Suboxone Sublingual Strips: Convenience at the Cost of Dental Health

Suboxone sublingual strips, a buprenorphine medication, have become a popular option for opioid addiction treatment. However, there is concern about the dental health risks linked to their use. Let’s get into its details. 

The Science Behind Suboxone-Induced Tooth Decay

Recently, a study surfaced showing that many Suboxone users developed severe tooth decay after being prescribed the sublingual film. The issue is so intense that it has resulted in a Suboxone class action lawsuit. Plaintiffs claim that drug manufacturers didn’t alert them to Suboxone films causing serious dental decay.

Let us find out how a prescription Suboxone film contributes to tooth decay. 

Buprenorphine in Suboxone may cause dry mouth. This condition can result in gum disease and dental caries. Xerostomia, also referred to as dry mouth, is caused by inadequate production of saliva. A study found that buprenorphine users had saliva levels about 50% lower than the national average. 

Saliva is crucial in ensuring oral health. It moistens and cleanses our mouths, aiding in food digestion. Most importantly, it helps to neutralize bacteria-produced acids, preventing infections and controlling the bacterial population in the mouth.

When saliva production is reduced, as with Suboxone use, the mouth becomes dry and uncomfortable. This leads to a range of dental health concerns. Increased gum disease and dental caries can also be linked to a lack of saliva.

Moreover, Suboxone films combine Buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, with Naloxone, an opioid antagonist. This combination weakens tooth enamel, causing erosion and decay. 

Over time, this can lead to severe dental injuries like tooth fractures, tooth loss, and the need for tooth extractions. Tooth enamel is the tooth’s hard, protective outer layer. When exposed to acids, the enamel weakens, causing tooth erosion. Buprenorphine is acidic, which further promotes tooth decay.

Legal Ramifications

The Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit is being heard in the Northern District of Ohio as the Suboxone MDL. In April 2024, a whopping 44 Suboxone lawsuits were reported to be pending in the Suboxone MDL. 

This legal scrutiny isn’t the first for Indivior and Reckitt Benckiser; prior actions targeted their deceptive marketing and antitrust violations. Notably, Reckitt Benckiser settled these allegations with a $1.4 billion payment to resolve criminal and civil liabilities concerning Suboxone’s marketing. Despite these substantial settlements, no one compensated individuals for the dental damages incurred from Suboxone use.

These lawsuits allege that Indivior, the Suboxone manufacturer, failed to adequately warn about the risks of dental decay. The time frame to file a Suboxone lawsuit differs across states due to varying statute of limitations laws. So, potential plaintiffs should speak with a law firm that specializes in Suboxone product liability lawsuits.

Moreover, in similar cases, settlement amounts are frequently determined by the severity of dental damage, emotional distress, and treatment costs. According to TorHoerman Law, plaintiffs can expect to receive between $25,000 and $150,000+ in total economic and non-economic damages.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the most common damages sought in Suboxone lawsuits?

Suboxone dental decay lawsuits usually seek compensation for both economic and non-economic harm caused. This could include medical costs for current and future dental care and lost wages as a result of dental procedures. It also covers personal expenses, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

2. What is the current status of the Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits?

As of April 2024, multiple Suboxone lawsuits have been consolidated into MDL in Ohio. There have been no public settlements or trials yet. Moreover, in March 2024, Judge Calabrese issued an order allowing plaintiffs to file their Suboxone lawsuits directly into MDL 3092 as member cases. This decision is aimed at promoting judicial efficiency and reducing delays​. 

3. Who bears liability in Suboxone lawsuits?

Aquestive Therapeutics, Inc. and Indivior, Inc. are currently the primary defendants in the Suboxone lawsuits. These manufacturers have allegedly neglected to warn users about the prominent risk associated with using Suboxone sublingual film.

4. How to file a Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit?

To file a Suboxone dental decay lawsuit, you must hire a product liability attorney. The attorney will assist you throughout the litigation process, preparing your case for a jury trial. They can help you gather evidence of tooth decay or other injuries and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.

To sum it up, Suboxone sublingual strips have undoubtedly helped many people overcome opioid addiction. Yet, the risk of worsening dental health cannot be overlooked. Physicians prescribing Suboxone, along with the patients taking them, must be aware of these potential dental risks. This would allow them to take active measures to mitigate them.

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