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Subutex Vs Suboxone: What’s The Difference?

Subutex vs. suboxone

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If you are also among those who are searching for Suboxone Vs Subutex then this blog can help. To know the difference between Subutex and suboxone, one must understand the major variation between buprenorphine and methadone. Before the year 2000, methadone was used for treating opium addiction. And after that, in the year 2000, buprenorphine was approved by FDA for the treatment of opioid use disorder.

However, Subutex and suboxone are the medications approved by the FDA to treat opium addicts. Both substances are scientifically proven to be effective in decreasing cravings for opium and defeating the withdrawal symptoms

The main difference is that Subutex contains buprenorphine while suboxone contains buprenorphine with naloxone.

Subutex Vs. Suboxone: How Do They Work?

Subutex and suboxone are the medications approved in 2000 by the FDA to treat opioid use disorder. Subutex is a brand name for a drug called buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that helps alleviate withdrawal symptoms without causing any intoxication. The Subutex tablets are sublingual and help easily treat OUD(opioid use disorder).  Also, Subutex contains buprenorphine hydrochloride as an active ingredient which can be utilized in the induction phase of treatment. Furthermore, buprenorphine, an opioid agonist, partially combines with the receptors and is unable to fully block the effects of the opioid. It can neither block all the opioid effects nor can the effects be reversed.

Now let’s talk about suboxone. What is that? And how is it different from Subutex? Subutex and suboxone might not seem different, but there is a major difference between both of them, and that is due to the presence of naloxone. Yes, you heard it right. Suboxone contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that, when combined with opioid receptors in the brain, blocks the effect of opioids. It also can reverse the effects of opioids which is why it’s induced only in an emergency for individuals with opioid overdose. Although, people taking suboxone may not experience the same thing as those who are given naloxone directly. And that’s because suboxone also contains buprenorphine.

If you or someone you know is looking for suboxone clinics, feel free to contact us. Our team of experts will organize a suboxone clinic near you.

What Is Subutex Used For?

If you want to know what is Subutex vs. suboxone then you need to understand that the active ingredient buprenorphine, which is present in Subutex, is used to treat opioid addiction. It is used in a way that it tricks the receptor in the brain that an opioid has been combined with it, and it doesn’t harm the people as the other drugs would. This method makes the receptors in the brain help prevent withdrawal symptoms.

What Is Suboxone Used For?

Suboxone is the combo of buprenorphine and naloxone. Naloxone is the major antagonist, which brings variation between Subutex and suboxone. And most importantly, it is used for short-acting opioids such as heroin and painkillers. 

The first and foremost step of suboxone intake includes the withdrawal of its potentially dangerous symptoms. It helps to relieve the withdrawal symptoms completely, and then the person is moved from the withdrawal phase to the maintenance phase. And once the duration of treatment is finished, the doctor may reduce the dosage until the individual is fully recovered and no longer needs the medication.

Side Effects Of Subutex Vs. Suboxone:

People search for Subutex vs. suboxone because they need to know which one has fewer side effects. Subutex side effects can range from mild to severe. Some of the following side effects are;

  • Headache
  • Stomach pain & Diarrhea
  • Constipation & Chills
  • Vomiting & Nausea
  • Profuse sweating
  • Weakness & Anxiety
  • Backache
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Cough
  • Watery eyes
  • Nervousness 

To be concise, individuals on Subutex do not face any severe symptoms. But if they do, they should immediately consult a healthcare specialist.

What Side Effects Does Suboxone Have?

The suboxone side effects can vary from mild to severe. However, side effects caused due to this medication go away within a few days or weeks. The most common symptoms include;

  •  Mouth pain & redness 
  •  Numbness of mouth
  •  Headache & Dizziness 
  •  Drowsiness 
  •  Insomnia 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Constipation 
  • Fainting & Vomiting 
  • Unable to focus or concentrate on anything.

The possible side effects of this medication can be dependence and tolerance. Many people get used to the relaxation that suboxone dosage causes, leading to drug addiction.

Subutex Withdrawal Timeline & Its Symptoms:

Symptoms of Subutex are somewhat similar to other opioids and can cause severe withdrawal symptoms if not used as prescribed by your Subutex doctor. The withdrawal symptoms appear within 48 hours after the last dose and can last up to almost ten days.

The symptoms of Subutex withdrawal differ from one person to another depending on certain factors, i-e;

  • Length of the use
  • Frequency of use 
  • Specific dose taken

Some symptoms include muscle cramps, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, yawning, fever, sweating, anxiety, insomnia, cravings, and depression.

Suboxone Withdrawal Timeline & Its Symptoms:

Generally, the withdrawal symptoms are the worst in the first 72 hours. After the last dose, withdrawal begins and reaches its peak phase within 3 to 5 days and is resolved within seven days. 

  • In the first week after discontinuation of the medication, insomnia, and mood swings occur; in the second week, depression is the most severe symptom.
  •  And after one month, intense cravings are experienced. In addition to this, the detoxification must be started only according to the prescription of a doctor.
  • The withdrawal symptoms of suboxone include nausea, vomiting, insomnia, indigestion, fatigue, fever, sweating, chills, trouble in concentrating, and cravings.

Subutex Overdose Effects:

It is said that excess of everything is bad. So, when Subutex is taken in excess, it causes several disruptions in the body, which leads to some severe symptoms. The symptoms include;

  •   Extreme drowsiness & Dizziness 
  •   Blurred vision 
  •   Out-of-control body movements 
  •   Moist & cold skin
  •   Weak pulse 
  •   Seizures
  •   Coma & Death

The symptoms of a medication overdose should not be taken lightly, and the user should be taken to a health professional immediately.

Side Effects Of Suboxone Overdose:

Overdose of suboxone will affect the individual the same way as the other drugs do. Opioid drugs depress the central nervous system, which reduces the supply of oxygen to the bloodstream. This eventually leads to trouble breathing and becomes unconscious, and dies. At the end stage of suboxone overconsumption, the user collapses and dies. The symptoms that begin to appear after the medication’s overdose include;

  • Trouble in breathing
  •  Abdominal pain
  •  Extremely bad memory
  •  Sleepiness & Dizziness
  •  Seizures
  •  Extremely slowed heartbeat
  •  Coma & Death

The symptoms of the overdose should not be ignored because suboxone overconsumption can be very severe and lead the user to death. An immediate approach to the doctor should be made.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. How long does suboxone block opiates?

If we talk about suboxone; it has a longer half-life as compared to other opiates that stay for a couple of hours in the body. The buprenorphine present in suboxone can last for about 37 hours in the body and can block the effect of other opiates and help in relieving the withdrawal symptoms if taken according to the doctor’s prescription. 

  1. How long does suboxone last?

You are among many people who search for Subutex vs. suboxone. The suboxone tablet, when taken, starts to work around 30 to 60 minutes, and then it can last up to 3 days.

  1. What does suboxone look like?

The suboxone tablet is rectangular in shape, orange in color, and has a film imprinted with N2 on it. 

  1. How long does it take for suboxone to kick in?

Well, suboxone comes into action and performs as soon as it is completely dissolved. It takes up to 20 to 45 minutes to show its magic inside the body.

  1. How long does Subutex stay in your system?

According to the experts, buprenorphine present in Subutex can be detected in urine up to 6 days after the last dosage.

  1. What does Subutex look like?

Subutex pills can be recognized through their white color, oval shape, and the letter B present on them alongside a number that describes the dose.

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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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