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Does Suboxone show up on drug tests?

Yes and no.

The fact is that is that, yes, the active ingredients in Suboxone can be detected ( buprenorphine and naloxone), but only if tested for specifically. However, neither component will appear as an opiate on standard testing for opiates.

If you are enrolled in an opioid treatment program (OTP), your physician may order a comprehensive panel, for a variety of reasons. Why? More on why doctors test for Suboxone and testing standards for Suboxone here.

Suboxone in treatment

Suboxone, the buprenorphine – naloxone combination, has been shown to effectively treat opioid dependence or block the effects of illicit opioids without noticeable negative effects of naloxone.  Suboxone euphoria effect is debatable, but according to some researchers, because of its lower potential for abuse and strong safety panel, Suboxone is considered the first line medication option for beginning opioid dependence treatment. So why order a drug test for Suboxone?

Why order a test for Suboxone?

Tests are generally ordered to be Suboxone-specific in a clinical setting when there is a suspicion of non-dosing (clients may be selling their medication) or low absorption may interfere with effective treatment. Suspicion of benzodiazepine abuse, which has been attributed to at least one death when combined with Suboxone, is another possible reason. The 12 panel test is costly, and seldom is used outside a clinical setting.

What screens detect Suboxone?

The major active ingredient in Suboxone (buprenorphine) can be detected in urine, blood, or hair by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (CM/MS) and by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in urine. In a study done in 1994, researchers used the enzyme-linked multiedimmunoassay technique after administering naloxone, and again, although the metabolites of naloxone are similar in structure to oxymorphone and are excreted in the urine for several days, naloxone was not associated with a positive for opiates.

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How long can Suboxone be detected?

Suboxone appears in a comprehensive drug screen as buprenorphine within 2 to 5 hours. How long Suboxone stays in your system varies.  But Suboxone is usually not detectable 2-3 days after administration, dose dependent. In some cases however, buprenorphine has been detected up to 4 days after ingestion, due to a long half-life (24-60 hours) and slow onset.

What is the cut-off level for Suboxone?

What is the cut-off level for Suboxone to be considered present?  Present testing techniques are less than precise, but the detection level is currently 10ng/ml.

Suboxone use and potential for abuse

In treatment of opioid addiction, Suboxone is currently the first medication prescribed. Suboxone can come with a potential for abuse, but this is relatively low. Suboxone abuse occurs most among individuals without previous opioid addiction. If Suboxone is taken in ways other than prescribed (swallowed, chewed, or snorted), the user may feel a stronger euphoric effect, increasing abuse potential. But due to the opioid antagonist properties of the combination in Suboxone, the potential for abuse by injection remains low. If injected, Suboxone creates withdrawal due mainly to the naloxone ingredient.

Questions about Suboxone use

If any of you had a problem with narcotic addiction, and are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, this medication may be part of a successful treatment plan for you. Please leave your comments or questions below. All comments are anonymous and your privacy is respected.

References sources: NIDA Monograph Series: What Bupremorphine is and Why It’s Important Annals of Emergency Medicine: Does naloxone cause a positive drug screen? MD Alan B. Sorrow, PHD, MT,DABCC Frank H. Wians, Jr, MS,MT, Stephen L.Mickelsen, BA, MT John Norton. May 6, 1994. Abstract.
SAMHSA/CSAT TIP Treatment Improvement Protocols: Chapter 9, “Drug Testing as a Tool”

Leave a Reply

38 Responses to “Does Suboxone show up on drug tests?
JT Palmer
5:08 am February 19th, 2012

For anyone struggling with being able to afford suboxone, check out this program: http://www.medsavercard.com/suboxone-coupons-discounts/

Melinda
4:00 am June 23rd, 2012

If I swallow a weeks worth of subs, like swallow them at the time they should be melting in my mouth, will it show up on my urine test?

1:58 am June 26th, 2012

Hello Melinda. I’m confused by your question. Can you please restate it?

Nik
8:47 am February 18th, 2013

Hey, I take mg of suboxone a day, and on Saturday (5 days away) I will go to a site and get testd for drugs. First of all, will the test be positive? And secondly if I stop taking suboxone from now until than, will it show positive still to opiates? thanks

Nik
8:48 am February 18th, 2013

I meant 2 mg sorry.

1:28 pm February 18th, 2013

Hi Nik. Buprenorphine can be detected in urine, blood, or hair by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). However, currently no commercially available tests exist for buprenorphine (enzyme immunoassays). So, you should test NEGATIVE for abuse of opiates if you are taking Suboxone. In the case that buprenorphine is detected, present your prescription to the Medical Review Officer. That should change the test to a NEGATIVE for abuse.

biff
4:09 am March 23rd, 2013

i take subutex but mine came missing somone gave me a suboxone so id pass my test since suboxone contains naloxone will my test show for it since subutex dont contain naloxone

Christina
12:12 am May 1st, 2013

Hello. I have been on Suboxone for about 4 months now. My current dosage is 8mg, 3X daily. I do split them up about every six hours.I do not take them all at one time. My question is do you know on the drug screens between what range my buprenorphine level should fall into? I drug screen for family court and my worker is saying that my levels are not steady that they range all the way from 20ng/ml to 160ng/ml. Could you also let me know of all the different things that could affect my levels, such as one’s weight, how well the strip was absorbed, or kidney functioning, creatine level or amount of liquid drank prior to testing??? I even got a dilute yesterday, and had only drank 2 of the 20 oz. waters. I take them whenever I feel like I need one during the day. One strip about every six hours, sometimes even different, but 3 strips per day. I need some numbers to tell me what the lowest could be, and up to the highest for my dosage. Please Help!!!

Rose
3:43 pm December 22nd, 2013

I have a friend that took less then a mg. of suboxone on a Wed @ 8 am and on Friday @ 3 pm my friend had to take a urine drug test at the doctor office. I think my friend may have took 2 mg. in a month. I don’t know if that’s bad but my friend had been very worried I just want to help.

elaine belanger
10:12 pm March 17th, 2014

a friend is going to a pain managment for neuropathy and he is told 6 months after several appoinment that his first two test showed positive for suboxone and I know he does not take it. Are there any medicines together that would show a false positive or due to the lack of chain of custody in this office urines could have been mixed up.?

Jonathan
9:23 pm August 13th, 2014

Will I fail an oral drug test for a new job if I’ve been taking subs daily for about 2 yrs, mayb about 2mg a day subligualy?

jim
11:51 pm September 11th, 2014

I have been taking suboxone 8mg/2mg for two weeks and now will have to take a drug test due to a new company taking over.I did this cause I’m prescribed pain meds legally but they won’t allow it so I tried to hide it.Their test is a 10 panel. Basic test. Will the suboxone be checked for. I take 1 a day.

Juan
7:46 pm November 6th, 2014

I was wondering I have to drop a drug screen for Chrysler if I pop up with suboxone will they have the option of firing me even though I bring the prescription note from doctor?? Or if I do come out dirty for suboxone I just take the note from doctor will it’s then consider me clean

Juan
7:49 pm November 6th, 2014

I was wondering if I come out for suboxone will the prescription from the doctor make its goo away and will I be considered passing the drug screen .

BOM quita
4:31 pm December 5th, 2014

If someone snorted a tiny line how lo on will it stay in their system this was there first time doing that….so if someone could please answer this question we would greatly appreciate it…this person is so nervous about it I don’t know anything about that u I have neve done anything like that before

4:54 pm December 11th, 2014

Hi BOM. It depends on the dose administered. Suboxone shouldn’t be detectable on a drug screening test longer that 4 days.

carl
5:03 pm December 16th, 2014

How long does suboxone stay in system

5:45 pm December 16th, 2014

Carl. Here is an article that answers your question in detail http://prescription-drug.addictionblog.org/how-long-does-suboxone-stay-in-your-system/

Tammy
12:13 am February 18th, 2015

Would like to know if my saboxone dr will test for saboxone levels in my system. I missed my appt. I have only 3 pills left. For the next 2 days I have to cut them in half to not miss any days. My level will be lower and I don’t want him to cut me off. I’ve heard that the low doses don’t even show up sometimes. Is that true and will he even test since it’s a separate test. ?

annie
6:58 pm March 1st, 2015

do suboxone and zubsolve show the same on a drug screen?

12:03 pm March 2nd, 2015

Hello Annie. Both, Suboxone and Zubsolv contain buprenorphine as their main active ingredient. So yes, if the test checks for the metabolites of buprenorphine, you can assume you tested positive for any drug that contains buprenorphine.

john
1:55 am April 7th, 2015

I, my name is John and I wanted to know if suboxone will show in a urine test between 8to10 days THANK YOU….

12:47 pm April 9th, 2015

Hi John. Suboxone is usually not detectable 2-3 days after administration, but it depends on the dose you take. In some cases however, buprenorphine has been detected up to 4 days after ingestion, this is due to it’s long half life.

scott
7:24 pm May 19th, 2015

I go for a mouth swab and a hair follicle test Friday. My last dose of suboxone was early Saturday morning. should I be okay?

Dina
4:18 am July 30th, 2015

Will suboxone show up on drug test for probation 6 days after last dose?

Me
5:18 pm September 2nd, 2015

I ate a percet this morning then I ate buphernorphin in the same day will I past my drug test

Tracey
9:48 pm September 17th, 2015

i took my suboxone film under my tongue right before a swab. drug test. will the swab directly touching the suboxone under my tongue affect the results?

mike
9:29 am October 13th, 2015

I have been on methadone for 11 years. I get drug tested several times a year at my doctors office. I recently went there & gave a urine specimen,& he told came in & asked if i had been around buprenorphine. I said no of course not. He said that my urine woupd be sent to a lab. I just got on my doctors website where i can see my personal info & he posted my results. It says RESISTANT for Suboxone-positive,but then further down it has 3 different buprenorphine tests that all say NEGATIVE for buprenorphine metabolite-(conf) NEGATIVE for buprenorphine-(screen) NEGATIVE for buprenorphine-(conf). How can i test positive for Suboxone but the ingredient in it? Thats like saying i tested positive for Tylenol but negative for acetaminophen. Did i pass?

Kody
6:53 am December 27th, 2015

I take one 8mg/2mg suboxone in two days so liuke half one day and the other half the next day but I don’t take it all at once, i cut the half’s in smaller pieces. I have a drug test soon how long before my drug test should I stop taking it? Please I really need to know!!!

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
11:47 pm December 28th, 2015

Hi, Kody. Buprenorphine and naloxone, the active ingredients in Suboxone, can be detected, but only if tested specifically. Neither component will appear as an opiate on standard testing for opiates. However, buprenorphine may be detected up to 4 days after ingestion.

james
1:10 am January 23rd, 2016

my doctor gives me xanax but i took a suboxone. will he know i did the suboxone from testing me?

Dawn
8:32 pm February 28th, 2016

Quick question….I’m getting prescribed subutex, right at 9 months preggo (38weeks) I ran out this morning but I have a friend who gets sub strips and they are offering me a strip to get me by till Tuesday when I go back to Dr….my question is will the naloxone show in my drug test when I’m just supposed to be on straight bupe???? Any answers would be greatly appreciated!! I was on suboxone all the way up to my 30th week or so of pregnancy bc I didn’t even know I was pregnant up until around 25ish weeks. But this new sub Dr I’m going to immediately switched me over to the subutex.

Jason
10:32 pm March 29th, 2016

Hello. I take suboxone or subutex but wont have a prescription until the end of the month. My problem is it has helped me off drugs but my job does random drug testing. Will i fail or pass the test?
The test they give at my wotk is a 10-50/300 if anyone knows the difference please help and comment

E
8:03 am April 27th, 2016

If I use synthetic urine for a drug screen at my doctors office and add some crushed up buprenorphine to the sample will it test positive? I am prescribed 8mg sublingual pills. My doctor tests randomly to make sure nobody is taking anything else as well as making sure everyone is taking their pills. I’m taking my script but smoking weed on the side and so I can’t give my own urine. I gave some synthetic last time and the nurse said that it was unusual because it was so clean. I replied by saying I was out of my script for 3 days so that was probably it. I don’t know if she bought it. Thanks

kelly
9:32 pm May 6th, 2016

if I was handling suboxone, will it show up in my urine?

Real Answer
12:58 am June 9th, 2016

First, employers test for suboxone. If ur going for a construction job ur def getting tested. Not sure about office. Test is not expensive. I took a mouth swab test for a union job. Now the history. Had been taking sub for about a year. Was taking maybe 1.5mg per a day. I took .75mg at 5pm Wednesday, then another .75mg at 10am on Thursday. I took the swab drug test that same Thursday at 630pm. I passed it thank God. I am 6 feet 200 lbs. normal metabolism. My friend who is a doctor thinks that the dose I was taking was so little that it did not show up. The end.

Elizabeth
8:01 pm July 29th, 2016

After reading many of the responses posted by Lydia and Ivana from this blog I feel compelled to share my experience. My fiance has been on and off of pain management for many years due to a horrific work-related accident in ’98 and a recent diagnosis of MS. Long story short, there was a 3 day period 3 weeks ago (16 days to be exact) when he was without his 40mg daily dose of methadone. After attempting to tolerate the crippling withdrawal, we decided that another 2 days of hell would be impossible. I had quite a few 8mg suboxone tablets left from an old script and he took roughly 24mg over that 3 day period. When he tested positive for buprenorphine at his appointment the next day we obviously weren’t surprised. His doc has treated him for a very long time and was willing to continue treatment after a stern talking to. His next appointment was scheduled for 2 weeks later, yesterday. Guess what he showed positive for again? Buprenorphine!!!!! He also had methadone, oxycodone and all other non-narcotic meds in his system but that one is still hanging around after 16 days. He hasn’t taken that drug since the day before that first appointment when we knew he would show positive so you understand my concern when reading your response to the question “how long does suboxone show in your urine?” 4 days is absolutely incorrect. I would hate for some trusting individual to take your answer as absolute fact and possibly end up humiliated and jobless due to a dirty urine. A word of advice, RESEARCH!!!!!!!!!!

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
4:10 pm August 16th, 2016

Hi Elizabeth. Based on all studies performed with Suboxone sublingual tablet and film buprenorphine has a mean elimination half-life from plasma ranging from 24 to 42 hours and naloxone has a mean elimination half-life from plasma ranging from 2 to 12 hours. We have selected our information from trusted government sources referenced below the article. You can also read more on Suboxone’s elimination here: https://www.drugs.com/pro/suboxone.html (scroll down to elimination). After all, detection times depend on a variety of factors that include a person’s metabolism, weight, general health state, level of hydration, age, etc.

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