Suboxone FAQ / Subutex FAQ

DISCLAIMER: The information detailed in this article is not medical advice, nor written by medical professionals. Before making any medical decisions, it is imperative to confer with a licensed medical professional. If you have comments, suggestions, or find an error, please feel free to leave feedback using the comments section at the bottom of this page.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. What is Suboxone/Subutex?
  2. How long do I have to wait before taking Suboxone or Subutex?
  3. How is Suboxone taken?
  4. What are some possible side effects of Suboxone and Subutex?
  5. What is precipitated withdrawal?
  6. What are the different stages of Suboxone treatment?
  7. Which is a better treatment for opioid addiction, Suboxone or methadone?
  8. Can a patient on methadone safely switch to Suboxone?
  9. How do I find a doctor that can prescribe Suboxone?
  10. What is the maximum number of patients a doctor may have at any one time?
  11. Is Suboxone addictive?
  12. How long after stopping Suboxone does one have to wait before narcotic painkillers become effective?
  13. Sources
  14. Comments

Terms to Know

  • affinity — the strength with which a drug binds to its receptor
  • intrinsic activity — the degree to which a drug activates its receptors
  • rate of dissociation — measure of disengagement or uncoupling of the drug from the receptor

What is Suboxone/Subutex?

Suboxone®, manufactured by Reckitt Benckiser, is the first opioid substitution treatment available without the hassle involved with going to a methadone clinic everyday or even weekly. The two active ingredients in Suboxone® are buprenorphine hydrochloride, and naloxone hydrochloride dihydrate. Subutex® has only buprenorphine as an active ingredient. Suboxone® and Subutex® are available in the following formulations:

BUPRENORPHINE
NALOXONE
IMPRINT
COLOR / SHAPE
PICTURE
Suboxone®
2 mg
0.5 mg
N2
Orange / Hexagonal
8 mg
2 mg
N8
Orange / Hexagonal
Subutex®
2 mg
B2
White / Oval
8 mg
B8
White / Oval

In a study involving 220 patients, 16-32 mg of Suboxone proved to be just as effective as high-dose methadone, and more effective than low dose methadone as treatment for opioid dependency. Typical starting dosages range from 8 mg to 32 mg per day; however, some patients believe that it is better to start as low as 2 mg. Buprenorphine is only a partial agonist at the opioid receptors, thereby lowering abuse potential. While a small amount of euphoria may be experienced in some patients, buprenorphine will never provide the same degree of intensity as a full opioid agonist (e.g. heroin, oxycodone, morphine). Because buprenorphine possess the quality of being a partial agonist, it shows a ceiling effect. This means there is a point at which buprenorphine will not increase in effectiveness, despite taking more.

How long do I have to wait before taking Suboxone or Subutex?

If Suboxone is procured legally through a doctor, the prescribing physician will almost always ask that the patient be in mild-to-moderate withdrawal during induction. For short-acting opioids, like heroin and oxycodone, withdrawal takes anywhere from 24-36 hours to kick in. When switching from a longer-acting opioid like methadone, the situation becomes a bit more complicated. The typical scenario goes something like this: (1) taper down to 30 mg methadone per day, (2) wait three days before being inducted. Transferring from methadone to Suboxone is something that has to be discussed with a doctor because it is very easy to precipiate withdrawal if the transfer is not done correctly.

“Why does the patient have to be in withdrawal when he/she comes in?”

If there are high levels of another opioid in the body, Suboxone will, in a sense, compete with the other opioid molecules, and knock them off the receptors. This occurs because buprenorphine has an extremely high binding affinity for the opioid receptors. If this happens, the patient will be thrown into precipitated withdrawal, which is extremely unpleasant, and can last a significant period of time.

“Wait, the opioid molecules that are being replaced are being replaced with another opioid, buprenorphine, so shouldn’t that still quell withdrawal symptoms?”

Buprenorphine is only a partial opioid agonist, therefore, it has less opioid effects than those of a full agonist (e.g. morphine, heroin, oxycodone). If the patient is already in withdrawal when the first dose is taken, he/she will feel better not worse.

How is Suboxone taken?

Sublingual tablets are absorbed through veins under the tongue. Before taking Suboxone, it is a good idea to drink a little water to moisten the mouth, which helps the tablets dissolve easier, and faster. If the doctor prescribes two tablets, put one on the left side under the tongue, and put the other on the right side under the tongue. If more than two are prescribed, Reckitt Benckiser, the makers of Suboxone, recommends waiting until after the first two dissolve to take the rest. It generally takes about 10 minutes for a tablet to dissolve, though it can range anywhere from 5-20 minutes. Some patients have reported holding the “juices” in their mouth for as long as 45 minutes can increase effectiveness. Try not to talk while taking Suboxone, as this can interfere with how well it is absorbed. It is important that Suboxone be taken correctly for it to work, and if a patient does not follow directions he/she may end up feeling sick. The following is a list of ways NOT to take Suboxone:

  • Never swallow the tablet — the reason Suboxone is prescribed as a sublingual tablet is because barely any buprenorphine is absorbed orally. Swallowing the tablet will render Suboxone ineffective.
  • Never suck on the tablet — for the same reason a patient does not swallow the tablet, the patient does not suck on the tablet.
  • Never snort a tablet — although intranasal buprenorphine may work, this method does not work as well as taking the tablet sublingually. Snorting anything is counter-productive to recovery, and only reinforces bad habits. Also, snorting any pill can cause severe damage to the lungs, which most people forget about.
  • Never shoot a tablet — in opioid-dependent individuals, shooting a tablet can cause precipitated withdrawal. Most doctors do not like prescribing Subutex because of the fear that people will try to inject them. The naloxone is present in Suboxone as a deterrent. Shooting any pharmaceutical not specifically prepared for injection can cause serious complications, including death. Don’t do it.

What are some possible side effects of Suboxone and Subutex?

The most common reported side effects of Subutex and Suboxone are:[2]

  • cold or flu-like symptoms
  • headaches
  • sweating
  • sleeping difficulties
  • nausea
  • mood swings

Those side effects do not sound too inviting, do they? I think these are primarily experienced during the induction period, as the body becomes accustomed to buprenorphine, rather than a full agonist. From what I have seen, most people who have become stabilized on Suboxone report very little to no side effects, and those that do report adverse reactions usually only experience trouble sleeping, sweating, and headaches. Other side effects include respiratory depression (as with all opioids), constipation, anxiety, depression, pain, and dizziness. For a full list of side effects, please refer to the prescribing information [PDF] or package insert.

What is precipitated withdrawal?

Precipitated withdrawal can occur when a person who is physically dependent on opioids is administered an opioid antagonist or a partial agonist. In those not physically dependent on opioids, an antagonist typically produces no effects, while a partial agonist would. Depending on the half-life of the antagonist or partial agonist used, the qualitative effects of precipitated withdrawal, when compared with the experience of a typical withdrawal syndrome, are often shorter lived but with a faster onset. It is quite easy to imagine why an antagonist would cause precipitated withdrawal. The antagonist has a very high binding affinity for the opioid receptors, so it displaces any full agonist opioids already present and blocks any molecules from binding for a given period of time (depending on the half-life of the antagonist). Because antagonists block the effects of opioid receptors instead of activating them, there is a drastic reduction in the previous agonist effect, resulting in agonizing withdrawal.

Partial agonists can cause precipitated withdrawal, but the concept is a little more complicated than that of an antagonist causing precipitated withdrawal. If an individual who is physically dependent upon opioids receives a dose of a partial agonist too soon after his or her last dose of a full opioid agonist, precipiated withdrawal occurs. Buprenorphine has a high binding affinity for the mu-opioid receptor, but because of its partial agonist properties, it has low intrinsic activity at that receptor (less opioid-like effects and ceiling effect). If there are full opioid agonist molecules still attached to the opioid receptors at the time of administration, the buprenorphine will displace the full agonist. Though partial agonists do activate opioid receptors, the overall effect is much less than that of a full agonist. This decrease in agonist effect can cause precipitated withdrawal. For this reason, buprenorphine is typically only given when the person physically dependent on opioids is in full-fledged withdrawal.

What are the different stages of Suboxone treatment?

Suboxone treatment should never be used by itself. It is not a cure, but rather a treatment. When used concurrently with some sort of therapy, the success rate is much higher. Suboxone treatment really beings with a phone call called the pretreatment screening; this consists of a brief interview to qualify the person, and a date may be set for intake and induction. Intake is the gathering of medical records to measure suitability for office-based treatment. If the physician feels it is necessary, he or she may perform a physical exam. At this point, the advantages and disadvantages of treatment are discussed, and any questions the patient has are answered. The next step after intake is induction. The goal of induction is to find a dose of Suboxone at which the patient feels comfortable, and withdrawal is suppressed.[3]

Once the patient becomes accustomed to their daily dose of Suboxone, he/she enters the stage of stabilization. At this point, the patient is not feeling any withdrawal symptoms or side effects, has no uncontrollable cravings for opioids, and is not using any additional opioids. During the maintenance phase, which can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few years, the patient is monitored less often, withdrawal symptoms are prevented, cravings are still suppressed, and the need to self-administer opioids is lowered greatly. The next stage is a medically-supervised withdrawal where the patient is slowly tapered off of Suboxone. Only mild withdrawal is felt if the drug is tapered correctly. Either way, the patient should be prepared to have some symptoms of withdrawal, which may include fatigue, reduced appetite, insomnia, and irritability.[3]

Which is a better treatment for opioid addiction, Suboxone or methadone?

Each person differs in what he/she requires as far as treatment in concerned because varying factors such as body chemistry, size of habit, duration of addiction, finances, etc. To help addicts find the right treatment plan, TPC! has put together a side-by-side comparison of Suboxone and methadone. Remember, Suboxone or methadone by themselves should not be considered complete treatment plans, but instead part of a comprehensive plan which leaves no aspect of opioid addiction untended. A link is provided below:

Suboxone vs. Methadone

Can a patient on methadone safely switch to Suboxone?

It is possible for a patient on methadone to switch to Suboxone; however, the difference between the two drugs may cause the former methadone-treated patient to feel unsatisfied, though there have been many successful cases noted. Methadone, being a full-opioid agonist, is more similar to heroin and oxycodone than buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is a partial-opioid agonist, which means it does not provide the same intense release of painkilling chemicals that full agonists provide. As a full agonist, methadone is also more likely to give a patient euphoria.

Because of methadone’s long half-life, it is required that the patient being inducted into Suboxone treatment be at least 72 hours without methadone. If Suboxone is taken prematurely it could cause precipitated withdrawal, a very unpleasant experience. It is important that the patient also be down to 20-30 mg of methadone before making the switch to buprenorphine. A switch should not be attempted with anyone taking over 30 mg of methadone. It is probable that the patient will experience discomfort during the first 3-5 days while his or her body becomes accustomed to buprenorphine, though it is typically fairly mild.

How do I find a doctor that can prescribe Suboxone?

Not all doctors can prescribe Suboxone because it requires special certification. If a doctor wants to be able to prescribe Suboxone, he/she must (1) send a letter of intent to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, (2) be qualified, and (3) take a special course to learn about Suboxone. Many patients believe their doctors are largely uneducated on the subject. Although every doctor must meet certain criteria, many doctors do not seem to understand addiction or how Suboxone can be used effectively. The qualifications, as taken from SUBOXONE.COM, are listed below:

According to DATA 2000, licensed physicians (MDs or DOs) are considered qualified to prescribe SUBOXONE, if at least 1 of the following criteria has been met:

  • Holds an addiction psychiatry subspecialty board certification from the American Board of Medical Specialties
  • Holds an addiction medicine certification from the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
  • Holds an addiction medicine subspecialty board certification from the American Osteopathic Association (AOA)
  • Completion of not less than 8 hours of authorized training on the treatment or management of opioid-dependent patients
  • Organizations currently authorized to provide training: American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, American Medical Association, AOA (through the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine), American Psychiatric Association, and ASAM
  • Participation as an investigator in 1 or more clinical trials leading to the approval of SUBOXONE
  • Training or other such experience as determined by the physician’s state medical licensing board
  • Training or other such experience as determined by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services

In addition, physicians must satisfy BOTH of the following criteria:

  • Have the capacity to provide or to refer patients for necessary ancillary services, such as psychosocial therapy
  • Agree to treat no more than 30 patients at any one time in an individual or group practice

Finding the right doctor can be a bit hard sometimes. It is very important that the patient be comfortable, and compatible with the doctor. Some of the doctors listed at the site below will not prescribe Suboxone to anyone, or are part of pain management or a clinic, so it may take some looking before the right one is found. The Buprenorphine Physician and Treatment Program Locator is very easy to use, and has an interactive map of the United States to help anyone looking find a doctor. Also, anyone can put their name on a waiting list if a doctor is at full capacity, so that when a spot frees up, he/she gets an e-mail; however, this is largely unnecessary because the patient limit was recently increased from 30 to 100. It should be fairly easy to find a doctor. Below is a link:

The Buprenorphine Physician and Treatment Program Locator

What is the maximum number of patients a doctor may have at any one time?

In December 2006, DATA 2000 was amended, giving Suboxone-certified doctors the ability to treat up to 100 patients; however, for the first year a doctor can only treat 30 patients at any one time. One year after the original letter of intention to treat patients using buprenorphine was submitted, the physician may submit a second notification of the need and intent to treat up to 100 patients.[4]

Is Suboxone addictive?

Yes. The active ingredient in Suboxone that keeps withdrawal at bay is buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist. Buprenorphine has an extremely high binding affinity to opioid receptors in the brain, but because it is only a partial agonist, full effects, as produced by full agonists (e.g. oxycodone, heroin), are not present. Many people are grossly misinformed about the addictive nature of buprenorphine, and claim that there is no withdrawal syndrome, which is incorrect; however, because of its long half-life and partial agonist properties, the withdrawal is longer, but milder than that of full agonists. Some people have horror stories of their attempts to get off of Suboxone, but most of them come from people who did not taper properly. The bottom line is Suboxone is addictive, and eventually some withdrawal has to be dealt with. Suboxone will soften the fall, and withdrawal from it is certainly not as bad as withdrawal from oxycodone or heroin.

How long after stopping Suboxone does one have to wait before narcotic painkillers become effective?

Suboxone can block opioids for three days, and for individuals on high doses (>16 mg) it may be longer. An individual taking 24 mg for a few days indicated it took 5-6 days before he felt the full effects of the full agonist, oxycodone. It takes 37 hours for half of the buprenorphine in the body to be eliminated. Because of the long half-life of buprenorphine, the drug builds up in the body each day, which is part of the reason it could take a bit more than a day or two for other opioid anagesics to be effective. In summary, the factors that determine the effectiveness of opioids are dosage, frequency of use, length of time using, and individual body chemistry and metabolism.

After doing a bit of research and talking to drug users who have been in this situation, 72 hours seems to be the general consensus. Some people indicated feeling the effects after just 24-36 hours, and others said they felt a fraction of the full effects. Please understand, after taking Suboxone for a given period of time, tolerance may be significantly lower, so do not overdo it. Also, it is important to remember that even though the effects not be felt after 24 hours, it is very possible to overdose. It is impossible to monitor how the body is handling the mixture of buprenorphine and another opioid when it can barely be felt. Always consult a doctor before switching medications.

Sources

[1] Johnson, R.E., et al. A comparison of levomethadyl acetate, buprenorphine, and methadone for opioid dependence. New England Journal of Medicine 343(18):1290-1297, 2000. [Abstract]

[2] Subutex and Suboxone: Questions and Answers. FDA/Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. October 8, 2002. [link]

[3] SUBOXONE Treatment Walk-through. Subxone.com. Reckitt Benckiser. 2007. Accessed: April 23, 2007 [link]

[4] Buprenorphine-Frequently Asked Questions. Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration. US Dept. of Health and Human Services. 2007. Accessed: April 25, 2007 [link]

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36 thoughts on “Suboxone FAQ / Subutex FAQ

  • Just to clarify : my Dr has me on 2mg four times a day along with the max dose of Suboxone of 32mg a day. Sorry for the confusion….

  • Hi everyone! This is my first post on this site,.and I just need some opinions. I have been on Suboxone for about a year. I also have been diagnosed with agoraphobia, severe generalized anxiety disorder and suffer from severe panic attacks. My opiate of choice was oxycodone 10/325. My sister overdosed on those along with a whole lot of Benzos. My problem is Suboxone makes my anxiety so bad that my Dr is also prescribing me Klonopin 2 32mg mg four times a day! Along with 32mg day of Suboxone I am a bit worried that I’m on too much. My question is : does anyone else out there have to have a high dose of a Benzo along with the max dose of Suboxone?

  • I have taken suboxone in the past to get off roxys. I bought 3 8Mg strips. I took 1 the first day the second i cut 1in half and did half the second day and half the 3rd day. I did the same thing day 4 and by day 5 i no longer needed the last half. I stayed clean a couple months and went back to the opiates. This time i switched to hydromorphone (dilaudid). Ive bren back on them for over a year. Now i bought 2 strips and 2 pills. I did my last 2 pills last night, woke up early for a job interview and took a whole strip. After my interview, i went to town and boight another k8 (dilaudid). NOTE. i took the suboxone around 9 or 930 am. Anyways, i come home and wait and wait some more deeply regreting taking the suboxone because i wanted that k8 in my veins soooo bad. Finally, at about quarter to 5, just a few minutes ago, i couldnt take it anymore, hence “addicted”, so i put 1/2 of my little peice of heaven into my spoon, drawed it up and did it. I got a rush, although not as strong as usual, it worked. I am 130 lbs, 5’5″ and the suboxone has been in my system for roughly 8 hours. I dont know if my experience can give anyone clarity, but i dont feel sick and i DO feel the opiates. Im struggling with my addiction because its hard work finding pills sometimes. I know i will get off them…again, but living in THE pill mill state, its only a matter of time before i will be back to playin arm darts after i get clean. Btw F%#k FLORIDA! moving to Florida is what got me addicted in the first place, and yes i, know i should relocate but unless your putting money in my pocket, i think you should leave those opinions to yourselves. Thank you, and i hope this helps someone.
    ADDICTED FOR LIFE

  • i have a lot of medical problems that cause wide spread pain some days i can hardly walk in 2008 i was released from prison and was prescribed 8,7.5 vicodin so that give u a idea about my pain. prison dont give out pain pills very easy anyway i left with 240 and two weeks later i was out and sick my daughter got me set up on a suboxen program, i thought this is great its like the wheel all my years of pill abuse and then herion the only good thing i can say is since sub mait pro. i havent been the devil and no jail,but i live with ex pain daily and all the subs do is keep me from sickness im traped and hate it

  • i was wondering if anyone can help answer this . Several times i would not take my subs for 24 hrs then go on a3 day oxyicotin treat taking 3 40mg tablets po tid by the, ON 3rd day the night before i went to bed ,I will take a suboxen and i find i get acrazy energy rush high , higher then the oc”s I did not plan this I was very surprised and had energy till sunrise ayone eles every have this strange thing happen???? OR WHY

  • Wo wo to Dennis at the top of the page. No disrespect but definitely shouldn’t be saying it’s ok to take suboxen right after opiates. You have obviously never experienced precipitated withdrawal. It is the absolute worst. When you are in pw you rather have someone cut off your fingers.. It’s withdrawal at 100 mph.. Definitely do not take suboxen less than 24 hours preceeding opiates or you,ll be in a nightmare you can’t wake up from. Not sure if your habit just isn’t that big maybe but definite no no I can tell you that.

  • I’ve been a user for about 5 yeArs and many a to
    E have taken 4 to6 mg of subutex in the early am and by noon when I could score do my normal 1 and a half roxi 30 so 45 mg u Can do this with subutex but u must wait longer if it is suboxone they are two different drugs

  • i have a problem, my problem is i have been taking suboxone for a year, im on 12mg a day, im so thankful to not be out trying to score everyday and i have a whole new life. im just not able to function because im so depressed, i cant stand it, ive gained sixty pounds, i have constant head aches and im always “sick” or just feeling down..i know its depression. im edgy all the time and cant even enjoy my kids. i tell my dr who has no bed side manner at all and he just prescribes anit depressants which for me just makes me crazy. i want to be put on the subutex. i was reading someones post about how aweful they felt on suboxone and they went to taking subutex and got their life back and i cried..i bawled and bawled reading their message because i feel hopeless. i used to run three miles a day and now i dont enjoy running, dont enjoy sex, i dont enjoy life period..mainly because i never ever feel well…ive tried quitting suboxone..that didnt work because i felt miserable there too. its a no win situation..i hate myself for getting into this situaiton…anyone have any ideas? my doctor wont even talk to me..if i start taking subutex on the sly will it show up in my drug test? and how long should i wait before switching from suboxone to subutex? will i withdrawal if i switch right away?

  • Not bragging when I say this information but I would like to point out some flaws I’ve found with suboxone. I’ve been addicted to 10mg / 650 lortabs for about 3 years (physically addicted that is), and I started taking suboxone. I can do well on suboxone but suboxone without a benzo is nothing so when I run out of my benzo’s i usually fall off. Anyways, I’ve taken hydrocodone with suboxone and suboxone after taking a handfull of hydrocodone, and when I take hydrocodone after taking a suboxone I feel them, and when I take a sub after taking a handful of codone I don’t go into withdrawal. I don’t know about other people but me and everyone I know are like this. So it’s either we’re a weird case or all that crap about it being a high binder is bullcrap. Cause they use to say the same thing about Methadone and I proved that wrong also years ago. Naloxone

  • I was wondering if there is any research regarding the BA of the Suboxone Film. Obviously, they are much more efficient than the tablets since if you take the Tablets as prescribed, sublingally, a good amount is going to leak out and be absorbed in the buccal (mouth, cheek area) as well as some being swallowed and absorbed through the small intestine which would lead to inconsistent dosing. However, on the Suboxone website to watch for overdose when a patient is switching from the tablets to the film. Is it just because the films absorb more efficiently under the tongue or is there actually a greater bioavailability for the film itself? I’ve searched literally everywhere online and haven’t found an answer. I assume intravenously and intraarterially would both be 100% like usual but I’m really interested in finding out if the sublingual ROA is higher in the strips and what the BA of taking it intrarectal?

    Thanks,
    Ryan

  • Hey everyone! I have a question. I have been shooting up a gram of H every 3 days for the past month (before that i was on SUBOXONE) I have replaced now the H. with Morphine Sulphate (skeno) 50 MG twice a day. Now I have some Subutex and I was wondering how long I have to wait to take it after my last dose of MS (skeno).
    thanks sincerly,
    beretta

  • I have been am addict (painkillers) for the better part of 15 years and Suboxone has been a Godsend.
    There are a couple of factors that will influence your success with this drug however:

    1. You have to be ready, willing and dedicated to getting off other drugs. If you are not you are setting yourself up for failure.

    2. You will need a complete change of lifestyle. You will need to stay away from your old “friends” that are still using. They don’t want you to succeed in getting clean because they would be loosing a buddy (customer) to get high with.

    3. Find a NA group and go, share and become engaged. It is amazing how much easier it is when you have other non using addicts for support. This program is a must for anyone that wants to succeed in getting clean.

    4. Do it now! It is so easy as addicts to find a reason to put off getting clean until tomorrow. I know because I’ve been there. We are addicts, we manipulate, lie, cheat and steal to get our drugs. Put that same energy into getting and staying clean and you will not fail.

    5. Do not ever fall for the old “I am better so now I can control my using”. Complete relapse waiting to happen. “1 is too many and a thousand is never enough”. This is a very true statement when you think about it. Don’t let yourself fool yourself because as addicts that it what we do and we are very, very good at it.

    Good Luck!

  • I do have a comment for people who are taking it at night….why would you? The medicine should be taken in the AM and you know you don’t have to take the whole pill right away you can split it up and take it throughout the day.

  • To whoever is worried about taking suboxone/subutex it is the best treatment for opiate addiction EVER! I have been on methadone twice and both times I was below 50mg. So it wasn’t all that horrible when I was detoxing. But for the people who do more than that…IT’S HELL!!! I don’t recommend methadone for anybody unless you wanna be on it for the rest of your life. I’m not sure if alot of people know but the intentions of a methadone clinic is to get the patient to take a higher dose and to keep going up on there dose. How crazy is that?? Why would they want you to be at a higher dose. It’s like they want you to be in treatment forever. That is the honest to God’s truth! My counselor I had is the one who told me that. Anyways back to suboxone/subutex it is the best opiate treatment drug ever. I am prescrbed 1 1/2 pills a day and somedays I can just take a half and I feel amazing. That just tells me this will be so much easier than methadone detox. I also like suboxone because I don’t even feel addicted to anything. For me it’s almost like taking a vitamin everyday. It’s not the medicine thats giving me the energy to get through my day it’s ME, MYSELF, and I. Unlike methadone where you are just buzzed all day and night from it. Suboxone/subutex makes me feel like me, not a methadone zombie. All in all if anyone is looking for advice on whether to take methadone or suboxone go with suboxone!!! I have no regrets, and not one bad thing to say about it.

  • “S ROBERTS”

    You are 100% correct! I used suboxone for just about as long and when coming off, I tapered down very very slowly. That was my “simple” plan. I tapered down over two months until I was literally dissolving pieces the size of bread crumbs under my tongue! Even then I was still feeling miserable!! I stayed home for 2-3 months, depressed like never before, no sleep, and I thought I was insane!! Pulling my hair out, asking God, why I was still suffering? So close to giving in,but after 3 months, I finally made it through. Worst withdrawals/depression I’ve ever gone through and tell everyone to stay away from subOXONE!! Two years later, I tried using subUTEX for my back pain and it’s the best. Finally found a doc who would listen and I’m good. Sure, all opiate based drugs will have some wdrawal, but none as bad as subOXONE!! GOD BLESS.

  • Ally,. tell your doc that you need to go up in your SUB dosage. I’m on 32 mils a day (4 pills). It WILL take the cravings away.

    But get off of it by weaning down slowly after a week or two. In other words,. take it full strength the first week or two to wean off the oxy’s comfortably. Then then next week go to 3 a day,.. then the following week go to 2 and a half a day,.. etc.

    Take it slow. The doc will want you on full strength for like 6 months. But take matters into your own hands and wean off before you get too addicted to the SUBS. Subs are hard to get off of,. but Methadone is THE WORSE! It was a MONTH of w/d symptoms when I couldn’t get my methadone anymore (because I was in jail,. life SUCKED!).

    OH,. and TELL THE DOC YOU WANT THE GENERIC SUBUTEX! IT IS MUCH MUCH CHEAPER! He might not know that they are available yet but they are. You’ll have to call the pharmacy and tell them to get some as they might not know about them yet either. BUT THEY ARE AVAILABLE,. AND IF YOU LOOK AROUND YOU MIGHT FIND A PHARMACY THAT WILL SELL THEM AT $3 APIECE! I DID!

    Good luck. I’m there with you babe. Just started the generic Subs myself.

  • I’ve been using Oxycodone on and off (mostly on) for about 4 years. I’m 22 years old and I feel like my life is a mess. For the past year I have not gone a day without at least 10mg, and unless I take at least 40mg(in 24hours)I can’t function because of withdrawl. I just started Suboxone 12mg 3 days ago. I’ve had some relief from it. I take it at night but by the morning I’m craving again. I don’t know what to do. Do I need a higher dose? Or should I try Methadone? My fear about Methadone is that I will like it too much and never want to quit..or that withdrawl from it will be hell and I’ll just go back to Oxy.

    Any advice?

  • Hi Nicole,

    You can be prescribed an opioid replacement therapy (Suboxone, methadone) whether you were using prescription opioids (OxyContin, Vicodin, etc.) or heroin. Being eligible for opioid replacement therapy only requires that you are addicted to opioids. Out of the two, Suboxone seems to be the most successful treatment. Visit http://www.suboxone.com to find a doctor who can prescribe Suboxone. Good luck!

    Thanks,
    Chris

  • i am addicted to hydrocodone 10mg. i take an average of 3 to 4 a day. i do not have a presription for them. i have been taking them about four years. i want to stop taking them but i can not deal with the withdrawls. i was wondering if your opiod dependence has to be a prescribed medicine to be able to be prescribed methadone or suboxone to help me get off of them? i really need answers.

  • Hi Walker,
    Your daughter doesn’t need the percocets. Unfortunately and I am in healthcare we hand over medication and cater the the pain management side of patient care and not the concern for addiction.
    Once an addict always and addict. She should not be taking them and it is reccomended in rehab that if you do need narcotics after rehab for a procedure or surgery. {not a small car accident}you ask for a prescription for 4 not 40 and you give them to your mate or parents to dispense as needed. You get a support system in place cuz even when you take them legitamately you are still an addict and will still trigger the spiral affect and start up the craving process again. Stand firm. Set your boundries and do what you can but when you have done what you can leave the rest alone. We can make ourselves crazy trying to control and addicts behavior and we can’t anyway.

  • Having sought Suboxone treatment in the Seattle area, I know what you mean when you say that finding a Suboxone-certified doctor might take some work. It took me nearly a month to find a doctor who: a) was accepting new patients, b) had reasonable fees, and c) was reasonably close to where I live. As far as the latter, I still have to travel about 20 miles to get to him, but all in all it’s been worth the effort. Since starting early last month, I have not touched an opiate (nor have I wanted to) — which now is over a month.

    It is worth noting that Suboxone is extremely expensive, and I’m not exactly sure that it’s doable if you don’t have insurance or you aren’t independently wealthy. Besides visiting your Suboxone doctor every week for at least the first month, you have to take into account the wildly expensive prescription. Even with my insurance, the copays were killing me; I can’t imagine having to pay cash for the services. (Example: initial appointment, cash fee, is $212 with this particular doctor; each subsequent appointment is $178, and that is at the lower end of the scale.) The lowest cash price I found for the 8mg/2mg tablets was approximately $5 apiece. If you are taking 3 8mg/2mg tablets like I am, that’s $450 per month.

    But then I consider how much I (and other people I know) spent on drugs in a month, and it’s almost a wash. And getting my life together and back on my feet, that’s priceless. Had I pursued methadone maintenance, I am sure that I would not have gotten as far as I have, because methadone was one of my drugs of choice. As you can see, it’s an individual choice for everyone; Suboxone was the best choice for me considering the circumstances. I hope that this information helps someone make an informed decision.

  • OMG Finally some one who has is going thru exactly what I’m going thru, & or or soon will be. I’ve been on 30-60 mgs of done a day for the last 4 years. Went on suboxone 19 days ago. My ass is absoutely beat. so would like to get back when I haven’t had to go to the hospital & had such a hard day or week. would that be ok? I would like to get off the sub real soon, is that what U did? My Dr is brand new to prescribing sub, So he told me it would be ok to take it the day after my last dose of methadone. That was the beginning of the HELL ride. It didn’t need to be that bad, what’s done is done. I need to focus only on what I am doing Today & from the time forward, to get on with my life.

    How soon could I quit suboxone?
    I’m taking 24-32 Mg daily?
    I went to the Hospital my chest hurt so bad @ 57 it was nessasary to ellimate heartattack
    The reason I ask is, I want to do nothing, once off the suboxone, I would & do expect some medical help to get through w/d from suboxone.
    Would it not be easier to get off the sub sooner than later?
    Thank you I hope U answer this!
    Kelly

  • Walker, yes, this sounds exactly like she is lying if she doesn’t seem like she needs it. I am speaking from experience, I’ve been there before.

  • I went thru a withdrawal program in a hospital under a drs care. I was taking Embeda – a morphine based drug. After a week I was discharged to go home taking 6mg of suboxonen. When I went to get my prescription filled at the drugstore I was informed that my insurance would not pay. I’m on disability so I have medicare & tricare. After talking to my dr he said 99% of his patients have a
    problem getting it approved but they eventally do. My drs office called my ins co. and they said that as of Jan 1, 2010 they would no longer cover the drug. Am waiting to see what drug the dr recommends and whether I have to go back to the hospital for detox. I was on methodone before morphine. What a bummer.

  • Ricky:

    Most of what I have read says, try to hold it in your mouth. It is significanly impaired if ingested. I have only taken 2 so far, after 2+ years of Fentanyl and Percocet. So it’s worth the unpleasant tastes to hold this gunk in your mouth. I’d hold it for 30 minutes if I had too!

  • when the pill is disovling under the tounge, is it safe to swallow “juices”? all the extra saliva and crap from tryin to break down the pill, or are you supposed to hold that in your mouth too?

  • Hi Walker,
    Your daughter doesn’t need the percocets. Unfortunately and I am in healthcare we hand over medication and cater the the pain management side of patient care and not the concern for addiction.
    Once an addict always and addict. She should not be taking them and it is reccomended in rehab that if you do need narcotics after rehab for a procedure or surgery. {not a small car accident}you ask for a prescription for 4 not 40 and you give them to your mate or parents to dispense as needed. You get a support system in place cuz even when you take them legitamately you are still an addict and will still trigger the spiral affect and start up the craving process again. Stand firm. Set your boundries and do what you can but when you have done what you can leave the rest alone. We can make ourselves crazy trying to control and addicts behavior and we can’t anyway.

  • I’ve taken 2-4 mg of sub, and successfully gotten high as little as 4 hours later. Just some info. I know of others that can do the same thing. It is possible, just depends on the amount u take, and metabolism and the like. That is all.

  • Do not believe what the Ben-Kaiser cartel says about suboxone. It is absolute bull********. Suboxone does cause depression. Think about it for a minute. The drug nalaxone has been used in the past only as a way to reverse the effects of opiates in a patient near overdose. That is what is was designed and used for. Your body produces natural endorphines very similar to the effects you get from morphine (opiates) adter a prolonged about of time your natural endorphins start to become depleted by the nalaxone. I experienced this first hand, after takin suboxone for about six months (and experiencing headaches on a daily basis) I started feeling very depressed this lasted until I has my MD to switch me to straight bupe. Even then it took about three weeks for my body to get used to not having the nalaxone I and you become addicted to. Nalaxone is dervied from the thebaine part of the opium plant yes it too is very addictive. Being on subutex now for six months and I no longer need to take antidepressants to feel “normal”. Suboxone has indeed been a miracle drug for the ben-kaiser cartel at 8 dollars a pill. These pigs don’t care about you and your addiction if they did they would be fair in the way they price these drugs. All of you take my advice GET ON GENERIC SUBUTEX!!! If your MD will not prescribe out of fear of reprisals and threats from the cartel, find another one who will. Believe right now the Ben-kaisers are very upset about this new generic subutex. They lied and told my md that generic sub was only to be administered in a supervised setting whereas subutex was not. This makes no sense because it is the pharmacies who will give you a generic if you ask for it. Quit lining their pockets they do not care about any of us!

  • Hi Jason,

    Precipitated withdrawal is something that happens when you take Suboxone too soon after stopping a full opioid agonist (when opioid agonists are stripped from receptors too quickly). What you are talking about is more long-term, so it could be an adjustment period; however, most people report feeling “normal” sooner than that. Better consult with a doctor to be sure.

    I hope you feel better.

    -Chris

  • Is it possible to have precipitated withdrawl from suboxone after taking 20 pills in a span of 30 days, or is the pain i feel still from the opiates?

  • Having sought Suboxone treatment in the Seattle area, I know what you mean when you say that finding a Suboxone-certified doctor might take some work. It took me nearly a month to find a doctor who: a) was accepting new patients, b) had reasonable fees, and c) was reasonably close to where I live. As far as the latter, I still have to travel about 20 miles to get to him, but all in all it’s been worth the effort. Since starting early last month, I have not touched an opiate (nor have I wanted to) — which now is over a month.

    It is worth noting that Suboxone is extremely expensive, and I’m not exactly sure that it’s doable if you don’t have insurance or you aren’t independently wealthy. Besides visiting your Suboxone doctor every week for at least the first month, you have to take into account the wildly expensive prescription. Even with my insurance, the copays were killing me; I can’t imagine having to pay cash for the services. (Example: initial appointment, cash fee, is $212 with this particular doctor; each subsequent appointment is $178, and that is at the lower end of the scale.) The lowest cash price I found for the 8mg/2mg tablets was approximately $5 apiece. If you are taking 3 8mg/2mg tablets like I am, that’s $450 per month.

    But then I consider how much I (and other people I know) spent on drugs in a month, and it’s almost a wash. And getting my life together and back on my feet, that’s priceless. Had I pursued methadone maintenance, I am sure that I would not have gotten as far as I have, because methadone was one of my drugs of choice. As you can see, it’s an individual choice for everyone; Suboxone was the best choice for me considering the circumstances. I hope that this information helps someone make an informed decision.

  • Hi walker,

    Drugs like Subutex and Suboxone can really help people to get back on their feet again. They provide a buffer between active addiction, and complete abstinence; however, it can also be used for maintenance, which is more permanent. Because the active ingredient in Subutex/Suboxone is only a partial opioid agonist, it doesn’t provide the same effects as say, OxyContin, Vicodin, or morphine.

    We all know that it is difficult to trust in someone after dealing with addiction, but based on the info here it would be impossible for anyone to say. My advice would be to just talk to her, and maybe even find a way to place some trust in her. It’s hard for everyone, and especially hard on the addict. Keep us posted on your situation.

    Take a walk over to Suboxone vs. Methadone, which has a wealth of information you will find useful.

    http://www.thatspoppycock.com/library/addiction/suboxone-vs-methadone/

    Thanks,
    Chris

  • My 28 year old daughter was addicted to opiates and went on Subutex this past fall. She claims she is no longer an addict and was recently prescribed Oxycodone for a small car accident she was in. Is this a wise choice? My impression is that she should not take any narcotics because of the concern of relapsing. She does not seem to need the Oxy to me. I think she is lying to a Dr and is addicted again. Am I correct in this assumption?

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