These days, thanks to impressive feats of technology, many medical conditions can be diagnosed and treated via video chat with a doctor, right on your computer or smartphone. One of the most critical conditions that can be treated online is opioid use disorder (OUD), by using technology called tele-MOUD. Here we explain what tele-MOUD is and how it has helped thousands of OUD patients find recovery.
What is opioid use disorder?
Opioid use disorder (OUD) includes dependence and addiction to opioids.
What are opioids?
Opioids are a class of drugs that are derived from or mimic natural substances found in the opium poppy plant. Opioids like oxycodone, codeine, fentanyl, and morphine are prescribed for pain relief but may cause other side effects including itchiness, sedation, nausea, respiratory depression, constipation, and euphoria.
Whether opioids are natural and legal (like morphine and codeine), synthetic and legal (like prescribed methadone and oxycodone), or illegal (like heroin and street fentanyl), taking opioids can lead to dependency or addiction, and stopping them or even reducing use can lead to withdrawal.
Signs that a person is dependent on opioids include taking greater and greater doses of the drug to reach a desired effect, and feeling sick when they attempt to stop the drug (withdrawal). Even if they want to stop, people with opioid use disorder feel a strong—often overpowering—urge to use opioids, despite the negative results it can have on their life.
How is OUD treated?
Opioid use disorder is treated in different ways and can include various methods:
- Therapy or counseling to address the root problem
- Learning more about OUD
- Taking medication to treat OUD
The drug combination of buprenorphine and naloxone (Suboxone) is a common prescription for OUD and can be used along with behavioral counseling and/or social support. This kind of OUD treatment is available as tele-MOUD care through online medical providers like QuickMD.
What is Tele-MOUD?
Tele-MOUD is an abbreviation for medication for opioid use disorder via telemedicine. The “telemedicine” part of tele-MOUD means receiving treatment remotely from your home without having to go to an in-person addiction clinic. The “medication” part of tele-MOUD is a drug called Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone)—an approved and effective medication for the treatment of opioid use disorder.
How does Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) work?
Suboxone contains two drugs: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine acts on the same opioid receptors in the brain that prescribed and nonprescribed opioids do. The difference is that prescription and nonprescription opioids are full opioid agonists (which cause a strong response from your body), and buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. So, while buprenorphine is strong enough to stop opioid cravings, it does not cause a high.
Naloxone is an antagonist (anti-opioid) that remains inactive if Suboxone is taken correctly (as prescribed). However, if Suboxone is used inappropriately (that is, injected), naloxone kicks in and can cause opioid withdrawal.
How is Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) taken?
Suboxone, and its generic forms, come in tablets or films designed to dissolve under the tongue (called sublingual).
How much does buprenorphine cost without insurance?
Generic buprenorphine (8mg)/naloxone (2mg) films cost about $35 for 14 films.
Brand-name Suboxone films with buprenorphine (8mg)/naloxone (2mg) cost around $135 for 14 films.
Generic buprenorphine (8mg)/naloxone (2mg) tablets cost around $60 for 60 sublingual tablets.
(Brand-name Suboxone tablets are no longer made by the manufacturer.)
Where can I get trusted tele-MOUD care?
QuickMD provides personalized online Suboxone treatment, and our providers can send a prescription to a pharmacy near you. To start receiving care for opioid dependence, get in touch with a QuickMD provider today.
People also want to know . . .
Pros and Cons of Suboxone for MOUD Treatment
How Do I Begin Suboxone Treatment Online?
What Is the Suboxone Induction Phase?
External Sources Referenced:
FDA. Information about Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). 2023. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/information-drug-class/information-about-medication-assisted-treatment-mat
GoodRx. Generic Suboxone Film. 2023. https://www.goodrx.com/suboxone-film
GoodRx. Generic Suboxone Tablet. 2023. https://www.goodrx.com/suboxone-tablet
SAMHSA. Opioid Treatment Providers Resources and Information. 2020. https://www.samhsa.gov/medications-substance-use-disorders/otp-resources