Update on Suboxone Films

In the past, I’ve blogged about how some of my patients were having problems with their Suboxone films. When they opened the foil packets, the films were broken into pieces or so fragile they broke when handled. But now over the last two or three months, my patients tell me the films are no longer breaking or fragile, making them easier to use.

I’m glad. The Reckitt Benckiser drug company, manufacturer of Suboxone, wants doctors to switch patients to film because it dissolves faster, is easier to use, is less dangerous to children because the package is so hard to open, and it’s less likely to be snorted. They also say it’s harder to divert and has less value on the black market. And they say tablets are more likely to trigger patients who were addicted to tablets.

There’s validity to much of that, but I believe the biggest reason they want patients to switch is because their patent on the film runs for at least seven more years. Call me cynical.

About half of my patients who tried the film didn’t like it. Nearly all were patients in good recovery, stable for months to years, and if they wanted to tablets rather than the film, I was OK with that. When the film became crumbly, a few more patients wanted to switch back to the tablets.

Now, I’m more enthusiastic about the films. I can prescribe the film with more confidence since they no longer crumble. I prefer to use the films for patients tapering off Suboxone. I know the drug company says the films (and tablets) shouldn’t be cut, but of course everyone has been cutting both. With sharp scissors, the films can be cut into equal and small portions, ideal for a gradual taper of the dose.

I have more success with tapers in patients taking the film. In my next blog, I’ll talk about some of the “recipes” for taper my patients and I have used.


7 responses to this post.

  1. Well good for you but mine are crumbly and go to pieces with just trying to get them out of the package. I have heard that the tabs were being phased out. What a crap product.


    • The Suboxone drug representative said take it back to the pharmacy to get a replacement box if yours are crumbly. However, sometimes the pharmacists refuse to do so. If they won’t replace, consider contacting the drug company, http://suboxone.com and let them know.
      I’ve been telling my rep that some patients are still getting crumbly films, and that’s not OK. If it doesn’t improve and soon I’ll have to look at going with the generic buprenorphine for more patients.


  2. Posted by dougmacartneh on June 8, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Straight up bunch of scum bags. Its to easy to dismiss conspiracy theories nowadays being that there are so many nut jobs and so many garbage cable TV shows based on them. However !! No F-ing way! They promoted oxycotin as less habitual than morphine in 1996. LMAO… Really ?? I mean WTF. Make it sound good while you know it will create an epidemic and a huge bank roll for…. well lets just say everyone who played a part in getting it into the US. Now I can imagine there are many Dr’s and students licking there chops prescribing Suboxone. Well didnt those who helped get it in the US know about RBP, your DAM RIGHT they did. The money is so ENORMOUS its not even released credibly and Dr’s are supposed to work with patients not tell the patient minimum 4 years and no tapering or your out. That is 7 Grand $$$ just for Dr visits, LMAO. Wait there is more, that is a mid range number 7 G’s it goes up to 8 and now Dr’s are allowed more patients, ALOT MORE!!! LMAO, I feel like it is LITERALLY a Twilight Zone episode. F— , I wish I knew in 1996. Knowing you have no stress great hours and can be called Dr prescribing RBP. Again LMAO. GEORGE WASHINGTON WOULD BE SO PROUD.


  3. Posted by dougmacartneh on June 8, 2015 at 9:23 am

    I had an idea for a book about 10 years ago. It was about taking down a country in a matter of decades by turning all the chidren into junkies mass producing a highly addictive pill. The way it was done makes for the book I cant give that away but you can google it. When I say LMAO it is my way of saying —- — !!!! LMAO. It is disgusting to see children suffer from this bull—-.


  4. Posted by Ronnie Barela on February 23, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    I am a user of the sublingual film, and it has been very helpful in my recovery. But i have to make this known so that if possible to keep from happening to someones elses child. I have been on the program for two years. I have a 16 month old son,who like all little ones do, likes putting things in his mouth. To make a long story short, my son got a hold of the wrapper from the trash. If i would have had any idea that the wrapper had residue in it, I would have been disposing of it outside my house and not in the trash can. Anyway I want to get this message out, so that anyone who is on the Suboxone program with little ones running around, please take my advise, and dispose your wrapper outside of the home! Also, I am starting to research the manufacture of the sublingual film so that maybe they could put a warning sign on the wrapper. Anyone who reads this and knows of anyone else that this may have happen too, please e-mail me at ( ronreybar@gmail.com. I would like to know if this has happened before, and if so, how many times?


  5. it says in TIP 63 : “OTPs can dispense buprenorphine under OTP regulations without using a federal waiver”
    does that mean the MD’s prescribing bup in the OTPs don’t need a waiver??


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