This information is not for clinical use. These highlights do not include all the information needed to use Suboxone safely and effectively. Before taking Suboxone please consult with your doctor. See full prescribing information for Suboxone.
Indications And Usage
SUBOXONE sublingual film is indicated for maintenance treatment of opioid dependence and should be used as part of a complete treatment plan to include counseling and psychosocial support. Under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act (DATA) codified at 21 U.S.C. 823(g), prescription use of this product in the treatment of opioid dependence is limited to physicians who meet certain qualifying requirements, and who have notified the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) of their intent to prescribe this product for the treatment of opioid dependence and have been assigned a unique identification number that must be included on every prescription. SUBOXONE sublingual film is indicated for maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. Prescription use of this product is limited under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act. (1)
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Dosage Forms And Strengths
SUBOXONE sublingual film is supplied as an orange rectangular sublingual film with a white printed logo in two dosage strengths: buprenorphine/naloxone 2 mg/0.5 mg, and buprenorphine/naloxone 8 mg/2 mg. Sublingual film: 2 mg buprenorphine with 0.5 mg naloxone and 8 mg buprenorphine with 2 mg naloxone. (3)
SUBOXONE sublingual film should not be administered to patients who have been shown to be hypersensitive to buprenorphine or naloxone as serious adverse reactions, including anaphylactic shock, have been reported [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]. Hypersensitivity to buprenorphine or naloxone. (4)
Warning and Cautions
Buprenorphine can be abused in a similar manner to other opioids. Clinical monitoring appropriate to the patient's level of stability is essential. Multiple refills should not be prescribed early in treatment or without appropriate patient follow-up visits. (5.1) Significant respiratory depression and death have occurred in association with buprenorphine, particularly when taken by the intravenous (IV) route in combination with benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants (including alcohol). (5.2) Consider dose reduction of CNS depressants, SUBOXONE sublingual film or both in situations of concomitant prescription. (5.3) Store SUBOXONE sublingual film safely out of the sight and reach of children. Buprenorphine can cause severe, possibly fatal, respiratory depression in children. (5.4) Chronic administration produces opioid-type physical dependence. Abrupt discontinuation or rapid dose taper may result in opioid withdrawal syndrome. (5.5) Monitor liver function tests prior to initiation and during treatment and evaluate suspected hepatic events. (5.6) Do not administer SUBOXONE sublingual film to patients with known hypersensitivity to buprenorphine or naloxone. (5.7) A marked and intense opioid withdrawal syndrome is highly likely to occur with parenteral misuse of SUBOXONE sublingual film by individuals physically dependent on full opioid agonists or by sublingual administration before the agonist effects of other opioids have subsided. (5.8) Neonatal withdrawal has been reported following use of buprenorphine by the mother during pregnancy. (5.9) SUBOXONE sublingual film is not appropriate as an analgesic. There have been reported deaths of opioid naïve individuals who received a 2 mg sublingual dose. (5.10) Caution patients about the risk of driving or operating hazardous machinery. (5.11) 5.1 Abuse Potential Buprenorphine can be abused in a manner similar to other opioids, legal or illicit. Prescribe and dispense buprenorphine with appropriate precautions to minimize risk of misuse, abuse, or diversion, and ensure appropriate protection from theft, including in the home. Clinical monitoring appropriate to the patient's level of stability is essential. Multiple refills should not be prescribed early in treatment or without appropriate patient follow-up visits. [see Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.2)]. 5.2 Respiratory Depression Buprenorphine, particularly when taken by the IV route, in combination with benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants (including alcohol), has been associated with significant respiratory depression and death. Many, but not all post-marketing reports regarding coma and death associated with the concomitant use of buprenorphine and benzodiazepines, involved misuse by self-injection. Deaths have also been reported in association with concomitant administration of buprenorphine with other depressants such as alcohol or other CNS depressant drugs. Patients should be warned of the potential danger of self-administration of benzodiazepines or other depressants while under treatment with SUBOXONE sublingual film. [see Drug Interactions (7.3)] In the case of overdose, the primary management should be the re-establishment of adequate ventilation with mechanical assistance of respiration, if required. Naloxone may be of value for the management of buprenorphine overdose. Higher than normal doses and repeated administration may be necessary. SUBOXONE sublingual film should be used with caution in patients with compromised respiratory function (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cor pulmonale, decreased respiratory reserve, hypoxia, hypercapnia, or pre-existing respiratory depression). 5.3 CNS Depression Patients receiving buprenorphine in the presence of opioid analgesics, general anesthetics, benzodiazepines, phenothiazines, other tranquilizers, sedative/hypnotics or other CNS depressants (including alcohol) may exhibit increased CNS depression. Consider dose reduction of CNS depressants, SUBOXONE sublingual film, or both in situations of concomitant prescription. [see Drug Interactions (7.3)]. 5.4 Unintentional Pediatric Exposure Buprenorphine can cause severe, possibly fatal, respiratory depression in children who are accidentally exposed to it. Store buprenorphine-containing medications safely out of the sight and reach of children and destroy any unused medication appropriately [see Disposal of Unused SUBOXONE Sublingual Film (17.2)]. 5.5 Dependence Buprenorphine is a partial agonist at the mu-opioid receptor and chronic administration produces physical dependence of the opioid type, characterized by withdrawal signs and symptoms upon abrupt discontinuation or rapid taper. The withdrawal syndrome is typically milder than seen with full agonists and may be delayed in onset. Buprenorphine can be abused in a manner similar to other opioids. This should be considered when prescribing or dispensing buprenorphine in situations when the clinician is concerned about an increased risk of misuse, abuse, or diversion. [see Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.3)] 5.6 Hepatitis, Hepatic Events Cases of cytolytic hepatitis and hepatitis with jaundice have been observed in individuals receiving buprenorphine in clinical trials and through post-marketing adverse event reports. The spectrum of abnormalities ranges from transient asymptomatic elevations in hepatic transaminases to case reports of death, hepatic failure, hepatic necrosis, hepatorenal syndrome, and hepatic encephalopathy. In many cases, the presence of pre-existing liver enzyme abnormalities, infection with hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus, concomitant usage of other potentially hepatotoxic drugs, and ongoing injecting drug use may have played a causative or contributory role. In other cases, insufficient data were available to determine the etiology of the abnormality. Withdrawal of buprenorphine has resulted in amelioration of acute hepatitis in some cases; however, in other cases no dose reduction was necessary. The possibility exists that buprenorphine had a causative or contributory role in the development of the hepatic abnormality in some cases. Liver function tests, prior to initiation of treatment is recommended to establish a baseline. Periodic monitoring of liver function during treatment is also recommended. A biological and etiological evaluation is recommended when a hepatic event is suspected. Depending on the case, SUBOXONE sublingual film may need to be carefully discontinued to prevent withdrawal signs and symptoms and a return by the patient to illicit drug use, and strict monitoring of the patient should be initiated. 5.7 Allergic Reactions Cases of hypersensitivity to buprenorphine and naloxone containing products have been reported both in clinical trials and in the post-marketing experience. Cases of bronchospasm, angioneurotic edema, and anaphylactic shock have been reported. The most common signs and symptoms include rashes, hives, and pruritus. A history of hypersensitivity to buprenorphine or naloxone is a contraindication to the use of SUBOXONE sublingual film. 5.8 Precipitation of Opioid Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms Because it contains naloxone, SUBOXONE sublingual film is highly likely to produce marked and intense withdrawal signs and symptoms if misused parenterally by individuals dependent on full opioid agonists such as heroin, morphine, or methadone. Because of the partial agonist properties of buprenorphine, SUBOXONE sublingual film may precipitate opioid withdrawal signs and symptoms in such persons if administered sublingually before the agonist effects of the opioid have subsided. 5.9 Neonatal Withdrawal Neonatal withdrawal has been reported in the infants of women treated with buprenorphine during pregnancy. From post-marketing reports, the time to onset of neonatal withdrawal signs ranged from Day 1 to Day 8 of life with most cases occurring on Day 1. Adverse events associated with the neonatal withdrawal syndrome included hypertonia, neonatal tremor, neonatal agitation, and myoclonus, and there have been reports of convulsions, apnea, respiratory depression, and bradycardia. 5.10 Use in Opioid Naïve Patients There have been reported deaths of opioid naive individuals who received a 2 mg dose of buprenorphine as a sublingual tablet for analgesia. SUBOXONE sublingual film is not appropriate as an analgesic. 5.11 Impairment of Ability to Drive or Operate Machinery SUBOXONE sublingual film may impair the mental or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially dangerous tasks such as driving a car or operating machinery, especially during treatment induction and dose adjustment. Patients should be cautioned about driving or operating hazardous machinery until they are reasonably certain that SUBOXONE sublingual film therapy does not adversely affect his or her ability to engage in such activities. 5.12 Orthostatic Hypotension Like other opioids, SUBOXONE sublingual film may produce orthostatic hypotension in ambulatory patients. 5.13 Elevation of Cerebrospinal Fluid Pressure Buprenorphine, like other opioids, may elevate cerebrospinal fluid pressure and should be used with caution in patients with head injury, intracranial lesions and other circumstances when cerebrospinal pressure may be increased. Buprenorphine can produce miosis and changes in the level of consciousness that may interfere with patient evaluation. 5.14 Elevation of Intracholedochal Pressure Buprenorphine has been shown to increase intracholedochal pressure, as do other opioids, and thus should be administered with caution to patients with dysfunction of the biliary tract. 5.15 Effects in Acute Abdominal Conditions As with other opioids, buprenorphine may obscure the diagnosis or clinical course of patients with acute abdominal conditions. 5.16 General Precautions SUBOXONE sublingual film should be administered with caution in debilitated patients and those with myxedema or hypothyroidism, adrenal cortical insufficiency (e.g., Addison's disease); CNS depression or coma; toxic psychoses; prostatic hypertrophy or urethral stricture; acute alcoholism; delirium tremens; or kyphoscoliosis.
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice. Adverse events commonly observed with the sublingual administration of the SUBOXONE sublingual film was oral hypoesthesia, glossodynia, oral mucosal erythema, headache, nausea, vomiting, hyperhidrosis, constipation, signs and symptoms of withdrawal, insomnia, pain and peripheral edema. (6.1) To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc. at 1-877-782-6966, FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch. 6.1 Adverse Events in Clinical Trials - SUBOXONE Sublingual film The safety of SUBOXONE sublingual film is supported by clinical trials using SUBUTEX (buprenorphine) sublingual tablets and SUBOXONE (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual tablets, and other trials using buprenorphine sublingual solutions, as well as an open-label study in 194 patients treated with SUBOXONE sublingual film. In total, safety data from clinical studies are available from over 3000 opioid-dependent subjects exposed to buprenorphine at doses in the range used in the treatment of opioid dependence. Few differences in the adverse event profile were noted among SUBOXONE sublingual film, SUBOXONE (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual tablets, SUBUTEX (buprenorphine) sublingual tablets and a buprenorphine ethanolic sublingual solution. The most common adverse event (>1%) associated with the sublingual administration of the SUBOXONE sublingual film was oral hypoesthesia. Other adverse events were constipation, glossodynia, oral mucosal erythema, vomiting, intoxication, disturbance in attention, palpitations, insomnia, withdrawal syndrome, hyperhidrosis, and blurred vision. Other adverse event data were derived from larger, controlled studies of SUBOXONE (buprenorphine and naloxone) and SUBUTEX (buprenorphine) tablets and of buprenorphine sublingual solution. In a comparative study of SUBOXONE (buprenorphine and naloxone) and SUBUTEX (buprenorphine) sublingual tablets, adverse event profiles were similar for subjects treated with 16/4 mg SUBOXONE (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual tablets or 16 mg SUBUTEX (buprenorphine) sublingual tablets. The following adverse events were reported to occur by at least 5% of patients in a 4-week study of SUBOXONE (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual tablets and SUBUTEX (buprenorphine) sublingual tablets. Table 1. Adverse Events (≥5%) by Body System and Treatment Group in a 4-week Study Abbreviations: COSTART = Coding Symbols for Thesaurus of Adverse Reaction Terms. Body System/ Adverse Event (COSTART Terminology) SUBOXONE (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual tablets 16/4 mg/day N=107 n (%) SUBUTEX (buprenorphine) sublingual tablets 16 mg/day N=103 n (%) Placebo N=107 n (%) Body as a Whole Asthenia 7 (6.5%) 5 (4.9%) 7 (6.5%) Chills 8 (7.5%) 8 (7.8%) 8 (7.5%) Headache 39 (36.4%) 30 (29.1%) 24 (22.4%) Infection 6 (5.6%) 12 (11.7%) 7 (6.5%) Pain 24 (22.4%) 19 (18.4%) 20 (18.7%) Pain abdomen 12 (11.2%) 12 (11.7%) 7 (6.5%) Pain back 4 (3.7%) 8 (7.8%) 12 (11.2%) Withdrawal syndrome 27 (25.2%) 19 (18.4%) 40 (37.4%) Cardiovascular System Vasodilation 10 (9.3%) 4 (3.9%) 7 (6.5%) Digestive System Constipation 13 (12.1%) 8 (7.8%) 3 (2.8%) Diarrhea 4 (3.7%) 5 (4.9%) 16 (15.0%) Nausea 16 (15.0%) 14 (13.6%) 12 (11.2%) Vomiting 8 (7.5%) 8 (7.8%) 5 (4.7%) Nervous System Insomnia 15 (14.0%) 22 (21.4%) 17 (15.9%) Respiratory System Rhinitis 5 (4.7%) 10 (9.7%) 14 (13.1%) Skin And Appendages Sweating 15 (14.0%) 13 (12.6%) 11 (10.3%) The adverse event profile of buprenorphine was also characterized in the dose-controlled study of a buprenorphine ethanolic solution, over a range of doses in four months of treatment. Table 2 shows adverse events reported by at least 5% of subjects in any dose group in the dose-controlled trial. Table 2. Adverse Events (≥5%) by Body System and Treatment Group in a 16-week Study *Sublingual solution. Doses in this table cannot necessarily be delivered in tablet form, but for comparison purposes: 1 mg solution would be less than a tablet dose of 2 mg 4 mg solution approximates a 6 mg tablet dose 8 mg solution approximates a 12 mg tablet dose 16 mg solution approximates a 24 mg tablet dose Body System/ Adverse Event (COSTART Terminology) Buphrenorphine Dose Very Low * N=184 n (%) Low * N=180 n (%) Moderate * N=186 n (%) High * N=181 n (%) Total * N=731 n (%) Body as a Whole Abscess 9 (5%) 2 (1%) 3 (2%) 2 (1%) 16 (2%) Asthenia 26 (14%) 28 (16%) 26 (14%) 24 (13%) 104 (14%) Chills 11 (6%) 12 (7%) 9 (5%) 10 (6%) 42 (6%) Fever 7 (4%) 2 (1%) 2 (1%) 10 (6%) 21 (3%) Flu syndrome 4 (2%) 13 (7%) 19 (10%) 8 (4%) 44 (6%) Headache 51 (28%) 62 (34%) 54 (29%) 53 (29%) 220 (30%) Infection 32 (17%) 39 (22%) 38 (20%) 40 (22%) 149 (20%) Injury accidental 5 (3%) 10 (6%) 5 (3%) 5 (3%) 25 (3%) Pain 47 (26%) 37 (21%) 49 (26%) 44 (24%) 177 (24%) Pain back 18 (10%) 29 (16%) 28 (15%) 27 (15%) 102 (14%) Withdrawal syndrome 45 (24%) 40 (22%) 41 (22%) 36 (20%) 162 (22%) Digestive System Constipation 10 (5%) 23 (13%) 23 (12%) 26 (14%) 82 (11%) Diarrhea 19 (10%) 8 (4%) 9 (5%) 4 (2%) 40 (5%) Dyspepsia 6 (3%) 10 (6%) 4 (2%) 4 (2%) 24 (3%) Nausea 12 (7%) 22 (12%) 23 (12%) 18 (10%) 75 (10%) Vomiting 8 (4%) 6 (3%) 10 (5%) 14 (8%) 38 (5%) Nervous System Anxiety 22 (12%) 24 (13%) 20 (11%) 25 (14%) 91 (12%) Depression 24 (13%) 16 (9%) 25 (13%) 18 (10%) 83 (11%) Dizziness 4 (2%) 9 (5%) 7 (4%) 11 (6%) 31 (4%) Insomnia 42 (23%) 50 (28%) 43 (23%) 51 (28%) 186 (25%) Nervousness 12 (7%) 11 (6%) 10 (5%) 13 (7%) 46 (6%) Somnolence 5 (3%) 13 (7%) 9 (5%) 11 (6%) 38 (5%) Respiratory System Cough increase 5 (3%) 11 (6%) 6 (3%) 4 (2%) 26 (4%) Pharyngitis 6 (3%) 7 (4%) 6 (3%) 9 (5%) 28 (4%) Rhinitis 27 (15%) 16 (9%) 15 (8%) 21 (12%) 79 (11%) Skin and Appendages Sweat 23 (13%) 21 (12%) 20 (11%) 23 (13%) 87 (12%) Special Senses Runny eyes 13 (7%) 9 (5%) 6 (3%) 6 (3%) 34 (5%) 6.2 Adverse Events – Post-marketing Experience with SUBOXONE Sublingual Tablets The most frequently reported post-marketing adverse event not observed in clinical trials was peripheral edema.
Monitor patients starting or ending CYP3A4 inhibitors or inducers for potential over or under dosing. (7.1) Use caution in prescribing SUBOXONE sublingual film for patients receiving benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants and warn patients against concomitant self-administration/misuse. (7.3) 7.1 Cytochrome P-450 3A4 (CYP3A4) Inhibitors and Inducers Buprenorphine is metabolized to norbuprenorphine primarily by cytochrome CYP3A4; therefore, potential interactions may occur when SUBOXONE sublingual film is given concurrently with agents that affect CYP3A4 activity. The concomitant use of SUBOXONE sublingual film with CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g., azole antifungals such as ketoconazole, macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin, and HIV protease inhibitors) should be monitored and may require dose-reduction of one or both agents. The interaction of buprenorphine with CYP3A4 inducers has not been studied; therefore, it is recommended that patients receiving SUBOXONE sublingual film be monitored for signs and symptoms of opioid withdrawal if inducers of CYP3A4 (e.g., efavirenz, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, phenytoin, rifampicin) are co-administered [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. 7.2 Antiretrovirals Three classes of antiretroviral agents have been evaluated for CYP3A4 interactions with buprenorphine. Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) do not appear to induce or inhibit the P450 enzyme pathway, thus no interactions with buprenorphine are expected. Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) are metabolized principally by CYP3A4. Efavirenz, nevirapine and etravirine are known CYP3A inducers whereas delaviridine is a CYP3A inhibitor. Significant pharmacokinetic interactions between NNRTIs (e.g., efavirenz and delavirdine) and buprenorphine have been shown in clinical studies, but these pharmacokinetic interactions did not result in any significant pharmacodynamic effects. It is recommended that patients who are on chronic buprenorphine treatment have their dose monitored if NNRTIs are added to their treatment regimen. Studies have shown some antiretroviral protease inhibitors (PIs) with CYP3A4 inhibitory activity (nelfinavir, lopinavir/ritonavir, ritonavir) have little effect on buprenorphine pharmacokinetic and no significant pharmacodynamic effects. Other PIs with CYP3A4 inhibitory activity (atazanavir and atazanavir/ritonavir) resulted in elevated levels of buprenorphine and norbuprenorphine and patients in one study reported increased sedation. Symptoms of opioid excess have been found in post-marketing reports of patients receiving buprenorphine and atazanavir with and without ritonavir concomitantly. Monitoring of patients taking buprenorphine and atazanavir with and without ritonavir is recommended, and dose reduction of buprenorphine may be warranted. 7.3 Benzodiazepines There have been a number of post-marketing reports regarding coma and death associated with the concomitant use of buprenorphine and benzodiazepines. In many, but not all, of these cases, buprenorphine was misused by self-injection. Preclinical studies have shown that the combination of benzodiazepines and buprenorphine altered the usual ceiling effect on buprenorphine-induced respiratory depression, making the respiratory effects of buprenorphine appear similar to those of full opioid agonists. SUBOXONE sublingual film should be prescribed with caution to patients taking benzodiazepines or other drugs that act on the CNS, regardless of whether these drugs are taken on the advice of a physician or are being abused/misused. Patients should be warned that it is extremely dangerous to self-administer non-prescribed benzodiazepines while taking SUBOXONE sublingual film, and should also be cautioned to use benzodiazepines concurrently with SUBOXONE sublingual film only as directed by their physician.
Use In Specific Populations
SUBOXONE sublingual film is not indicated for use during pregnancy unless potential benefit justifies potential risk. (8.1) Buprenorphine passes into the mother's milk. Breast-feeding is not advised while taking SUBOXONE sublingual film. (8.3) Safety and effectiveness of SUBOXONE sublingual film in patients below the age of 16 has not been established. (8.4) Administer SUBOXONE sublingual film with caution to elderly or debilitated patients. (8.5) Administer SUBOXONE sublingual film with caution in patients with liver dysfunction. (8.6) 8.1 Pregnancy Pregnancy Category C. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of SUBOXONE sublingual film or buprenorphine/naloxone in pregnant women. SUBOXONE sublingual film should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Teratogenic Effects: Effects on embryo-fetal development were studied in Sprague-Dawley rats and Russian white rabbits following oral (1:1) and intramuscular (IM) (3:2) administration of mixtures of buprenorphine and naloxone. Following oral administration to rats and rabbits, no teratogenic effects were observed at buprenorphine doses up to 250 mg/kg/day and 40 mg/kg/day, respectively (estimated exposure approximately 150 times and 50 times, respectively, the recommended human daily sublingual dose of 16 mg on a mg/m2 basis). No definitive drug-related teratogenic effects were observed in rats and rabbits at IM doses up to 30 mg/kg/day (estimated exposure approximately 20 times and 35 times, respectively, the recommended human daily dose of 16 mg on a mg/m2 basis). Acephalus was observed in one rabbit fetus from the low-dose group and omphalocele was observed in two rabbit fetuses from the same litter in the mid-dose group; no findings were observed in fetuses from the high-dose group. Following oral administration of buprenorphine to rats, dose-related post-implantation losses, evidenced by increases in the numbers of early resorptions with consequent reductions in the numbers of fetuses, were observed at doses of 10 mg/kg/day or greater (estimated exposure approximately 6 times the recommended human daily sublingual dose of 16 mg on a mg/m2 basis). In the rabbit, increased post-implantation losses occurred at an oral dose of 40 mg/kg/day. Following IM administration in the rat and the rabbit, post-implantation losses, as evidenced by decreases in live fetuses and increases in resorptions, occurred at 30 mg/kg/day. Buprenorphine was not teratogenic in rats or rabbits after IM or subcutaneous (SC) doses up to 5 mg/kg/day (estimated exposure was approximately 3 and 6 times, respectively, the recommended human daily sublingual dose of 16 mg on a mg/m2 basis), after IV doses up to 0.8 mg/kg/day (estimated exposure was approximately 0.5 times and equal to, respectively, the recommended human daily sublingual dose of 16 mg on a mg/m2 basis), or after oral doses up to 160 mg/kg/day in rats (estimated exposure was approximately 95 times the recommended human daily sublingual dose of 16 mg on a mg/m2 basis) and 25 mg/kg/day in rabbits (estimated exposure was approximately 30 times the recommended human daily sublingual dose of 16 mg on a mg/m2 basis). Significant increases in skeletal abnormalities (e.g., extra thoracic vertebra or thoraco-lumbar ribs) were noted in rats after SC administration of 1 mg/kg/day and up (estimated exposure was approximately 0.6 times the recommended human daily sublingual dose of 16 mg on a mg/m2 basis), but were not observed at oral doses up to 160 mg/kg/day. Increases in skeletal abnormalities in rabbits after IM administration of 5 mg/kg/day (estimated exposure was approximately 6 times the recommended human daily sublingual dose of 16 mg on a mg/m2 basis) or oral administration of 1 mg/kg/day or greater (estimated exposure was approximately equal to the recommended human daily sublingual dose of 16 mg on a mg/m2 basis) were not statistically significant. In rabbits, buprenorphine produced statistically significant pre-implantation losses at oral doses of 1 mg/kg/day or greater and post-implantation losses that were statistically significant at IV doses of 0.2 mg/kg/day or greater (estimated exposure approximately 0.3 times the recommended human daily sublingual dose of 16 mg on a mg/m2 basis). Non-teratogenic Effects: Dystocia was noted in pregnant rats treated intramuscularly with buprenorphine 5 mg/kg/day (approximately 3 times the recommended human daily sublingual dose of 16 mg on a mg/m2 basis). Fertility, peri-, and post-natal development studies with buprenorphine in rats indicated increases in neonatal mortality after oral doses of 0.8 mg/kg/day and up (approximately 0.5 times the recommended human daily sublingual dose of 16 mg on a mg/m2 basis), after IM doses of 0.5 mg/kg/day and up (approximately 0.3 times the recommended human daily sublingual dose of 16 mg on a mg/m2 basis), and after SC doses of 0.1 mg/kg/day and up (approximately 0.06 times the recommended human daily sublingual dose of 16 mg on a mg/m2 basis). Delays in the occurrence of righting reflex and startle response were noted in rat pups at an oral dose of 80 mg/kg/day (approximately 50 times the recommended human daily sublingual dose of 16 mg on a mg/m2 basis). 8.3 Nursing Mothers Buprenorphine passes into breast milk. Breast-feeding is not advised in mothers treated with buprenorphine products. An apparent lack of milk production during general reproduction studies with buprenorphine in rats caused decreased viability and lactation indices. 8.4 Pediatric Use The safety and effectiveness of SUBOXONE sublingual film have not been established in pediatric patients. 8.5 Geriatric Use Clinical studies of SUBOXONE sublingual film, SUBOXONE (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual tablets, or SUBUTEX (buprenorphine) sublingual tablets did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they responded differently than younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy. 8.6 Hepatic Impairment The effect of hepatic impairment on the pharmacokinetics of buprenorphine and naloxone is unknown. Since both drugs are extensively metabolized, the plasma levels will be expected to be higher in patients with moderate and severe hepatic impairment. However, it is not known whether both drugs are affected to the same degree. Therefore, dosage should be adjusted and patients should be watched for signs and symptoms of precipitated opioid withdrawal. 8.7 Renal Impairment No differences in buprenorphine pharmacokinetics were observed between 9 dialysis-dependent and 6 normal patients following IV administration of 0.3 mg buprenorphine. The effects of renal failure on naloxone pharmacokinetics are unknown.