If you’re struggling with Suboxone addiction and thinking about detoxing, it’s helpful to know about the withdrawal symptoms and timeline.

Suboxone is a combination medication containing the opioid buprenorphine and the reversal agent naloxone. Although Suboxone is used to treat opioid dependence and withdrawal symptoms from other opioids, it can still be addictive if misused and can have its own withdrawal symptoms. The good news is there is Suboxone withdrawal help available.

Article at a Glance:

  • Symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal are hot and cold flashes, fatigue, cravings, muscle pain, sweating, nausea, appetite loss, sleeping trouble and diarrhea.
  • People withdrawing from Suboxone may be anxious, depressed and irritable.
  • Physical symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal appear within 6–12 hours.
  • Suboxone may be offered to treat addiction to another opioid, although you may prefer not to take any addictive drugs during the detox period.
  • Medically supervised detox provides tapering precision, safety, comfort and less chance of relapse.

Signs of Suboxone Withdrawal

During withdrawal, your body is doing a lot of work. Thus, you can expect to experience certain physical and psychological symptoms during detox. Co-occurring mental health issues may emerge. Some medical detox and treatment facilities (such as The Recovery Village) offer expert assistance in handling Suboxone withdrawal symptoms. A good treatment center aims to make your detox experience as comfortable as possible. Some of the most common physical symptoms of detox are:

  • Hot or cold flashes: You may experience a sudden, intense feeling of either heat or coldness all over your body.
  • Skin sensations: You might experience physical discomfort, and some people even feel like there are bugs crawling on their skin. Goosebumps may also appear occasionally.
  • Fatigue: Getting rid of Suboxone can make you feel very tired.
  • Muscle discomfort: You might have muscle pain and cramps all over your body.
  • Cravings: It’s normal to have both physical and mental cravings for Suboxone during this process.
  • Sweating: Sweating commonly occurs during opioid withdrawal.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Although unpleasant, these symptoms are common when withdrawing from drugs that impact the brain’s opioid receptors.
  • Appetite loss: A high-quality treatment center will ensure you remain properly nourished, even if you do not feel like eating.
  • Diarrhea: Not only is diarrhea uncomfortable, but it is also dehydrating. To mitigate this, you will need to drink lots of fluids and possibly even use some medications to help your body better adjust to being without Suboxone.
  • Sleep trouble: Insomnia can snowball into other problems, so The Recovery Village® prioritizes good sleep for everyone undergoing detox. Sleep aid medications may help you get much-needed rest.

Some of the most common psychological symptoms of detox are:

  • Irritability or moodiness: Your brain is no longer receiving floods of dopamine, so you may be irritable, especially during the beginning stages of Suboxone detox.
  • Depression and/or suicidality: Unfortunately, these unpleasant feelings may occur. That is why The Recovery Village®’s staff keeps in close touch with each patient undergoing detox. If your depression is severe, your treatment team may consider medications.
  • Anxiety: It is normal to feel anxious when you are learning to live without Suboxone. Anxiety will subside as you adjust. Like depression, severe anxiety may call for a drug-based remedy.

Suboxone Withdrawal Timeline

Suboxone withdrawal neither takes place all at once nor drags on forever. Rather, it is a multi-stage process. Symptoms can occur at any stage of the detox process. Your personal Suboxone withdrawal timeframe may vary, depending on your unique body chemistry. A common Suboxone withdrawal timeline is:

  • Day one: Symptoms may begin to show up within 12 hours after you last used Suboxone. 
  • Day two: Suboxone withdrawal symptoms tend to peak during this time.
  • Days three to five: Suboxone withdrawal symptoms begin to resolve

Even after acute withdrawal has resolved, some lingering symptoms may persist, especially anxiety, depression and insomnia. These symptoms can last for weeks to months but resolve with continued sobriety. 

Coping With Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms

There are multiple mechanisms and strategies to help you cope with withdrawal. Some can be done at home, while others are only available at a treatment facility. For example, you cannot access an onsite therapist or doctor at home. 

Addiction therapists can help you identify and manage any emotions you feel during withdrawal. Doctors with experience in addiction medicine know what to take for Suboxone withdrawal and can guide you toward the most effective medications. 

Regardless of where you are, you will want to engage in the following healthy habits:

  • Exercise: A healthy body helps maintain a healthy mind. Studies have shown that exercise boosts endorphins, the brain’s “feel good” chemicals.
  • Eat healthfully: The importance of proper nutrition during withdrawal cannot be overstated. Your body is crying out in discomfort, but you can soothe it by eating lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains. Eat even if you do not feel hungry.
  • Hydrate: As your body works to remove Suboxone from your system via vomiting, diarrhea and sweating, you will likely become dehydrated. Drinking lots of water is important to ensure you stay safe during detox. This can also help flush toxins from your body. If you drink hot tea to soothe you during this time, make sure it’s a hydrating tea that doesn’t have a diuretic effect.
  • Interaction: Humans are social creatures. We need support from one another, especially during difficult times like Suboxone detox. Reach out to the people around you for support.
  • Fun: Make time to do what you love; maybe it’s painting or playing soccer. Not only do these activities serve as a distraction from cravings, but they also invite joy back into your life.

You may benefit from over-the-counter and non-medication treatments at home or in a treatment center. A few common remedies that can help you cope with Suboxone withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Non-prescription painkillers (ibuprofen or acetaminophen)
  • Stomach-settling remedies (ginger ale)
  • Antacids (calcium carbonate like “Tums”)
  • Anti-diarrheals (loperamide)
  • Multivitamins

Managing Drug Addiction Without Suboxone

When you are struggling with an opioid addiction, experts recommend medication-assisted treatment regimens, with methadone and buprenorphine-based products like Suboxone as the gold standard of care. These medications can help you avoid cravings and prevent relapse as you overcome opioid addiction.

However, sometimes, neither methadone nor buprenorphine products can be used. In these cases, patients can use other non-controlled medications to overcome addiction. These medications include clonidine and lofexidine, which can ease withdrawal symptoms. Following withdrawal, the person may use the opioid reversal agent naltrexone to maintain sobriety.

Medically Supervised Suboxone Detox

Although detox can sometimes take place at home, it is far more comfortable to undergo the process under medical supervision at a place like The Recovery Village. You can even undergo detox as soon as you enter inpatient rehab. Treatment professionals have significant experience helping people through drug detox and can address physical and mental symptoms. 

There are many benefits to medically-supervised detox, for example:

  • Precision in tapering: Detox professionals can determine the amounts of Suboxone you should receive during each tapering stage and when to progress to the next stage with a lower dose. The measurement equipment at a professional facility ensures you receive these exact amounts and stay on track with your scheduled doses.
  • Physical comfort: Prescription detox medications can make you more comfortable during detox. However, they are only available through a qualified medical addiction doctor. Without a doctor, you must undergo detox without the benefit of these medications. You also do not need to worry about cooking or cleaning during medically supervised detox. At The Recovery Village, we take care of daily chores. That way, you can rest as much as you need and focus on getting healthier.
  • Emotional comfort: Without the numbing crutch of Suboxone, withdrawal brings out a lot of long-buried emotions. For that reason, we have mental health professionals on-site at all times if you need to talk to someone while you are going through withdrawal.
  • Safety: In addition to comfort, safety is also an issue with home detox. It is highly unusual to die from Suboxone withdrawal. Nonetheless, there are still risks. For example, you may develop severe depression and suicidality due to the brain’s dopamine dropping. If you detox at home, you must face this daunting illness alone. It is better to be around experts who have successfully helped many people through detox.
  • Relapse risk: If you detox at home, you lack the constant supervision that is available at a medical detox facility. Withdrawal symptoms often become so unmanageable that people with an addiction have no choice but to use Suboxone again.

Frequently Asked Questions on Suboxone Detox

Questions are common when a person is facing a Suboxone detox. These can include:

How long does it take to detox from Suboxone?

Suboxone detox is usually complete within a week. After the drug is cleared from your system, rehab can begin to make sure you stay Suboxone-free over the long term.

Is it safe to detox from Suboxone at home?

Experts recommend detoxing under medical supervision. This can be done at home as an outpatient or in a detox facility as an inpatient, with inpatient programs having higher success rates.

How long does it take to detox from Suboxone cold turkey?

Little data exists on detoxing from Suboxone cold turkey. However, Suboxone withdrawal generally lasts less than a week. That said, detoxing cold turkey can cause uncontrolled cravings, which can lead to relapse.

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Editor – Theresa Valenzky
Theresa Valenzky graduated from the University of Akron with a Bachelor of Arts in News/Mass Media Communication and a certificate in psychology. She is passionate about providing genuine information to encourage and guide healing in all aspects of life. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more

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Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with 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 providers.