Suboxone is a popular drug used to treat opioid addiction, but this drug can have serious side effects, particularly dental injuries.
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is an anti-opioid medication used to treat opioid (narcotic) addiction. Reckitt Benckiser manufactures the drug along with Reckitt Benckiser’s subsidiary, Indivior, Inc.
Suboxone contains the active ingredient buprenorphine and naloxone and is administered via a dissolving tablet in the mouth, or a film placed in the cheek.
Reckitt Benckiser originally designed and manufactured Suboxone to counter the addictive effect of opioids and gained FDA approval in 2002. Buprenorphine was approved in 2002 to be given underneath the tongue to treat OUD.
Opioid use addiction (OUD) is a serious epidemic in America today. The condition is responsible for the majority of overdose deaths in the U.S. When someone is addicted to opioids, it becomes a drug that the person cannot live without, with irresistible cravings and compulsive drug use.
Suboxone has been associated with severe tooth decay, thought to be due to the acidity of the sublingual buprenorphine/naloxone products. Since 2012, medical literature has reported tooth decay associated with Suboxone use. In addition, the FDA reported hundreds of adverse events related to tooth decay annually. During this period, 40% of tooth decay incidents were labeled serious.
On Jan. 12, 2022, the FDA issued a warning that dental problems have been reported with medication containing buprenorphine that is dissolved in the mouth. Such dental side effects include any of the following:
- Oral infections
- Tooth decay
- Tooth loss
Past Lawsuits Against Reckitt Benckiser and Indivior, Inc.
Indivior, Inc. wanted to avoid losing the patent protection of Suboxone, meaning that the company didn’t want to lose its exclusive rights to manufacture and sell the drug. The company attempted to preserve its monopoly over the drug and remain the exclusive supplier of Suboxone by changing the dosage form.
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) sued Reckitt Benckiser under violation of the Sherman Act, which outlaws monopolistic business practices. The suit resulted in a $102.5 million settlement with Indivior.
On Apr. 9, 2019, a Virginia federal grand jury indicted Indivior for conducting a national scheme to increase sales of Suboxone illegally. This suit resulted in Reckitt Benckiser paying over $1.4 billion to the federal government, several states, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
As of October 2023, Indivior reported it had reached a settlement of $385 million with various states, insurance companies, and other direct purchasers to resolve certain antitrust and class action claims.
The multidistrict litigation trial was set to begin Oct. 30; however, the new proposed settlement will now be reviewed by the Court and the trial postponed.
Product Liability Lawsuit
The drug Suboxone is alleged to have caused severe teeth injuries in recent lawsuits; however, the medication did not include any warnings relating to tooth decay, cavities, oral infections, or loss of teeth before June 2022.
Questions About a Suboxone Lawsuit? Contact a Johnson//Becker Lawyer for a Free Case Review.
If you or a loved one have lost teeth or required tooth extractions following the use of Suboxone, you may want to speak with the lawyers at Johnson//Becker. We are currently accepting new Suboxone clients nationwide, and you may be entitled to financial compensation.
We offer a Free Case Evaluation. Please contact us using the form below or by calling us at (800) 279-6386.
We would be honored to speak with you and respond promptly to every inquiry we receive.