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Should I take Suboxone pills or Suboxone strips?

Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) in both the films/strips and tablets/pills formulations are equally effective in treating opioid cravings and withdrawal and preventing overdose and deaths.

Usually, your insurance company determines which formulation of Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) they will cover and hence which formulation (films/strips vs tabs/pills) you will be prescribed, and this is always changing. 

  • Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) tablets are less expensive than Suboxone films, which is most notable for patients paying out-of-pocket for their medication (that is, folks with no health insurance to cover prescription costs).
  • Patients will often say they prefer the taste of one over the other, but this preference is often very individualized. The films/strips do tend to dissolve faster than the tablets/pills though both should be kept under the tongue for at least 15 minutes.

Whether you receive treatment with buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) films/strips or tablets/films, both are considered evidence-based, scientifically proven first-line medication for addiction treatment (MAT) for patients struggling with opioid addiction.

Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH

Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH, is a board-certified Family Medicine Physician and Head of Research at Bicycle Health. She earned her Medical Degree from East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine (in the Rural Primary Care Track) and her Master of Public Health (MPH) from The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Dr. Rollston completed her residency at Tufts University and Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard-affiliated community healthcare system in Greater Boston, with emphases in addiction medicine and sexual & reproductive health. Her professional interests focus on social determinants of health & health equity, addiction medicine, gender-based violence, sexual & reproductive health, rural health, homelessness & supportive housing, and immigrant health. Dr. Rollston has published on these topics in The Lancet, Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, American Journal of Health Promotion, Journal of Appalachian Health, and Medical Care.

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Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH

Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH, is a board-certified Family Medicine Physician and Head of Research at Bicycle Health. She earned her Medical Degree from East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine (in the Rural Primary Care Track) and her Master of Public Health (MPH) from The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Dr. Rollston completed her residency at Tufts University and Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard-affiliated community healthcare system in Greater Boston, with emphases in addiction medicine and sexual & reproductive health. Her professional interests focus on social determinants of health & health equity, addiction medicine, gender-based violence, sexual & reproductive health, rural health, homelessness & supportive housing, and immigrant health. Dr. Rollston has published on these topics in The Lancet, Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, American Journal of Health Promotion, Journal of Appalachian Health, and Medical Care.

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