DOSING & ADMINISTRATION
THE ATRIGEL® DELIVERY SYSTEM ALLOWS FOR A CONTROLLED, EXTENDED RELEASE OF BUPRENORPHINE1
SUBLOCADE® is designed to provide sustained target levels of at least 2 ng/mL of buprenorphine throughout one full month1
Proper storage and handling of SUBLOCADE
- Store refrigerated at 35.6°F-46.4°F (2°C-8°C)1
- SUBLOCADE requires at least 15 minutes to reach room temperature. Do not open the foil pouch until the patient has arrived for their injection1
- Once product is removed from the refrigerator and has reached room temperature, 59°F-86°F (15°C-30°C), use within 7 days or discard; product cannot be returned to the refrigerator1
- SUBLOCADE is available in a single-dose, prefilled syringe with safety needle1
- Do not attach the needle until time of administration1
- SUBLOCADE is a Schedule III drug product. Handle with adequate security and accountability. As universal precaution, always wear gloves1
- SUBLOCADE is for abdominal subcutaneous injection only; do not administer SUBLOCADE intravenously, intramuscularly, or intradermally. Serious harm or death could result if administered intravenously1
SUBLOCADE delivered sustained therapeutic buprenorphine plasma levels ≥2 ng/mL (≥70% μORO) for most patients, with no real daily ups and downs1-3
Mean weekly buprenorphine concentration levels3
- Buprenorphine plasma concentrations were assessed before each injection, at 4 hours and 24 hours after injection, and at each weekly visit over the dosing schedule4
- Due to inter-subject variability, some patients had occasional concentrations <2 ng/mL after the second injection (at Week 4)4
- Population pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic modeling indicated that patients using injectable opioids may require higher buprenorphine exposure compared to patients not using injectable opioids1
Higher buprenorphine plasma concentrations are associated with blocking the rewarding effects of opioids.1
Initiating SUBLOCADE injection
Watch how to administer the SUBLOCADE buprenorphine injection
ONE TREATMENT DECISION, ONCE A MONTH1
Minimum 7 Days
BUP product (equivalent to 8‑24 mg daily TM BUP) dose adjustment
TM BUP=transmucosal buprenorphine.
Months 1 & 2
SUBLOCADE 300 mg
Month 3 Onward
SUBLOCADE 100 mg
- Please see full recommended dosing instructions in section 2.4 of Prescribing Information
- Initiating treatment with SUBLOCADE as the first buprenorphine product has not been studied1
- Strongly consider prescribing naloxone at the time SUBLOCADE is initiated or renewed because patients being treated for opioid use disorder have the potential for relapse, putting them at risk of opioid overdose1
- Liver function tests prior to initiation of treatment are recommended to establish a baseline. Monthly monitoring of liver function during treatment, particularly with the 300-mg maintenance dose, is also recommended1
Administer SUBLOCADE monthly with a minimum of 26 days between doses1
- If a patient misses a dose, administer the next dose as soon as possible1
- The monthly maintenance dose may be increased to 300 mg if the 100-mg dose is tolerated but does not demonstrate a satisfactory clinical response1
Because OUD is a chronic disorder, there is no maximum recommended duration of maintenance treatment. For some patients, treatment may continue indefinitely.1
Important considerations for discontinuation of SUBLOCADE as part of a treatment plan
How to discontinue SUBLOCADE
- The recommended dose of SUBLOCADE is 300 mg monthly for the first two months followed by monthly maintenance doses of 100 mg. Patients can stop taking SUBLOCADE at any time, if desired or necessary1
Remove the depot (if necessary)
- In the event the depot must be removed, it can be surgically excised by an HCP under local anesthesia within 14 days of injection. Only the most recently injected depot can be removed. Patients who have the depot removed should be monitored for signs and symptoms of withdrawal and treated appropriately1
- Only 2 cases of surgical removal of the depot were reported in clinical studies1
Tapering was not studied in clinical trials for the discontinuation of SUBLOCADE.1
Plasma levels decrease slowly1
- Model simulations indicate that steady-state buprenorphine plasma concentrations decreased slowly over time following the last injection. Concentration levels remained at therapeutic levels for 2 to 5 months on average, depending on the dosage administered1
- After achieving steady state, patients discontinuing SUBLOCADE may have detectable plasma levels of buprenorphine for 12 months or longer1
- Any withdrawal signs and symptoms that may occur would be expected to be delayed due to the long half-life of SUBLOCADE1
Withdrawal of a partial agonist is typically milder than that of a full agonist1
- Due to the long-acting nature of SUBLOCADE, withdrawal signs and symptoms may not be evident immediately following discontinuation. Patients should be monitored for signs and symptoms of withdrawal1
- Consider TM buprenorphine, if needed, to treat withdrawal following discontinuation of SUBLOCADE1
Continue monitoring patients following discontinuation.1
SUBLOCADE® (buprenorphine extended-release) injection, for subcutaneous use (CIII) is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe opioid use disorder in patients who have initiated treatment with a buprenorphine-containing product, followed by dose adjustment for a minimum of 7 days.
SUBLOCADE should be used as part of a complete treatment plan that includes counseling and psychosocial support.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
WARNING: RISK OF SERIOUS HARM OR DEATH WITH INTRAVENOUS ADMINISTRATION; SUBLOCADE RISK EVALUATION
AND MITIGATION STRATEGY
- Serious harm or death could result if administered intravenously. SUBLOCADE forms a solid mass upon contact with body fluids and may cause occlusion, local tissue damage, and thrombo-embolic events, including life threatening pulmonary emboli, if administered intravenously.
- Because of the risk of serious harm or death that could result from intravenous self-administration, SUBLOCADE is only available through a restricted program called the SUBLOCADE REMS Program. Healthcare settings and pharmacies that order and dispense SUBLOCADE must be certified in this program and comply with the REMS requirements.
Prescription use of this product is limited under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act.
CONTRAINDICATIONS: SUBLOCADE should not be administered to patients who are hypersensitive to buprenorphine or any component of the ATRIGEL® delivery system.
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse: SUBLOCADE contains buprenorphine, a Schedule III controlled substance that can be abused in a manner similar to other opioids. Buprenorphine is sought by people with opioid use disorder and is subject to criminal diversion. Monitor patients for conditions indicative of diversion or progression of opioid dependence and addictive behaviors.
Risk of Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression and Concomitant Use of Benzodiazepines or Other CNS Depressants with Buprenorphine: Buprenorphine has been associated with life-threatening respiratory depression, overdose, and death, particularly when misused by self-injection or with concomitant use of benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants, including alcohol. Warn patients of the potential danger of self-administration of benzodiazepines, other CNS depressants, opioid analgesics, and alcohol while under treatment with SUBLOCADE. Counsel patients that such medications should not be used concomitantly unless supervised by a healthcare provider.
Use with caution in patients with compromised respiratory function (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cor pulmonale, decreased respiratory reserve, hypoxia, hypercapnia, or pre-existing respiratory depression).
Opioids can cause sleep-related breathing disorders; e.g., central sleep apnea (CSA), sleep-related hypoxemia. Opioid use increases the risk of CSA in a dose-dependent fashion. Consider decreasing the opioid using best practices for opioid taper if CSA occurs.
Strongly consider prescribing naloxone at the time SUBLOCADE is initiated or renewed because patients being treated for opioid use disorder have the potential for relapse, putting them at risk for opioid overdose. Educate patients and caregivers on how to recognize respiratory depression and, if naloxone is prescribed, how to treat with naloxone. Emphasize the importance of calling 911 or getting emergency help, even if naloxone is administered.
Risk of Serious Injection Site Reactions: The most common injection site reactions are pain, erythema and pruritus with some involving abscess, ulceration, and necrosis. Some cases resulted in surgical depot removal, debridement, antibiotic administration, and SUBLOCADE discontinuation. The likelihood of serious injection site reactions may increase with inadvertent intramuscular or intradermal administration. Carefully review injection technique.
Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome: Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) is an expected and treatable outcome of prolonged use of opioids during pregnancy. NOWS may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated in the neonate. Newborns should be observed for signs of NOWS and managed accordingly. Advise pregnant women receiving opioid addiction treatment with SUBLOCADE of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome.
Adrenal Insufficiency: Adrenal insufficiency has been reported with opioid use. If adrenal insufficiency is diagnosed, treat with physiologic replacement doses of corticosteroids. Wean the patient off the opioid.
Discontinuation of SUBLOCADE Treatment: Due to the long-acting nature of SUBLOCADE, if treatment is discontinued, monitor patients for several months for withdrawal and treat appropriately.
Inform patients that they may have detectable levels of buprenorphine for a prolonged period of time after treatment with SUBLOCADE. Considerations of drug-drug interactions, buprenorphine effects, and analgesia may continue to be relevant for several months after the last injection.
Risk of Hepatitis, Hepatic Events: Because cases of cytolytic hepatitis and hepatitis with jaundice have been observed in individuals receiving buprenorphine, monitor liver function tests prior to treatment and monthly during treatment.
Hypersensitivity Reactions: Hypersensitivity to buprenorphine-containing products have been reported most commonly as rashes, hives, and pruritus. Some cases of bronchospasm, angioneurotic edema, and anaphylactic shock have also been reported.
Precipitation of Opioid Withdrawal in Patients Dependent on Full Agonist Opioids: Buprenorphine may precipitate opioid withdrawal signs and symptoms in persons who are currently physically dependent on full opioid agonists such as heroin, morphine, or methadone before the effects of the full opioid agonist have subsided. Verify that patients have tolerated and are dose adjusted on transmucosal buprenorphine before subcutaneously injecting SUBLOCADE.
Risks Associated With Treatment of Emergent Acute Pain: When patients need acute pain management, or may require anesthesia, treat patients receiving SUBLOCADE currently or within the last 6 months with a non-opioid analgesic whenever possible. If opioid therapy is required, patients may be treated with a high-affinity full opioid analgesic under the supervision of a physician, with particular attention to respiratory function, as higher doses may be required for analgesic effect and therefore, a higher potential for toxicity exists with opioid administration.
Advise patients of the importance of instructing their family members, in the event of emergency, to inform the treating healthcare provider or emergency room staff that the patient is physically dependent on an opioid and that the patient is being treated with SUBLOCADE.
Use in Opioid Naïve Patients: Because death has been reported for opioid naïve individuals who received buprenorphine sublingual tablet, SUBLOCADE is not appropriate for use in opioid naïve patients.
Use in Patients With Impaired Hepatic Function: Because buprenorphine levels cannot be rapidly decreased, SUBLOCADE is not recommended for patients with pre-existing moderate to severe hepatic impairment. Patients who develop moderate to severe hepatic impairment while being treated with SUBLOCADE should be monitored for several months for signs and symptoms of toxicity or overdose caused by increased levels of buprenorphine.
Use in Patients at Risk for Arrhythmia: Buprenorphine has been observed to prolong the QTc interval in some patients participating in clinical trials. Avoid use of buprenorphine in patients with a history of Long QT Syndrome or an immediate family member with this condition or those taking Class IA antiarrhythmic medications (e.g., quinidine, procainamide, disopyramide) or Class III antiarrhythmic medications (e.g., sotalol, amiodarone, dofetilide), or other medications that prolong the QT interval.
Impairment of Ability to Drive or Operate Machinery: SUBLOCADE may impair the mental or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially dangerous tasks such as driving a car or operating machinery. Caution patients about driving or operating hazardous machinery until they are reasonably certain that SUBLOCADE does not adversely affect their ability to engage in such activities.
Orthostatic Hypotension: Buprenorphine may produce orthostatic hypotension.
Elevation of Cerebrospinal Fluid Pressure: Buprenorphine may elevate cerebrospinal fluid pressure and should be used with caution in patients with head injury, intracranial lesions, and other circumstances when cerebrospinal pressure may be increased. Buprenorphine can produce miosis and changes in the level of consciousness that may interfere with patient evaluation.
Elevation of Intracholedochal Pressure: Buprenorphine has been shown to increase intracholedochal pressure, as do other opioids, and thus should be administered with caution to patients with dysfunction of the biliary tract.
Effects in Acute Abdominal Conditions: Buprenorphine may obscure the diagnosis or clinical course of patients with acute abdominal conditions.
Unintentional Pediatric Exposure: Buprenorphine can cause severe, possibly fatal, respiratory depression in children who are accidentally exposed to it.
ADVERSE REACTIONS: Adverse reactions commonly associated with SUBLOCADE (≥5% of subjects) during clinical trials were constipation, headache, nausea, vomiting, increased hepatic enzymes, fatigue, and injection site pain and pruritus. This is not a complete list of potential adverse events. Please see the full Prescribing Information for a complete list.
CYP3A4 Inhibitors and Inducers: Monitor patients starting or ending CYP3A4 inhibitors or inducers for potential over- or under-dosing.
Serotonergic Drugs: If concomitant use with serotonergic drugs is warranted, monitor for serotonin syndrome, particularly during treatment initiation, and during dose adjustment of the serotonergic drug.
Consult the full Prescribing Information for SUBLOCADE for more information on potentially significant drug interactions.
USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS
Pregnancy: Opioid-dependent women on buprenorphine maintenance therapy may require additional analgesia during labor.
Lactation: Buprenorphine passes into the mother's milk. Advise breastfeeding women to monitor the infant for increased drowsiness and breathing difficulties.
Fertility: Chronic use of opioids may cause reduced fertility. It is not known whether these effects on fertility are reversible.
Geriatric Patients: Monitor geriatric patients receiving SUBLOCADE for sedation or respiratory depression.
To report pregnancy or side effects associated with taking SUBLOCADE, please call 1-877-782-6966.
- 1. SUBLOCADE [prescribing information]. North Chesterfield, VA: Indivior Inc.; 2021.
- 2. Nasser AF, Greenwald MK, Vince B, et al. Sustained-release buprenorphine (RBP-6000) blocks the effects of opioid challenge with hydromorphone in subjects with opioid use disorder. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2016;36(1):18-26.
- 3. Data on file. Indivior Inc. North Chesterfield, VA. 2020.
- 4. Haight BR, Learned SM, Laffont CM, et al. Efficacy and safety of a monthly buprenorphine depot injection for opioid use disorder: a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial. Lancet. 2019; 393(10173):778-790.