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.