The Suboxone shot is called Sublocade. Sublocade was approved by the FDA in 2017. It is a depository injection that releases buprenorphine in increments over a 30-day period. Suboxone, the sublingual version of buprenorphine/naloxone, has been on the market since 2002. Buprenorphine is the active ingredient in both Sublocade and Suboxone. Buprenorphine binds to the mu receptor in the brain to initiate clinical effects. Suboxone and Sublocade are both manufactured by Indivior

Suboxone and Sublocade are buprenorphine products. Buprenorphine is a long-acting partial opioid agonist. The prolonged effects of the drug act to quell cravings and pacify withdrawal symptoms which in turn reduce the risk of relapse and overdose. The opioid effect of Suboxone and Sublocade is carefully controlled when consumed as directed.  

What is the Difference between Suboxone and Sublocade?


Sublocade is more expensive than Suboxone. The cost of both medications will depend on the insurance coverage you have in place. Suboxone film and Sublocade shot costs can be ascertained by contacting your pharmacy.

It is advisable that you undergo a one-week course of Suboxone before transitioning to Sublocade to establish stabilization. Talk to your medical provider at Confidant Health for more information! 

How Does Sublocade Work?

The Sublocade medication is injected into the abdominal wall by a licensed medical professional. One Sublocade shot lasts for one month. Sublocade should not be self-administered. The fluid deposits in the subcutaneous fat tissues where it partially solidifies and biodegrades over the course of 30 days, releasing buprenorphine evenly. The total dose of a Sublocade shot is supplemented over one month.

Patients will generally start with a 300mg dose for the first month. The medication is also dispensed in 200 mg and 100mg doses. See our Suboxone Dosage Guide to compare Sublocade doses with Suboxone film doses. You will establish the dose and treatment plan that is right for you under the guidance of a licensed medical professional. 

Sublocade Benefits 

There are pros and cons to opting for the Sublocade shot over the Suboxone film. The injectable buprenorphine shot eliminates the time and effort associated with dosing every day sublingually. If you are averse to the citrus taste of the Suboxone film, the Sublocade is an excellent alternative. It also eliminates the social stigma of medicating. This can be helpful for patients looking to manage social ramifications associated with medicating. The buprenorphine shot allows patients to focus on other aspects of their recovery program. It subdues opioid likening behaviors and removes dosing preoccupations. Sublocade is an effective medication in the medication assisted treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD).

While the ritual of dosing sublingually can be an important part of recovery for some patients, it can be a trigger for others. For those patients triggered by the habitual use of the medication, Sublocade abates this exposure to addictive behaviors, and it removes temptations. It is also a good option for patients that struggle to take medication as prescribed. 

Sublocade is a good option for patients committed to recovery and undergoing regular therapy sessions. It is not a good option for patients with compliance issues, i.e., consuming other opioids, sedatives, or alcohol while undergoing Sublocade treatment. This can be detrimental and poses severe risk of overdose and precipitated withdrawal.

Suboxone Injection Possible Side Effects

Sublocade and Suboxone reveal similar possible side effects; constipation, nausea, vomiting, low testosterone, and other hormone fluctuations. However, there are additional side effects associated with Sublocade. The introduction of a foreign body (the Sublocade needle) in the skin can cause localized reactions, infections, and pain at the injection site.  If you are experiencing side effects from either medication, contact your provider or seek emergency medical attention.

Sublocade Shots 

If you decide that medication assisted treatment is an avenue you want to explore, you should consult with your doctor to establish the delivery method that is going to be most effective for you. Every patient reacts to treatment in different ways. The length of the addiction, physiology, environment, and more affects the response to treatment and recovery success rates. Rehabilitation and recovery from addiction are much more than taking medication. Therapy, case management services, and social support are often recommended together to offer the most effective treatment plan.

Starting Sublocade can be daunting. The staff at Confidant are here to support your journey towards recovery. Contact us today to discuss treatment plan options.