The fight against drug addiction has a new ally in Zubsolv. This is the newest drug approved by the FDA to aid in opioid addiction treatment. Considering that nearly 75 percent of U.S. overdoses from prescription drugs are the result of opioid drug abuse (drugs such as codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, methadone, and oxycodone), this is big news.
It is also reported that the number of deaths related to opioid drugs since 2003 outnumber those from cocaine and heroin combined with more than 17,000 deaths resulting from opioid pain relief drugs each year.
What is Zubsolv?
Zubsolv is a once-daily tablet dissolved under the tongue for the treatment of opioid addiction. It is a formulation of buprenorphine made by Swedish drug maker Orexo, an emerging specialty pharmaceutical company. It’s different from other buprenorphine or naloxone treatments in that it is smaller, dissolves faster, and has higher bioavailability, meaning that patients feel the effects much faster than with other medications currently available.
Another benefit of Zubsolv is the menthol taste, which is much easier on the palate for many people taking this medication than some other dissolvable medications on the market.
Zubsolv Consists of Buprenorphine and Naloxone
Zubsolv combines an opioid with opioid antagonists, including buprenorphine and naloxone. The powerful combination and dual benefit by easing the symptoms of withdrawal while blocking the effects of an opioid high.
The naloxone aspect of Zubsolv helps to reduce the likelihood of misuse or diversion.
Nearly five million people throughout the U.S. suffer from opioid dependence. Unfortunately, only about 20 percent of them are currently receiving treatment. Zubsolv opens the door to attract patients who are not currently receiving treatment for their addictions to opioids by providing a new choice in treatment.
What Should You Know Before Taking Zubsolv?
With any medication, especially any new medication on the market, it’s important to learn as much about the medication as possible before taking it into your body. The same holds true with Zubsolv.
Side Effects of Zubsolv
There are some side effects you might experience and should be on the lookout for. Among the more serious side effects you should watch for while taking Zubsolv are the following:
- Respiratory problems including death and coma. These risks are exacerbated if taken with other medications” including benzodiazepines.
- Lack of coordination
- Decreasing blood pressure
- Withdrawal symptoms notify your physician of any withdrawal symptoms you may experience.
- Liver problems inform your doctor immediately if you notice yellowing skins or eyes, dark urine, light-colored stool, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, or nausea.
- Allergic reaction” call a doctor right away if you notice common symptoms of allergic reaction
There are side effects that are much more common and carry less risk. These side effects include headache, vomiting, increased sweating, drug withdrawal syndrome, insomnia, swelling, constipation, and pain.
Warnings and Precautions
It’s important to understand a few things about Zubsolv before you decide this is the right choice for you. First, Buprenorphine is a drug that can be abused just like other opioid drugs. That’s why you won’t likely find multiple refills prescribed especially during early stages of the treatment process.
People have died from respiratory issues associated with the treatment itself. It’s important to be aware of the potential risks and respond to them accordingly if you begin to notice problems.
Patients taking benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants should strongly avoid misusing Zubsolv and only take this medication under the strict care of their physicians.
Patients starting or ending treatment with CYP3A4 inhibitors or inducers should be carefully monitored for signs that their doses are inadequate.
Zubsolv may cause harm to fetuses and great caution is urged before nursing a baby while taking this drug. The effectiveness or safety of this medication for patients under the age of 16 has not been monitored.
People with liver dysfunction should not take Zubsolv and caution should be used among elderly or debilitated patients before taking this medicine.
For many people suffering through the pain of addiction, the reward of Zubsolv are high. Make sure to consider the possible impact on life and health, though before beginning treatment and explore your options to find the best treatment method for you.