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Buvidal Injection Programme
(Buprenorphine prolonged-release injection)

What is Buvidal?


  • Buvidal contains the active substance buprenorphine, which is a type of opioid medicine

  • Buvidal is a medicine used to treat dependence on opioid (narcotic) drugs such as heroin or morphine.

  • Buvidal is used in adults and adolescents aged over 16 years who are also receiving medical, social and psychological support.

How is Buvidal used? 

  • Buvidal is given as an injection under the skin, either once a week or once a month.

  • It can only be obtained with a prescription and can only be given by a healthcare professional. Patients cannot take the medicine home or inject it themselves.

  • The first dose of Buvidal is given when the patient shows clear signs of withdrawal.

  • The dose of Buvidal can be adjusted and patients can be switched between weekly and monthly injections according to the patient’s need and the judgement of our clinicians 

When can Buvidal be used?

  • Buprenorphine prolonged-release injection may be an option where there is a risk of diversion of opioid substitution medicines or concerns about the safety of medicines stored at home.

  • It may also be an option for people who have difficulties adhering to daily supervised opioid substitution medication, such as for people who are working or in education.

  • Buprenorphine prolonged-release injection may have a place in treating opioid dependence in people in custodial settings, where the risk of diversion and time needed for supervised consumption currently leads to challenges in supplying supervised medicines safely.

How is Buvidal given? 

  • Buvidal is given as a single injection under the skin (subcutaneously) in any of the allowed injection areas buttock, thigh, abdomen or upper arm.

  • You can receive several injections in the same injection area, but the exact injection sites will be different for each weekly and monthly injection for a minimum period of 8 weeks.

How does Buvidal work

  • The active substance in Buvidal, buprenorphine, is a partial opioid agonist (it acts like an opioid drug but less powerfully).

  • It can be used in a controlled way to help prevent withdrawal symptoms and reduce the urge to misuse other opioids.

Evidence Base

A study involving 428 patients with opioid dependence showed that Buvidal was effective at reducing patients’ intake of opioid drugs. In this study, Buvidal was compared with sublingual tablets containing buprenorphine and another medicine, naloxone (which is used to prevent misuse). The main measure of effectiveness was based on the number of urine samples that tested negative for opioids. During the 25 weeks of treatment, 35% of patients given Buvidal had a negative urine test, compared with 28% of patients taking the comparator tablets.


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