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Does your clinic ever prescribe Subutex (Bup-mono)?

A patient’s prescription is determined by their medical provider, though Bicycle Health providers primarily prescribe buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone). Patients who are pregnant, have severe liver disease, or a documented naloxone allergy may be prescribed buprenorphine-mono (Subutex). For patients with naloxone allergies, your Bicycle Health provider will need to coordinate care with the provider who diagnosed you with the naloxone allergy.

Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) is a combination of the active ingredient “buprenorphine” which helps prevent opioid withdrawal, craving, and overdose AND the inactive ingredient “naloxone,” which is not absorbed by the body and is added to the formulation to ensure that Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) is not misused. For example, if Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) were injected (not taken as it is supposed to),the naloxone would become active (absorbed by the body) and it could cause opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Subutex is just the active ingredient of buprenorphine.

So, Buprenorphine-naloxone (Subxone) and Buprenorphine alone (Subutex) work the same way in serving as life-saving medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder (addiction to opioid medications).

Ultimately it is up to the patient’s medical provider to determine which medication they prescribe. Most providers across the country, including those at Bicycle Health, primarily prescribe the Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) formulation.

Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH

Dr. Rollston is a Family Medicine Physician at Cambridge Health Alliance, Affiliate Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Primary Care Blog, and Founder of Doctors For A Healthy US, LLC. She earned her Medical Degree from East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine and her Master of Public Health from The George Washington University. Her professional interests focus on social influencers of health & health disparities, addiction medicine, sexual & reproductive health, homelessness & supportive housing, and rural health.

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