How to take sublingual Suboxone

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Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) is not a pill like most medications - it comes in dissolvable film formulation because it is best absorbed by the body this way. Therefore, it can be a little confusing to know how to take sublingual Suboxone properly. Suboxone comes in individual packets for each dose. Store the packets in a room temperature environment and do not open them until you are ready to take them. When ready, take the film out of the packet and hold it on the edges to avoid damaging it. Place the film under the tongue and try not to move it around until it is fully absorbed (this can take several minutes). After it is dissolved, try not to wash the taste away with water as this will result in some of the medication being swallowed instead of absorbed. I recommend avoiding drinking or eating ten minutes before and after taking Suboxone to ensure that most of it is absorbed in the gums and not swallowed.

Elena Hill, MD, MPH

Elena Hill, MD; MPH received her MD and Masters of Public Health degrees at Tufts Medical School and completed her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. She is currently an attending physician at Bronxcare Health Systems in the Bronx, NY where she works as a primary care physician as well as part time in pain management and integrated health. Her clinical interests include underserved health care, chronic pain and integrated/alternative health.

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