A new report is fuelling the notion that easier access to Subxone could be the solution to treating opioid addiction.
The new report by the B.C.team of Canadian Research Initiative on Substance Misuse is indicating one way to better treat opioid withdrawals is to recognize the Subxone – a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, as a first line of treatment rather than methadone.
It can be taken to treat symptoms of withdrawals which in turn can prevent or reduce illicit opioid use, ultimately preventing death.
It is meant as a treatment for adults who are dependent on opioids (not an antidote to overdoses like naloxone). It prevents cravings and withdrawal. The medication is meant to be taken under the tongue. A small amount of naloxone is added to buprenorphine to decrease the risk of people injecting. That means if someone tries to inject, the naloxone will block the buprenorphine from activating. So, naloxone acts as a blocker. It is only added in the formulation as a misuse deterrent for people who might want to inject the drug.
It also suggests easier access to naloxone for physicians who first require a methadone exemption in order to prescribe the alternative.
The reports also says removing the recommendation for a two month period of daily witnessing at pharmacies, and instead allowing patients to take home doses at the discretion of a physician.
In January, Health Canada cleared the use of naloxone to be used by first responders.
B.C. has also dispensed more than 4,000 naloxone kits and trained more than five thousand people to use them.
Last year, 463 people died of an overdose.