Overview – Buprenorphine

Approved by the FDA in 2002, Buprenorphine is used in opioid addiction treatment and was the first opioid replacement medication to be eligible for office-based prescribing under the DATA 2000. This partial opioid agonist is available in two formulations: (1) buprenorphine alone – Subutex; and (2) buprenorphine in combination with naloxone (an opioid antagonist) – Suboxone. A large body of evidence supports positive outcomes for individuals treated with buprenorphine in outpatient primary care settings.

Because it can be used to treat opioid abuse in community settings (unlike methadone which must be dispensed through Opioid Treatment Centers), buprenorphine has the potential to reach a much larger population.  Physicians are required to get specific training in order to prescribe buprenorphine for addiction. The requirements and other particular are available at http://buprenorphine.samhsa.gov/.

Additional buprenorphine resources.


A Project of the Governor's Institute on Alcohol & Substance Abuse and the North Carolina Society of Addiction Medicine.
Funded wholly or in part by the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Fund (CFDA #93.959) as a project of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities & Substance Abuse Services.