Suboxone comes in several different forms, shapes, colors, and strengths, just like most other prescription drugs. When a provider writes you a script of Suboxone as part of medication-assisted treatment (MAT), it is important that you take the proper dosage to ensure safety and efficacy. You could mistakenly take the wrong dosage if you don't know what your Suboxone prescription should look like. Pharmacy errors are rare, but they can happen, so you should be vigilant and double-check that you receive the correct medication. On that note, you should only obtain Suboxone through a valid prescription from a qualified provider. This is also a helpful tip for any other medication you take. So, what does Suboxone look like, and how can you protect yourself from counterfeits? Familiarizing yourself with how your Suboxone prescription should look can help prevent potential harm to your health and recovery maintenance.

If you aren't sure that your Suboxone medication looks correct or that the dosage is accurate, you can consult with the expert clinicians at Confidant Health's online Suboxone clinic. Our competent team is here to help answer all your questions about Suboxone treatment for opioid use disorder.

What Forms Does Suboxone Come In?

Suboxone is available in dissolvable strips or films and sublingual pills or tablets. Each form comes in different colors, shapes, and sizes to easily distinguish one form from another. Each pill or strip is also imprinted to identify the strength of the medication.

N2 Strip

The Suboxone N2 strip is orange, rectangle-shaped, and imprinted with N2 in white lettering. The "2" in N2 represents the strength of buprenorphine in this formulation, which is 2 mg along with 0.5 mg of naloxone. You'll notice that Suboxone contains four parts buprenorphine to one part naloxone.

N4 Strip

The Suboxone N4 strip is also orange and rectangular. It is imprinted with N4 in white lettering to represent its strength, which is a 4:1 ratio of 4 mg of buprenorphine to 1 mg of naloxone.

N8 Strip

The Suboxone N8 strip is also a rectangular orange strip. It is imprinted with a white N8, representing its strength of 8 mg of buprenorphine and 2 mg of naloxone, following the same 4:1 ratio.

N12 Strip

Like the other Suboxone strips, the N12 strip is orange and rectangular. It is imprinted with N12 in white lettering to identify its strength of 12 mg of buprenorphine and 3 mg of naloxone, in the usual 4:1 ratio. This is the highest strength of Suboxone prescribed.

N2 Pill

The Suboxone N2 pill is orange and hexagon-shaped. Like the N2 strip, it is imprinted with N2 on one side, indicating its strength of a 4:1 ratio of 2 mg of buprenorphine to 0.5 mg of naloxone. The other side is imprinted with a cross shape.

N8 Pill

The Suboxone N8 pill is also orange and hexagonal. It is imprinted with N8 on one side and a cross on the other side. It contains a 4:1 ratio of 8 mg of buprenorphine to 2 mg of naloxone.

B2 and B8 Pill

The B2 pill and B8 pill are the same as the N2 and N8 pills. They are orange and hexagonal and contain the same 4 to 1 ratio of buprenorphine to naloxone. B2 contains 2 mg of buprenorphine, while B8 contains 8 mg. Both pills are imprinted with their strength, either B2 or B8.

Generic Suboxone

You’ll also find generic Suboxone, which can cut down on the cost of the medication. There are many different forms of generic Suboxone, but the main difference will be in the color and shape. Most generic versions of this medication come in pill form, are white or orange, and are circular. Each comes with a unique imprint to help distinguish it from other medications. 

Your provider will help determine which of these forms of Suboxone is suitable for your opioid maintenance treatment. 

How Can You Stay Away from Counterfeit Suboxone?

As with many other prescription drugs, Suboxone is sold on the street or online. The ingredients in counterfeit Suboxone are not standardized, so the medication may contain little to no buprenorphine or too much buprenorphine. These counterfeits may also be laced with dangerous levels of fentanyl or methamphetamine.

So, how can you protect yourself from counterfeit Suboxone? Here are a few tips to help you stay safe while receiving Suboxone treatment for opioid use disorder:

1. Know what your Suboxone medication should look like.

Awareness of how your prescription medication should look is one of the best ways to avoid counterfeit pills. The descriptions above can help you identify whether your prescription looks as it should. Keep in mind that the above descriptions are for the brand name Suboxone. Each generic version of Suboxone will look somewhat different, so you should get to know how your specific version should appear. If you ever have questions regarding your medication, please contact your prescriber who will be more than happy to provider further guidance on your script.

2. Purchase Suboxone from a state-licensed pharmacy with a valid prescription.

Filling your Suboxone prescription at a trusted pharmacy is one of the top ways to ensure its authenticity and safety. Although you can use the above pill and film descriptions to help identify authentic Suboxone, there are counterfeits designed to look exactly the same. It can be difficult to detect the differences just by looking at them. Protect yourself from counterfeit medications by obtaining Suboxone at a state-licensed pharmacy.

3. Only use Suboxone pills or films that were prescribed for you.

Your provider uses several factors to determine which form and dosage of Suboxone are right for you. To stay safe, only use the pills that were prescribed specifically for you. Avoid taking Suboxone pills or films from friends or family members, even if they are the same dosage as yours. You can feel more confident about the authenticity of Suboxone when you obtain them from a licensed pharmacy.

Get the Suboxone Help You Need from Confidant Health’s Online Suboxone Doctors

If you ever suspect that your Suboxone may be counterfeit, it is always a good idea to reach out to the clinicians at Confidant's Online Suboxone Clinic. Our goal is to help you stay safe while navigating opioid use disorder.