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Does Bunavail help with opiate addiction?

Yes. Bunavail has been shown to be effective in the treatment of addiction in opiate and opioid addicts.

In fact, Bunavail is prescribed for and used in the maintenance treatment of opiate/opioid addiction. Because Bunavail became available not too long ago, many people may be wondering if it can really help patients in opiate addiction treatment. While Bunavail’s effectiveness has been clinically studied, Bunavail is not for everyone.

In this article, we review how Bunavail works, how it specifically helps address drug addiction, and we explain the general properties of this medication. If you have any questions at the end, we invite your to post them in the comments section below. We try to respond to all legitimate inquiries personally and promptly

What’s opiate addiction?

Opiates are strong central nervous system depressants that affect neurotransmitters in the central nervous system to relieve pain. Opiates can be derived from the opium plant, but are also synthetically made and are also called “opioids”. Opiates work by binding to opioid receptors, but in addition to pain relief, they can also affect those brain areas controlling emotion, causing significant euphoric effect, the feeling of being high. This class of drugs has the potency to cause both physical and mental dependence within 2-10 days of constant use. Some examples of opiates and opioids include:

Opiates

  • codeine
  • heroin
  • morphine
  • thebaine

Opioids

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  • buprenorphine
  • ethylmorphine
  • fentanyl
  • hydrocodone
  • hydromorphine
  • oxycodone
  • oxymorphine
  • tramadol

Opiate drug addiction is a debilitating and chronic condition, characterized with strong drug cravings and compulsive behavior focused on obtaining and using opiates. When someone becomes addicted to narcotics, they need medical and structured help to beat the habit that is causing them physical, psychological and social harm.

How can Bunavail help with opiate addiction?

Bunavail is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. While naloxone is put in the film to prevent people from misusing it by dissolving and injecting, buprenorphine is the ingredient that prevents or reduces the unpleasant opioid withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine is a semi-synthetic opioid and can produce typical opioid-like effects, but its effects are less potent than those of full opioid agonists (heroin or methadone). At the same time, naltrexone works to lessen drug cravings. Because Bunavail can stay in your system and manage these cravings for at least a day, it is extremely helpful in treating addiction to stronger drugs like heroin, hydrocodone, or oxycodone.

When Bunavail buccal film is applied to the inside of the mouth, it delivers buprenorphine to the body. Buprenorphine works by attaching to the opioid receptors in the brain and blocks other opioids from binding to the same receptors. This way, the brain is tricked into thinking it has been satisfied with opioids, but a person doesn’t experience the euphoric effects or side effects of withdrawal. When combined with naltrexone, buprenorphine helps chronic and long-term opiate users can stop using without going through withdrawal and without experiencing drug cravings.

Bunavail prescription for opiate addiction treatment

Qualified physicians who meet strict medical requirements are allowed to prescribe Bunavail to patients in recovery. However, keep in mind that Bunavail isn’t a stand alone medication in the treatment of addiction. Bunavail buccal film should only be used along with a complete treatment plan that includes counseling, psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral treatment, educational sessions, adequate medical and family support, positive lifestyle changes, and other types of treatment.

Bunavail is supplied in three different strengths of buprenorphine/naloxone. Bunavail buccal film is available as:

  • 2.1mg/0.3mg  buprenorphine/naloxone
  • 4.2mg/0.7mg buprenorphine/naloxone
  • 6.3mg/1mg buprenorphine/naloxone

Bunavial buccal film is prescribed to be used only once daily in the amount suggested by your doctor. The target dosage of Bunavail buccal film is 8.4/1.4 mg per day. But this dose can be adjusted (increased or decreased) according to your individual needs. The daily maintenance dosage of Bunavail for the treatment of opiate addiction ranges between 2.1mg/0.3mg to 12.6mg/2.1mg buprenorphine/naloxone.

Bunavail can help opiate addiction… or it may not

Some people may be eligible for Bunavail treatment, but some people shouldn’t use it at all. The decision to use Bunavail should be made along with your doctor, psychiatrist, and even your addiction counselor, since there are health conditions and possible side effects that may put patients in danger.

Who CAN use Bunavail for opiate addiction help?

  1. Patients who have been examined by their doctor and received a clearance and a prescription to initiate Bunavail treatment.
  2. Bunavail is recommended as a part of a full opiate addiction treatment program, so people going through a recovery program that includes psychotherapy can benefit most.
  3. If you haven’t used any opiate drugs and the withdrawal symptoms have subsided, your doctor can then start you on Bunavail buccal film.
  4. People who have passed the opiate reaction test are safe to use Bunavail.
  5. People who have no past allergic reactions to any ingredients in Bunavail.

Who SHOULDN’T use Bunavail in opiate addiction treatment?

  1. Bunavail is not recommended in people diagnosed with severe hepatic impairment, and in patients with lower degree of liver damage should be prescribed Bunavail with great caution.
  2. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use Bunavail without consulting with your doctor and gynecologist.
  3. Bunavail should not be used by patients who consume alcohol, since drinking while on Bunavail can lead to loss of consciousness and may even have lethal consequences.
  4. Patients who are allergic to buprenorphine or naloxone, or to any other ingredient in Bunavail is not eligible to use the medication.
  5. Bunavail buccal film should not be given to people who have recently used opioid drugs and are still experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
  6. Some patients who experience adverse and persisting side effects as a result of using Bunavail should report this issue to their doctor and will probably be discontinued from the medication.

Bunavail help with opiate addiction questions

We invite you to share your questions and thoughts about the use of the new Bunavail buccal film as a maintenance medication in opiate addiction treatment. If we cannot help directly, we can help refer you to someone who can further assist you. We try to provide a personal and prompt response to all legitimate inquiries!

Reference sources: DailyMed: Bunavail- buprenorphine hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride dihydrate film
FDA: BUNAVAIL (buprenorphine and naloxone) Buccal Film
PBM: Buprenorphine/Naloxone Buccal Film
FDA: Mediation Guide: Bunavail (buprenorphine and naloxone)
NCBI: New Drug Approvals: Bunavail for Opioid Dependence-Page 5

Photo credit: Pharmaceutical Manufacturer's Website

Leave a Reply

2 Responses to “Does Bunavail help with opiate addiction?
Jocelyn
5:32 pm May 19th, 2015

How about you direct folks to your page about Subutex (buprenorphine) addiction, where you have many people writing in about how hellish it has been for them to get OFF of a drug like this?! You should at least mention in this article that bupe can be used safely (more or less) to treat opiate addiction if it is used in moderation, i.e., for not that many days in a row and at lower doses, aiming to taper off quickly.

12:54 pm May 20th, 2015

Hi Jocelyn. Thank you for your remark. Yes, buprenorphine is still an opioid drug, but it’s used because withdrawing from it is easier than from illicit opioid drugs. Stopping buprenorphine use should be done with doctor’s supervision, since there are withdrawal symptoms that occur as the medication is leaving the body.

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