Buprenorphine with naloxone: Your brand is changing

Brand change Active

The funded brand of buprenorphine with naloxone changed from Suboxone® to Buprenorphine Naloxone BNM.

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Buprenorphine with naloxone is used for the treatment of opioid dependence.

What changed?

The funded brand of buprenorphine with naloxone changed from Suboxone® to Buprenorphine Naloxone BNM.

When is the change happening?

From 1 November 2019, PHARMAC changed the funded brand of buprenorphine with naloxone sublingual tablets. These tablets come in two different strengths - 2 mg with 0.5 mg naloxone and 8 mg with 2 mg naloxone. 

  • From 1 November 2019, the Buprenorphine Naloxone BNM brand was fully funded and available.
  • From 1 April 2020, Buprenorphine Naloxone BNM is the only brand of buprenorphine with naloxone

Both brands are sublingual tablets so are taken the same way (placed under the tongue to dissolve).

Buprenorphine Naloxone BNM works the same as other brands

  • Buprenorphine Naloxone BNM has the same active ingredient as other brands of buprenorphine with naloxone and is delivered in the body the same way.  This means it will have the same effect as other brands.
  • Buprenorphine Naloxone BNM has been thoroughly evaluated by Medsafe to ensure it works the same as other brands.
  • Your Buprenorphine Naloxone BNM will be taken under your tongue in the same way as Suboxone ®.
  • Your Buprenorphine Naloxone BNM has a lemon/lime flavour and is a round shape.

There’s more information about medicines and changes to medicines on PHARMAC’s website.

Find out more

If you have any questions or concerns about changing brands, talk with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist. You can also get more information from us at enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz or 0800 66 00 50.

For health care professionals

Healthcare professionals play an important role in supporting patients through changes to their medicines.

Key points to tell your patients about Buprenorphine Naloxone BNM

  • Buprenorphine Naloxone BNM has the same active ingredient (buprenorphine) as your other brand.  This means the new brand of medication works the same as your previous brand.
  • Buprenorphine Naloxone BNM is taken in the same way as Suboxone – placing the tablet under your tongue until it dissolves.
  • Your Buprenorphine Naloxone BNM has a lemon/lime flavor and the tablet is a round shape and works the same as the old brand – this will not change how well the medicine works.