Opioid addiction has reached epidemic levels in America today. President Trump recently declared the opioid crisis to be a public health emergency, and it certainly is. More than 64,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose in 2016. Worldwide, researchers are working to find better treatment options for the thousands of people currently struggling with addiction to opioids such as prescription painkillers and heroin. Tactics include in-patient rehab, counseling and therapy for individuals and families, and medication-assisted treatment. One new treatment recently entered the market: Zubsolv, a medication-assisted treatment developed by the Swedish pharmaceutical company Orexo. While Zubsolv holds promise for those individuals struggling to stop abusing opioid drugs, it poses serious health risks if taken improperly or abused. Read on to learn more about how Zubsolv can help people stop abusing opioid drugs, the dangers of mixing Zubsolv with alcohol, Zubsolv side effects, and whether it might be the right treatment for you or someone you love.

What Is Zubsolv?

Zubsolv is a new formulation of buprenorphine and naloxone, two tried-and-true medications used to treat opioid addiction. Buprenorphine is an opioid drug in the same family of drugs of abuse such as heroin or fentanyl. It has been used to help people trying to quit abusing opioids. It can help to lessen the symptoms of withdrawal and reduce dependence on opioid drugs. Because it does not produce as strong of a euphoric high as other opioids, buprenorphine poses a lower risk of abuse. There is an even lower risk of abusing buprenorphine when it is combined with naloxone. Naloxone blocks the effects of buprenorphine if someone tries to take it to get high, such as by injecting it, snorting it, or using it in another manner other than as directed. By preventing potential abuse and reducing opioid dependence, this combination can help people reduce their physical dependence on opioids and eventually to stop taking them. Zubsolv is a sublingual tablet, meaning that it is dissolved under the tongue, and patients typically take it once or twice daily.  

Zubsolv vs. Suboxone

The combination of buprenorphine and naloxone is not new. Suboxone, a treatment produced by the pharmaceutical company Indivior, has been on the market for some time. Suboxone contains the same active ingredients, buprenorphine and naloxone, but is taken as a sublingual film as opposed to a sublingual tablet. Suboxone has an orange or citrus-y taste, whereas Zubsolv has a mint flavor. The formulation of the Zubsolv tablets make the active ingredients more bioavailable, meaning that they are more readily absorbed and used by the body. This means that Zubsolv can contain a lower dose of buprenorphine and naloxone but produce the same effect. If you cannot tolerate the taste or mouth-feel of Suboxone, or if Zubsolv is cheaper for you, Zubsolv may be a good treatment option.

Zubsolv Side Effects

Although the buprenorphine in Zubsolv has a lower impact than other opioids of abuse, it still carries a potential for abuse, especially among people who already struggle with opioid addiction. It can also cause other side effects, including:

  • Respiratory problems resulting in death or coma
  • Sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Liver problems
  • Allergic reaction
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Increased sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Swelling
  • Constipation
  • Pain
  • Symptoms of drug withdrawal

Zubsolv and Alcohol

While Zubsolv offers hope to many people addicted to opioids, it is still a drug that poses dangers when used improperly. Zubsolv should never be taken with alcohol because of the potential for severe negative side effects. Alcohol acts as a depressant on the central nervous system, meaning that it slows down the brain and all systems that the brain regulates. Alcohol can slow down reaction times, breathing rate, and heart rate, among others. Combining Zubsolv with alcohol can slow down the central nervous system to dangerous levels. Alcohol and Zubsolv together can cause loss of consciousness or even death. It is critical to use Zubsolv responsibly and never combine it with alcohol.

For many people struggling with opioid addiction and abuse, Zubsolv is a promising new treatment. By reducing the unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal and blocking the euphoric effects of opioids, Zubsolv can help to reduce an individual’s physical dependence on opioid drugs. When combined with counseling and support, Zubsolv can be a great tool for quitting opioid abuse. However, the potential for Zubsolv side effects is serious, especially when combined with alcohol. For this reason, Zubsolv should only be taken under the direction of a medical professional as part of a comprehensive opioid addiction treatment program.

If you or someone you love struggles with opioid addiction, Zubsolv treatment may be a good option for you. Reach out to the professional staff at Blu By the Sea today for more information on Zubsolv or other treatment options that might work for you.