Buprenorphine for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence

National Guidelines for Medication-Assisted Treatment of Opioid Dependence
August 2, 2017
Buprenorphine has been available as a prescription opioid in Canada since 2008. It is marketed as Suboxone® by RB Pharmaceuticals in ombination
with naloxone in a sublingual tablet. In Canada, it is indicated for maintenance treatment of opioid dependence.
Buprenorphine treatment provides an important alternative to methadone maintenance treatment in Canada. It has been shown to be a valuable
strategy in helping to address the consequences of the prescription opioid crisis in Ontario, perhaps particularly so in areas where there are few methadone treatment providers.1 As with methadone treatment, patients prescribed buprenorphine should be carefully monitored within a ramework
of medical, social, and psychosocial support as part of a comprehensive opioid dependence treatment program.
Pharmacist involvement in buprenorphine treatment can include the supervision of drug administration, monitoring patients, communicating
with the treatment team, providing encouragement and support, and dispensing take-home doses (“carries”).