How Long Does Bunavail Stay In Your System?

Buprenorphine, a main ingredient in Bunavail, can be detected for up to two weeks at typical doses. However, the detection timeline can vary considerably depending on the dosage and individual metabolism. More here on Bunavail’s elimination from the body here.

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Reviewed by: Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D. Dr. Juan Goecke, M.D.

ARTICLE OVERVIEW: Detection of buprenorphine, a main ingredient found in Bunavail, is possible up to two weeks after last dose (if you are using typical doses of the opioid substitution therapy). Read on here to learn about the metabolism, effects and elimination of Bunavail in the human body. At the end, we invite you to post your questions and/or comments. We try to answer promptly to all legitimate inquiries.

Main Bunavail Uses

Bunavail is a medication that’s used as a part of a complete treatment program for drug abuse. Bunavail serves as a maintenance substitute and is used along with a full treatment program for drug addiction. The goal is to keep the recovering addict in treatment by treating the withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings.  Opioid substitution therapy is most successful when combined with psychological, sociological, mental or behavioral therapies that can help identify and address the reasons that compel drug abuse in the first place.

Specifically, Bunavail helps reduce cravings and prevent opiate withdrawal symptom from more powerful drugs like heroin, oxycodone, or hydrocodone. It is not, however, a magical drug that can cure addiction. For best results, it should be administered regularly, usually at the same time each day to prevent not remembering to take it. Eventually, a patient will be taken off Bunavail maintenance treatment as adequate coping skills and a new lifestyle are developed, and a person proceeds to live a drug-free life.

What’s In Bunavail?

The two main active ingredients in Bunavail are buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a narcotic that belongs to a class of agonist-antagonist drugs and helps prevent opiate withdrawal symptoms. On the other hand, naloxone is a narcotic antagonist that blocks the effects of drugs and is combined with buprenorphine to prevent its abuse.

How Do You Take Bunavail?

Bunavail Buccal Film, as the name suggests, is applied to the buccal mucosa and is completely dissolved after application. It is taken once a day as directed by your doctor, usually in the morning. Differing slightly from the buprenorphine sublingual tablets, Bunavail is supplied as a yellow rectangular film in three dosage strengths:

  • Buprenorphine/naloxone 2.1mg/0.3mg
  • Buprenorphine/naloxone 4.2mg/0.7mg
  • Buprenorphine/naloxone 6.3mg/1.0mg

Initial therapeutic doses are 8.4/1.4mg per day, taken as a single dose, but should be progressively adjusted (increased or decreased) to a level that holds the patient in maintenance treatment. The maintenance dose of Bunavail generally ranges between 2.1/0.3mg and 12.6/2.1mg buprenorphine/naloxone and depends on the individual patients’ needs.

Peak Levels And Half Life Of  Bunavail

Following administration, Bunavail Buccal Film is quickly absorbed into the system. Both active narcotics, buprenorphine and naloxone are primarily protein bound (buprenorphine 96% and naloxone 45%). Based on studies which included Bunavail Buccal Film, the half-life of buprenorphine is 16.4-27.5 hours, while the mean elimination half-life of naloxone from plasma is ranging from about 2 hours to 2.4 hours.

Bunavail vs. Suboxone

Bunavail Buccal Film has twice the bioavailability of buprenorphine compared to Suboxone. As a result of the improved absorption of buprenorphine with Bunavail (the BEMA technology), plasma concentrations of buprenorphine comparable to Suboxone can be achieved with half the dose of Bunavail.  This is good news, since it may help to reduce the potential for misuse and diversion and potentially lessen the incidence of certain side effects of buprenorphine.

Bunavail Drug Testing: How Long Does Bunavail Stay In The Body?

1. Buprenorphine – Buprenorphine isn’t included in standard drug tests and has to be specifically tested for. However, employers are now starting to expand their tests to include buprenorphine, too. It can be detected for up to two weeks at typical doses, but you should take into consideration that the detection timeline can vary considerably depending on the dosage and individual metabolism.

2. Naloxone – Likewise, naloxone is also not tested for in standard drug tests and it does not come up as an opiate. Although the metabolites of naloxone hydrochloride are similar in structure to oxymorphone and are excreted in human urine for several days, naloxone is not associated with a positive enzymatic urine screen for opiates.

More importantly, you should be aware that Bunavail DOES NOT cause a false positive results on screen panels for other opiates.

Bunavail Questions

We hope to have answered your main questions regarding the metabolism of Bunavail here. However, if you’d like to ask something or add a personal experience or story, please leave your comment in the section below the article. We try to answer all legitimate inquiries as quickly as we can. If we cannot provide an answer to your question, we’ll try to refer you to someone who can.

Reference Sources: FDA: Mediation Guide: Bunavail (buprenorphine and naloxone)
FDA: Highlights of prescribing information: Bunavail
PBM: Buprenorphine/Naloxone Buccal Film (Bunavail)
DailyMed: Bunavail-buprenorphine hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride dihydrate film
NCBI: New Drug Approvals: Bunavail for Opioid Dependence-Page 5
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
Medical Reviewers
Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D. is a general surgeon practicing women's focused medici...
Dr. Goecke is a medical doctor and general surgeon with personal experience of...

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a licensed medical professional.


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  1. Hi I have been dealing with a back injury since 2006. My pain doctor has had me on opioids ever since. I now have had my back fixed. My Doctor has been tapering me off opioids by using first the 6.5 bunavail. Then the 4.2 bunavail. I have been on them since June 20th. I have been cutting the bunavail in pieces. Maybe 1/8 if a piece which lasted about 20 hours. The only side effect is trembling. My doctor about 2 weeks ago switched me to the butran 10 patch. I still have the trembling and I don’t know how to break free of the trembling. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Dwight

  2. I took a I/2 strip of Bunavail and I was drug tested 8 days after taking a 1/2 strip under my tongue. I am not addicted to it but I did take a 1/2strip I don’t take it regular will my test come up positive

  3. I have a bunavail 4.2 mg / 0.7 mg. My question is, if I cut the film in two for me and my boyfriend would the strip still work? And if so for how long?

  4. I’ve been on subxone since it was introduced
    I was taking two per day now I’ve been switched to bunavail strips but I’ve been drug free for more than ten years so why does my doctor keep pricibimg I don’t get it.
    If suboxone is a maintance program and now being switched shouldn’t I be done with treatmeat after being clean for over ten yrs?

  5. I have a question about this new Bunavail I’ve been switched to due to the Suboxone causing debilitating constipation. So far haven’t noticed a change in that regard but my main question (and I can’t find an answer anywhere on google) is why do the corners peeling down on me right at the start of applying it? It really bothers me because I feel like I’m not getting the full dose of 4.2mg when 2 corners peel down and away from my cheek immediately after placing it. I thought it was because my cheek wasn’t wet enough but I tried wetting it down immensely and that didn’t help. Only once did I place one film that stuck all the way and zero corners peeled away. I’ve yet to be able to that again. I did read that the medication is spread evenly throughout the film so could I cut it in half so that the tops of my gums don’t push down on it by putting one half on each side? I really need help here cause I only get two shots at this day and I want my full dose. If anyone could give me a solution if they have came across this or know what would prevent that please please let me know. It’s really messing with my mind and is hindering my recovery process. Thanks

  6. After taking morphine sulfate for the past 12 years I decided that enough was enough and went to my Dr. He prescribed 4.2mg of bunavail twice a day and it was too strong. I switched to one 4.2mg film with no ill effects and then one dose of 4.2mg every 36hrs. I am now at the point where I am taking one 4.2mg dose every 48 hrs and would like to stop. How far do I need to drag this out. I have yet to experience any real side effects. A reply would be appreciated.

  7. My doctor is in no hurry to even begin to talk,about the plan to wean down. When.I first heard of Suboxone. I was told at a Methedone Clinic, two year’s is the max time for it! Now this was a little time after being approved. I was also told back then, you had to have a Ekg?(heart test) every so often. And I DO NOT GET WHY A DOC WOULD PRESCRIBE this for pain!!! It’s made to get rid of a dependence on opioid addiction
    I’ve seen NUMEROUS doctor’s of every type, and most were “quacks”, or won’t work with you and your past medical history…KEEP ALL YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS AND DOCUMENTS OF ALL MEDS YOU WERE/ARE ON
    I SURE WISHED THAT I DID!! Just an EXTREMELY important hint, to keep in mind. Good luck in our today’s medical and pharmaceutical chaos

  8. Im working on weaning myself off bunavail. I can tell u the withdrawal from bunavail is much more intense than opiates. I just went from 4.5mg to 2.1mg n went threw withdrawal for about a week. I have friends that stopped cold turkey n heard it was worse than having the flu for about 3 weeks. I don’t suggest doing it that way. It dangerous. Make sure he talks to a physician about it. It is possible in time n commitment. Good luck.

  9. I’m taking half of a 2.1mg.Will I experience any withdrawal symptoms when I stop since I have tampered down this low?

  10. I’ve been on bunavail for 3 days now and am finding in the morning when I wake up I need my meds no matter what time it is. With suboxone I could go almost 36 hours without talking meds. Bunavail, the second I get up I need it. Is this normal.

  11. Hi…I am withdrawing from heroin. If I take bunavail tommorow morning will still feel sick from the heroin withdrawals or will I be ok after taking the bunavail? Can someone email me and let me know

  12. I have a question if someone has opiates in their system how long do they have to wsit before taking the bunavail so they don’t go into full blown with drawl. Help please

  13. So I was on suboxen 3.5 years switched over to bunavail about 8 months ago and in that time span I went from 2 mg a day down to .25 mg a day. I had such a hard time going down on suboxen. Idk if it was a placebo. Any ways I’m 27 days off and it was a million times easier than I thought. Days 2-4/5ish were rough but tolerable. By day 7 I was calling my work to come back. Only problem I’m having now, and not sure if it’s just excitement or anticipation is sleeping. I can’t sleep. And it’s not w/d’s it’s my mind just racing non stop. Other than that I am so glad I switched to bunavail. I was having rough times with subs. V

  14. I am 4 1/2 months pregnant and have reduced my 2, 4.3mg doseage of Bunavail to 1 mg total a day.I am extremely proud of myself, and I am completely motivated to be completely off of it before I give birth in May 2016. My main concern is my child possibly having to withdraw from the medication. Is it safe for me to get completely off of it while pregnant? If I get completely off of it will my child still go through withdrawal? How long does it take to test negative for Bupe if you’re taking 1 mg total for 2 months but prior to that 2 mg,4mg,6mg (tapered off in 2 months) but pre-pregnancy took 8.6 mg per day for 8-10 months? Determined to be off this crazy train,already??!

    1. Hello, Gen. You’re doing very well with weaning off Bunavail. I suggest you talk with gynecologist and pediatrician about your concern. Good luck!

  15. This “blog” is obviously funded by the makers of bunavail. Bupe is next to impossible to get off. The long u are on it the deeper the claws dig in. Any doctor big pharma doesn’t pay off will tell u the truth. BUPE IS ONLY FOR RAPID DETOX. It will warp your mind in ways heroin can only dream of. I was on suboxone for 8 years. And I quit by walking out on my Dr. He would still be cramming it down my throat. They overprescribe on purpose. The more that’s on the streets the more new patients come thru their door. U want off dope??? IBOGAINE AND KRATOM they come from mother earth and they worked for me. Ivanna you should be ASHAMED of yourself preying on those at the end of the rope. May God have mercy on your evil twisted soul

    1. Hi Lance. No, Addiction Blog, as a website aimed to help addicted individuals get treatment, is not being funded by the makers of buprenorphine/bunavail/suboxone… Doctors do tend to overpescribe medications, but we are not promoting anything but sobriety. Also, you can check this one of our articles about Kratom withdrawal and read what over 500 of other readers had to say about the horror of coming off of Kratom. However, I am glad that it worked for you, along with Ibogaine. You see, addiction treatment and recovery is not the same for everyone and there is no one-size-fits-all.

  16. Ive been taking Bunavail for only 2 weeks.
    After 4 yrs of Hydrocodone (prescribed 10-12 daily) I decided on my own to get help.
    1st, i was prescribed suboxone. I discovered it was not covered by ins. So, 8 days only
    2nd, prescribed subzolv, altho it was covered the treatment wasnt. So, 2 mos of subsolv
    3rd try, prescribed bunavail 4.2 (1.5 a day)
    Took that for 1 week then discovered it also was t covered.
    Tapered to .5 a day for 3 days, now about .375 a day for 5 days
    The Dr wants me to try naltrexone in 2 days.
    My research shows me thats not gona help with withdrawel.
    Do you agree that i will be with only minimum withdrawel after stopping the bunavail now and skip the naltrexone.
    I dont have trouble so much with cravings as I do withdrawel.

  17. I was switched from suboxone to bunavail. I was on a 4mg strip in morning and a 2 mg strip in evening. They gave me 4.2 bunavail. I don’t feel real bad but my nose is dripping my blood pressure a little high and a little diareah. I don’t understand it. Also when I put it in my cheek about 15 min later it seems to all not dissolve. It clumps up in my cheek and feels slimy all in my mouth. Should it be taking this long to dissolve? Also why am I having withdrawals. I thought this dose equalled a 8 mg suboxone.

    1. Hi Tammy. As a lot of people are being switched from suboxone to bunavail, they are reporting similar effects (sometimes even worse), as well as withdrawal. People have also complained that it doesn’t really dissolve. I’m afraid no one will have any solid advise until more research is done, but from what I’ve seen so far people may be better off staying on the suboxone. I suggest you inform you prescribing doctor about the inefficiency and unwanted effect of Bunavail.

  18. My husband and I have been on suboxone for 4/6 yrs now. And last Monday our Doctor switched us to this Bunavail 4mg. My husband and I both are having withdrawn from suboxone (we think) we are staying sick at our stomach, aching body can’t sleep and easly made mad. Can these symptoms be withdraw from the suboxone? Please answer as soon as possible.

    1. Hello Vrginia. If only you were the only ones experiencing funny symptoms after switching from suboxone to bunavail. A lot of people are reaching out to us and all over the internet about the unexpected effects. You shouldn’t be experiencing withdrawal if the new medication is releasing the same amount of buprenorphine that you used to get with suboxone. Report this to your doctor, and if you have the strength and will to wait and see if it starts working it might. Otherwise, you can request to be put back on the suboxone. I hope you and your husband are feeling better soon,

  19. How long is the average person on Bunavail? My husband became addicted to oxycotin about 7years ago. Has been on Bunavail for 2months.

    1. Hello Kelly. There is no general timeline of treatment or exact duration period. Prescribing information says ‘as long as there is a need for it’.

    1. Hi Damon. The main ingredient of Bunavail is buprenorphine, and since it’s a synthetic opioid, it usually isn’t detectable by a standard five-panel drug test, since it doesn’t break down to morphine. Bunavail is usually detectable 2-4 days in urine.

  20. I’m worried about a ex boyfriend of mine that’s been clean 22 months and has been on suboxone then his Dr switched him to subutex for a few weeks then the last 2 months he’s been on bunavail. He wants to quit on his own because the Dr isnt wanting to taper him every time he asks. So how long before it’s out of his system? If he does heroin within days after quitting the bunavail what will happen? I have a feeling that’s why he really wants to stop. Please hurry with a reply if possible. Thank you.

    1. Hi Ashley. Your friend should really listen to his doctor and taper doses down gradually and slowly. Buprenorphine is not an easy medication to come off of. The point why he was prescribed Bunavail was to stop him from taking heroin again. Can you convince your friend to do what doctors suggest. It’s for his own good.

  21. My husband is taking bunavail but wants to come off of it. He never had an opioid dependency but became dependent on suboxone after it was given to him by a friend when he was recovering from knee surgery. The friend said it would help him bounce back quicker and instead he became addicted. He has been seeing a doctor for a year and a half in an effort to stop taking it and was recently switched to bunavail. Can anyone please offer any advice? Is he going to be able to stop taking it or is he on this for life? It causes a lot of stress in our lives.

    1. Hi Elizabeth. Drugs for maintenance treatment of opioid-dependent people-like your husband may need medications for several years since the beginning of the recovering process. Is your husband still going to counselling? By the way, it is easier to come off these medications, compared to quitting opioid drugs.

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