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What is the Difference Between Cassipa and Suboxone?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a type of addiction treatment that combines evidence-based therapies and group counseling with the use of FDA-approved medications. These medications are used to control withdrawal symptoms, prevent cravings, and make a relapse less likely. MAT is used to treat opioid use disorder and alcoholism.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Research shows that a combination of medication and therapy can successfully treat substance use disorders, and for some medications can help sustain recovery.”[1]

There are a few different MAT medications out there, including buprenorphine, methadone, naloxone, and naltrexone. Suboxone, which is a combination medication that contains both buprenorphine and naloxone, reduces opioid withdrawal and cravings by partially binding to opioid receptors in the brain.

Another medication that contains buprenorphine and naloxone is called Cassipa. Recently approved by the FDA, the main difference between Cassipa and Suboxone is their dosages.[2] While Cassipa has a higher dose of both buprenorphine and naloxone, it was shortly discontinued after approval.

What is Cassipa?

Cassipa was approved by the FDA to treat opioid use disorder. It contains both buprenorphine and naloxone. The buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, while naloxone blocks the effects of opioid substances that can lead to opioid overdose.

This medication was created to broaden the choices of dosages for patients taking buprenorphine and naloxone medications. Cassipa contains 16 mg of buprenorphine and 4mg of naloxone, making it the strongest option available.[2]

Despite being approved by the FDA in 2018, it was shortly discontinued due to patent infringement claims and has been discontinued.[3]

What is Suboxone?

Like Cassipa, Suboxone is used as a treatment for opioid use disorder. It also contains buprenorphine and naloxone. However, Suboxone has more doses available, as Cassipa is only offered in one strength.

Suboxone can be found in the following strengths and doses:

  • buprenorphine 2 mg/naloxone 0.5 mg
  • buprenorphine 4 mg/naloxone 1 mg
  • buprenorphine 8 mg/naloxone 2 mg
  • buprenorphine 12 mg/naloxone 3 mg

Both Cassipa and Suboxone can cause side effects or adverse reactions, including headaches, stomach pain, blurry vision, and more.[4] Your healthcare provider will help you determine if the side effects are worth the benefits of the medication.

Cassipa vs Suboxone: What’s the Difference?

Cassipa and Suboxone both contain buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, and naloxone, an opioid antagonist. In other words, these medications do the same thing. They are also both used to treat opioid use disorder.

Cassipa was created to add a stronger version of Suboxone. Suboxone offers four strengths, with the highest dose being 12g/3mg. On the other hand, Cassipa is 16 mg of buprenorphine and 4 mg of naloxone.

Cassipa is stronger, so it can cause more intense side effects. However, it can also treat more severe symptoms of opioid withdrawal or cravings. With that being said, Cassipa was discontinued shortly after being approved, which means doctors are not able to prescribe it.

Who Was Cassipa Created For?

Cassipa was created to treat opioid use disorder. It was intended to provide a broader dose range for those recovering from opioid addiction. Medications containing buprenorphine and naloxone are dosed in a specific schedule.

First, a doctor will give you a starting dose of Suboxone at either 2 mg/0.5 mg or 4 mg/1 mg. If you are still experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms or cravings, your dose will be titrated by 2 or 4 mg increments of buprenorphine. Cassipa was meant to be administered once the highest dose of Suboxone was not considered effective for a patient.

Since Because Cassipa was discontinued, you cannot be prescribed the medication. If you are struggling with a severe opioid use disorder, you may be given the highest dose of Suboxone instead.

Medications like Suboxone are only intended to be used if you are recovering from an opioid use disorder and participating in a MAT program that includes individual therapy, group counseling, and relapse prevention planning.

Signs that Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is Right for You

If you are considering taking Suboxone, you have to join a medication-assisted treatment program. Before committing to a MAT center, you should consider whether this type of treatment is right for you. There are various options when it comes to recovering from opioid use disorder, however, MAT can make you less likely to experience a relapse.

The signs that medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder is right for you include:

  • You struggle with a moderate to severe opioid addiction
  • You have tried traditional addiction treatment before without success
  • You have experienced a relapse in the past
  • You are willing to undergo therapy and counseling in combination with your medication
  • You are eager to be sober from other substances as well, including alcohol

If you identify with the above statements, medication-assisted treatment might be right for you. It is important to remember that MAT medications are not a replacement for opioid drugs. Instead, they are a stepping stone that helps you stay sober during early recovery.

Get Connected to a MAT Program Near You

If you or a loved one suffers from opioid addiction, medications like Suboxone might be the answer to your problems. MAT programs will combine traditional addiction treatment methods with FDA-approved medications to lessen your chances of relapsing.

At Mandala Healing Center, we assess each of our client’s needs to help them determine which approach to recovery is right for them. If MAT is the type of treatment you feel comfortable with, we can help you decide if it’s right for you and are ready to help you begin your journey.

Contact us today to learn more about medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder and the differences between Casspia and Suboxone.


  1. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Medications for Substance Use Disorders
  2. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA): FDA approves new dosage strength of buprenorphine and naloxone sublingual film as maintenance treatment for opioid dependence
  3. Medicaid: Opioid Use Disorder Agents
  4. Medline Plus: Buprenorphine Sublingual and Buccal (opioid dependence)