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How long does Subutex stay in your system?

Subutex is used in the treatment of addiction. It works as an opiate substitution therapy. It contains the medicine buprenorphine and has been used as a medication assisted treatment for drug addiction to stronger opiates/opioids like heroin, oxycodone, or hydrocodone.

But how is the drug absorbed in the system? How is Subutex metabolized or excreted? When do doctors or employers drug test for Subutex? For more details of Subutex absorption, metabolism, and its pharmacokinetics, … keep reading here. If you have any questions at the end of this article, please ask us through the comments section at the end of the page. We try to respond personally and promptly to all legitimate inquiries.

Main Subutex uses

Subutex is DEA approved for use in opiate/opioid addiction treatment; it is listed as a Schedule III controlled substance and is usually used under a doctor’s direct supervision. Subutex is also indicated for the treatment of opiate/opioid dependence and works best when used as a part of a structured treatment program which includes counseling, psychotherapy, behavioral and educational sessions and a good support system. How does it work?

Basically, the main ingredient in Subutex (buprenorphine) is an opioid partial agonist-antagonist and works by binding to receptors in the brain and the nervous system. In this way, it helps prevent withdrawal effects from harder drugs like heroin or morphine. Additionally, Subutex helps cuts cravings for stronger drugs. Another way to think of it is that buprenorphine works as a “substitute drug” for opioids, but the withdrawal from Subutex is far less intense than the symptoms opioid drugs produce when discontinued.

Subutex effects on the brain

Do you get high on Subutex?

No, Subutex does not cause euphoria. Instead, Subutex works as both a partial opioid receptor agonist and antagonist. It competes with other opioids like morphine and heroin for the µ receptors of the central nervous system. In this way, it can interfere with the effects of these stronger drugs. Still, Subutex is only a partial agonist and has a ceiling effect. The ceiling effects makes Subutex less likely to be abused, since after a person takes about 30 mg of the drug, taking more doesn’t have any euphoria-enhancing or pleasurable effects.

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How do you take Subutex?

Before Subutex therapy can be initiated, a doctor should assess your general physical and psychological state, determine the degree or level of opiate/opioid dependence, identify what type of a narcotic you use, and determine the last time you used. Subutex should be started when signs of moderate withdrawal begin.

Subutex should be taken as directed by your doctor-by placing the pill under the tongue and waiting for it to dissolve; once a day at the same time of the day, so you won’t forget your dose. Subutex should be administered sublingually only and taking this medication in any manner or dose other than prescribed is considered abuse and may lead to numerous unwanted consequences.

Peak levels and half life of Suboxone

Subutex is available as 2mg and 8mg tablets for sublingual administration. During clinical trials, buprenorphine effects in the body appear rapidly after administration. The highest concentration that buprenorphine reaches in the blood, after which it declines, is achieved after about 90-100 minutes afteringestion.

The half-life of Subutex is defined as the period of time buprenorphine takes to be eliminated from the body or disintegrated by the body’s natural metabolic processes. Based on medical studies, buprenorphine has a a half-life that can range from 24 to 60 hours. The long half-life of burpenorphine from Subutex makes this medication very useful in treating withdrawal symptoms.

How long does Subutex stay in the body?

Typical urine drug tests that detect heroin, codeine, morphine and other derivatives are not used to detect Subutex. This is because these opiate drug testsare actually testing for a different metabolite than the metabolites created bybuprenorphine. In this way, Subutex will not come up positive on most opiate drug tests.

Instead, there is a specific buprenorphine urine drug test, but it’s not usually included on standard drug screen panels and most employees don’t test for it (although more and more employers are starting to test for it). If a buprenorphine drug test is done, the average detection time is about 72 hours. In urine drug tests, the detection window is 2-4 days, but may be 7-10 days for chronic users, even at typical doses.

Problems with Subutex?

If you think that you are misusing Subutex, that it has become a problem, or if you are experiencing any side effects from Subutex therapy, your first point of contact can be your doctor. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.

If you have something that you want to ask us, you can use the comments section below to contact us. We try to provide a prompt and personal answer to your questions or at least refer you to someone who can help.

Reference Sources: DailyMed: Suboxone-buprenorphine hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride film, soluble
FDA: Subutex and Suboxone Questions and Answers
MedlinePlus: Buprenorphine Sublingual
NCBI: Buprenorphine
NCBI: Clinical Guidelines for the Use of Buprenorphine in the Treatment of Opioid Addiction

Photo credit: mao_lini

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39 Responses to “How long does Subutex stay in your system?
Andrea
1:03 am November 19th, 2015

I was on 30mls of methadone i took my last tuesday 10th i got out on 16ml of subutex i went threw some w/d and had my first 8ml late thursday night i felt fine now im taking the full dose 16ml i would advise anyone to go on subutex ive been wanting to come of the methadone for a couple of years some people darnt take there first dose due to being worried about how ill do they have to get before taking it well let me tell you its not has bad has you think a lot is in your head keep posotive xx

Tom
5:24 am December 7th, 2015

I took a subutex on Wednesday morning around 9,and I have a urine test on Tuesday around 130. The milligram was about 2 or 3. I broke a little piece of an 8mg. Should I be clean if they do a send out to a lab

5:43 pm December 9th, 2015

Hi Tom. It depends on the test, as well as on your metabolic system, level of hydration, and general health state.

J.R.
2:43 am December 16th, 2015

Hi, I injured my back playing baseball 15 years ago and have had two going on three back surgeries; I’ve obviously dealt with the addiction that can tag along with off and on Opioid dependence. I recently reinjured my back and had to get on pain meds again, I found that taking Tramadol 300 mg ER is the ticket, and had to get off my Norcos, well in the past I had been on Suboxone, Subutex also off and on for approx. 3 – 4 years. yeah crazy right. My doc had me taking Suboxone for 2 years, then Subutex for a year or so. This last phase, I told him I just wanted to get off the Norcos and take the Tramadol, so he gave me a one month cycle of subutex to work with and taper off the norcos. At first I tapered off too fast, felt bad, began to take the subutex again and tapered off a lot slower, I stopped taking the subutex last Thursday morning and felt okay at first, but for the past three days have had major headaches, feeling besides myself, so my question FINALLY is, when will the Subutex approx. be gone, obliterated, never seen again, by by, out of my system so I can go on and live a normal life? Thank you for your time and consideration on this matter.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
8:45 pm December 22nd, 2015

Hi, J.R. Yes, you can go on, and live a normal life. I’m really glad that you made it! All the best!

Goldie
5:28 am December 31st, 2015

Hello, I have a question and im really embarrassed that I have to ask this. I have been taking subutex for about maybe a month or two. I got clean on june 25th then one day i did subutex. I have a urine test on the 8th how long would I need to stop taking it to be clean I’m trying to wean myself off it and I will never go back to doing this is the worst and i told myself i wouldn’t do it again and of course some one offered me it I’m fine i just need to know if I’ll be okay to my test on the 8th if i stop by the 2nd thank you for your time take care’

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
11:40 pm January 4th, 2016

Hi, Goldie. What kind of test do you have on the 8th? Standard urine drug tests are not used to detect Subutex. Instead, there is a specific buprenorphine urine drug test, and the average detection time is about 72 hours. In urine drug tests, the detection window is 2-4 days, but may be 7-10 days for chronic users.

Jennifer
9:34 pm January 17th, 2016

I am 8 mths pregnant and have stopped using subutext about 4 days ago. I’ve started having contractions and I’m worried it will show up if I go into labor. How long does it stay in blood. Does hospitals test for this automatically? I Dont want to have DHS involved if I go into labor. Also what are the effects on unborn child

Eden
12:29 am January 30th, 2016

I have been on subutex for a few years , I do one 8mg subutec a day, if I got up this morning and decided I didn’t want to take subutex anymore and get clean, how long will it stay in my system before I would have a clean urine sample?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
5:15 pm February 2nd, 2016

Hi, Eden. Typical urine drug tests are not used to detect Subutex. Instead, there is a specific buprenorphine urine drug test, which detection window is 2-4 days, but may be 7-10 days for chronic users, even at typical doses.

I only used...
1:24 am February 20th, 2016

I only used one two weeks ago I have a urine test then they also do blood work is this gonna be in my system

Would you please let me know I have a des appointment and need to know

Jennifer
1:33 pm February 24th, 2016

I was wondering if Jennifer if your reading this what happened after you gave birth?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
2:31 pm February 26th, 2016

Hi. Typical urine drug tests are not used to detect Subutex. Instead, there is a specific buprenorphine urine drug test, but it’s not usually included on standard drug screen panels. However, the average detection time is about 72 hours. In urine drug tests, the detection window is 2-4 days, but may be 7-10 days for chronic users, even at typical doses.

sam
12:38 pm February 27th, 2016

It says up to 7-10 days to pass a UA test. If a saliva swab is taken and sent to a lab will the lab pick it up? And if so wouldit be about the same duration?

Ron
5:25 pm March 8th, 2016

I took an eighth of a subutex, and have to test tomorrow how long will it be in my system?

Chris
7:21 am March 9th, 2016

I had probation on March 2 and had a half deuce of subutex ten days before. Had a half deuce nine days before. I am not a chronic user just a small time recreational user. I submitted a urine screening on the second. Did I pass my drug screen?

Hayley
3:40 pm April 1st, 2016

Hi, I use (snort) Subutex pretty much every day. But I only do very small lines when i do it. Just little baby bits at a time. A lot smaller than most. I can make a 8mg pill last me a month or longer. But anyways, i am very concerned because im worried my job is about to give out random drug tests. I only weigh about 120lbs maybe less and have a pretty fast metabolism. I really need to figure out how long it will take for it to leave my system. Im slowing down on it as well because id really like to quit buy at this moment, i am still doing it. So id like to know how long and if there is a faster way to get it flushed out of my system?

Michael
2:20 pm May 3rd, 2016

I have been clean for 16 months.i took a 8mg subutex for a severe backache how long until my urine is clean?

Kate
5:58 pm May 18th, 2016

Hi. I was on subutex for nearly 8 years for chronic pain control from a pain management Doctor. I only took 2mg a day on rare occasions of extreme pain I would increase up to 3mg. I decided to stop the subs and see if I can go a more holistic or at least tylenol approach. I just tapered down over a month to .12mg. I’m now on day 6 completely off the subutex. Withdrawal hasn’t been THAT bad. Hasn’t been great but not like you read about online. The dr has me taking clonidine and the occasional Valium at night to sleep (which I avoid unless absolutely necessary-don’t want to detox off of that one!) im going to try to switch to gabapentin (neurontin) to replace the clonidine and Valium. Do you think, after 6 days that the subutex is finally out of my system? I don’t have a drug test or anything. I’m just curious. Thank you!!!!

David
3:00 pm June 2nd, 2016

Hello, My step Daughter has been on Subutex for 4 years now. She couldn’t get it and went in to a total break down. Hearing voices, seeing things, talking to people that were not there. She has been in a hospital for 8 days in a caged bed. They didn’t tell her they were detoxing Her from the drug and has not been given any drugs for Her Bi-polar. She keeps telling me she needs her Subutex and can’t function without it. She says she needs Subutex and zanax. I here most Doctors won’t presqribe that togather. She will be getting out in a few days and I just don,t know what to do. I thought mabe zanax and cholozpin. I don’t know. I am in Texas and She is in IND. What do you think.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
12:51 pm June 10th, 2016

Hi David. I suggest you consult with a professional about the condition of your step daughter. Also, you may speak with our trusted treatment consultant. The number is displayed on the website.

Teresa
8:49 pm June 11th, 2016

I am having surgery in 2 weeks and will be given general anesthesia. I have been on Suboxone for over 8 years. My question is how long should I stop taking Suboxone before surgery so the anesthesiologist won’t have a problem putting me under? In the past they have had to give me higher than normal dose of Profonol
Thank you

Victoria
10:44 pm June 13th, 2016

Approx. 5 years ago I started going to a clinic that prescribed xanax and subutex. I never took the xanax up until about 6 months ago when my 16 year old tried to commit suicide. I couldnt function and had to take them I took 2 to 3 a day and no more than a half of a subutex a day (the sub I was on for 5 years going on 6). I weened myself down, its just happened. I am very sick, but I am doing this to go after a job I really want. Plus I dont want tied down. I want a free life I am tired of living this way. But back to the point at hand how long will it show on a urine screen? I want to pass, and do not know when to submit an application, which they are waiting on, or what to do. I do not want that image of me to be their first. Any ideas?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
4:54 pm June 16th, 2016

Hi Teresa. I suggest you consult with your doctor about your concern.

KITTY
10:21 pm June 28th, 2016

Hi, I will be taking 8mg of subutex over the next 2 days, 4mgs today and the other 4mgs tomorrow. No more after that. I have a urine test on the 13th. Will it show up? They do a 12panel ttest that does include it. I found that out last month bc the night before my test I took the whole 8mg that night and had the test the next day and it surprised me to find out they test for that.

Nervous
2:29 pm July 29th, 2016

I am a heavy set guy with an obviously slow metabolism. About 1 year ago I had my 3rd surgery, my surgeon had been perscribing me 10/325 oxycodone since my first surgery 2 years prior but he stopped because of new dea regulations for surgeons perscribing long term pain medications (narcotics) but he did not perscribe me enough to get me through to my pain management appointment, i was hurting and going through wd’s so my sisters boyfriend gave me a half of an 8 mg subutex (so 4mgs) and told me it would just show up as an opioid in a urin test (I didnt know) I began pain management 10 days later. They gave me my script but the following month informed me that I had tested positive for suboxon and refused me narcotics from then on I stopped treatment with them and moved out of state where I just had my 4th surgery, well I’ve had 3 months with a new pain management and everything has been going great untill 4 days ago I believe a so called friend stole my oxycodone 10/325s, out of desperation I took 4mgs of subutex yesterday and 4mgs today the 29th my next pm appointment is on the 12th so 14 days away. Ive found help with getting more oxycodone to hold me over until my appointment but the Last time I was positive from 4mgs 10 days after. Do you think its possible to be possitive from 8mgs 14 days later? If so what can I do to help flush out of my system faster? I already drink a ton of water. I heard taking fluid pills will help flush you out faster but do they by chance test for those as well? Please help. Im just trying to make it through.

Lynsey
1:04 pm September 13th, 2016

Hi, im recently 9 days into a britloflex detox took my last dose of subutex 2ml Sunday 4 September, can i just say that its been great feel amazing! (highly recommend britloflex)
My question is how long will the subutex still be in my urine i had been on subutex since 5th January 2015 16mg reduced over this time.
I read that it can be detected upto 10 days by chronic users was i a chronic? Feels great to finally be free of opiates as i have been in services way longer than i ever used Street drugs for (was on methadone for 5 years with no real progress)
So giving a clear urine will be the icing on the cake
Thanks

Same Spot
10:12 pm September 13th, 2016

Just wondering what happened with Jennifer because I’m in the same position? I’m pregnant taking 4mg of Subutex a day. I was taking perks but have stopped them completely. The Subutex isn’t prescribed. I’m worried about withdrawing because I’ve done it a 100 times and going into labor to soon! I’m also worried about having Social Services involved from testing dirty. This is a blood test not a urine test. I don’t want to get clean (I’ve been dirty with way worse for the past 12 years) but I know I have no choice. I’m only 31 weeks pregnant. I don’t want to go into labor now because, I stopped to soon! I’m due in Nov. I’m going to try slowly weaning!

S
6:40 pm September 14th, 2016

I have heard of a 10 mg Basel spray. Any comments

S
6:42 pm September 14th, 2016

I have heard about a Basel 10mg spray any comments

patti
12:20 am September 16th, 2016

If i have tried this subutex to get over hydrocodine addiction 4 pills of it at 10mg per day an started the subutex for a year without using pain pills anymore but want off the subutex also, i take 3 pills a week. how long will it take to be out of my system? Also will i withdrawal and what helps with that?

randall
7:29 am September 17th, 2016

I took 8mg of Subutex Tuesday night and I have a urine test Monday at 10 am butt I’ve never took it before it was just once will it still be in my urine

Wanda
5:43 am September 20th, 2016

I’m having surgery to have my uterus removed. How many days should I stop taking subs and does it interfere with anastesia?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
2:00 pm September 23rd, 2016

Hi Wanda. I suggest that you speak with your doctor about your concerns.

Darren
11:31 pm September 26th, 2016

Hello. I’ve been taking ~ 12mg of subutex, every day, for the last 6 years. I finally decided to taper off. In the last month I tapered down to ~ 1mg per day (it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be). However, my last dose was 3 days ago and I feel SHITTY. Can any one tell me approx how long I’ll have to deal with cold seats, muscle aches, extreme restlessness, insomnia, and physical and mental fatigue? I’m 35, 5-11, 160 pounds, have a pretty fast metabolism, and in pretty good shape…according to my doctor. Any help would be appreciated :).

PS: In response to Patti. I was told to: watch what I eat, drink a protien shake every day, take an amino acid supplement (after your off the subs), take a really good methylated B vitamin complex, go for walks and or exercise if you can, get sun, listen to music, take hot baths for the muscle aches, meditate, and get acupuncture.

Trina
6:15 pm October 26th, 2016

if I took a 8mg twice on Monday and have been using this since Aug will I test positive today

Alicia
8:25 am November 3rd, 2016

I have been told that you don’t need to wait as long to take subutex as you should with suboxine. I’m trying to prevent having those nasty withdrawals. I waited 20hrs and took a 8mg suboxine and didn’t have much relief.

Tracy
1:56 pm November 10th, 2016

I took 18mg subtext and I have a urine test in 12 days will I be safe?

Tawnya
8:13 pm November 27th, 2016

I’ve only taken subutex 2 mg yesterday and 2 mg today until I got my oxycontin which I now got can I take it is it going to help my pain?? Please help I’m not on long term subutex that’s all I’ve ever taken was 2 mg yesterday and 2 mg today

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