There is a huge market for drugs to aid in the treatment of opioid addiction.
In 2014, the sales of Suboxone sublingual film were approximately 1.3 billion in the United States, and the total market has grown to over 1.7 billion. Bunavail is a direct competitor of Suboxone.
Bunavail was approved by the FDA in 2014 for the treatment of opioid dependence. It is a buccal formulation that sticks to the inside of the cheek. The active ingredients in this drug are: buprenorphine hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride dehydrate. Although the active ingredients are the same as those in Suboxone and Zubsolv, Bunavail is stronger and activates in one’s system quicker. Because buprenorphine is an opioid and Bunavail releases it quicker into the body, it carries a higher risk of addiction and physical dependence. There are many warnings on the medication guide for Bunavail.
Among them are:
- Contains an opioid that can cause physical dependence
- An overdose and even death can happen if you take benzodiazepines, sedatives, tranquilizers, or alcohol while using Bunavail
- It can cause slurred speech
- It can cause blurred vision
- Can cause liver problems
- It causes respiratory problems
- Accidental use by a child can result in death
There have been reported deaths in those who are opioid naïve and have used medications containing a 2 mg dose of buprenorphine. That dosage is much lower than one dose of Bunavail buccal film. A single dose of Bunavail provides the equivalent buprenorphine of a Suboxone 8/2 mg sublingual tablet. When Bunavail is used in combination with other drugs or alcohol, it can cause life-threatening breathing problems and death. Those who get addicted to this medication and inject it intravenously can easily overdose, go into a coma, and suffer fatal respiratory problems.
For those individuals who are using Bunavail and are pregnant, their babies will suffer withdrawal symptoms similar to any other neonatal opioid withdrawal. It is not recommended to take this medication while pregnant or breastfeeding.
With all of the harmful effects and the high risk of dependence and addiction, it is a wonder how billions of dollars of these medications sell each year. This medication should only be used under direct medical supervision for a short period of time, or one runs the risk of getting off of one opioid just to become addicted to another one.