenorphine in the blood stay consistent throughout the month. The chart below shows what the levels look like during treatment with once-monthly SUBLOCADE.
In a study of buprenorphine plasma levels
How the study was conducted
Throughout the study, levels of buprenorphine were measured in patients’ blood. Patients started with a required preliminary period on daily oral buprenorphine (under the tongue or inside the cheek) to control withdrawal symptoms. After patients were stabilized, they were transitioned to treatment with once-monthly SUBLOCADE. The buprenorphine levels peaked within 24 hours following SUBLOCADE administration, then decreased to a level that was maintained throughout the month.This data was gathered during a 12-week study designed to measure if SUBLOCADE 300 mg blocked the subjective effects of opioids (hydromorphone 6 mg or 18 mg) in 39 patients. The graph represents modeled measurements and not actual treatment. SUBLOCADE data was not collected daily. Individual results may vary. Before starting treatment with SUBLOCADE, patients must be stabilized for at least 7 days on transmucosal buprenorphine.
How SUBLOCADE blocks the rewarding
effects of opioids*
When the medicine in SUBLOCADE, buprenorphine, attaches to opioid receptors in the brain other opioids are less likely to attach.
While on SUBLOCADE, a person will receive a continuous delivery of buprenorphine all month.
*In a 12-week study of 39 non-treatment-seeking adults, SUBLOCADE blocked the rewarding effects of opioids.
Find a buprenorphine treatment provider
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) also provides treatment information. Visit the SAMHSA website to find a facility near you that can provide treatment based on patient-specific criteria. Download steps for using SAMHSA's
Treatment Services Locator.
For more information on how to find a facility, call INSUPPORT® at 1-844-467-7778.
Save on SUBLOCADE
For most people with insurance SUBLOCADE is covered.
Check with your insurance provider for more details.
What’s the most important information to know about SUBLOCADE?
Because of the serious risk of potential harm or death from self-injecting SUBLOCADE into a vein (intravenously), it is only available through a restricted program called the SUBLOCADE REMS Program.
- SUBLOCADE is not available in retail pharmacies.
- Your SUBLOCADE injection will only be given to you by a certified healthcare provider.
SUBLOCADE contains an opioid medicine called buprenorphine that can cause serious and life-threatening breathing problems, especially if you take or use certain other medicines or drugs.
Talk to your healthcare provider about naloxone, a medicine available to patients for emergency treatment of an opioid overdose. If naloxone is given, you must call 911 or get emergency medical help right away to treat overdose or accidental use of an opioid.
SUBLOCADE may cause serious and life‐threatening breathing problems. Get emergency help right away if you:
- feel faint
- feel dizzy
- are confused
- feel sleepy or uncoordinated
- have blurred vision
- have slurred speech
- are breathing slower than normal
- cannot think well or clearly
Do not take certain medicines during treatment with SUBLOCADE. Taking other opioid medicines, benzodiazepines, alcohol, or other central nervous system depressants (including street drugs) while on SUBLOCADE can cause severe drowsiness, decreased awareness, breathing problems, coma, and death.
- In an emergency, have family members tell emergency department staff that you are physically dependent on an opioid and are being treated with SUBLOCADE.
- You may have detectable levels of SUBLOCADE in your body for a long period after stopping treatment with SUBLOCADE.
Death has been reported in those who are not opioid dependent who received buprenorphine sublingually.
Call your healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects. You may also report side effects to the FDA at FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.