FDA Approves Monthly Injection of Buprenorphine

For the first time, the FDA has approved a monthly injection of the drug buprenorphine, used to combat opioid addiction.

The new drug is called Sublocade. The short can be given by a health care professional after a person has been on daily doses of buprenorphine for at least a week.

Sublocade is in some ways similar to Vivitrol, a monthly shot of the drug naltrexone. One difference is that Sublocade can be administered even if a patient has not been through a detox period first.

Monthly shots are often preferred by addicts because they don’t require remembering to take a pill every day, and they eliminate the temptation to stop taking a drug due to relapse cravings.

Sublocade also helps solve another problem, which is that buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist and can thus be abused or diverted onto the black market – something that won’t be as likely with a monthly shot administered in a medical setting.

Source: STAT News. Click here for more information.