How long does buprenorphine last?
Buprenorphine is a prescription drug that helps address cravings and delay withdrawal symptoms for those facing opiate and opioid addiction. If you have been prescribed a dose of buprenorphine, you may be interested in how this medicine works and how long buprenorphine can remain in your system.
Here, we review how long buprenorphine lasts – how quickly buprenorphine works, its duration of action and its time in the system. Then, you will have a chance to ask your questions about buprenorphine at the end.
Buprenorphine effects on the body and brain
Buprenorphine is a semi-synthetic opioid used for the treatment of opioid or opiate addiction. Buprenorphine is also used to treat moderate acute pain. Buprenorphine is a partial receptor agonist and acts in a way that attaches to specific sites in the brain to inducing several effects. However, the binding process is not “perfect” and buprenorphine occupies central nervous system receptors without causing the euphoric effect of other stronger drugs. In fact, this is the reason why buprenorphine is used in opioid addiction treatment. These main effects of buprenorphine can include:
- pain relief
- reduced cravings for opiates or opioid class drugs
- slower breathing
- slower heart rate
- suspension of opiate withdrawal symptoms
Buprenorphine duration of action
Buprenorphine has a half-life of 24 to 60 hours, depending on the route of administration and whether it was used in combination with other drugs. Additionally, buprenorphine has the ability to stay and bind the opiate receptors for over 24 hours, effectively disabling the receptors to make use of other stronger opiates less appealing. For these cases, user cannot not get high on drugs like heroin, morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, or oxycodone.
Buprenorphine time in the body
Buprenorphine is eliminated by the urine and feces. Over 30% of buprenorphine is excreted by urine and more than 69% excreted by feces within a range period of 11 days after administration of sublingual tablets of buprenorphine. In fact the elimination half-life may vary between 20 to 73 hours.
How long do buprenorphine effects last
Buprenorphine has different performance and effects depending on the form that is administered. For example, buprenorphine has very poor bioavailability when administered orally, in the form of solution. On the other hand, buprenorphine sublingual tablets trigger moderate bioavailability. When patients are followed starting from the initial dosing period, later in treatment they very often do not manifest euphoric effects even after extensive doses of buprenorphine are administered. Such cases are evidence that tolerance level can change the way the drug acts in the central nervous system.
The sublingual tablets are meant to be put under the tongue in order to gradually dissolve with the saliva and contain 2 mg buprenorphine with 0.5 mg naloxone and 8 mg buprenorphine with 2 mg naloxone. Users claim that there is a difference between sorting crushed tablets of buprenorphine and oral administration of the same amount.
How long does a buprenorphine high last?
The euphoric effects of buprenorphine will also depend on the level of tolerance that your body has developed toward buprenorphine. It is mots likely that the euphoric effects will wear off after 8 to 12 hours. Pay attention though: this number would be different if you are chronically taking buprenorphine for recreational purposes. Many users will go that far and change buprenorphine for other painkiller on their own, without a doctor’s recommendation to do so, and then experience different effects than mentioned on the product label.
Buprenorphine high effects
Here is a list of the most common buprenorphine effects which can accompany euphoria:
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- extreme tiredness
- lack of energy
- loss of appetite
- pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- skin rash
- slowed breathing
- stomach pain
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- upset stomach
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
Buprenorphine duration questions
We hope we’ve been able to address your questions about buprenorphine above. If you would like to know more about how long buprenorphine lasts, please ask us in the comments section below. We try to respond to all legitimate queries with a personal and prompt response.
Reference Sources: Daily Med: BUPRENORPHINE HCL AND NALOXONE HCL (buprenorphine and naloxone) tablet
Photo credit: Didier Jansen