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How Long Does Suboxone Last

How Long Does Suboxone Last

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Introduction to Suboxone: What is it and How Does it Work?

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), over 1.5 million Americans aged 12 or older misused prescription pain relievers in 2020.

Likewise, In a study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, patients who received buprenorphine treatment had significantly lower rates of illicit opioid use and higher rates of treatment retention than those who received other treatments.1

So what exactly is suboxone? Suboxone is a prescription medication used to treat opioid addiction. It is a combination of two active ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that binds to the same receptors as opioids but produces weaker effects. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids and prevents abuse.

Suboxone works by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid addiction. It can also prevent relapse by blocking the effects of other opioids. Suboxone comes as sublingual tablets or films that dissolve under the tongue.

Half-Life of Suboxone: Understanding the Pharmacokinetics of the Drug

The half-life of a drug refers to the amount of time it takes for half of the drug to be eliminated from the body. Suboxone has a long half-life of 24 to 42 hours, which means it can stay in the body for several days after the last dose. According to a study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the elimination half-life of buprenorphine is prolonged in patients with liver impairment.

In another study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, patients who received Suboxone film had higher buprenorphine levels in their blood compared to those who received Suboxone tablets.2

Several factors, including the dosage, frequency, and administration route, can influence the pharmacokinetics of Suboxone. Higher doses and more frequent use can lead to longer elimination times.

Factors affecting how Long Does Suboxone Last: Dosage, Frequency, and Administration Route

Factors about How long does suboxone last vary depending on several factors, including the dosage, frequency, and administration route. Higher doses and more frequent use can lead to longer-lasting effects, while lower doses may have shorter durations.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the maximum recommended daily dose of Suboxone is 24 milligrams of buprenorphine and 6 milligrams of naloxone. 3

Suboxone tablets and film have different pharmacokinetic profiles, which can affect the duration of the drug’s effects. The sublingual administration route allows for faster absorption and onset of action compared to oral administration.

How Long Does Suboxone Last in Your System: Detection Time and Drug Tests

According to a study published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology, urine tests can detect buprenorphine for up to 4 days after the last dose in patients receiving maintenance. 4

Suboxone can be detected in the body through drug tests, including urine, blood, and saliva tests. The detection time can vary depending on several factors, including the frequency and duration of use, dosage, and administration route.

Urine tests are the most common method of detecting Suboxone and can detect the drug for up to 7 to 10 days after the last dose. Blood tests have a shorter detection window of up to 24 hours, while saliva tests can detect Suboxone for up to 1 to 3 days.

The duration of Suboxone treatment can vary depending on individual needs and circumstances but typically involves three phases: induction, stabilization, and maintenance.

  • Induction phase: The induction phase typically lasts 1-4 days and involves initiating Suboxone treatment. During this phase, the patient should have mild to moderate withdrawal before starting Suboxone. The medication’s effects should be felt within 30-60 minutes of taking the first dose.
  • Stabilization phase: The stabilization phase is the longest and typically lasts for several weeks to several months. During this phase, the patient’s dosage is gradually adjusted to find the optimal dose that relieves withdrawal symptoms and cravings. The goal of this phase is to stabilize the patient at a comfortable and effective dose of Suboxone.
  • Maintenance phase: The maintenance phase can last several months to several years. It involves maintaining the patient’s stable dose of Suboxone while monitoring their progress and making necessary adjustments to the treatment plan. The duration of the maintenance phase can vary depending on individual needs and circumstances. Still, the goal is to help the patient maintain abstinence from opioids and achieve long-term recovery.

Suboxone Withdrawal Timeline: How Long Does Suboxone Withdrawal Last and What to Expect

Suboxone withdrawal can be challenging, but it is essential to recovery from opioid addiction. The duration and intensity of withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on several factors, including the duration and dosage of Suboxone use.

Withdrawal symptoms typically start within 24 to 48 hours after the last dose and can last for several days or weeks. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, insomnia, and muscle aches.

Patients may benefit from supportive care during withdrawal, such as medication-assisted treatment, therapy, and counseling.

Managing Suboxone Side Effects: Common Symptoms and Tips for Coping

According to a study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, patients who received a combination of laxatives and stool softeners better managed constipation symptoms than those who received laxatives alone. 5

Suboxone treatment can cause several side effects, including constipation, headaches, dizziness, and sleep disturbances. These side effects can be managed through lifestyle changes, medication adjustments, and supportive care.

Patients can prevent constipation by staying hydrated, eating a high-fiber diet, and exercising regularly. Headaches and dizziness can be managed through rest techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation.

If side effects persist or become severe, patients should consult their healthcare provider to adjust their medication or explore alternative treatment options.

Conclusion: Finding the Right Treatment Plan for Opioid Addiction.

Suboxone can effectively treat opioid addiction as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Treatment duration and effectiveness can vary depending on individual factors, such as dosage, frequency, and duration of use.How Long Does Suboxone Last

 

References:

1- Introduction: Understanding Suboxone and Its Role in Opioid Addiction Treatment

https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/treatment/buprenorphine

2- How Does Suboxone Work in the Brain and Body?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5808283/

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/medications-to-treat-opioid-addiction/how-do-medications-to-treat-opioid-addiction-work

3- Factors That Affect Suboxone Half-Life and Duration of Effects

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5787492/

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/022410s014lbl.pdf

4- Suboxone Dosage and Administration: Finding the Right Dose for Treatment

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6137755/

https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/programs_campaigns/medication_assisted/Buprenorphine_Dosing_Guideline.pdf

5- Peak Effects and Tapering: When to Expect the Full Benefits of Suboxone

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5868806/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4799316/

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Medically reviewed by DR.Reckitt.

Claire Wilcox, MD, is a general and addiction psychiatrist in private practice and an associate professor of translational neuroscience at the Mind Research Network in New Mexico; and has completed an addictions fellowship, psychiatry residency, and internal medicine residency. Having done extensive research in the area, she is an expert in the neuroscience of substance use disorders. Although she is interested in several topics in medicine and psychiatry, with a particular focus on substance use disorders, obesity, eating disorders, and chronic pain, her primary career goal is to help promote recovery and wellbeing for people with a range of mental health challenges.

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Disclaimer

AddictedRecovery aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use disorder and mental health issues. Our team of licensed medical professionals research, edit and review the content before publishing. However, this information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For medical advice please consult your physicians or ChoicePoint’s qualified staff.

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