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Suboxone, a medication meant to treat opioid use disorder and chronic pain, was hailed as an effective solution for potentially millions of Americans. However, Suboxone has unexpectedly become a source of dental nightmares. The drug has recently attracted criticism due to its association with severe tooth decay and dental problems. If you or a loved one have suffered permanent dental damage after taking Suboxone, you may qualify for a Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit.
The Lake Law Firm is helping individuals harmed by Suboxone. Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits allege manufacturers did not warn users about severe tooth enamel erosion when using the films. Call (888) 525-3529 or fill out the free case evaluation form on this page today to speak with a Suboxone tooth decay lawyer at our firm.
Suboxone is a prescription medication to treat opioid addiction and manage chronic pain. It contains two primary components: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine binds to the same receptors in the brain that opioids like heroin or painkillers do. However, it doesn’t activate these receptors as strongly, reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms without causing the intense high associated with opioids. Naloxone, on the other hand, prevents individuals from abusing Suboxone. If someone tries to inject or misuse Suboxone, naloxone blocks the opioid effects of buprenorphine, potentially leading to withdrawal symptoms.
The medication is typically taken as a sublingual film, placed under the tongue where it dissolves, or a tablet, releasing buprenorphine and naloxone into the bloodstream. Patients’ opioid addiction and other factors determine the dosage and how often they will take it.
Suboxone’s alleged dental damage stems from its acidic nature. When administered in the form of sublingual strips, the acidic components can come into contact with the mouth and teeth.
Also, Suboxone impacts tooth enamel, the tough outer layer that protects your teeth. However, it’s susceptible to acidic substances. The enamel can erode when exposed to Suboxone’s acidity over time, exposing the inner dentin layer. This sets the stage for tooth decay, cavities, and, in severe cases, tooth loss.
Furthermore, Suboxone allegedly contributes to dry mouth, a condition where your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva. Saliva protects teeth by rinsing away food particles and neutralizing harmful acids. When you have dry mouth, this natural defense weakens, increasing the risk of dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease.
The FDA approved a pill version of Suboxone in October 2002. Then, in 2010, the agency approved sublingual (under-the-tongue) strips of Suboxone.
Suboxone remained on the market for two decades with no warning about the risk of tooth decay. However, in January 2022, the FDA updated Suboxone’s warning label to include information on Suboxone sublingual strips and other buprenorphine medications causing dental problems.
Specifically, the FDA noted increasing reports linking Suboxone, especially the sublingual films, to oral health issues such as tooth decay, oral infections, cavities, and tooth loss.
As part of the label update, the FDA recommended strategies to maintain or improve oral health while undergoing Suboxone treatment. These recommendations included referring patients to dental care services and encouraging them to have regular dental checkups.
Research points to a link between Suboxone and dental issues, specifically when taken in the sublingual (under-the-tongue) form.
One October 2013 study in Prim Care Companion CNS Disorders uncovered a connection between Suboxone use and low saliva levels. More than 90% of the participants who used buprenorphine drugs had notably lower saliva levels, averaging about 50% below the national average. This study also highlighted that Suboxone is acidic, with a pH of 3.4. Reduced saliva flow can increase the risk of dental issues because it leaves teeth vulnerable to decay and gum disease.
Another notable study, published in the medical journal JAMA in December 2022, warned healthcare professionals and the public about the risks associated with sublingual forms of Suboxone. It revealed that individuals using these sublingual versions were approximately two times more likely to experience severe dental problems, such as large cavities or even losing teeth. Patients are instructed to keep the film under their tongue for 5 to 10 minutes to help it work better. This extended exposure to the drug’s acidity in the mouth could harm teeth. The study advised clinicians to consider different medications for patients with previous dental issues. These patients could also benefit from regular dental check-ups to maintain oral health.
Individuals filing Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits allege they developed the following injuries after using the medication:
If you or a loved one suffered one of these injuries or other dental problems, you may qualify for a Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit.
In September 2023, the first of what attorneys expect to be many Suboxone lawsuits was filed in Ohio. Plaintiffs claim they suffered severe tooth decay after taking Suboxone to treat their opioid addiction. Unfortunately, the quick decline in oral health has forced many to undergo costly and traumatic dental treatments like teeth extraction, fillings, root canals, teeth implantation, and more.
Suboxone lawsuits accuse manufacturers of knowing about the increased risk of severe dental injuries linked to Suboxone but failing to inform healthcare providers and patients. Suboxone manufacturers allegedly knew about hundreds of adverse health reports submitted to the FDA detailing oral injuries tied to the drug. These allegations suggest that the manufacturers prioritized profits over patient safety by not disclosing the potential dental side effects of Suboxone and by continuing to market and distribute the medication without sufficient warnings.
Suboxone lawsuits name several companies, including:
Also, Suboxone lawsuits argue that companies pushed the sublingual strips over the safer tablet form to increase profits.
Reckitt Benckiser, the former parent company of Indivior, reportedly attempted a monopoly on the Suboxone market to prevent generic competition by transforming Suboxone from a tablet to a dissolvable film. When the FDA approved the film form in 2010, it also granted Indivior three years of exclusivity. Additionally, Indivior filed a patent application for sublingual and buccal film compositions, further solidifying their control over the market. The company allegedly pressured doctors to transition patients to the film under the guise of tablet safety concerns.
The Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Reckitt Benckiser in 2019, alleging the company’s actions limited fair competition and kept prices high for drugs to treat opioid addiction during the epidemic. That same year, Reckitt Benckiser settled the lawsuit for $1.4 billion.
If you or a loved one used Suboxone and later suffered oral injuries, you may be able to recover compensation for any or all of the following:
Contact The Lake Law Firm today to discuss your legal options with one of our team members.
The first Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit was filed in September 2023. Therefore, we are in the early stages of this litigation, with no Suboxone settlements or verdicts to date.
Our firm will continue to update this page as we progress through Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits. In the meantime, we encourage you to contact The Lake Law Firm if this drug has harmed you.
The Lake Law Firm was founded by Edward J. Lake, Esq., a personal injury lawyer for over 25 years. Our dedicated team of attorneys is committed to seeking justice on behalf of those who have suffered injury or death due to the negligence of others. Our experienced attorneys handle many different types of pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and other defective products. The lawyers in our firm have helped collect millions of dollars for their clients. A Suboxone tooth decay lawyer will advocate for you and your rights. Please contact us for a free confidential case evaluation at (888) 525-3529 or submit an inquiry on this page.