Return to Home Ensuring Appropriate Use Educating Patients Resources for Healthcare Professionals

SUBOXONE® (buprenorphine and naloxone) Sublingual Film (CIII)
SUBOXONE® (buprenorphine and naloxone) Sublingual Tablet (CIII)
SUBUTEX® (buprenorphine) Tablet (CIII)


Pharmacists play an important role in reducing the risks of accidental overdose, misuse, and abuse, associated with buprenorphine-containing transmucosal products. To help mitigate these risks, pharmacists should:

  • Verify that the prescription you receive is from a prescriber who is in compliance with the provisions of DATA 2000.
  • Keep in mind that a limited supply of buprenorphine-containing products should be dispensed during the initiation of therapy. This is due to the need of prescribers to closely and frequently assess the patients' needs, their symptoms, and potential risk of misuse, diversion, and abuse.
  • Check state Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, where practical, to identify behaviors that may represent abuse.
  • Provide the Medication Guide to patients each time the medicine is dispensed and discuss the risks and side effects associated with buprenorphine products, including what to do if patients experience side effects.
  • Remind patients who are picking up induction doses to return as directed to the doctor's office so that they can be supervised while taking the medication.
  • Explain how to safely store the medication out of the reach of children.
  • Provide appropriate patient counseling on safe use of buprenorphine-containing products and encourage patients to seek psychosocial counseling and support for safe and effective treatment. Be vigilant in detecting fraudulent prescriptions or simultaneous prescriptions for the same patient from multiple prescribers.
  • Review the brochure Office-Based Buprenorphine Therapy for Opioid Dependence: Important Information for Pharmacists for additional information.

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