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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