Posted By Admin - Blog Contributor on 09/26/2018 in Opioid Treatment

Subutex Vs Suboxone: Everything You Need to Know

Subutex Vs Suboxone: Everything You Need to Know

Suboxone and Subutex are both FDA approved drugs that are used to treat patients suffering from an opioid dependency.  Only certified Suboxone doctors were given the green light to prescribe Buprenorphine and its variations (Suboxone &Subtex) after it replaced Methadone as the primary medication for opioid addiction treatment.

FDA listed Buprenorphine as a schedule III substance, which means that the potential for its abuse is lower as compared to Methadone ― a schedule II drug. Not only does this characterization prove that Buprenorphine is a safer option for the treatment of opioid addition but also the more effective one. In 2013, around 16000 doctors were permitted to prescribe Suboxone to patients, and an upward trend has been observed since then.

What is Buprenorphine?

The Basics of Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine is essentially a partial opioid agonist which has the ability to bind to opioid receptors in the brain. Initially, it was used to treat chronic pain, but after recognizing its underutilized importance, the FDA gave it the green light for Opioid addiction treatment.

So what is a partial opioid agonist?

Well, it’s like a full opioid agonist; the difference is that it doesn’t make you high like Heroin, when taken under the supervision of a prescribing doctor, in the recommended dosage. It helps patients keep their opioid cravings in check and prevents withdrawal symptoms.

Advantages of Buprenorphine as a medication

  • Streamlines the detoxification process by keeping the patient safe and in control.
  • Drastically reduces craving for opioids like Heroin.
  • Lowers the possibility of relapse.
  • Keeps the patient sober so that he can direct his full attention towards therapy and other programs in an opioid rehab center.
  • Now that we have established the usefulness of Buprenorphine as a medication, let’s differentiate between two highly popular variations of this medication ― Subutex and Suboxone.

The Difference between Subutex and Suboxone

Buprenorphine vs. Naloxone and Buprenorphine

Both Subutex and Suboxone are composed of Buprenorphine, which acts as an active ingredient. Suboxone was the improved version of Subutex. Although Subutex performed exceptionally well in treating opioid addiction, the possibility of it being abused loomed large.

Many patients injected it intravenously to get high, paving the roadmap to a serious opioid dependency.

Suboxone was not a standalone version of Buprenorphine. It contained Naloxone, which was added to counter the “partial opioid effects” of Buprenorphine. Taking Buprenorphine with the intention of abuse activated Naloxone, which stopped the abuse in its tracks.

Is Subutex Better or Suboxone?

Every drug comes with its disadvantages, also termed as side effects. Before prioritizing one treatment over the other, it is essential to know them.

Side Effects of Suboxone and Subutex

Both these medications have the following.





Suboxone the Better Choice will recommend suboxone for obvious reasons. Its unique formulation makes it really hard to abuse. This makes it the best choice for anyone who’s seeking an effective opioid addiction treatment.

However, there are special circumstances in which the use of Suboxone is not advisable.

Subutex Vs Suboxone in Pregnancy

Naloxone is potentially dangerous for a fetus, according to a study published by the Journal of Contemporary OB/GYN. It can cause several hormonal changes in the mother and the fetus.

For this reason, Subutex which is just pure Buprenorphine is suggested for use during pregnancy than combination drugs like Suboxone.