How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System?

Quick Overview

  • Suboxone can remain in your system for up to two weeks after taking the last dose.
  • Suboxone is comprised of buprenorphine and Naloxone; each ingredient has its own half-life. Half-life refers to the amount of time it takes for half of a single dose of a drug to leave your body.
    • Buprenorphine has a 37-hour half-life.
    • Buprenorphine is metabolized into norbuprenorphine, which can remain in your system for up to nine days.
    • Naloxone has a half-life of 30-60 minutes.
  • Suboxone is detectable in urine, hair, saliva and blood tests.

suboxone tablets
Opioid addiction is a serious epidemic that affects the health, social, and economic welfare of people around the world. On an average day in the United States, more than 650,000 opioid prescriptions are dispensed, and 3,900 people initiate the non-medical use of opioids. If you or someone you know is seeking treatment for opioid addiction, there’s a chance you’ve been prescribed methadone or Suboxone as part of your treatment plan. Both are synthetic opioids used to treat patients with an opioid dependency or addiction. While methadone is the more well-known drug of the two, Suboxone is very beneficial during withdrawal and addiction treatment, and it’s widely considered the preferred medication for helping people overcome opioid addiction.
Suboxone is a prescription medication that contains the active ingredients buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial agonist that helps fight the symptoms of opioid withdrawal, and naloxone is a drug used to reverse opioid overdoses. It was approved by the FDA in October 2002.

According to its website, Suboxone is used for the treatment of opioid dependence and should be used as part of a complete treatment plan. It was developed as an alternative to methadone, the go-to drug for treating opioid addiction.

Suboxone comes in the form of a pill and sublingual film. Although it’s still an opioid, Suboxone has less potential for misuse than methadone because it doesn’t create the same intense high as heroin and other opioids.

Compared to methadone, Suboxone is considered safer than methadone it’s a partial agonist. The government allows Suboxone to be prescribed in doctor’s offices, while methadone is only available at methadone clinics or treatment facilities.

Even though Suboxone is designed to end the use of opioids, it’s still addictive and can be misused for an intense high. For someone who is already addicted to opioids, it’s unlikely that Suboxone will have much of an effect. However, for someone who has never or only occasionally used opioids, they are vulnerable to becoming addicted to Suboxone.

People often buy, sell or trade their Suboxone, take Suboxone that is not prescribed to them, or take higher than recommended doses of Suboxone.

Common signs of addiction to Suboxone include:

  • Attempting to obtain multiple prescriptions from doctors.
  • Spending a significant amount of time trying to get Suboxone.
  • Using the drug more frequently or in higher doses than prescribed.
  • Skipping scheduled doses to “stockpile” them for later use.
  • Having to take more and more of the drug to feel the same effect.
  • Giving up activities you once enjoyed to obtain and use Suboxone.
  • Obtaining the drug from alternative sources such as friends or acquaintances.

Neglecting other aspects of your life including school, work, family, or friends to

When someone abuses Suboxone, the desired effects they’re hoping to achieve include:

  • Feelings of euphoria.
  • Feelings of calmness.
  • Reduced sensation of physical pain.
  • Reduced cravings for other opioids.

Suboxone can also have serious side effects, especially if it’s being taken along with other drugs. Some of these side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Hypotension (lowered blood pressure)
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Respiratory depression
Since Suboxone contains the drug buprenorphine, it’s very difficult to overdose on Suboxone – but it’s not impossible.

The risk of overdosing on Suboxone increases when it’s combined with other drugs – such as alcohol and benzodiazepines – to produce a more intense high.

If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms after taking Suboxone, call 911 immediately:

  • Significant drowsiness.
  • Intermittent loss of consciousness.
  • Lack of coordination.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Vision problems.
  • Slowed breathing.
  • Sluggish reflexes.
Many people who take Suboxone are concerned with how long it will stay in their system. The length of time that the drug will stay in your system depends on a number of factors, but one of the biggest determining factors is its half-life.

The main ingredient in Suboxone, buprenorphine, has an especially long elimination half-life compared to other opioids. Elimination half-life refers to how long it takes for half of a single dose of a drug to leave the body. For buprenorphine, the half-life is approximately 37 hours.

It takes your body almost two full days to excrete 50% of the buprenorphine in a dose of Suboxone. When you take into consideration the 37-hour half-life of buprenorphine, it can take up to nine days for Suboxone to be fully cleared from your system.

Although the half-life for buprenorphine is approximately 37 hours, it is then metabolized into “norbuprenorphine.” Though the specific half-life of this metabolite hasn’t been scientifically calculated, it is likely to remain in the body for longer than nine days. This means that Suboxone metabolites may remain in your system for up to two weeks after your last dose.

Naloxone, the other ingredient in Suboxone, has a very short half-life of roughly 30 to 60 minutes. By itself, naloxone is used to treat opioid overdoses.

On average, Suboxone takes nine days to clear from a person’s system. But not everyone is the same. Some people take longer than average to excrete the drug, while for others, it may leave their body faster.

Some factors that influence how long it takes Suboxone to be flushed from your system include:

  • Age
  • Body weight
  • Body mass
  • Height
  • Genetics
  • Hydration
  • Liver function
  • Metabolic rate
  • Urinary pH
  • Dosage (low vs. high)
  • Frequency of use
  • Duration of use
  • Co-ingestion of other drugs
Various types of drug tests can detect Suboxone, however, it’s not typically tested for during a standard drug screening. More advanced tests or extensive drug screenings are required to detect the presence of Suboxone.

Many people are concerned that Suboxone will trigger a false positive for opioids, but this isn’t the case. Urine screenings assess for the presence of opioids via the detection of morphine. While illicit opioids such as heroin and codeine metabolize into morphine, Suboxone doesn’t.

This isn’t to say that Suboxone isn’t detectable in a urine test. If you’re specifically tested for buprenorphine, the drug is detectable in your urine within 40 minutes of ingestion and may remain present for several weeks.

Suboxone is also detectable in hair, saliva and blood tests.

Suboxone addiction is a growing problem in the United States. If you are, or someone you know is, struggling with a dependence or addiction to Suboxone, know that you’re not alone.

The first step to getting treatment is admitting and accepting that your Suboxone use is no longer healthy. It’s one of the hardest steps to take, but it’s also an important one.

The course of treatment for Suboxone addiction varies from person to person but often includes detox, addiction counseling, medical therapy, and aftercare. The goal is to help you not just through detox and your treatment program, but rather to teach you how to cope with daily situations after you leave an addiction treatment facility.

At The Recovery Village, we’re dedicated to helping you overcome your Suboxone addiction. There is hope, and you can live a happy, fulfilled, and meaningful life in recovery. Call our toll-free number today to learn more about our customized substance abuse treatment programs.

A drug half-life is the length of time it takes for half of a drug to work its way out of a person’s system. The chemical makeup of a drug and other factors — such as a person’s body weight, metabolism, how many other drugs they are taking, as well as the dosage, frequency and duration of their drug abuse — affect half-life. Buprenorphine and naloxone are the two main main ingredients in Suboxone. When taken under the tongue, such as in a Suboxone Strip, buprenorphine has a half-life of 37 hours.

When taken intravenously, buprenorphine lasts 1.2 – 7.2 hours. Naloxone has a half-life of 30 – 81 minutes in adults. Suboxone is made of four parts buprenorphine and one part naloxone. As a combination of the two, Suboxone can remain in a person’s system for up to two weeks after taking your last dose. In some cases, it may take longer to fully detox from the drug if the person is a long-time abuser or took high doses. The drug can be detected using urine and blood tests, and hair samples.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.