Examining Brixadi and Sublocade: What You Need to Know

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has become a vital tool in treating opioid use disorder (OUD), especially amid the current opioid crisis we are living in. Two commonly prescribed medications supporting many in recovery from opioid misuse or active addiction to illicit or prescription opioids include Brixadi and Sublocade. Both medicines share some similarities, including being long-acting injectable formulations that help individuals achieve sobriety goals while easing the discomfort commonly associated with withdrawal and dependency. However, critical differences, including dosing and administration, also exist, meaning potential patients should consider many variables when deciding which medication is most suitable for them.

Fortunately, medication-assisted treatment has revolutionized the management of opioid addiction, offering a lifeline for individuals struggling and requiring options beyond residential addiction treatment centers or traditional 12-step programs. Among advances in MAT, Brixadi and Sublocade emerge as leading treatment options by providing medicinal support to help those with opioid use disorders recover with better odds. But what sets these medicines apart, and how can patients and healthcare providers make informed choices about these drugs?

This blog by MAT Care Clinics, located in NH, will explore the key differences between Brixadi and Sublocade, including practical considerations like cost, accessibility, and administration. Additionally, we’ll discuss the potential advantages and disadvantages of each option to give readers a comprehensive understanding of both medications.

Ultimately, it’s essential to remember that everyone’s journey to a sober lifestyle is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Throughout this blog, we encourage readers to consult with their healthcare provider directly before making any decisions regarding MAT to arrive at the best sobriety outcomes possible because every situation is different and requires distinct understanding and support.

For more information about MAT Care Clinics, click here or explore other blogs about substance use disorders and MAT medications.

Medication-Assisted Treatment in Treating Opioid Use Disorder

MAT merges medication alongside counseling and behavioral therapies, in some cases, to treat opioid addiction in many receiving this type of care. The goal of MAT is to provide a comprehensive approach to treating substance use disorders by addressing both the physical and psychological origins of addiction. By utilizing medications like Brixadi or Sublocade, individuals can manage withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and other effects of opioid use disorder.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), MAT is an effective treatment for opioid use disorder, with proven results of reducing illicit drug use, improving retention rates in treatment, and decreasing overdose deaths. MAT also helps to mitigate the barrier surrounding fear of withdrawal or potential dope sickness in those suffering so they can heal and live safer lives.

Introduction to Brixadi and Sublocade

Both Brixadi and Sublocade are injectable formulations of buprenorphine that the FDA approves for the treatment of moderate to severe opioid use disorder. These medicines help individuals in recovery from active addiction by easing challenging withdrawal symptoms and compulsions while blocking the effects of other opioids, making relapse less likely and sobriety more achievable in many cases.

Overview of Brixadi

Brixadi is a formulation of buprenorphine, FDA-approved in 2023, for the treatment of moderate to serious opioid use disorder in patients who have completed an induction period with transmucosal buprenorphine.

The active ingredient in Brixadi is buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist that bonds to the same receptors as opioids but creates weaker effects, helping to alleviate challenging recovery symptoms and urges to use. The medicine additionally helps prevent other opioids from having their full effect.

Brixadi is available in different dosage strengths, which will depend on the patient’s treatment plan, including dosing options like:

Weekly

  • 8 mg
  • 16 mg
  • 24 mg
  • 32 mg

Monthly

  • 64 mg
  • 96 mg
  • 128 mg

Some potential benefits of Brixadi include its continuously releasing formulation, reducing the need for daily medications, and its lower potential for abuse compared to other opioids. However, like any medication, there are also potential side effects that individuals should be aware of, including pain in the injection area, digestive discomfort, redness, itching and headache, sleep difficulties, urinary infections, and other problematic symptoms.

Overview of Sublocade

Sublocade is also a long-acting formulation of buprenorphine. In November 2017, the FDA approved the drug to treat moderate to critical opioid use disorder, according to Drug and Alcohol Dependence Reports. Like Brixadi, Sublocade is a prescription available to individuals already stable on an introductory period of buprenorphine.

The active ingredient in Sublocade is buprenorphine, which works by releasing the medicine all month at continuous levels to ensure less frequent daily setbacks by binding to the same receptors as opioids but with less intensity, helping individuals manage their symptoms and cravings while also preventing other opioids from having their typical robust, and rewarding effect.

Sublocade is available in two different dosage strengths, taken once monthly, within 26 days between doses:

  • 100 mg
  • 300 mg

Some potential benefits of Sublocade include its long-lasting formulation and its lower potential for abuse compared to other opioids. However, there are also potential side effects that individuals should be aware of, including difficulty breathing, fatigue, confusion, liver issues, and physical dependency, to name a few possible side effects.

Comparison of Brixadi and Sublocade and Other Practical Considerations

In terms of cost and accessibility, both medications may require prior authorization from insurance companies for coverage. Treatment prices can vary depending on the individual’s insurance coverage. However, Brixadi may be a more expensive option due to its recent FDA approval and availability in higher dosage strengths.

Additionally, patients can only consume medications on the premises of a clinical setting. They can never take medications home to mitigate potential misuse or other dangers. Furthermore, research shows efficacy rates for both medications are similar, demonstrating a reduction in illicit drug consumption and reducing the risk of resuming active addiction in individuals taking these medications.

Factors to Consider When Choosing between Brixadi and Sublocade

Individuals should consider several factors when deciding between Brixadi and Sublocade as MAT medication options. These variables should include lifestyle factors and preferences, such as comfort with injection versus other forms of medication administration.

The severity of an individual’s opioid use disorder and their history of treatment may also play a role in determining which medication is the best fit for them. Additionally, the availability and support system around an individual can also impact their choice between taking Brixadi and Sublocade. For those who may have difficulty accessing treatment regularly, Brixadi’s administration options could be more convenient. On the other hand, Sublocade’s monthly injections may require more support from a healthcare provider or caregiver for ongoing success.

For Brixadi, missing or delaying a weekly or monthly injection could potentially lead to an increase in withdrawal symptoms and cravings, emphasizing the importance of medication adherence and closely following the treatment plan.

On the other hand, Sublocade may be a more forgiving option for those who struggle with medication adherence. As it is an extended-release formulation, missing or delaying one monthly injection may not have significant consequences compared to missing a dose of Brixadi.

Ultimately, the goal is to find the best medication option that works for everyone’s unique circumstances and supports their journey toward long-term recovery on the safest terms possible.

Patient Outcomes, Common Challenges, or Limitations

Patient-reported outcomes with both Brixadi and Sublocade have been generally positive. Studies have shown that both medications are effective in mitigating opioid use and enhancing life quality for individuals struggling with opioid use disorder, demonstrating favorable reliability rates. Overall, patient satisfaction and success with Brixadi or Sublocade may vary depending on individual factors and preferences.

Healthcare Provider Insights Prescribing Brixadi and Sublocade

Medical providers always play a massive role in MAT’s decision-making process. Some healthcare providers may recommend one medication over another based on individual patient needs, such as lifestyle and treatment history. For example, they may consider prescribing Brixadi for those who have difficulty adhering to a daily medication regimen or for those with a history of relapse. Ultimately, providers will consider many factors when determining the best medication option for their MAT patients to ensure they are taking the most suitable medication for them.

Making the Best Decision for You Regarding Brixadi and Sublocade Options

Whether Brixadi or Sublocade is the right choice for an individual’s MAT regimen is a complex determination that requires careful consideration of multiple factors. By evaluating the specifics of each medication and personal circumstances, patients and their healthcare providers can work together to tailor the most effective path to recovery.

In the end, the choice between Brixadi and Sublocade isn’t about one being superior to the other but rather about which aligns best with the unique needs and aspirations of the individual in recovery.

More About MAT Care Clinics

MAT Care Clinics commits to providing evidence-based medication-assisted treatment to those struggling with opioid use disorders and other forms of substance misuse. Our expert MAT care team offers personalized care plans and supportive services to help our patients achieve long-term recovery and lead safer, more fulfilling lives.

For a compassionate and comprehensive approach to MAT, contact MAT Care Clinics today at (833) 622-0628 or via this online link for a confidential consultation. Let us help you in your battle against addiction and support you each step of the way.

Remember, there is hope for a brighter future without the chains of opioid addiction.

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