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Understanding Sublocade

Opioid Use disorder treatmentUnderstanding Sublocade

By Dr. Eric Geisler, Director of Medical Services, Serenity Lane

Medication-assisted treatment has shown efficacy in helping to manage withdrawal and cravings in adults with an opiate use disorder, especially when combined with clinical interventions. Buprenorphine, commonly known by the brand-name Suboxone, has emerged as a highly popular choice with providers who employ medication-assisted treatment.

Buprenorphine is normally administered as a twice-daily dose in the form of a suboxone strip that is dissolved under the tongue. This daily medication regimen can prove onerous to patients, who must remember to take their dose and ensure that they do not run out.

What is Sublocade?

In November 2017, the FDA approved an extended-release buprenorphine injection for the treatment of opioid use disorder. Marketed under the name Sublocade, this became the first once-monthly buprenorphine injection for the treatment of opioid use disorder.

The Sublocade injection releases a controlled dose of buprenorphine into the patient’s system for 30 days. This injection works the same way as the sublingual buprenorphine medication and will block the effects of opiates and withdrawal symptoms for a full 30 days.

Sublocade is a partial agonist/antagonist. It will block other opioids from receptors in the brain while also triggering some opioid effect of its own to suppress withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Bringing Sublocade to Outpatient

Serenity Lane has provided medication-assisted treatment for residential patients since July 2018. Outcome studies have shown an increase in opioid use disorder patient retention and engagement. We are working to expand MAT to other outpatient locations and have begun utilizing Sublocade at our West 11th Eugene office. Most insurance, including Trillium, covers the medication.

Serenity Lane remains an abstinence-focused substance use disorder treatment provider. We also firmly believe in meeting our patients where they are while providing exceptional, evidence-based care. The addition of Sublocade to our MAT services will help remove some of the complications that patients face and provide them with a foundation to engage in their recovery program.

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