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How Long Does Suboxone Stay In Your System?


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Suboxone is a drug used to treat opioid addiction. It stays in the body for 12-24 hours and is detected in the urine even two weeks after the last dose.

The United States is in the middle of an opioid crisis. The ratio of deaths due to drugs overdose is far more than the accidental deaths or deaths due to health problems. According to a survey, opioid drug addiction has surpassed the death rates of Human Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV) deaths. 

Opioid addiction is increasing yearly. According to recent reports, 4.3 million people in the United States abuse opioid prescriptions. Here is the information shared by AddictedRecovery‘s top-notch experts related to suboxone(opioid antagonist)  and how long suboxone stays in our system. Let’s dive in:

What is Suboxone?

It is a prescription medication approved by FDA used to recover from opioid addiction. Suboxone is composed of two drugs, buprenorphine, and naloxone. It helps reduce the effect of addictive opioids like heroin, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and oxycodone. Suboxone is available in the form of tablets and sublingual film strips. Getting suboxone doctors near me can be difficult but AddictedRecovery can help!

How does Suboxone work?

Suboxone begins its effect within 20 minutes after the ingestion. In order to understand the mode of action of suboxone, it is essential to understand the opioid effect. This effect occurs when a drug activates pain-blocking receptors in your brain, altering pain perception and releasing substances that mimic pleasure. 

Three classes of opioids:

Agonists: Activates a few receptors in your brain and results in the full opioid effect. The larger the dose, the more is the effect. Opioids, heroin, and morphine are agonists.

Partial Agonists: Activates the receptors in the brain but less than a full agonist. Buprenorphine is a partial agonist.

Antagonist: Attaches to opioid receptors but doesn’t activate them and causes blocking of the receptors. As a result, there is no release of substances that induce pleasure.

Buprenorphine is a partial agonist medication that activates opioid receptors. Its effect is similar to heroin and other opioids but is much weaker. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that works by blocking opioid receptors. 

How long does Suboxone stay in the system: 

Various factors determine how long suboxone stays in our system. But the critical factor is the half-life. It is a time when half of the drug eliminates from the body. The main constituent of Suboxone, buprenorphine, has a half-life of 24 to 48 hours. It takes almost four to five half-lives of the drug to be removed entirely from the body.

During the metabolism of buprenorphine in the liver, it converts into its metabolite, norbuprenorphine, that can stay even longer in the body, i.e., up to 14 days. 

Naloxone has a half-life of 2-12 hours which means it stays in the body for about 60 hours.

Factors Influencing How long does Suboxone Stay in the system:

On average, suboxone requires almost nine days to eliminate from the body. But it varies from person to person. Some factors affecting the drug stay in the body are:

Body Fat: Obesity causes the drug to stay longer than the persons with less weight and average physique.

Age: Suboxone metabolizes more slowly in aged persons than the younger ones.

Dosage and Frequency of use: The more the dosage and the frequency of the drug usage, the longer is the stay in the body.

Liver health: Individuals with the affected liver have a slow metabolism, and thus the drug leaves the body slowly.

Interaction with the other drugs: The metabolism of suboxone is affected when you take it with other medications. It will stay longer in the body than the standard duration.

How Long Suboxone Stays in Urine: 

The most common type of drug test used to detect suboxone is urine. It is a widely used lab test as it is affordable, easy to perform, and non-invasive. Suboxone is detectable in the urine after 40 minutes of ingestion. But the amount of medicine that remains detectable is different for every individual.

For someone who has taken suboxone for the first time, it remains for at least eight days in the body. And the individuals taking the higher doses frequently are detected with the metabolites up to two weeks after the last dose.

How Long Suboxone Stays in the Blood:

The blood test is expensive and invasive, thus performed less frequently. However, suboxone is detected in the blood for up to 96 hours from the last dose. 

How Long Suboxone Stays in the Saliva:

It is a non-invasive, fast, accurate, and less expensive procedure. So many individuals prefer saliva over a blood test. Suboxone is present in the saliva for five days after the last dose. There are two methods of detecting suboxone, either under the tongue or through intravenous injection. Suboxone under the tongue is far more convenient to see than the drug in the veins.

How Long Suboxone Stays in the Hair Follicle:

Suboxone can also be detectable in hair follicles. This drug test has a longer detection window( duration of the drug to stay in the body) than the other tests. The drug is present in hair follicles for three months after the last ingestion.

Symptoms of Suboxone Overdose:

There are various symptoms to detect buprenorphine overdose. Some of these include:

  • Dizziness
  • Blurred Vision
  • Shallow Breathing
  • Drowsiness
  • Pinpoint pupils

Drug Interactions:

Many drug interactions can occur while taking suboxone and cause fatal reactions. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking medicine. It may cause a severe reaction. Always use the prescribed medications by doctors and physicians. Don’t take over-the-counter drugs without any consultation.

Getting Treatment for Suboxone Abuse:

Suppose you or your loved ones are struggling with dependence or addiction to suboxone. Remember, it’s never too late to ask for help. First of all, keep reminding yourself that suboxone is unhealthy. It is the most crucial step.

Although Suboxone is used to treat opioid addiction, individuals sometimes get addicted to it. You should always prefer using the prescribed doses of the drug. Never use the drug without the consultation of your doctor. If anything goes wrong, immediately contact your physician and seek help.

The treatment varies from person to person, but mainly it includes detoxification, medical counseling, and addiction therapy. The aim is to teach you how to cope with routine life and daily chores after leaving the treatment room.


Addiction to any drug is a heavy burden. Suboxone addiction and rehabilitation come with many obstacles. However, recovery is possible with safe and accurate detoxification. And controlling the withdrawal symptoms can build a foundation for a successful recovery. Finding effective and comprehensive care can develop healthier habits and lead you to a journey full of life. 


  • How to take Suboxone?

SUBOXONE FILM should be held between 2 fingers by the film’s outside edges and taken sublingually.  You place the film under your tongue or inside either cheek and allow it to dissolve, which may take between 4 and 8 minutes.

  • How to take emergency Suboxone?

Depending on the State’s laws and the emergency room’s policy, some emergency rooms will dispense short supplies (1-3 days worth) of Suboxone until a patient confirms an appointment with their provider.

  • How long does Suboxone stay in your urine?

The most common type of drug test used to detect suboxone is urine. It is a widely used lab test. Suboxone is detectable in the urine after 40 minutes of ingestion.  But the amount of medicine that remains detectable is different for every individual

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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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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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