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What’s the Difference Between Sublocade and Suboxone?

In the realm of opioid addiction treatment, understanding the nuances of available medications is crucial. “What’s the difference between Sublocade and Suboxone?” is a pertinent question that delves into the heart of modern therapeutic approaches. These two drugs, while sharing a common objective in aiding individuals to break free from the shackles of opioid dependence, diverge significantly in their composition, method of administration, and pharmacological action.

Skywood Recovery offers addiction treatment programs that acknowledge the unique challenges and needs in the journey toward recovery from opioid addiction. Call us at 269.280.4673 to learn more.

What’s The Difference Between Sublocade and Suboxone?

Sublocade and Suboxone are for use in the treatment of opioid dependence. However, they have distinct roles in the recovery process. So, what’s the difference between Sublocade and Suboxone?  Despite sharing the common goal of aiding individuals in overcoming opioid addiction, these medications differ substantially in:

Composition and Form

A combination medication, Suboxone consists of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which means it produces effects similar to opioids but to a lesser extent, thus reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Naloxone, on the other hand, is an opioid antagonist. It’s included in Suboxone to deter misuse; if Suboxone is injected instead of taken as prescribed (sublingually), naloxone will induce withdrawal symptoms.

Sublocade contains buprenorphine as its active ingredient, but unlike Suboxone, it does not include naloxone. It is formulated as an extended-release injection. This unique formulation allows for a consistent release of buprenorphine into the body over an extended period, typically one month.

Administration and Dosage

Typically administered as a sublingual film or tablet, Suboxone is taken daily. The dosage is individualized, often starting higher and gradually tapering down as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Administered as a monthly injection, Sublocade is a more convenient option for those who struggle with daily medication adherence. The injection is given by a healthcare professional, ensuring consistent delivery of the medication and eliminating the daily responsibility of taking a pill or film.

Mechanism of Action

The buprenorphine component of Suboxone partially activates opioid receptors in the brain, reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Naloxone, meanwhile, blocks the effects of opioids if the medication is misused intravenously, thereby discouraging misuse.

As it solely contains buprenorphine, Sublocade works by continuously stimulating opioid receptors at a steady, controlled rate. This constant activation helps in managing withdrawal symptoms and reducing cravings over an extended period.

Potential Side Effects and Risks

Both Sublocade and Suboxone are powerful medications for use in opioid addiction treatment. However, like all medications, they come with potential side effects and risks. It’s important to be aware of these to make an informed decision about your treatment plan. Here’s a detailed look at the side effects associated with each:


  • Redness, pain, or itching at the injection site
  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation, and stomach pain
  • Headaches, dizziness, and drowsiness
  • Feelings of anxiety or depression
  • Sweating, fever, and fatigue


  • Difficulty breathing, which can be severe
  • Nausea, vomiting, and constipation
  • Headaches, dizziness, and drowsiness
  • Potential for misuse due to its opioid component
  • If discontinued abruptly, withdrawal symptoms may occur

Both medications may also interact with other drugs, leading to potentially serious complications. It’s crucial to discuss your full medical history and current medications with your healthcare provider. It’s important to weigh the risk of side effects against the benefits of using these medications in the treatment of opioid dependency. Your healthcare provider will help you understand these risks and monitor you throughout your treatment.

Making the Right Choice: Sublocade vs. Suboxone?

Choosing between Sublocade vs. Suboxone depends on various factors, including your lifestyle, treatment preferences, and the severity of your addiction. Often used during the initial phase of opioid addiction treatment, Suboxone is suitable for those who require a flexible dosing strategy. It allows for adjustments in dosage and is often part of a broader treatment plan that includes counseling and other support measures.

Ideal for patients who have stabilized on a transmucosal buprenorphine product, Sublocade is suitable for those looking for a long-term treatment option. It’s particularly beneficial for patients who prefer a once-a-month treatment or who may struggle with daily medication adherence.

Join Skywood Recovery’s Addiction Treatment Program Today

At Skywood Recovery, we understand the complexities of choosing the right treatment for opioid addiction. Our expert team can guide you through this journey with personalized care and support. Call us today at 269.280.4673 or use our online contact form to embark on a path to recovery and wellness. Our unique approach to treatment ensures that your journey is as comfortable and effective as possible.