Is it possible to get the best of both worlds?
Methadone is the gold standard when it comes to medication assisted treatment of opioid addiction. Compared to Suboxone, it has a higher success rate. Currently, if you take Methadone, you must go to a clinic every day for your dose. Would injectable methadone work better?
Why is Methadone the gold standard?
First, we should ask why methadone works better than Suboxone. Keep in mind that it is not much better. The two treatments have very similar success rates. However, Suboxone, being the safer of the two, can be prescribed monthly. Methadone, on the other hand, must be doled out on a daily basis in a special clinic.
Compliance makes a difference.
When a patient gets to take home a month of medication, there is no way for the doctor to be sure that they are taking it correctly every day. At the Methadone clinic, while having to go in every day is inconvenient, the patients must take it correctly. Your medicine works better when you take it the right way.
so, would a monthly injectable methadone work even better?
What if, instead of going to the daily clinic, you could get a monthly injectable Methadone? There does exist a technology, known as Atrigel, which makes monthly injectable medications possible. doctors inject drugs with Atrigel under the skin and the medicine releases steadily for weeks. Your visits to the Methadone clinic could be a thing of the past.
Don’t forget about safety.
While a better, more convenient methadone would be a great improvement for patients, we must also consider safety. Methadone works, but it has safety issues. First, it can rarely cause heart problems. Second, it has many interactions with other drugs. Third, it has a very high risk of slowing breathing, leading to death. Because of these issues, Suboxone is a much safer drug. But, how can we make Suboxone better?
The future is already here.
Suboxone is safe and effective. In fact, it is very close to being just as effective as Methadone. So, how can we allow patients to live their lives with the convenience of monthly doctor visits but also help patients to take their medicine as directed? The answer may be found in a new injection known as Sublocade. Sublocade already uses the highly advanced Atrigel system. This means that if you get a monthly Sublocade injection, you don’t have to worry about taking your medicine every day. Your family and loved ones don’t have to worry about it either.
Sublocade vs Methadone
In order to have the best information, we need more head-to-head studies. While researchers have compared Suboxone and Methadone, We need to see how Sublocade will stack up. I suspect that it will do quite well. Sublocade uses Atrigel to deliver buprenorphine, the ingredient in Suboxone. That means that it is safer than a monthly injectable Methadone would be. If studies show that Sublocade fares well against Methadone, we will have our answer. It is likely that injectable Methadone is not even needed for the optimal treatment of opioid addiction.