Is Zubsolv The Same As Suboxone?
Opioid addiction is no joke. If you or someone that you love is considering seeking treatment for their opioid addiction, you’ve probably already considered opioid maintenance therapy. Several drugs are used for opioid maintenance therapy, with Suboxone and Methadone being the most common. Some areas are now seeing the emergence of a new prescription: Zubsolv.
It’s important for anyone hoping to take the medicated route towards abstinence to understand what drugs they’re taking. Zubsolv and Suboxone are very similar, but are they exactly the same? Read on to find out.
What is Opioid Maintenance Therapy?
Opioid maintenance therapy, or OMT, is a temporary form of maintenance for people who struggle with addictions to illegal opioids. Typically, serious addictions to illegal substances lead down a dark path of deception, lying, and sometimes thievery and violence. These sorts of things are not sustainable and can quickly lead a person to jail, or worse, just because they would rather take the risk of incarceration than face the withdrawal symptoms associated with their addiction.
That’s why opioid maintenance therapy emerged. Opioid maintenance therapy allows people to regain some control of their lives by providing them with a regulated, prescribed dose of opioids. Since these opioids are prescribed by a physician, they are not illegal, and an individual is able to return to employment or fix any problems that their addiction may have caused in their family or social group.
The first drug that was used on a wide scale for OMT was Methadone. Methadone, like the more recent drugs that are used, is a very long-lasting opioid that only needs to be used once a day. This defeats the need to spend hours on a daily basis contacting and getting ahold of drug dealers.
Methadone, however, proved to be a very unhealthy drug with some long-lasting physical problems. The most recent drug used for opioid maintenance therapy is known as buprenorphine, and it’s available in a number of prescription medications like Suboxone, Subutex, and Zubsolv.
Is Suboxone the same as Zubsolv?
Suboxone is the most popular preparation of buprenorphine. It contains not only buprenorphine but a drug known as Naloxone. Zubsolv also contains buprenorphine and Naloxone, so one might think the two drugs are different. To know if they are, you should understand a bit about the two drugs.
The most interesting thing is the Naloxone. Naloxone is a controversial ingredient for a number of reasons.
- It was originally said that Naloxone - which is available in emergency overdose kits because it reverses opioid overdoses. This is only true for opioids like heroin and fentanyl, though, because they don’t have as strong of a binding affinity as buprenorphine.
- The Naloxone present in Suboxone pills is actually inert because buprenorphine has such a strong binding affinity. This mean it binds to the opioid receptors in the brain so strongly that no other opioids can latch on or overpower it - including Naloxone.
- It is now suggested that Naloxone was originally included in Suboxone because a different company had been marketing pure buprenorphine in a prescription known as Subutex. Since the patient was already taken, manufacturers had to change the formula to get a patent, and using a drug that prevents opioid overdoses was a great benefit for marketing.
- The reason it’s difficult to overdose on Suboxone is not because of the Naloxone. You can’t overdose on Subutex any easier than you can on Suboxone. The reason overdoses are so uncommon is because buprenorphine has a ceiling effect. This means that buprenorphine, which only partially activates opioid receptors, can bind to them all. This means they will be occupied but not fully activated - other opioids like heroin will occupy the receptors and fully activate them, making overdoses much more likely.
So in terms of active ingredients, both Zubsolv and Suboxone are identical. There are a couple differences, though.
Suboxone is known for its lemon-lime citrus flavour, which many people detest and a few people love. Zubsolv has a minty flavour, much more common among prescription drugs. The flavour of Zubsolv is generally preferred.
Though Suboxone is available in pill form, in the US, it typically comes as a sublingual strip. Zubsolv usually comes as a tablet, which some people prefer to take.
A drug’s bioavailability is the amount of drug that’s actually absorbed by the body. Zubsolv is purported to have a higher bioavailability than Subutex due to the way that it’s made.
While both medications have the same amount of active ingredient, Zubsolv will be better used by the body. An 8mg tab of Suboxone will provide the same medicinal effect as 5.7mg of Zubsolv.
Zubsolv and Suboxone have the same active ingredients and, for the most part, behave the same.
For people who live in areas where they are unable to get Suboxone prescribed in amounts smaller than 8mg, they may want to consider Zubsolv. 8mg, the standard starting dose for Suboxone, is actually an incredibly high dose of buprenorphine and you will almost undoubtedly end up more addicted to the Suboxone than you were to your original opioids.
Unfortunately, most doctors don’t know this. If you’re able to switch to the lower 1.4mg Zubsolv. This is equivalent to 2mg Suboxone, which is much more reasonable of a starting dose. This will help ensure you a much better road to sobriety and a much easier time coming off of opioid maintenance.