If you’re in need of treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD), your doctor might prescribe Sublocade (buprenorphine).

Sublocade is a prescription drug that’s used to treat OUD.

This article describes the dosage of Sublocade, including its form, strengths, and how you’ll receive the drug. To learn more about Sublocade, see this in-depth article or the drug’s medication guide.

Note: This article covers Sublocade’s typical dosages, which are provided by the drug’s manufacturer. But your doctor may prescribe a different dosage for you.

Sublocade is a medication that you receive by an injection under your skin. It’s administered by a healthcare provider who’s been trained to give the drug. You won’t give Sublocade injections to yourself.

What is Sublocade’s form?

Sublocade comes as a liquid solution inside prefilled syringes.

What strengths does Sublocade come in?

Sublocade is available in two strengths:

  • 100 milligrams (mg) per 0.5 milliliter (mL) of solution
  • 300 mg per 1.5 mL of solution

What are the typical dosages of Sublocade?

The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

You might have withdrawal symptoms after you first stop using opioid drugs. Sublocade is only used after these withdrawal symptoms are under control.

For this reason, you’ll need to take a different form of buprenorphine for at least 7 days before starting Sublocade. (Buprenorphine, the active drug in Sublocade, is also available in a form that dissolves inside your cheek or under your tongue.)

The typical dosage schedule of Sublocade is one injection given once each month. For the first 2 months, you’ll likely receive the 300-mg injection. After that, you’ll either continue the 300-mg dose or receive the 100-mg dose instead.

If you’re getting the 100-mg dose and the drug isn’t working well enough for you, your doctor might increase your dose back to 300 mg.

Is Sublocade used long term?

Yes, Sublocade is typically used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Sublocade is safe and effective for you, it’s likely that you’ll use it long term.

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Sublocade.

Will Sublocade make me feel “high”?

No, it isn’t likely that Sublocade will make you feel “high.”

Sublocade is a drug that’s used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). OUD is a condition that causes strong mental and physical dependence on opioid drugs. Buprenorphine (the active drug in Sublocade) is a type of opioid drug. So you might be concerned that Sublocade will cause the same high as other opioid drugs you’ve used.

Buprenorphine is a type of drug called a partial opioid agonist. This means the drug works similarly to opioids in your body, but its effect isn’t as strong.

Sublocade is meant to help lower your opioid cravings. It’s given as an injection under your skin that slowly releases buprenorphine into your body over time. As a result, you aren’t likely to feel high after receiving your Sublocade injections.

If you have questions about what to expect from Sublocade treatment, talk with your doctor. For more information about possible side effects you might have while taking Sublocade, read this article.

Where can I find Sublocade injection instructions?

You won’t find instructions for how to self-administer Sublocade. This is because the drug should only be given by a healthcare provider in a doctor’s office or clinic. So you won’t give yourself Sublocade injections.

If you have questions about how Sublocade injections are given, talk with your doctor.

How do the dosages for Sublocade and Suboxone compare?

Sublocade and Suboxone are medications prescribed to treat OUD. Both drugs contain the active ingredient buprenorphine. But Sublocade and Suboxone come in different forms.

Sublocade comes as an injection that’s given under your skin once each month by a healthcare provider. You won’t give yourself Sublocade injections at home.

Suboxone comes as a film that dissolves between your gums and cheek or under your tongue. The drug is typically taken once a day. You might be given Suboxone at your doctor’s office, or you might take your doses at home.

For more information about how Sublocade and Suboxone are alike and different, see this article.

If you have questions about whether Sublocade or Suboxone is best for you, talk with your doctor. And be sure not to stop your current treatment or switch to a different treatment unless your doctor recommends it.

You’ll receive Sublocade as an injection under your skin. The injection is given by a healthcare provider who’s been trained to administer the drug. You won’t give Sublocade injections to yourself.

The dosage of Sublocade you’re prescribed may depend on several factors, such as the severity of your opioid use disorder (OUD).

Talk with your doctor about the Sublocade dosage that’s right for you.

You’ll receive your Sublocade injections from a healthcare provider once each month. It’s important to go to all of your appointments for your Sublocade injections. This helps keep a consistent level of the drug in your body, which decreases your risk for withdrawal symptoms.

If you miss an injection appointment, call your doctor’s office right away to reschedule your missed dose. You should get your next dose as soon as possible. To avoid withdrawal symptoms, try to schedule your next appointment within 2 weeks of your missed dose.

Sublocade contains the active ingredient buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is a Schedule III controlled substance, meaning the drug has potential for misuse. Buprenorphine can also cause physical and psychological dependence.

You’ll get your Sublocade injections from a healthcare provider who’s trained to administer the drug. You won’t give yourself Sublocade injections at home. A healthcare provider will closely monitor you while they’re giving you the drug. This lessens the risk of misuse with Sublocade.

The potential for misuse of Sublocade is also lessened by the Sublocade Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program.

This safety program prevents Sublocade from being supplied directly to those who use the drug. Only pharmacies that are certified by the REMS program can dispense Sublocade to healthcare providers. And the drug can only be given by a healthcare provider in an office or clinic that’s certified by this program.

If you stop using Sublocade, you might have withdrawal symptoms. Sublocade can cause physical dependence, which means your body gets used to having the drug in your system. And your body will continue to need the drug for you to feel normal.

Sublocade is a drug that’s used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). OUD is a condition that causes strong mental and physical dependence on opioid drugs. Buprenorphine, the active drug in Sublocade, is itself a type of opioid drug called a partial opioid agonist. This means the drug works similarly to other opioids in your body, but its effect isn’t as strong.

Withdrawal symptoms you may experience if you stop using Sublocade can include:

It can take a while for Sublocade to leave your body entirely after your last dose. As a result, you may not have withdrawal symptoms until a few months after your last dose. For this reason, your doctor will monitor you for withdrawal symptoms for a few months after your last injection.

Tell your doctor if you have withdrawal symptoms after stopping Sublocade. To help lessen these symptoms, they might prescribe a few doses of buprenorphine film. The film dissolves inside your cheek or under your tongue. Your doctor may also prescribe other medications to help treat your symptoms.

Because of your risk for withdrawal, don’t stop getting Sublocade injections unless your doctor says it’s safe to do so.

The sections above describe the typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Sublocade for you, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage. Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • Should my Sublocade dosage change if the drug isn’t working well enough for me?
  • Am I at a higher risk for withdrawal symptoms if I take a lower dosage of Sublocade?
  • Does my dosage of Sublocade need to change if I have certain health conditions?

Q:

How does Sublocade keep working to treat my opioid use disorder (OUD) if I only receive one injection each month?

Anonymous patient

A:

Sublocade contains the active drug ingredient buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is a type of opioid drug called a partial opioid agonist. This means the drug works similarly to opioids in your body, but its effect isn’t as strong. As a result, Sublocade reduces your cravings for opioids with milder side effects.

Sublocade in injected under your skin, where the drug turns into a solid mass called a depot. The depot releases the drug slowly into your body at a steady level until your next monthly dose.

Victor Nguyen, PharmD, MBAAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
Healthline

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.