OUD is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that increases risk of overdose and death1,2


OUD is not the patients' fault. It's a disease that hijacks the brain, causing deeply embedded physical and behavioral changes3-5

It's critical to deliver consistent, ongoing treatment to mitigate the rising risks of OUD1,3

Treatment, including medication and psychosocial support, counteracts addiction's disruptive effects on the brain in order to help patients regain control of their lives.3-5

Patient looking to the left

Raising the stakes

Opioid overdose deaths increased by 61% from 2019 to 2021, mainly driven by the spread of high-potency synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Synthetic opioid deaths increased by 94% from 2019 to 2021.6*

This spike may have been associated with the COVID-19 pandemic's restrictions worldwide.7-9

Falling through the cracks

In 2021, 77% of people struggling with OUD were not getting the treatment they needed10

A metanalysis and systematic review found that pooled overdose mortality (n=16 studies) rate was lower in patients who received medications for OUD compared to untreated patients with OUD11

OUD=opioid use disorder.

Plus care symbol being held up by a hand

The Guidance

The American Society of Addiction Medicine recommends treatment with the combined goals of3:

  • Managing opioid withdrawal
  • Suppressing opioid craving
  • Blocking the opioid "high"
  • Reducing opioid use
  • Engaging patients in recovery activities including psychosocial intervention
  • Think beyond withdrawal3

    Treating patients to only manage opioid withdrawal without ongoing treatment for OUD is not recommended and may present increased risk of fatal or non-fatal overdose.

  • The standard of care3

    Ongoing maintenance medication, along with psychosocial treatment, is considered the standard of care for treating OUD.

Icon of injection needle

The Science

Buprenorphine occupies the same brain receptors as opioids like heroin and fentanyl12,13

Studies indicate that as buprenorphine levels increase, fewer receptors are available and OUD symptoms, such as drug-liking and craving, decrease.12,13

  • Target levels that make a difference

    Delivering buprenorphine levels of at least 2 ng/mL has been shown to suppress the opioid "high" and to help patients reduce illicit opioid use.14

    SUBLOCADE was purposefully formulated to sustain buprenorphine plasma levels of at least 2 ng/ml throughout the dosing interval.14

see the pharmacology of sublocade®

Foster Commitment With Continuous Treatment

Patients' motivation fluctuates over time. Take advantage of the moments they give you—create a complete treatment plan that includes3,15:

Maintenance Medication
Icon of a person with a light bulb going off in their head
Personalized Psychosocial Support



  • 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.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: SUBLOCADE should not be administered to patients who are hypersensitive to buprenorphine or any component of Indivior's proprietary buprenorphine gel depot delivery system.


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.

QTc Prolongation: QT studies with buprenorphine products have demonstrated QT prolongation ≤ 15 msec. Buprenorphine is unlikely to be pro-arrhythmic when used alone in patients without risk factors. The risk of combining buprenorphine with other QT-prolonging agents is not known. Consider these observations when prescribing SUBLOCADE to patients with risk factors such as hypokalemia, bradycardia, recent conversion from atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, digitalis therapy, baseline QT prolongation, subclinical long-QT syndrome, or severe hypomagnesemia.

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.


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 a pregnancy or side effects associated with taking SUBLOCADE or any safety related information, product complaint, request for medical information, or product query, please contact PatientSafetyNA@indivior.com or 1-877-782-6966.

See full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING, and Medication Guide. For REMS information visit www.sublocadeREMS.com.

References: 1. Strang J, Volkow ND, Degenhardt L, et al. Opioid use disorder. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2020;6(1):3. Published 2020 Jan 9. doi:10.1038/s41572-019-0137-5 2. Volkow ND, Koob GF, Mclellan AT. Neurobiologic Advances from the Brain Disease Model of Addiction. N Engl J Med. 2016;374(4):363-371. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1511480 3. The ASAM National Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder: 2020 Focused Update [published correction appears in J Addict Med 2020 May/Jun; 14(3)267]. J Addict Med 2020;14(2S Suppl l ):1-91. doi:10.1097 / ADM.0000000 00000063 4. National Institute on Drug Abuse; 2007. Drugs, Brains. and Behavior: The Science of Addiction. NIH publication 18-DA-5605. https://www.drugabuse.gov/ pub I ications/ drugs-bra ins-behaviorscience-addiction. Published April 2007. Revised June 2020. Accessed July 12, 2022. 5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Office of the Surgeon General, Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Spotlight on Opioids. Washington. DC: HHS, September 2018. 6. Spencer MR, Minino AM, Warner M. Drug overdose deaths in the United States, 2001-2021. NCHS Data Brief, no 457. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2022. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.15620/cdc:122556 7. O'Donnell J, Tanz LJ, Gladden RM, Davis NL, Bitting J. Trends in and Characteristics of Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Illicitly Manufactured Fentanyls - United States, 2019-2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021;70:1740-1746. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.l5585/mmwr.mm7050e3 8. Tanz LJ, Dinwiddie AT, Snodgrass S, O'Donnell J, Mattson CL, Davis NL. A qualitative assessment of circumstances surrounding drug overdose deaths during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic: SUDORS Data Brief, Number 2. Published August 2022. 9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Module 5: Assessing and Addressing Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/training/oud/accessible/index.html. Accessed August 15, 2023. 10. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. Results from the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables, Section 5 PE Tables. SAMHSA website. Accessed August 16, 2023. 11. Ma J, Bao VP, Wang RJ, et al. Effects of medication-assisted treatment on mortality among opioids users: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Mol Psychiatry. 2019;24:1868-1883. 12. Greenwald MK, Johanson CE, Moody DE, et al. Effects of buprenorphine maintenance dose on mu-opioid receptor availability, plasma concentrations. and antagonist blockade in heroin-dependent volunteers. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2003;28(11 ):2000-2009. 13. Greenwald MK, Johanson CE, Bueller J, et al. Buprenorphine duration of action: mu-opioid receptor availability and pharmacokinetic and behavioral indices. Biol Psychiatry. 2007;61(1):101-110. 14. Jones AK, Ngaimisi E, Gopalakrishnan M, Young MA, Laffont CM. Population Pharmacokinetics of a Monthly Buprenorphine Depot Injection for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder: A Combined Analysis of Phase II and Phase Ill Trials. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2021;60(4):527-540. doi:10.1007/s40262-020-00957-0 15. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (us). Enhancing Motivation for Change in Substance Use Disorder Treatment. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 35. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 21-4873. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; 2021.


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