Subutex and Suboxone: What’s the Difference?

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Subutex and Suboxone are two brand name medications containing buprenorphine. However, there are some differences between these drugs. Call 800-584-3274 now if you or someone you love is struggling with a buprenorphine addiction and needs help.

What Are Subutex and Suboxone?

Subutex and Suboxone were both released in 2002 to treat opioid addiction and dependence. While Subutex was formulated first, both drugs were found to be effective for this purpose and put on the market.

Subutex and Suboxone

Both Subutex and Suboxone can help you overcome opioid addiction.

  • Subutex only contains buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist that can be taken as a maintenance drug by those who need long-term treatment or can be tapered slowly for those who simply need to put an end to their dependence on opioids. Subutex is a sublingual tablet.
  • Suboxone contains both buprenorphine and naloxone. The second drug is an opioid antagonist that is meant to protect the drug from abuse. If an individual attempts to crush and snort the medication, withdrawal symptoms will come on immediately. According to the National Library of Medicine, Suboxone is a sublingual film rather than a tablet.

Which Medication Is Better?

Both Subutex and Suboxone have been found to be effective for the treatment of opioid addiction and dependence. In addition, one drug may be better for certain individuals at certain times in their recoveries. For example, a patient may begin taking just buprenorphine (in the form of Subutex) early on in their recovery and during their acute withdrawal symptoms. They may later begin taking Suboxone once they are more stabilized.

The biggest difference between these two drugs is their potential for abuse. Buprenorphine itself has a ceiling effect that keeps it from potentially causing serious overdose symptoms in those who abuse it, and because the drug is weaker than methadone, it has a lower potential for abuse. But this does not stop individuals from misusing the medication altogether.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Naloxone is added to buprenorphine to decrease the likelihood of diversion and misuse.” Suboxone has another safeguard put into place to keep the medication from being misused. This is especially important in the case of certain individuals who would be much more likely to misuse their medication and who need to be protected from this potential outcome.

Pros of Choosing Buprenorphine Over Methadone for Heroin Addiction Treatment

Which Is More Popular?

Because of its additional safeguards and because it is often the medication prescribed to treat individuals in long-term maintenance programs, Suboxone is more popular. In addition, the sublingual tablet and brand name medication Zubsolv is actually utilized more often today than Subutex. However, every individual patient is different and has different needs for their opioid dependence and addiction treatment, and this should always be taken into account.

Where Can I Get Suboxone or Subutex?

Call 800-584-3274 today for help finding safe, affordable, and reliable rehab programs where you can begin your recovery from opioid abuse. Don’t wait; it is never too early to begin your journey of recovery and put an end to your substance abuse.


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