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.
The choice between pills and strips is personal. Some prefer the taste of strips over pills. Some prefer the experience of pills over the strips. And some must use the form of medication their insurance companies cover.
Usually, your insurance company determines which formulation of Suboxone they will cover and hence which formulation you will be prescribed.
Officials in Maryland, for example, changed Medicaid formularies in July 2016 and covered only tablets, not strips.
Strips and tablets are considered interchangeable, so insurance companies might switch back and forth depending on availability and cost. You could pay for your medication without insurance, but most people change when their coverage shifts.
Tablets may be less expensive than Suboxone films in some States, which is most notable for patients paying out-of-pocket for their medication.
Whether you take pills or strips, it's critical to follow instructions. Your doctor should tell you exactly how to use your medication. But a few basic rules apply.
To use the film:
The films/strips dissolve faster than the tablets/pills, though both should be kept under the tongue for at least 5 minutes.
Patients will often say they prefer the taste of one over the other, but this preference is often very individualized. If you don't like the strips, pills may be a better choice.
To use pills:
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 use disorder.
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