Posted By Admin - Blog Contributor on 09/28/2018 in Opioid Treatment

The History of Buprenorphine and its variants: Suboxone and Subutex

The History of Buprenorphine and its variants: Suboxone and Subutex

Buprenorphine’s need for an opioid addiction treatment arose as a result of the rampant opioid crisis in the US. To understand how Buprenorphine saved lives and established itself as a customer favorite, we have to delve into its history first.

Before we do that, we have to make clear here that Subutex and Suboxone, although separate medications are just different forms of the same drug, Buprenorphine.

The Past and the Present of Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine, formerly known by its street name bupes, crashed into the streets in 1966. Reckitt and Colman, a home products company proclaimed that structurally complex opioids could help stave off the undesirable effects of other presumably dangerous opioids like Heroin while still retaining all the “desirable effects.” In their search for this miracle drug, they faced some setbacks but finally stumbled upon Buprenorphine. Buprenorphine underwent clinical trials and made a splash at a major conference, espousing the support and interest of a great many pharmacologists. And why wouldn’t it have? It could relieve pain and had a really low abuse potential. Despite its obvious benefits, it took almost 30 years to be endorsed by the medical community.

From its conception in 1966, when it was seen as a treatment that could replace other opiate-treatments like Morphine, to its official use as an Opioid addiction treatment in 2002, almost 30 years swept by.

Reckitt Manufactures Subutex in 1995

Subutex, the sublingual form of Buprenorphine, appeared on the scene in 1995. Reckitt, the company behind its notion, developed it in France. It was the first form of Buprenorphine to be approved by the FDA in 2002, in the US. In 2012, the company (Reckitt) stopped producing Subutex for reasons that didn’t concern its safety.

Subutex could easily be abused. A need for a stable Buprenorphine based medication was felt that was difficult to get high on.

The Solution Appeared in the form of Buprenorphine+ Naloxone= Suboxone

The National Institute on Drug abuse (NIDA) came to Reckitt with a solution that could potentially make Buprenorphine a very stable drug for opioid addiction treatment and topple the throne of Methadone. It proposed that a combination tablet, composed of Buprenorphine and Naloxone be formulated. This genius idea that engendered the miracle drug Suboxone, got the approval of the FDA in 2002.

The Naloxone part of the Suboxone lowered its abuse potential by leaps and bounds. It paved the roadmap for Suboxone to be accepted as the best opioid addiction treatment in the modern world.

The Verdict

Suboxone is the ideal medication for opioid addiction treatment in the modern world. It has gone through rigorous testing to see the light of day on the shelves of Pharmacies throughout the United States. Subutex contains only Buprenorphine, whereas Suboxone contains both Naloxone and Buprenorphine. Naloxone stabilizes the effects of Buprenorphine on the brain, minimizing its potential for abuse.

Only certified doctors are permitted to prescribe Suboxone. has a list of Suboxone doctors throughout the US if you need additional information on this wonder drug.

Note: strongly advises to take suboxone in conjunction with psychological counseling in an opioid rehab center in order to reap maximum results.