Generic Suboxone Film
Imprinted on the orange Suboxone strip are letters and numbers that indicate the dosage, i.e., N2, N4, N8, N12 refers to a 2mg, 4mg, 8mg, and 12mg dose, respectively. The dosage embossed on generic Suboxone films differs. For example, Alvogen brandishes an A on their buprenorphine/naloxone strip in place of an N, i.e., A2, A4, A8, A12 refers to a 2mg, 4mg, 8mg, and 12mg dose, respectively. While Mylan engraves B2/N, B4/N, B8/N, and B12/N tags to differentiate strengths and doses.
In terms of packaging, the Sandoz packaging is very similar to that of Suboxone, i.e., blue and white. In fact, Sandoz and Suboxone are manufactured in the same facility. While Mylan’s packaging is also blue and white, it looks a little more like a nicotine patch as opposed to the elongated rectangular package patients are used to. Alvogen is fluorescent yellow (you can’t miss it!), and Dr. Reddy’s is predominately white. Dr. Reddy’s is a pharmaceutical company based in India. Alvogen and Mylan are US-based, while Sandoz also manufactures in the US.
When generic Suboxone came on the market, many insurance companies capitalized on this and adjusted the coverage they awarded. The cost of brand name Suboxone is much higher than generic Suboxone; therefore, only some companies will bear the cost of brand name Suboxone. Most OUD patients in the US have had to transition to generic Suboxone. The FDA’s approval of the production of generic Suboxone was part of an effort to address the opioid crisis in the US and make the medication assisted treatment (MAT) of OUD more affordable and accessible.
Opioids deploy their pharmacology on the delta, kappa, and mu opioid receptors. When activated by endorphins or endogenous peptides, as they are also known, opioid receptors in the brain release dopamine and create an accelerated feeling of euphoria in the body. Buprenorphine is a very powerful partial opioid used to treat OUD effectively. The force of buprenorphine’s grip on the mu, delta, and kappa receptors in the brain is explained in detail in Can You Overdose on Suboxone? Buprenorphine’s efficacy trumps that of full opioid agonists such as heroin and fentanyl. If you take Suboxone and heroin at the same time, which is never advisable as it can cause severe side effects and precipitated withdrawal, overdose, or death, the buprenorphine will overtake the effects of heroin and expend full occupancy of the opioid receptors. Buprenorphine is a much more aggressive drug in this regard.
The naloxone in the drug is a silent safeguard that only activates if the buprenorphine is exploited, i.e., injected intravenously or snorted. For every four measures of buprenorphine, there is just one measure of naloxone. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that completely blocks stimulation at the receptor site.