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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

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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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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