Health, Medical Advice

Subutex Vs Suboxone: Is Subutex The Same As Suboxone?

Subutex Vs Suboxone

Opioids are effective painkillers, but they come with a risk factor. Individuals who are administered these drugs risk developing an addiction to them. Such patients might find themselves having an overwhelming urge to use opioids. This condition is called ‘opioid use disorder’ or ‘OUD’. Certain individuals who abuse opioids might also develop OUD. In the treatment of opioid use disorder, you may heard about Suboxone, and Subutex (the most prescribed OUD treatment pill). In this blog, ‘Subutex Vs Suboxone’, we will be taking a look at Suboxone and Subutex medicines.

Let’s start from their overview;


Subutex is an ‘opioid’ or a ‘narcotic’. This medicine is FDA-approved for the treatment of OUD. Buprenorphine is the generic form of this branded drug. Both generic and branded variants can only be purchased with a prescription.


Suboxone is a Narcotic analgesic combination. It has two main ingredients, buprenorphine and naloxone. Suboxone is used in the treatment of opioid addiction. This medicine is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and is purchased with a prescription. Suboxone is discontinued.

Subutex Vs Suboxone: Forms & Dosages

Read, and know the dose, and forms of the both medicines Subutex, and Suboxone;

Forms Of Subutex

Subutex sublingual tablets are of 2 strengths:

  • Buprenorphine 2 mg
  • Buprenorphine 8 mg

Suboxone Forms

Suboxone is available in the form of sublingual tablets and sublingual films.

  • Sublingual tablets are of the strengths:
    • Buprenorphine 2 mg with naloxone 0.5 mg
    • Buprenorphine 8 mg with naloxone 2 mg
  • Sublingual films are of the strengths:
    • Buprenorphine 2 mg with naloxone 0.5 mg
    • Buprenorphine 4 mg with naloxone 1 mg
    • Buprenorphine 8 mg with naloxone 2 mg
    • Buprenorphine 12 mg with naloxone 3 mg

Subutex Vs Suboxone: Dosing

For both medicines, in case of missed dose, the patient should take the missed dose when they remember. If the time is almost for the next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not take double doses.

In case of an overdose, try to avail medical guidance urgently. Opioid overdose can lead to adverse effects and even death.

Subutex for OUD

Subutex is used in the induction phase of the opioid dependency treatment. The initial dose may be altered by 2 mg or 4 mg until a dose in which the patient does not show signs of withdrawal is achieved.

According to the FDA, Suboxone is preferably used in the maintenance phase of the treatment, as it contains naloxone. Patients who cannot tolerate naloxone, continue their treatment with Subutex. The maintenance dose of Subutex is 4 to 24 mg. After the maintenance phase, the taper phase is started.

In the third phase of the treatment, the maintenance dose will be slowly decreased. This phase is called the taper phase. The dose is reduced in small steps until the patient is no longer dependent on the opioids.

Suboxone for OUD

In the initial stage of the treatment, the doctor will find a dose of Suboxone that suits the patient. The dosage strength at which the patient does not face any withdrawal symptoms will be called the maintenance dose. The minimum and maximum maintenance doses are buprenorphine 2 mg with naloxone 0.5 mg and buprenorphine 8 mg with naloxone 2 mg, respectively.

The patient will be allowed to have the maintenance dose for a few days. If withdrawal symptoms appear, then the doctor can choose to increase the maintenance dose. After keeping the patient in the maintenance phase for a while, the doctor will start the taper phase.

Side Effects Of Subutex & Suboxone

Side effects are seen in some individuals who use these drugs. A few of the commonly seen adverse effects are mentioned below:

  • Subutex Side Effects: Irregular bowel movement, Cough and runny nose, Pain in the throat, Discomfort or pain while urinating, Body aches, Chills
  • Suboxone Side Effects: Discomfort in the throat, Fever, Feeling a rise in body temperature, Headache, Cough and chills, Redness of the skin

Subutex Vs Suboxone In Pregnancy

  • Subutex: Limited studies are done to find the effects of Subutex on pregnant ladies. According to the FDA, buprenorphine use in pregnant ladies has not led to any major malformations, in the child or the mother. Again, the studies are limited, so patients should follow the doctor’s advice.
  • Suboxone: Similarly to Subutex, the research data on the effects of Suboxone on pregnant ladies is not vast. Suboxone also contains buprenorphine, which has not shown any major side effects in ladies who are pregnant, in the research that is available. Still, the data is limited, so kindly use the medicine as per the guidance provided by the doctor.

Precautions To Take Before Using the Both Meds:

  • Drinking alcohol is prohibited, as long as the treatment from Subutex and Suboxone is ongoing.
  • Using Subutex and/or Suboxone makes the patient drowsy. Hence, driving or any tasks that require operating of a heavy machinery should not be performed.
  • These medicines contain opioids. Hence, these should be stored away from the reach of children.
  • Subutex and Suboxone should be kept away from people who have a history of drug and/or alcohol abuse.
  • Subutex and Suboxone are both narcotics. Therefore, they should not be used with other drugs that also have narcotics.
  • Both of these medicines are controlled substances, as they have moderate potential for abuse. They are both CSA Schedule III substances.


Subutex and Suboxone are similar drugs, as they both contain buprenorphine as their active ingredient. One of the differences between them is Suboxone contains naloxone while Subutex does not. The rest of the differences are in forms, uses, and side effects, which are mentioned above.

The blog does not contain every point of difference between Subutex and Suboxone. So, if patients want to learn more, they can take advice from their healthcare expert.

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