FDA Approves Zubsolv, New Brand of Sublingual Buprenorphine


Suboxone is getting competition from the generic preparations of buprenorphine/naloxone, and now another name-brand preparation has just been approved by the FDA.

It’s called Zubsolv, and the manufacturer, Orexo, says it takes less time to dissolve, is a smaller tablet, and tastes better. The company added a menthol taste. They also say their preparation has higher bioavailability, and the tablets come in two strengths: 5.7/1.4 buprenorphine to naloxone ratio, and 1.4/.36 ratio. The lower doses of buprenorphine per tablet are due to the higher bioavailability. Also, each tablet is contained in unit dose packaging, to reduce the risk of pediatric exposures.

Interestingly, the package insert says not to switch from one buprenorphine preparation to another, because other tablets have different amounts of buprenorphine than Zubsolv. That’s a problem for established patients. I’d like the manufacturer to give prescribers some information on how blood levels of their tablets compare to blood levels of other preparations of buprenorphine. I guess new patients could be started on Zubsolv.

On the company’s website, they claim that nine out of ten people prefer Zubsolv to Suboxone.

This medication should be available in pharmacies by September of this year.

I’m glad for every new buprenorphine product that’s released to the market, because I hope it brings the price down. Lower cost of medication means more opioid addicts could afford treatment.

I’m curious to see how this new preparation will be greeted by patients on buprenorphine.

43 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lesly Martins on August 3, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    I am from South Africa and is really curious to know more about the product. How may I contact the company?


  2. Posted by Joy Auren on August 3, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Good stuff! Hope you have a good weekend! 🙂


  3. Posted by kevin on August 4, 2013 at 2:54 am

    Good news


  4. I just switched from film to these due to the savings. These are completely ineffective, I doubt they contain any bupe at all. I took 2 tablets (11.4mg compared to my normal 8mg strip) and still felt absolutely nothing. The longer the day went on, the worse my DTs got. I have no idea how these got approved by the FDA.
    Just a warning before you all get excited that you may save some money through competition.
    You get what you pay for, except in the case of Zubsolv, you get nothing.


    • You are the first person I’ve heard from with personal experience with this new brand Zubsolv. Thanks for writing to let us know.


    • Posted by estone on February 25, 2014 at 8:46 pm

      man Idk what your talking about ive been on them for 2 month and they are great because the strips don do shit for me and zub cost more than suboxone!


      • Posted by Karena on November 11, 2014 at 2:05 am

        I’m glad you jus put that out there,cause i us got put on them but haven’t had them filled yet! But was wondering what the differance or if there is any differance in them at all.Cause i was scared about taking the pill and was jus curious about it

      • Posted by Andre Demitrious on June 29, 2015 at 1:02 am

        I have recently switched to the Zub from suboxone by choice thinking they would be cheaper necause I just started a new.career and yet to ha e insurance. They actually cost more than Suboxone, they taste way better and to me, they feel and work just as good. I will however be going back to the suboxone strips after this month.

      • Posted by Anna Andersen on August 4, 2015 at 3:46 pm

        I switched over from suboxone because my ins said I had to. I find zubzolve to be quicker dissolve. I get mine for free because I have a coupon that’s good for six months. But if I didn’t have the coupon it would still be cheaper.

      • Posted by Ashley Lynn on August 17, 2016 at 7:52 pm

        I agree !!! The zub works way better than the film strip .

  5. Posted by Heather huchison on October 12, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Just switched yesterday from suboxone films to this new zubsolv and I love it. The suboxone made me nauseated every morning when I had to take it. I dreaded it; now I don’t mind taking it at all. Also I have noticed no changes at all. I will never go back. But it’s only been 48 hours so that could change but so far I am so thankful for this new med. instead of $800/month it’s $700/month. Big savings if we are thinking long term. Now this is only cheaper because of a $75 off coupon for cash payers. This coupon could expire and not be refurbished at any time, however for now this is helpful. Good luck to everyone. And I will say I have not looked back and I have been ten months without a single pill and I used so much every day. I was very dependent. I hope I never go back.


  6. Posted by If you found this, now you know me. If you throw the first stone, I'll throw one back at ya. on November 22, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    The 3rd post back is bull $#!’. I too have taken Zubsolv and it freek’n works! I am a true addict. All started with a back injury and went from 3 x 7.5 vics a day in 2005 to $50 worth of China white (injected) a day in 2007. In 2007 sought treatment for my addiction and went on suboxon 8mg daily for 4 years. Relapsed in 2011 and sought a doc in another state for 2 x 30mg oxycodone a day with a 40mg opana here or there. Went back to rehab 6 months ago and tapered down to 4mg suboxon and the doc said “want to save money with a new pill?” of course! I’m taking half of my Zubsolv (equivalent to 4mg sub) in the morn and the other half afternoon, since this came out a couple months ago. High feeling all day, back feels great and so do I. I’m on nothing else. Hope you all seek help for this costly addiction. If I could go back to heroine or oxycodone I would in the blink of an eye. Zubsolv is saving me from an early grave. And others continue to live happy, I know… .

    Godspeed you black emperor’s


    • Posted by Diana Bennett on June 17, 2015 at 6:35 am

      Day two on zubsol….clarity back… is this euphoria I’m feeling an initial effect that will subside or is this how life is suppose to feel without the facade of fentynal…. does it help pain control? Right now I would say to some degree. Thank you….


      • Posted by Andre Demitrious on June 29, 2015 at 2:12 am

        I have.been on suboxone for two months and chose to switch to zubsolv to save.money until my new insurance kicks in at work. To answer your question as you may know by.now…the euphoria fades but you will start to feel normal again for the.first time in a long time. I got on this after doing heroin for a year and decided to get help before i got to tje.point of injecting.

      • Posted by Hamish on October 21, 2015 at 12:05 am

        sorry to tell you, but the euphoric feeling won’t last. Sad but true.

  7. Posted by Mike on November 28, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Just took my first one, I have been on Suboxone 8 MG- SL Film for 7 months.
    I am very grateful to have a Doctor That Only charges me $50.00 per month for the visit.
    I have insurance that has also been very helpful they have paid for 60 per month with a $3.00Co-Pa for 7 months. This med seems to work well, I have only took one but it worked so far…my doc visit was $375.00 per month but we talked and he understands that I could not pay that. But his office is full how they get all this money !!!! Then the prescription cost of the medications I just could not.. SO I am doing fine now .


    • Posted by Andre Demitrious on June 29, 2015 at 2:20 am

      My Dr td me that no doctor should charge you for a visit just to charge you for giving you a script. It should be treated just like any other Dr. Visit and be billed to your insurance and you charged a copay. This is a fad and a ripoff. When you go gwt a physical, do you have to.pay 200 bucks if you have insurance…no and the same should be when you fo get your sub script. This is no different than you going to the Dr to get your monthly script for vicoden or percs. In Ohio…Dr. are getting in trouble for doing the same.thing.


      • Um, yes. New patient physicals can definitely cost $200 or more. And the patient visits with the doctor for patients in treatment with buprenorphine ARE like any other visit. You sit down with the doctor, discuss your progress in recovery, discuss stresses and potential relapse triggers, mood, sleep, etc. It is like any other visit.
        Doctors can choose to bill your insurance, or, like me, allow patients to pay for the visits, then give the patient the paid receipt so that the patient can contact their insurance company and be paid back directly from insurance. That way, I cut overhead and the costs of my visits are cheaper, because the patient is doing the work of contacting insurance company.
        There’s no law that doctors must accept insurance. We are free to choose to do so or not. I don’t.

  8. Posted by anonymous on December 4, 2013 at 2:14 am

    Recovering from a gripping two year Opana addiction. I was on buprenorphine for past year and a half. Recently started the Zubsolv 5.7-1.4. I am not a huge fan because my insurance does not cover it when the buprenorphine was covered. I do have physical detoxing symptoms much faster on the Zubsolv vs. Buprenorphine. I take my medication as prescribed but have been in a couple situations where I was unable to have my meds filled on time and/or missed a day due to being out of town (poor packing/ planning). The first time this happed I had gone 12 hrs with out my medication and started to detox. Detoxing like I would detox off the Opanas. Scared me to death. Cold sweats, gagging, vomitting, sneezing, shaking and the dreaded restless legs…GOOD TIMES. Haven’t had that feeling for years and never felt that way missing a normal dose of the buprenorphine. I understand that I must take my meds as prescribed but felt much safter knowing that I wasn’t going to immediatley detox if accidentally missed a dose. It’s a nice reminder that I’m still a drug addict and although the streets don’t have my soul the FDA/ Doctors/ Pharm sure have control of me and my cash. I believe these meds have saved people because they have saved me but unfortunatley I also beleive that greedy doctors keep patients strung out much longer than they should. Finding a good ethical doctor is part of the drug abuse / recovery problem.


  9. Posted by Fun Times on December 12, 2013 at 1:46 am

    Took films for 7 months, generic tabs for 4 and this is my first month on Zubs. Pretty much the same as tabs while films work a little better. Only difference between tabs and Zubs is taste…


  10. have been on zubsolv for 2 months now. started out taking 5,7 dose twice a day the first month. the second month I still felt wds so I went back to my doc and told her that I sometimes needed a third pill so she adjusted the zubsolv to 3 times a day only if I felt like ineeded it. this medication works great for me. I was taking 15 to 25 1000 mgs of loricet a day before taking zubsolv and withdrawls were horrible. I may as well have been a heroin addict. zubsolv has saved my life. even though its cheaper than suboxone it is still very expensive but at least im alive and doing well now.


  11. Posted by Leza on January 28, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Just started Zubsolv yesterday. Been on Suboxone for 4 years 8mg/2mg….went from 4 per day to 3/day. New script is for only 2 Zubsolv…so we’ll see how that’s going to work out for me. I have an auto-immune disease and an array of other health issues, so pain is a constant issue for me. Suboxone never took all the pain away, but it keep me at a steady level enough for me to be able to function in daily life again..b/c the narcotics weren’t doing anything for me anymore, but making me have to take more and more…well you folks know how that goes! In any case…it doesn’t feel quite the same as Sub in my opinion, but I’m going to give it a couple more days to really see how it goes. I will say I don’t like the fact I have to go back to tabs, I like the strips b/c I can cut them if I want to, whereas, the tabs crumble easy. I also am not crazy about the packaging, but understand the necessity of it. I have trouble with my hands and opening them are a nightmare. I also don’t like the menthol taste, probably because I’m just used to the other taste (which really isn’t great either, but if given a choice I’d rather have the old taste). So…it’s a wait and see …jury is still out for me.


  12. Posted by Ian on March 1, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Love your blog. You seem to be a Specialist that actually cares about the patients and not just in it for the dollar. I take bupe and it’s okay but it does not cover the deeply embedded paychological (almost physical their so intense) cravings. And it’s not an easy kick by any means itself. I have been on and off but mostly on it for the last 3 years, and have 4mg left. Tuesday will be my day that I start this extremely long W/D. Wish me luck, I’ll need it!


  13. Posted by kevin on March 3, 2014 at 3:40 am

    Good luck to you. It’s a hard struggle. Be safe my friend


  14. I just started subsolv and I have been on suboxone for a few years. I was prescribed 2&1/2 8×2 / day and now I am forced to switch to the new dosage. My first night was last night and I was woken up by cold sweats. I am wondering how this will all work out


  15. I just started subsolv and I have been on suboxone for a few years. I was prescribed 2&1/2 8×2 / day and now I am forced to switch to the new dosage. My first night was last night and I was woken up by cold sweats. I am wondering how this will all work out.


    • Posted by enfamos on April 29, 2016 at 4:00 pm

      Suboxone has too many side effects.. Once your transition is complete (few days) you will begin to feel way better


  16. Posted by Denise E on November 7, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Only reason I switched is because my insurance company won’t pay for it anymore, otherwise I would’ve stayed on suboxone. It seems to work fine but I seriously doubt it’s cheaper than suboxone. In my opinion cutting down will be more difficult than the film strips, so I may never be able to wean off and that was my goal, to not remain addicted to another pain pill!


    • Posted by pam on November 23, 2014 at 4:04 am

      I Was put on subsolv this week because my insurance will no longer pay for the suboxone file.I do not like the subsolv at all. Its Just like im going through withdrawl.my body is jumping off the bed when i lay down.I was taking 3- 8mg suboxone film a day.subsolv is not as good,does not last as long either.I Need the film back,The subsolv is not going to work for me!


    • Posted by pam on November 23, 2014 at 4:09 am

      Denise E. Its not that much cheaper. i had to buy a few before mine was covered by my insurance. they are $6.80 a pill.I think the suboxone is $7.00 a Film.


  17. Posted by Candice on November 8, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Listen I have liver problems, and i just got switched to zubsolv from the suboxone strips and i hate the zubsolv, i cant feel anything and im in pain. I have heard others say they love it and when i asked them if they had liver problems and they said no….it made me wonder…. is my body not absorbing the zubsolv because of my liver??? my other friends who switched with liver problems said they cant feel zubsolve either even if they took a higher dose that was more or equal to thier 8mg strip of suboxone. I was doing so good on the suboxone and my insurance stopped covering it. Now I feel like everything I accomplished is being flushed down the drain. Speaking of drains….on the back of my zubsolv box it says flush unwanted pills down the toilet!!!! A controlled substance! poisioning the water?!? i would never flush any meds down the toilet. why do they say for us to do this???? I wish i could show you guys a picture. Zubsolv is getting creepier than flouride. My prayers goes out to everyone going through addiction, because our government is making it so hard to get the right treatment, by cutting peoples insurance and telling the what drugs to take. My doctor didnt even want to switch me, he just had no choice.


    • Liver problems won’t interfere with absorption of the medication.
      As for water contamination, the body metabolizes buprenorphine to norbuprenorphine. This substance is excreted into the bile which in turn gets into the intestine, into the sewage system, etc. So I don’t see much difference between that and flushing buprenorphine.
      I don’t know why people object to flushing unused pills down the toilet, since people prescribed all types of medications are excreting the metabolic products of those medications already, into urine or feces. I don’t get it.


    • Posted by pam on November 23, 2014 at 4:16 am

      Candice. I Dont think the problem has to do with absorption.The subsole is not any good. my pharmacy told me i was losing 3mg with each one.so its like going to half of what you was taking.i was cut by half this month,so its like im taking next to nothing.


  18. the subsolv taste better and works just as well as the othe it’its cheaper and works better in my opinion


  19. Posted by H.R on April 25, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    I’ve tried both but if I had to choose by choice I would rather be on suboxone strips rather than my two a day zubsolve


  20. Posted by Ashley on July 19, 2015 at 5:50 am

    I’ve been on zubsolv 5.7mg/1.4mg twice a day & I love it tried sub a few times before getting help & would never go to it!!! I don’t even want or crave anything I did before!!! & it’s not cheaper bc my insurance tries to denied it every month but bc I was already established on zubsolv when I started treatment they won’t change it, my pharmacy just has to call them every month to get it approved!!! Zubsolv has changed my life!!!


  21. Posted by shaun on January 30, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    I take Subutex it is so much better and cheaper than this other crap!


    • If you mean the monoproduct buprenorphine, which is what most people mean when they say Subutex, it is cheaper. But it’s reported to give the same blood levels as a comparable dose.


  22. Posted by allen on February 21, 2016 at 7:36 am

    So 30,000 a month isn’t enough to cover your overhead. 100 patients per physician docs are making a killing and I wonder why my doctor has moved 3 times in the last 5 months?


  23. Posted by brain on April 27, 2017 at 8:38 am

    iam not sure how i feel i could break down a quator off a strip an snort it an be fine now on zubsolf iam takin two pills a day equal too two 8mg suboxen an i didn’t feel shit all day then later on that night i was known


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