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Buvidal – Depot Injection


Buvidal - Depot Injection

Buvidal is effective in reducing opioids and opiates withdrawals and cravings. Buvidal is a much more convenient product as you are dosed weekly or monthly instead of daily, which means no more regular trips to your local pharmacy. This treatment option may be attractive to people trying to stop using drugs or other opioid-based painkillers completely, as it allows people the freedom to change their routine and environment, which can support them to make other changes.

While Buvidal is a game-changer for many, it is essential to remember that it is not a “silver bullet” or cure for opioid dependence. A comprehensive treatment plan, including psychosocial sessions, should be in place for optimum results.

The main difference between Buvidal and other daily medications is that you only need to be dosed weekly or monthly. Not having to go to a clinic or pharmacy every day is especially useful for those who struggle with transport, live out of town, or have commitments such as work, family or study. The monthly dispensing may also reduce the embarrassment and stigma.

What is Buvidal?

Buvidal is depot buprenorphine, also known as long-acting injectable Buprenorphine, a new treatment option available in Ciconia Recovery London. Buvidal is given as an injection under the skin – this is known as a ‘subcutaneous’ injection, or a ‘subcut’. Once injected, the medication forms a deposit of Buprenorphine under your skin.

You can get further information about Buvidal at  NICE and the  European Medicines Agency.

buvidal how it works

How does Buvidal Work?

Buprenorphine has some of the same effects as other opioids (e.g. heroin, morphine). However, it tends not to make people as drowsy. Many people report they are more clear-minded and energetic on Buprenorphine compared to methadone.

Buvidal does not contain naloxone, which is put in other medications such as Suboxone to make injecting it less attractive.

Buvidal is given as a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection. When injected, it turns into a deposit, or “depot”, of Buprenorphine. The depot is slowly absorbed by the body, lasting for a specific time (a week or a month depending on the given dose).

You may have heard of, or even used, medications and contraceptives that are given as a depot. Being on a depot medication means the medication is stored under your skin and releases gradually, instead of having to be taken daily.

Depot products are not like implants. You do not have to get anything removed before you are re-dosed. With Buvidal, your system will have absorbed most of the medication by the end of the set period.

Some people get Buvidal confused with a different product, the naltrexone implant, which is an entirely different medication.

Pharmacology of Buprenorphine: How Does It Affects Your Brain?

Buprenorphine’s effects come from how it interacts with two types of opioid receptors in your brain – the mu receptors and the kappa receptors. Most opioids (e.g. heroin, fentanyl, morphine) are ‘full agonists’ at these receptors, meaning they fully trigger them. Buprenorphine is different to these opioids in a few ways.

Buprenorphine is a strong ‘partial agonist’ at the mu receptor, which gives it a lot of its unique effects. It binds to these receptors much more tightly than other opioids. It can even ‘kick-off’ other opioids from this receptor. However, because it is only a ‘partial agonist’, Buprenorphine does not give you the same opioid-like effects as methadone, heroin, or other opioids.

Buprenorphine is also an ‘antagonist’ at the kappa receptors. This means that Buprenorphine blocks these receptors, which is one of the reasons Buprenorphine can block the effects of other opioids.

female after buvidal injection
male alcohol detox

Dosing options

Buvidal is available weekly and monthly in many dose strengths in prefilled syringes with a 23-gauge needle.

You may be worried that your injection will not hold you the full week or month. Generally, there will be no problem because depot Buprenorphine builds up and stays in your body for a long time.

Pros & Cons

When deciding whether to try depot buprenorphine or any daily medication, you should think carefully about their pros and cons. Depot Buprenorphine does not work the same for everybody. However, clients we spoke with who were on Buvidal generally were pleased with the results and were happy with their treatment often returning for further injections.

Some of our ‘pros’ will be ‘cons’ for you, and vice versa, so think about what you want out of treatment before making a decision. For example, some people liked the even effect of the long-acting doses. In contrast, others missed being able to under-dose and double-dose to control their level of energy.

• More convenience and freedom

• Only having to go to the clinic once a month/greater flexibility

• Not having to wait at the pharmacy every day

• Many people reported better mood

• Greater mental clarity and energy

• Less likely to use while on it

• Level treatment – less of the ups and downs of daily dosing

• Some people reported better sleep

• Much easier to travel on it


• Less contact and interaction with the healthcare team

• Some people find it painful for about a minute “like a bee sting.”

• Some people reported being having too much energy the first 48 hours after their injection

• Constipation (common side effect)

For many, not having to dose every day will be a huge relief. However, not having this routine means you will likely have a lot more free time, which may lead to you feeling directionless or bored. It is essential to spend this time positively and productively.

The best way to replace an old routine is to pick up a new one – try adopting a daily routine that fits in with your interests and lifestyle. You may want to try regular exercise, attending evening classes, helping with family responsibilities, or picking up a new hobby.

buvidal freedom
woman smiling after buvidal

Abstinence from Buvidal

Some people find that Buvidal makes them feel so ‘even’ that they think they do not need their next dose. This is similar to not finishing a course of antibiotics because you feel much better. With daily dosing, we are often prompted to take our next dose based on the sniffles and other withdrawal symptoms. With monthly dosing, we are less likely to get a reminder from our bodies.

However, even if you do not feel you need your next dose, you should always discuss with your prescribing doctor first before you make the decision to stop. Taking your medication when you are supposed to, means you should not start going into withdrawals.

If you have more control over your drug use than when you started, and you have support from family or friends, you may be ready to stop the Buvidal. You are more likely to stay off medication if you have fulfilling and positive ways to spend your time. These may include:

• working

• studying

• parenting

• art

• spiritual activities

• sports

• volunteering

• yoga

• walking

If you would like to know more about Buvidal, why not contact us today for an informal and confidential chat with one of our experienced staff at Ciconia Recovery London to discuss your best options?


Who will I speak to when I call?

Experienced recovery workers who are compassionate, experienced and knowledgeable about substance misuse and mental health issues, they will be happy to take your call and discuss all your queries in a discreet and confidential manner. And if needed they will offer you a free video consultation with a psychiatrist.

How much does treatment cost?

At CRL we endeavour to keep our costs as low as possible whilst at the same time continuing to  provide high quality care. The cost of treatment varies depending on the level of care needed and the length of the treatment plan required.

The best way to ascertain this cost would be to speak to one of our experienced recovery workers to determine what treatment plan will be the most effective for you in achieving your desired goals.

Does insurance cover mental health or addictive treatment?

Some private health insurance companies cover the treatment, you will have to check your policy to see if you qualify.

Does insurance cover adult ADHD assessment or treatment?

Yes, most private health insurance companies cover the treatment, you will have to check your policy to see if you qualify.

Do you only treat substance misuse?

No, in addition to our drug and alcohol treatment packages, we also treat a wide range of mental health disorders, some of which may be associated with the individual’s substance misuse and dependency, these include treatment for personality disorders, anxiety, depression, adult ADHD and PTSD amongst other disorders.

What if I need a detox?

We offer a wide range of options for smooth and painless detox thanks to our new provided medications (i.e. long-acting buprenorphine monthly injections). If this is something you are interested in, please call us to discuss which is more suitable for you.

The main emphasis in our detox programs is to provide as much comfort and support while doing our best to minimise any withdrawal symptoms the individual may experience throughout their recovery. Many users recognise they need help and support to get clean but fear the consequences of withdrawals, we have created detox plans to greatly reduce the unpleasant effects of withdrawals.

Do your programs offer aftercare?

Yes, we will continue to support clients after they have completed treatment either by us or elsewhere by offering a wide range of aftercare programs, studies have shown that people have a much better chance of avoiding relapse if they are engaged in aftercare programs. Please get in touch to discuss the best aftercare options for yourself.

Is smoking permitted?

No, this is a medical facility and smoking is not permitted at all.

Do you treat trauma?

Yes, our staff are specially trained in trauma, grief/loss and attachment, we know very well the negative impact these can have on someone’s mental health which can then trigger alcohol/drug misuse and other negative behavioural health challenges.

Among our treatment approaches to trauma is EMDR therapy which is very effective in easing and treating PTSD.

What is outpatient care?

Outpatient care is less intensive than inpatient care. The patient will usually attend regular meetings with a consultant psychiatrist, counsellor, therapist or key-worker where they will be given similar treatments to those in an inpatient clinic. However, as the patient does not stay overnight, the cost of this care is less expensive.

Outpatient programmes consist of daily, weekly or monthly sessions. Because outpatient treatment requires less time in-attendance, the entire recovery programme generally lasts longer than inpatient care. While inpatient treatment typically lasts for a period of six to eight weeks, an outpatient programme can last many months.

Who is outpatient treatment suitable for?

Outpatient treatment is suitable for individuals who have been struggling with addiction but may benefit from a less intensive approach to recovery than inpatient care.

CRL staff are available to offer helpful advice and information on all types of addiction and the most suitable treatment options. If you would like a referral to a counsellor, therapist or consultant psychiatrist for outpatient treatment, call us today. We can also provide support and advice to the loved ones of those struggling with addiction, as well as information on the treatments we provide and how these can be accessed.

Our staff are compassionate and caring and will treat anything you discuss in the strictest of confidence. If you need advice on addiction, or simply need someone to talk to, please do not hesitate to call us.

Are your staff qualified?

All CRL staff are qualified for their specific roles with many years of experience in working in the addiction and mental health fields. In addition all our staff are always up to date with all their relevant training and registrations.


Our clinical team is happy to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.
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