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What Do Suboxone Strips Look Like? 2mg, 8 mg & 12mg

Table of Contents

Suboxone strips are square and feature the Suboxone logo in blue and white. Generic versions are usually orange and either rectangular or square.

Suboxone is a brand name combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Medications containing buprenorphine have greatly improved medication for addiction treatment (MAT).

There is also a pill form of Suboxone. Some formulas can also be taken buccally, or dissolved against the cheek. There are generic versions of Suboxone, along with buprenorphine-only film strips.

Suboxone: Sublingual Film Strips for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

Suboxone is a lifesaving medication that has helped countless people overcome opioid use disorder (OUD).[1] The combination of buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, and naloxone, an opioid antagonist, has helped people manage the detox phase of withdrawing from opioids rather than going “cold turkey,” which can lead to relapse faster. When taken over weeks, months, or years as a maintenance medication, it prevents craving, relapse, and risk of death by overdose.

This medication is most often prescribed as a film designed to dissolve under the tongue. Film strips enter the bloodstream faster than other types of medication, which might need to be digested, and this approach to medication is both easier to supervise and less likely to be abused or tampered with.[2] This allows medicine to bind to the brain quickly, so you get relief fast.

This article can help you identify Suboxone film strips, along with generic versions of buprenorphine/naloxone medication.

Suboxone’s Appearance & Generic Counterparts

Suboxone

There are two basic strengths for the brand name sublingual film with about a 4:1 ratio of buprenorphine to naloxone. Each strip contains 8 mg of buprenorphine and 2 mg of naloxone; 2 mg of buprenorphine has 0.5 mg of naloxone.

Film strips are square. They come individually packaged with the Suboxone logo clearly displayed in blue and white. The strips themselves are orange in color.

Generics

suboxone strip types

There are a few generic film strips containing a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone in roughly the same ratio as brand name Suboxone.[3]

  • 2: With 2 mg of buprenorphine to 0.5 mg of naloxone, this film strip is orange and square, much like Suboxone.
  • 4: This rectangular orange strip has 4 mg of buprenorphine and 1 mg of naloxone.
  • 8: This is a square, orange strip with 8 mg of buprenorphine.
  • 12: This rectangular orange strip has 12 mg of buprenorphine and 3 mg of naloxone.
  • A2: This orange, rectangular strip has 2 mg of buprenorphine.
  • A4: This orange, rectangular strip has 4 mg of buprenorphine.
  • A8: With 8 mg of buprenorphine, this strip is rectangular and orange.
  • A12: This rectangular, orange strip comes in 12 mg strength.
  • B2 N: With 2 mg strength, this strip is orange and rectangular.
  • B4 N: This rectangular, orange strip has 4 mg strength.
  • B8/N: This strip is orange and rectangular like Suboxone, but with B8/N imprinted on it. It has 8 mg of buprenorphine.
  • B12/N: Also orange and rectangular, with B12/N imprinted on it, this strip has 12 mg strength.

Belbuca

This brand-name film strip version of Subutex is placed on the cheek to dissolve rather than under the tongue. Belbuca is rectangular, white and yellow in color, and comes in 75 mcg, 150 mcg, 300 mcg, 450 mcg, 600 mcg, 750 mcg, and 900 mcg of buprenorphine.[4] There are generic versions of this medication, which have a similar appearance. 

Why Take Generic Drugs?

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves generic formulas of important brand name prescriptions when the copyright approval for the original formula runs out.[5] While the pharmaceutical company retains patent protection for their specific formula, the active ingredients can be used for generic medications, which then go through an FDA approval process.

Most generic drugs work the same way as their brand-name counterparts, but they cost less or are more likely to receive health insurance coverage. The FDA tests generic medications to ensure they are similarly bioavailable as their brand name counterparts.

For example, if your physician prescribes a generic version of online Suboxone, you will still benefit from this buprenorphine/naloxone film strip, while potentially saving money, getting better access, or getting better insurance coverage. If your doctor prescribes Suboxone specifically, ask about generic alternatives that might be more available to you if you are concerned about finances or access at a local pharmacy.

Always take your medication as directed. Do not chew, swallow, move, or tamper with film strips while they are dissolving under your tongue or against your cheek.

SOURCES

  1. Suboxone. European Medicines Agency (EMA). https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/medicines/human/EPAR/suboxone. July 2020. Accessed January 2022.
  2. Buprenorphine with Naloxone (Suboxone Sublingual Film) for Opiate Dependence. NPS Medicine. https://www.nps.org.au/radar/articles/buprenorphine-with-naloxone-suboxone-sublingual-film-for-opiate-dependence. September 2011. Accessed January 2022. 
  3. “Buprenorphine” Pill Images. Drugs.com. https://www.drugs.com/imprints.php?drugname=buprenorphine&start=30. Accessed January 2022. 
  4. Belbuca. Drugs.com. https://www.drugs.com/belbuca.html. Accessed January 2022. 
  5. Generic Drug Facts. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). https://www.fda.gov/drugs/generic-drugs/generic-drug-facts. November 2021. Accessed January 2022. 

Medically Reviewed By Claire Wilcox, MD

Claire Wilcox, MD, is a general and addiction psychiatrist in private practice and an associate professor of translational neuroscience at the Mind Research Network in New Mexico; and has completed an addictions fellowship, psychiatry residency, and internal medicine residency. Having done extensive research in the area, she is an expert in the neuroscience of substance use disorders. Although she is interested in several topics in medicine and psychiatry, with a particular focus on substance use disorders, obesity, eating disorders, and chronic pain, her primary career goal is to help promote recovery and wellbeing for people with a range of mental health challenges.

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