How To Take Suboxone

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses how to properly take Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone).

Mar 24, 2018

James asked

I'm a little confused on how to take Suboxone. Can you take me how to take it?


Buprenorphine and naloxone is available as a sublingual film (Suboxone), a buccal film (Bunavail), and a sublingual tablet (Zobsolv). You should follow the specific directions your prescriber  gives you regarding the frequency of dosing as well as the treatment duration of buprenorphine and naloxone. 

How To Take Suboxone

The proper way to administer the instructed dose is as follows:

Suboxone Sublingual Film:
  • Administer whole, do not cut, chew, or swallow.
  • Place one film under the tongue until it completely dissolves.
  • If two films are needed place on opposite sides of the tongue avoiding as much overlap as possible and allow to dissolve completely.
  • If a third film is need place under either side of the tongue after the first two films have dissolved completely.

Suboxone sublingual films can also be administered buccally if desired. The following instructions are for buccal administration:

  • Hold the film between two fingers by the outside edges.
  • Place one film on the inside of your right or left cheek.
  • If your healthcare provider tells you to take 2 films at a time, place the other film on the inside of the opposite cheek. Keep the films in place until they have completely dissolved.
  • If you are directed to take a third film, place it on the inside of your right or left cheek after the first two films have dissolved.

The video below details proper Suboxone administration:

Bunavail Buccal Film:
  • Administer whole, do not cut or tear.
  • Moisten inside of cheek with the tongue or with water.
  • Unwrap film with a dry finger and apply to the inside of the moistened cheek with the printed text against the cheek.
  • Hold film in place with dry finger for 5 seconds.
  • Keep in place until it fully dissolves (do not crush, chew, or move).
  • Do not eat or drink until film(s) have completely dissolved.
  • If two films are needed place second film in the opposite cheek.
  • No more than 2 films may be placed in any one cheek at a time(for dosing requiring the use of many films).
Zubsolv Sublingual Tablet:
  • Do not crush or chew tablet
  • Place under the tongue immediately after removal from blister pack until dissolved.
  • If multiple tablets are required for dose they may be placed under the tongue until completely dissolved, two at a time.

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