Newer Formulations of Buprenorphine


February 8, 2011

Newer Formulations of Buprenorphine

Eric C. Strain, M.D.
Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and Research
Medical Director, Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 

Buprenorphine was initially approved for the treatment of opioid dependence as two forms (buprenorphine, and buprenorphine combined with naloxone), and as a sublingual tablet.  The use of a sublingual formulation of a medication was novel at the time of buprenorphine’s FDA approval in 2002, but there has been good uptake and use of this medication since that time.  However, diversion and non-prescribed use of buprenorphine tablets are growing concerns. 

Three newer formulations of buprenorphine have either been approved for use or are in later stages of development for either the treatment of opioid dependence or pain.  The first form is a soluble film that has been approved for the treatment of opioid dependence by the FDA and is marketed in the U.S.  The second form is a long-acting injectable rod (Probuphine), again for the treatment of opioid dependence.  The third is a patch form of buprenorphine (Butrans) that has been developed for use in the treatment of pain and provides medication delivery for a seven-day period. 

Each of these newer formulations of buprenorphine will be reviewed in this webinar.  

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