Master Buprenorphine-Naloxone (Suboxone) with Picmonic for Pharmacy

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

Buprenorphine-Naloxone (Suboxone)

Blue-pen-morphine-ranger and Nail-lock
Picmonic
Buprenorphine-Naloxone (Suboxone) is a combination drug consisting of buprenorphine, a partial opioid receptor agonist, and naloxone, a full opioid antagonist. This medication is indicated for opioid use disorder as an agent to prevent withdrawal symptoms and improve adherence to treatment plans. Side effects include CNS depression, hypotension, and diaphoresis. This drug has a low abuse potential, as the naloxone included in this formulation is only active when the drug is administered through non-prescribed means. If the patient attempts to snort, inject, or otherwise abuse the drug, naloxone will exert total antagonist activity and prevent opioid-mediated effects.
8 KEY FACTS
MECHANISM OF ACTION
Combination Drug
Combined Med-bottles

This drug is a combination of two commonly used medications, buprenorphine and naloxone. This combination aims to attenuate the symptoms of opioid withdrawal and prevent further abuse. The most active of these two is buprenorphine, a partial opioid receptor agonist. Naloxone is included in this formulation in order to prevent abuse.

Partial Opioid Receptor Agonist (Buprenorphine)
Partial Poppy-droid Receptor Dragonist

Buprenorphrine is a partial opioid agonist at the mu receptor subtype. This drug serves to attenuate withdrawal symptoms in patients addicted to opiates, while at the same time prevent full agonists from binding to the receptor. Patients who are taking buprenorphine will thus be unable to obtain their desired effects from full agonists such as morphine or fentanyl. This drug has a ceiling effect on dangerous side effects such as respiratory depression, making it safer for regular use.

Opioid Receptor Antagonist (Naloxone)
Poppy-droid Receptor Ant-toga

Naloxone is a full antagonist at opioid receptors. While it is seemingly contradictory to prescribe a partial agonist and an antagonist together, the difference lies in their bioavailability. Unlike buprenorphine, this drug is not orally active. Thus, this drug will only exert its full agonist effect if the patient attempts to inject or otherwise abuse the drug. This is a sort of failsafe, ensuring this prescription is not used in a way that would harm an opioid-addicted patient further.

INDICATION
Opioid Use Disorder
Poppy-droid User

This drug is indicated for patients recovering from opioid use disorder and those suffering from acute opioid withdrawal. Administering a partial agonist allows the patient to focus on their therapy, rather than the distress of withdrawal. This improves rates of adherences and maintenance. Unfortunately, this drug can also induce a withdrawal state in patients who are very dependent on opioids. As this drug stimulates opioid receptors with much less efficacy than commonly abused opioids, taking this drug can be similar to quitting “cold turkey” in these patients. For most individuals, however, this drug can be used without fear of inducing withdrawal symptoms.

SIDE EFFECTS
CNS Depression
Deflated CNS-brain

Despite being used for opioid use disorder, this drug is in fact still an opioid. As such, it carries many of the same side effects as full agonists. This includes CNS depression and mild sedation. This drug may also precipitate withdrawal.

Diaphoresis
Sweaty-sweatband

Diaphoresis is a common symptom of opioid withdrawal, and may be caused by buprenorphine. Patients who are very dependent on opioids are more likely to experience this side effect.

Hypotension
Hippo-BP

Buprenorphine-Naloxone administration may cause hypotension, which can present as dizziness, nausea, or fainting.

CONSIDERATIONS
Low Abuse Potential
Down-arrow Abused Med-bottle

Because of this drug’s formulation, it has a low potential for abuse. Due to buprenorphine’s partial agonist activity, there is a ceiling effect on opioid receptor stimulation. Attempts to circumvent this drug’s opioid ceiling effect through alternative means of administration (smoking, injecting, snorting) will be nullified due to the naloxone included in the formulation.

Unlock all 8 facts & definitions with Picmonic Free!

JOIN FREE

Take the Buprenorphine-Naloxone (Suboxone) Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

START QUIZ NOW

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Ace Your Pharmacist (Pharm.D) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 1,090,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Pharmacist (Pharm.D) student study app.

Picmonic for Pharmacist (Pharm.D) covers information that is relevant to your entire Pharmacist (Pharm.D) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer the PCAT® and NAPLEX® exams, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Pharmacist (Pharm.D) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.