Mental Health Home > Sublingual Buprenorphine

Sublingual buprenorphine is a type of narcotic opioid medication used in the treatment of opioid dependence. It comes in the form of a tablet that dissolves under the tongue and is typically used once daily. Although most people tolerate this medicine well, side effects are possible and may include insomnia, headaches, and infections.

What Is Sublingual Buprenorphine?

Sublingual buprenorphine (Subutex®) is an opioid narcotic used in the treatment of opioid dependence, which may include a dependence on opioid medications such as morphine or oxycodone. It comes in the form of a tablet that is dissolved under the tongue.
 
Not all healthcare providers can prescribe sublingual buprenorphine. In order for your healthcare provider to be able to prescribe this medication, he or she must take a special class and must have a special registration. Unlike most other medications used to treat opioid dependence, sublingual buprenorphine can be dispensed by pharmacies in an outpatient setting, rather than by special dependence clinics.
 
(Click What Is Sublingual Buprenorphine Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any medicine, sublingual buprenorphine can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the drug will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well.
 
If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
 
Common side effects of sublingual buprenorphine include but are not limited to:
 
 
(Click Sublingual Buprenorphine Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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