Opiate Addiction: New Treatments to Consider for 2018

For those who have a desire to rid themselves of their dependence on opioids, there are several new options that assist them in achieving their objective. There are fresh drugs which have been approved which will aid in alleviating the symptoms of withdrawal. As caution has to be taken as you determine what option best matches your needs, it’s very useful to know all the available options.

Food and Drug Administration Approves New Opioid Addiction Treatments for 2018

In 2017-2018, the agency approved a multitude of drugs that battle the addiction to opioids. Read on about how the new drugs can help and beat the problem.


The initial new medication is referred to as Zubsolv that combines naloxone and buprenorphine, which were used in the past in the treatment of opiate addiction. Made by Orexo, (a drug manufacturer in Sweden), Zubsolv is a tablet which dissolves beneath the tongue and is available in a menthol taste.

Similar to other treatments, it’s meant to be utilized as a treatment for maintenance with psychosocial and counseling support, for the ones who experience opiate addiction. However, patients are going to require less of it to accomplish the same outcome as treatments presently used.

Others such as Bunavail, Subutex, and Suboxone are available as a film strip that is dissolved beneath the tongue. They’ve been presented over the past ten years and also are very effective at helping users with their dependence on opioids.

But, be alert to the abuse of such treatments, because they also can cause addiction. Suboxone, due to it being popularly prescribed, has generated its epidemic and a few fatalities from the abuse of it. Those particular treatment medications must be put beneath the tongue, while individuals have been notorious for dissolving the film inside water and directly inject the medication into their bloodstream, which causes death and complications.

This is the reason why it’s thought to be a breakthrough. As a tablet, Zubsolv can’t be easy as dissolved.


Also, the Food and Drug Administration approved a buprenorphine implant referred to as Probuphine which will offer a steady low-level dosage for six months to folks already involved in a full treatment plan. The drug comprises four 1” rods implanted inside the forearm’s skin. The reason for the implant, as with consuming any pill, is that they easily are skipped or forgotten, which makes the recovery path all the more difficult. That way, the individual does not have to be concerned with the day-to-day pill and may handle other problems.

Lofexidine Hydrochloride

An additional opioid withdrawal medication is lofexidine hydrochloride, the original non-addictive and non-narcotic drug of its type FDA-approved. As BritLofex, in the UK, it was successfully used solely in the detox of over 200,000 abusers of opiates.

It suppresses adrenaline’s release in the human body’s nervous system, therefore decreasing some of the symptoms of withdrawal. It doesn’t decrease the cravings.
The medication is an adrenergic receptor agonist, meaning that it’ll stimulate the receptors in the user’s central nervous system to generate a physical reactant – a decreasing of the symptoms of withdrawal.

Buprenorphine and Methadone

There were just two medications which were previously utilized in the treatment of symptoms of withdrawal, and these were buprenorphine and methadone. Both still, unfortunately, make the user physically dependent upon them.

Thereby, it’s encouraging to discover a non-addictive and non-narcotic drug such as lofexidine which may assist patients in managing debilitating symptoms of withdrawal related to opiate detoxification, like:

• Muscle pain
• Diarrhea
• Stomach cramps
• Sweating
• Vomiting


While most buprenorphine options are taken orally, the Food and Drug Administration presented its approval of an injectable buprenorphine form underneath the name Sublocade. Boasted as a long-range maintenance medication for dependence on opioids, Sublocade provides some important benefits over suboxone taken by mouth:

• First and foremost, Sublocade is steadily and slowly released into the user’s bloodstream over a period of one month, and injections only are required one time/ month.
• Secondly, as the injection has to be offered by doctors, it’s more than likely that individuals are going to stay on track and obtain their medicine at precisely the recommended times.
• Also, this makes certain that selling the drug on street corners to other addicts isn’t possible, and just the person meant to obtain the drug is going to get it.

Sublocade is strictly recommended for the continuous opioid dependence maintenance; not for the earlier treatment stages, like detox.

Experts report that because the first phases of treatment use dose changes and tapering to meet the comfort levels and needs of individuals, it wouldn’t be an excellent match for those who have not already undergone the initial phases of treatment. However, for the ones who’ve undergone initial treatment and are searching for a long-range solution for opioid maintenance, this choice might save your life.


CAM2038, similar to Sublocade, is an injectable medicine made for maintenance for users with opioid abuse disorders. Although still within its investigational stage, the Food and Drug Administration accepted the medication for the first-priority review — giving hope that the medication is going to be obtainable for distribution in the year 2018.

If it’s approved, the medication would be obtainable in a syringe format, pre-filled with dosages that range from 8 milligrams to 32 milligrams for week-to-week maintenance, and 64 milligrams to 160 milligrams for month-to-month maintenance. Some of the advantages of the medication involve a minimized threat of diversion or abuse and the capability of providing flexible dosing for optimal comfort for the patient.


Naltrexone recently was added to this non-narcotic opioid dependence treatment list, in addition to alcohol addiction. It’s in the opiate receptor antagonist classification, meaning that it’ll block the opioid drug effect. Though, naltrexone can’t decrease the cravings. It’s utilized as a one-time-per-month injection that prevents relapse following detox.

Both naltrexone lofexidine were concurrently used in rapid detox cases. Naltrexone is offered to block opioid receptors, therefore sending a patient into instant withdrawal, as well as accelerating the process of detoxification. In the meantime, lofexidine is offered to alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal.

If no additional opiates are presented, effective detox takes around three days with the combination. Remember that in using lofexidine on its own, detoxification takes around ten days.

Opioid Dependence Vaccine Research

Researchers have been recently experimenting with addiction vaccines, something which could make it improbable for recovering addicts to become high if they decided to relapse, as well as search for their drug of choice. Since the 1990’s, scientists have had in the works a vaccine, since fentanyl became an issue. A nicotine vaccine came on the scene in the 1990’s, yet it failed in its trials.

With this new opiate abuse epidemic, there now is renewed interest in polyvalent vaccines, ones which can attack different kinds of medications. The way this vaccine could operate is simply “teaching” a user’s immune system to fight the different drug molecules when they enter the bloodstream, before them reaching the brain receptors.

The main problem in making it a reality is funding. Many major pharmaceutical firms are not interested in raising funds for the research of opiate addiction. In spite of this, it still is an alternative option of treatment that is very promising, and with more experimentation and the proper formulation, may be a creative and new opioid dependence solution.

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