Zubsolv vs Suboxone: Understanding the Differences

Zubsolv vs Suboxone Understanding the Differences

Opioid addiction is a far-reaching problem affecting millions worldwide. Not only does opioid addiction affect millions of lives every year, but it’s also incredibly difficult to overcome. Between the symptoms of withdrawal that occur when you stop taking opioids and the cravings that can last for weeks to years, beating opioid addiction isn’t an easy thing to do. However, with the right treatment, anyone is capable of sobriety.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has emerged as an effective approach to treatment, with Suboxone and Zubsolv being two medications approved by the FDA to treat opioid use disorder. Understanding the differences between these medications can help you determine which one is right for you. Still, it’s vital to speak with a healthcare provider and obtain a valid prescription before starting any MAT drugs.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a brand-name prescription medication formulated to treat opioid dependence. It can be taken 12-24 hours after the last dose of opioids to treat withdrawal, and some people may continue taking it for varying lengths of time in recovery to combat relapse.

Suboxone combines two key ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, curbs cravings and withdrawal symptoms without causing the intense high of full opioids like heroin or oxycodone. Naloxone, an opioid antagonist, deters misuse by precipitating withdrawal if Suboxone is injected. It remains inactive when Suboxone is taken as directed.

Suboxone comes in the form of a sublingual film to tablet that is dissolved under the tongue. It is available in four different strengths:

  • 2 mg buprenorphine/0.5 mg naloxone
  • 4 mg buprenorphine/1 mg naloxone
  • 8 mg buprenorphine/2 mg naloxone
  • 12 mg buprenorphine/3 mg naloxone

Common side effects include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia or sleep disturbances
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Pain or numbness (especially in the mouth or tongue)

Less common side effects include:

  • Allergic reactions (skin rashes, itching, hives)
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Respiratory issues
  • Liver problems (typically only in people with existing liver problems)

What is Zubsolv?

Zubsolv is another medication used in the treatment of opioid addiction. Like Suboxone, it contains buprenorphine and naloxone, but Zubsolv is a more concentrated formulation. This allows for a smaller pill size, potentially enhancing ease of use for patients who struggle with taking medications that are large in size.

Zubsolv comes in various different dosages, including:

  • 0.7 mg/0.18 mg buprenorphine/naloxone
  • 1.4 mg/0.36 mg buprenorphine/naloxone
  • 2.9 mg/0.71 mg buprenorphine/naloxone
  • 5.7 mg/1.4 mg buprenorphine/naloxone
  • 8.6 mg/2.1 mg buprenorphine/naloxone
  • 11.4 mg/2.9 mg buprenorphine/naloxone

Zubsolv causes similar side effects as Suboxone, however, pain or numbness in the mouth is less likely with Zuboslv.

How are Suboxone and Zubsolv Similar?

Both Suboxone and Zubsolv leverage the same primary ingredients—buprenorphine and naloxone—which are used to combat opioid addiction. They operate by occupying and partially activating opioid receptors to reduce cravings and minimize withdrawal symptoms. Another similarity is that both medications are administered sublingually (placed under the tongue), allowing for rapid absorption and effectiveness.

Additionally, both medications are most effective when they are used as a part of a comprehensive addiction treatment program that includes counseling, therapy, and support groups. This holistic, integrated approach aims to address the psychological and behavioral aspects of addiction while medications treat the physical symptoms.

As far as effectiveness goes, Suboxone and Zubsolv demonstrate similar success rates.

What are the Differences Between Suboxone and Zubsolv?

Despite containing the same ingredients and having the same indications, there are several key differences.

Formulation Strength and Medication Size

Zubsolv is known for its higher bioavailability due to its more concentrated drug formulation, allowing for a smaller tablet size compared to Suboxone. The smaller size of Zubsolv tablets may be helpful for individuals who struggle with swallowing pills or have sensitivities to taking larger tablets.

Dosage

Zubsolv offers more dosage options that are unique from Suboxone, allowing for more customized dosages per each patient’s needs.

Administration and Rate of Dissolution

While both medications are administered sublingually (under the tongue), Zubsolv is designed to dissolve faster than Suboxone. Dissolving faster can potentially enhance the medication’s effectiveness and convenience for users as the effects appear more quickly. Also, quick dissolution reduces the amount of time in the mouth, which may reduce mouth irritation and lingering taste.

Medication Taste and Tolerability

Zubsolv is often reported to have a more pleasant taste compared to Suboxone. This difference in taste has led to improved tolerability among patients which can potentially increase medication compliance. In fact, according to Zubsolv’s manufacturer, more than 70% of patients preferred Zubsolv rather than Suboxone.

Availability and Personal Preference

Suboxone, being a well-established medication that has been used for years and is well-recognized by most people with a basic understanding of opioid addiction treatment, might have higher market availability and familiarity compared to Zubsolv simply due to its reputation. Additionally, patient and prescriber preferences, which are influenced by factors like experience, perception, and marketing efforts, might also play a role in the choice between the two medications.

Find out if Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is Right for You

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is not for everyone, and you should never take any MAT medications that are not prescribed to you. However, if you are suffering from opioid addiction, MAT may be able to supply you with the care and support you need to recover.

At Moving Mountains Recovery, we take a holistic, individualized approach to treatment, tailoring each client’s care according to their needs. During your admissions process, our talented addiction specialists will evaluate your needs and help determine whether or not MAT with Zubsolv or Suboxone is right for you.

To learn more about MAT or our opioid rehab programs, please contact Moving Mountains Recovery today.

References:

  1. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Suboxone Highlights of Prescribing Information, Retrieved November 2023 from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2021/022410s042lbl.pdf
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Buprenorphine, Retrieved November 2023 from https://www.samhsa.gov/medications-substance-use-disorders/medications-counseling-related-conditions/buprenorphine
  3. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Zubsolv Highlights of Prescribing Information, Retrieved November 2023 from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/204242s009lbl.pdf
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