Lately I’ve been amazed at the traffic my blog site has been getting. Then I look at the statistics, and the increase is from people who put phrases like “inject Suboxone film” and “snort Suboxone film” into search engines. From this information, I’m starting to have the unpleasant suspicion that there are more than just a few people who snort the tablets, and are worried they won’t be able to snort the film.
After examining the film myself, I don’t think it’s “snortable.”
At the risk of sounding like a shill for the drug company (I don’t take or receive money from any drug company in any form or fashion), this film is better than the tablets. I have quite a few patients reporting to me after using the film for the first time, and nearly all prefer the film to the tablets. They say it dissolves quickly, and while it doesn’t necessarily taste any better, it’s gone more quickly so that the unpleasant taste doesn’t linger.
Patients describe the difference between sitting for fifteen minutes with a mouthful of saliva, trying not to swallow, versus five minutes or less of letting the film dissolve, with minimal saliva formation. Many patients believe they are absorbing more medication. I don’t know if that’s true, but it makes sense. If the tablet causes a large volume of saliva to accumulate, it seems logical that due to the dilution, less medication would be available for absorption.
However, if the price of the film increases after March, 2011, I don’t know if patients without insurance will stay on it. Many of my patients can barely afford the medication, along with the cost of my office visit and of drug screening. That $75 coupon provided by the drug manufacturer each month has been a big help, but I don’t know what will happen with the price next year. If there’s a generic buprenorphine/naloxone tablet that works well and is cheaper, many of my patients would probably switch again from the film back to a tablet.
Which brings me again to my concern about snorting (and even injecting) Suboxone tablets. Lately I’ve trolled the various websites and I see references to snorting, even though pharmacologically that makes little sense. I still suspect it’s due to addiction to the act of snorting, which has become such an ingrained habit in some addicts that they feel a compulsion to use all medications in this way.
Comments from any Suboxone-snorting addicts out there?