What is The Difference Between Cassipa and Suboxone?

prescription for Cassipa or Suboxone

In recent years, researchers, doctors, and clinicians nationwide have been fighting tirelessly to help people recover from the seemingly endless opioid epidemic. While quitting opioids isn’t easy, especially for those with severe substance use disorders, there are many FDA-approved medications that can help manage and treat opioid addiction. Two of these medications include Cassipa and Suboxone.

All medications used to treat opioid dependence should be used in combination with a substance abuse treatment program. After all, using medications alone to treat addiction is usually ineffective. Successful treatment consists of medications, peer support, and behavioral therapy. Before starting any treatment medications, patients should consult with their doctors to determine which one is the best fit for them.

What is Cassipa?

Cassipa is a combination medication that was approved by the FDA in September 2018 and is used to treat opioid abuse and dependence. The prescription contains buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, so it binds to opioid receptors in the brain and activates them to produce euphoria and pain relief. Naloxone, on the other hand, is an opioid antagonist. It works to reverse the effects of opioids, therefore, naloxone helps prevent abuse of this medication.

Cassipa comes in the form of a sublingual film containing 16 mg of buprenorphine and 4 mg of naloxone. It is administered once per day under the tongue where it is left to dissolve and absorb into the bloodstream. Before starting treatment with Cassipa, patients should be titrated up to a 16 mg dose of buprenorphine using another buprenorphine-containing product, such as Subutex or Suboxone.[1]

Per the warning on the label and the direction of addiction experts, this medication should only be taken when used in combination with a complete treatment plan involving counseling and peer support.

Cassipa Side Effects

As with any other medication, there are potential side effects of Cassipa. These include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Constipation
  • Symptoms of opioid withdrawal
  • Body aches
  • Insomnia
  • Numbness or burning in the mouth

People who are sensitive or allergic to buprenorphine or naloxone shouldn’t take this medication.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is another opioid treatment medication that was approved by the FDA in 2002. This medication also contains buprenorphine and naloxone. Suboxone comes in four different strengths:

  • 2 mg buprenorphine/0.5 mg naloxone
  • 4 mg buprenorphine/1 mg naloxone
  • 8 mg buprenorphine/2 mg naloxone
  • 12 mg buprenorphine/3 mg naloxone

Patients should begin by taking a lower dose before working their way up to a higher dose.

Suboxone comes in the form of a sublingual film that is placed and dissolved under the tongue. It is meant to be taken once per day and combined with a comprehensive addiction treatment program.[2]

There is no set duration of time that people will remain on Suboxone. Some patients may only take the medication for a couple of weeks while others will remain on it for more than a year.

Suboxone Side Effects

Common side effects of Suboxone include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Constipation
  • Symptoms of opioid withdrawal
  • Body aches
  • Insomnia
  • Numbness or burning in the mouth

How are Cassipa and Suboxone Similar?

Cassipa and Suboxone are more similar than they are different. Both medications contain the same active ingredients, buprenorphine and naloxone, and serve the same purpose – to treat opioid dependence and addiction. Since they contain the same ingredients, these medications are thought to have similar side effects and risks. Both contain similar warnings on their label that use of the medication should always occur hand-in-hand with an addiction treatment program. Lastly, taking either Cassipa or Suboxone too soon after taking opioids can cause sudden opioid withdrawal syndrome.

How are Cassipa and Suboxone Different?

According to the FDA, the target daily dose for Suboxone treatment is 16 mg/4 mg.[3] However, there is no Suboxone film made to fit this dose. Instead, people have to take a lower dose or take multiple strips at a time. Cassipa solves this problem by offering a standard dose of 16 mg/4 mg, which is higher than Suboxone. Put simply, the only real difference between Suboxone and Cassipa is the dosage contained in each sublingual film.

Get Help for Opioid Addiction Today

If you or someone you know is addicted to opioids, you know how hard it is to stop. You also know how debilitating opioid withdrawal can be. Fortunately, medications like Cassipa and Suboxone can help reduce your withdrawal symptoms and alleviate your cravings so you can focus on your recovery.

If you are interested in learning more about medication-assisted treatment or you think Cassipa, Suboxone treatment, or any other opioid treatment medication is right for you, give us a call. Speaking to a treatment professional about your situation and your treatment options is the first step towards getting better, so don’t wait any longer. Our admissions counselors are eager to hear from you.

References:

  1. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2018/208042s000lbl.pdf
  2. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2010/022410s000lbl.pdf
  3. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/020733s020lbl.pdf

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor

About

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.