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How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System?

How long does Suboxone stay in your system? Read on to learn more about opioid treatment medication.

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What Is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, used to treat opioid dependence. Suboxone works by acting on the same receptors that opioids do. These opioids can include heroin, morphine, or oxycodone. In doing so, the Suboxone in your system can reduce cravings and stabilize the opioid receptors. As an opioid receptor agonist, buprenorphine prevents other opioids from binding to the receptors, which can help prevent abuse of other opioids.1
Unlike buprenorphine, naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which binds to the receptors and reverses the effects of opioids. This means that the combination of buprenorphine and naloxone in Suboxone can help to reduce cravings while avoiding the effects of feeling high caused by opioids.2

Suboxone Use and Treatment

Suboxone is most commonly used to treat opioid use disorders, however, if not taken as prescribed, it can lead to misuse and Suboxone addiction. Suboxone is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule III substance, which means that it possesses a moderate to low potential for physical or psychological addiction. Therefore, it is not impossible for you to form a Suboxone addiction, but it is rare as long as you take the medication as prescribed.3

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How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System

How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System?

Determining how long Suboxone stays in your system is dependent upon the two drugs that make up Suboxone. Buprenorphine is a long-acting drug that has a half-life between twenty-four to forty-eight hours, while naloxone is a shorter acting drug with a half-life of two to twelve hours.
Therefore, the Suboxone half-life depends on the half-life of both buprenorphine and naloxone. The effects of Suboxone typically do not last longer than twenty-four hours and, in a healthy person, Suboxone may last in your system for five to eight days.4

Suboxone Detection

The Suboxone duration in your system can be detected based on the type of test performed as well. A normal Suboxone dose can be detected in your system for up to three months in your hair follicles, for up to six days in your urine, three days in your saliva, and then two days in your blood. These amounts of time apply for the last time you took Suboxone.

Factors That Influence How Long Suboxone Stays in Your System

Typically, Suboxone begins to work two to three hours after use and the effects can last up to twenty-four hours. However, several factors can determine the effectiveness and how long Suboxone stays in your system. These factors include:
  • Age, Weight, and Metabolism: Older adults, as well as those with higher weight and slower metabolism speeds, may take longer to clear Suboxone from their systems.
  • Frequency of Usage: If you have been taking Suboxone for longer periods of time or in higher doses, the Suboxone in your system may take longer to clear.
  • Liver Health: Since naloxone is metabolized by the liver, the Suboxone half-life may be longer for those with poor liver health.
  • Combining Suboxone with Other Substances: The use of other drugs or substances while taking Suboxone can also influence how long Suboxone stays in your system, especially if those drugs or substances affect liver functioning.

Common Suboxone Side Effects

Like most medications, Suboxone can have mild to severe side effects. Some of the most common side effects include:
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Trouble sleeping or insomnia
  • Fever
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Sweating

Rare and Serious Suboxone Side Effects

Some of the most serious or rare side effects include:5
  • Low blood pressure when standing (orthostatic hypotension)
  • Liver failure or changes in liver function
  • Changes in adrenal gland function
  • Allergic reactions
  • Sleep-related breathing disorders
  • Abuse and dependence that may develop into addiction
If you experience any side effects that you believe may be related to Suboxone use, make sure to contact your medical providers immediately.

Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms

It is important to remember not to stop taking Suboxone without consultation with your medical provider. This is because suddenly stopping Suboxone can cause symptoms of withdrawal, which may be dangerous, especially if you have any other co-occurring mental health conditions.
Symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal can include:
  • Increased anxiety
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Difficulty concentrating or restlessness
  • Runny nose
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Depression
  • Digestive issues (nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea)
  • Headache
  • Insomnia, sleep disturbances

What Determines Severity of Symptoms?

The severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms from Suboxone may be determined by the average length of time you or your loved one have been taking Suboxone, along with the dosage you are taking.
Many medical professionals utilize a tapering technique, or a gradual decrease in dose, when stopping Suboxone use. However, the typical Suboxone withdrawal may start two to four days after the last use, and it may resolve within seven days of the last use as well.6

Will Suboxone Show Up on a Drug Test?

Suboxone can show up on a drug test, but generally only if it is specifically being tested for. If you are currently taking Suboxone, it is important to disclose that to the testing laboratory so that you do not get misinterpreted results. A Suboxone test will also include tests for buprenorphine and naloxone.
The most common Suboxone test is a urine test, but it can also be tested in saliva, blood, and hair:7
  • Urine: Suboxone in urine is detectable for up to six days after the last use.
  • Saliva: Suboxone can be detectable for up to three days after the last use in your saliva. Saliva tests are often used as they are effective and efficient.
  • Blood: Blood tests are used less frequently due to their invasiveness and higher cost. Suboxone can be detected in your blood two days after last use.
  • Hair: Similarly to blood tests, hair tests are not frequently used as they can be costly. Suboxone can be detected in hair follicles for up to three months after last use.

Determining Factors

The length of Suboxone showing up on a drug test may also be determined by the Suboxone duration and dosage. The longer you have taken Suboxone and the higher dose you take may mean increased time showing up on drug tests.

Suboxone Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one feel you could have a Suboxone addiction, it is important to seek treatment. Detox should be done under medical supervision in the form of gradually decreasing your dose in order to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms. Working through Suboxone withdrawal requires monitoring by a medical provider and steadily lowering the Suboxone dose.

Residential Treatment

For more severe Suboxone addiction, you may consider seeking residential care. Residential care provides a safe, stable environment to find the support to deal with the physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of addiction.

San Diego Detox: a Place for Optimal Healing

For more information about Suboxone treatment or Suboxone addiction, contact San Diego Detox today. San Diego Detox offers a wide variety of treatment options for addiction and mental health. Our team of dedicated professionals utilizes supportive and varied treatment in order to focus on your individual needs.

Call us today if you or your loved one need help with Suboxone, and we’ll be with you every step of the way.