Suboxone Sublingual Film — Dosage, Side Effects, and How to Take

Suboxone sublingual film is a treatment drug for opioid addictions. It combines buprenorphine and naloxone, which are two different opioid receptor antagonists. The treatment is prescribed by a professional healthcare practitioner.

In comparison to other opioid maintenance and addiction-fighting drugs, Suboxone sublingual film has a low dependency and prevents further use of drugs. Hence, it proves to be crucial in offering a safe withdrawal drug for opioid dependence. We’ll discuss the dosage, safe use, and how to take the medication in detail.

Suboxone Sublingual Film

What is Suboxone Sublingual Film?

Sublingual film Suboxone has two medicines: buprenorphine and naloxone. It helps treat opioid addiction.

  • Buprenorphine is a mixed opioid agonist-antagonist, aiding in stopping opioid use.
  • Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that helps block the opioid effect.

Naloxone oral administration is safer, as when injected into the bloodstream, it can cause severe opioid withdrawal. And when combined with buprenorphine, abuse prevention is possible.

Suboxone sublingual film works in the management of withdrawal from the effects of opioids. It is a long-acting agonist that helps minimize the craving for opioids. Moreover, it prevents the abuse of other opioids. It starts to work sublingual even before the effects of opioids have subsided.

The Suboxone films melt inside the mouth quickly. The active ingredients in the melts move through the mucosal membranes and into your bloodstream. After this, the buprenorphine will manage the OUD symptoms.

In comparison to other opioid management medications, Suboxone is one of the easiest to administer and does not require the user to visit the clinic for administration. Since this is a medication-assisted treatment (MAT), a health practitioner will prescribe the medication. It does not cause opioid dependency while helping manage withdrawal symptoms.

Indications for Use

Under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act (DATA), SUBOXONE sublingual film is indicated for opioid dependence. It is part of a treatment plan that includes counseling and psychosocial support.

The type of opioid dependence is crucial before the induction of Suboxone. Wondering when to take a Suboxone film? For heroin induction, the sublingual film is administered when moderate withdrawals appear within 6 hours of the last use.

The best attempt is to achieve an adequate treatment dose titrated to clinical efficacy. In a study, over 90% of people under the treatment of Suboxone were able to continue to benefit from drug withdrawal and reductions in opioid cravings.

Dosage and Administration

Suboxone film vs tablet has the same efficacy. However, using these films has a better dispensing time than other methods. Consult a doctor for a clinical prescription and dosage strengths.

The treatments on day 1 will start with a dose ranging from 2 mg/0.5 mg to 8 mg/2 mg of SUBOXONE sublingual strips. An incremental 2 or 4 mg dose can be added after 2-hour intervals.

For acute withdrawals, the dose can be raised to 8 mg/2 mg buprenorphine/naloxone. The day 2 dose consists of a single maximum dose of 16 mg/4 mg of SUBOXONE sublingual film.

The sublingual administration of the film includes placing the film under the base of the tongue. You may have to place one or more strips, depending on the dosage. Avoid overlapping the films for complete absorption.

You may eat or drink half an hour before and after taking the film. Here is how to take Suboxone film:

  • Wash hands to prevent contamination.
  • Remove the Suboxone film from the packaging.
  • Place the film under your tongue.
  • Let the film dissolve; total absorption may take a few minutes.
  • Don’t eat or drink while the strip is dissolving.
  • After the absorption, take a sip of water.

If you’re wondering, if can you cut the Suboxone film, do not consider taking the prescribed dose. Once you learn how to take Suboxone sublingual film, the maintenance dose includes progressive adjustment starting on day 3.

Depending on the opioid dependency, the dose can be increased or decreased to 2-4 mg/0.5 mg. The doctor may put you on Suboxone sublingual film 8mg/2mg.

After the maintenance, the Suboxone film dosage may depend on the clinical response. The recommended dose is 16 mg/4 mg, varying between 4 mg/1 mg and 24 mg/6 mg daily.

Efficacy and Benefits

Suboxone has proven to be safe and effective in reducing opioid use. It has a lower rate of relapse and prevents the user from getting addicted to the high. Since Suboxone binds to the same brain receptors as opioids but with a weaker effect, the users can get through the cravings. Because of this, there is also a reduction in withdrawal symptoms like nausea, muscle aches, and anxiety.

As mentioned earlier, 90% of users can retain and benefit from the treatment, proving its efficacy in their recovery journey. Combined with other drug prevention programs, Suboxone sublingual film tabs prove to be a convenient solution.

Safety Profile

The common Suboxone film side effects include

  • Weak or shallow breathing
  • Confusion
  • Lack of coordination
  • Weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Yellow skin and eyes
  • Stomach pain
  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of appetite
  • Dark urine
  • Shivering and sweating
  • Hot/cold feeling
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain

These effects are manageable and considered to be mild. However, a high dose of Suboxone includes respiratory issues and overdose. When combined with alcohol or benzodiazepine, the impact may be lethal and require medical assistance.

Moreover, if the user is on medication or herbal remedies, they must inform the doctor to avoid interaction. For instance, medications such as butorphanol, nalbuphine, and pentazocine may increase the effect of suboxone, leading to more side effects.

Suboxone is generally safe when administered as prescribed by a qualified healthcare professional. Regular monitoring with your doctor is essential if you experience side effects.

Essential Safety Precautions

Accidental consumption of Suboxone can be lethal, causing respiratory issues in children and causing fatality. That is why it has to be stored away from kids and pets. Any unused medication must be destroyed.

Consult a doctor immediately if you notice accidental consumption of the drug. Some signs to know about overdose include breathing issues and a heart rate increase.

Other precautions to keep in mind are not consuming alcohol, painkillers, and drugs that may interact with Suboxone. Also, avoid activities such as driving, operating machinery, and tasks that require concentration and coordination. Following these steps is the best way to take Suboxone film.

Availability and Cost

Suboxone is an affordable treatment, as it comes under insurance plans and Medicaid. The insurance provider will cover the treatment cost, whether you access it from a pharmacy or a clinic.

You may also reduce costs by sticking to a 3-month plan or mail-to-order prescription. Consult a doctor to discuss your case and get a prescription for Suboxone.

Other factors impacting the cost:

  • Dosage
  • Treatment plan
  • Any available savings programs
  • Dispensing pharmacy
  • Suboxone sublingual film coupon


Now you know what is Suboxone sublingual film used for. Suboxone Sublingual Film is easy to administer and titrate to achieve the right dose for opioid use recovery. After the maintenance period, the user and the doctor may decide to go off the treatment with advice to avoid relapse into opioids again. Consult with the nearest clinic for counseling and opioid addiction treatment. Reach out to communities for help and stay on track with the treatment.