Subutex vs Suboxone, What’s The Difference Between Them?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has been proven to be one of the most effective treatment options for opioid addiction. Among the medications used for MAT, Subutex, and Suboxone are two commonly prescribed drugs. Both medicines contain buprenorphine, which reduces cravings and alleviates withdrawal symptoms. However, individuals and healthcare providers should be aware of the significant differences between these two drugs.


What Is Subutex Vs Suboxone?

Opioid addiction has become a serious epidemic affecting individuals worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that globally, 27 million people are struggling with opioid addiction. Over 130 people die daily from opioid-related drug overdoses in the United States alone. As the opioid epidemic continues to be a major public health crisis, healthcare providers must offer effective treatment options to those struggling with opioid addiction.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has been proven to be one of the most effective treatment options for opioid addiction. Among the medications used for MAT, Subutex, and Suboxone are two commonly prescribed drugs. Both medications contain buprenorphine, which reduces cravings and alleviates withdrawal symptoms. However, individuals and healthcare providers should be aware of the significant differences between these two drugs.

One of the primary differences between Subutex and Suboxone is the formulation of the medication. Subutex is a single-ingredient medication containing only buprenorphine, while Suboxone combines buprenorphine and naloxone. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, meaning it can reverse the effects of opioids and prevent overdose. Due to this additional ingredient, Suboxone is generally less prone to abuse and overdose than Subutex.

Suboxone Vs Subutex Difference

Another important factor to consider when choosing between Subutex and Suboxone is their use during pregnancy. While both medications are considered safe during pregnancy, Subutex may be preferred over Suboxone for pregnant individuals. This is because Subutex has been found to have a lower risk of causing neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). This condition can occur when a baby is born to a mother who used opioids during pregnancy.

The differences between Subutex and Suboxone also extend to their side effects and effectiveness for pain management. While both medications can cause side effects, such as headache, nausea, and constipation, Suboxone may more likely cause withdrawal symptoms in individuals already dependent on opioids. Additionally, while both medications effectively manage pain, Subutex is generally considered a more potent pain reliever than Suboxone.

The decision between Subutex and Suboxone should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider, considering an individual’s medical history, pregnancy status, and other factors. By understanding the differences between these two medications, individuals and healthcare providers can decide which medication best suits each person’s unique needs.

Suboxone Vs Subutex In Pregnancy

Opioid use disorder during pregnancy can pose significant risks to the mother and the developing fetus. However, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with medications like Subutex and Suboxone can help manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of relapse.

Both Subutex and Suboxone contain the active ingredient buprenorphine, which is a partial opioid agonist that can help alleviate cravings and withdrawal symptoms. However, some differences between Subutex and Suboxone are worth considering during pregnancy.

One of the primary differences between Subutex and Suboxone in pregnancy is that Subutex contains only buprenorphine, while Suboxone contains both buprenorphine and naloxone. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids and can cause withdrawal symptoms if injected. Although the amount of naloxone in Suboxone is insufficient to cause withdrawal symptoms when taken as directed, some healthcare providers may prefer Subutex during pregnancy to avoid potential risks.

Another difference between Subutex and Suboxone is their formulation. Subutex is available as a sublingual tablet, while Suboxone is a sublingual film. The sublingual route of administration is preferred in pregnancy because it avoids the first-pass metabolism in the liver, which can result in a higher concentration of the medication in the bloodstream.

However, the tablet formulation of Subutex may be easier to swallow for some pregnant individuals who have difficulty with the film formulation of Suboxone.

It’s essential to note that Subutex and Suboxone are safe and effective in pregnancy (suboxone vs subutex pregnancy), and the decision to use one medication over the other should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider.

The choice may depend on factors such as the individual’s medical history, opioid use history, and preference for the formulation. Additionally, both medications may have side effects such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, and dizziness. It’s crucial to discuss all options with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for each individual.

Subutex and Suboxone are safe and effective MAT options during pregnancy (subutex vs suboxone in pregnancy). However, healthcare providers may prefer Subutex over Suboxone due to the absence of naloxone.

Additionally, the formulation of the medication may be a consideration for pregnant individuals who have difficulty swallowing pills or have concerns about the concentration of the medication in the bloodstream. It’s important to have an open discussion with a healthcare provider to determine the best approach to MAT during pregnancy.

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  1. Subutex Vs Suboxone Pregnancy, is it safe?

    Both Subutex and Suboxone are safe and effective in pregnancy. However, some differences between the medications should be discussed with a healthcare provider to determine the best option.

  2. What is the Subutex Vs Suboxone Cost?

    The cost of Subutex and Suboxone can vary depending on location and insurance coverage. Generally, Subutex is less expensive than Suboxone.

  3. Subutex Vs Suboxone For Pain, which is better?

    Both Subutex and Suboxone can be used for pain management, but they are not typically prescribed for this purpose. It’s essential to discuss pain management options with a healthcare provider to determine the best approach.

  4. Subutex Vs Suboxone Vs Vivitrol, Which is Better?

    Subutex and Suboxone are both forms of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder, while Vivitrol is a different medication that is administered by injection. The choice between the medications depends on individual factors; a healthcare provider can help determine the best option.

  5. Subutex Vs Suboxone Vs Methadone, Which is Better?

    Subutex, Suboxone, and methadone are all medication-assisted treatments for opioid use disorder. The choice between the medications depends on individual factors such as the severity of the addiction and previous treatment attempts. A healthcare provider can help determine the best option.

  6. What is the Cost Of Subutex Vs Suboxone?

    The cost of Subutex and Suboxone can vary depending on location and insurance coverage. In general, Subutex is less expensive than Suboxone. Without insurance, the average cost for Subutex ranges from $120 to $150 for 30 tablets of 8mg, while Suboxone can range from $166 to $570 for the same amount.

  7. How is The Suboxone Vs Subutex High?

    Subutex and Suboxone are both medications used in medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction. Subutex contains buprenorphine, while Suboxone contains both buprenorphine and naloxone. Naloxone can cause withdrawal symptoms if injected, so Suboxone is formulated to discourage abuse by injection. Both medications have a similar effect on the brain and produce a similar high when taken as directed. It’s important to follow the prescribed dosage and frequency and to avoid using these medications recreationally.

Suboxone Facts

Suboxone Overview

Suboxone is a medication used in the treatment of opioid addiction. It contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, which work together to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opioids.

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that activates the same receptors in the brain as opioids, but to a lesser degree, which can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that can reverse the effects of opioids and prevent abuse of Suboxone by injection.

Suboxone is administered sublingually (under the tongue) in a film or tablet form and is typically used in combination with counseling and other support services as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.


Side Effects of Suboxone

Common side effects of Suboxone can include constipation, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, and sweating. Less common side effects may include allergic reactions, respiratory depression, and liver problems. It’s important to use Suboxone only as directed by a healthcare provider and to report any concerning side effects immediately.

Sings and Symptoms of Suboxone Abuse

Some signs and symptoms of Suboxone abuse include:

  • Taking Suboxone more frequently or in higher doses than prescribed
  • Using Suboxone to get high or to alleviate withdrawal symptoms from other drugs
  • Continuing to use Suboxone after the prescribed treatment period has ended
  • Hiding or lying about Suboxone use
  • Neglecting responsibilities and obligations due to Suboxone use
  • Using Suboxone despite negative consequences
  • Withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop or reduce Suboxone use
  • Needing increasing amounts of Suboxone to achieve the desired effect
  • Changes in behavior, mood, or appearance
  • Engaging in risky or dangerous behaviors while under the influence of Suboxone

It’s important to seek help if you or a loved one is experiencing any signs and symptoms of Suboxone abuse.

Suboxone Abuse Statistics

Suboxone is a medication used to treat opioid addiction, but it can be abused like any medication. Suboxone abuse can have serious consequences, both for the individual and for society as a whole. In this section, we will explore some of the statistics related to Suboxone abuse to understand the problem’s scope better and identify opportunities for prevention and intervention.


Emergency department visits related to buprenorphine (the active ingredient in Suboxone) increased from 3,161 in 2005 to 30,135 in 2010.

Source: SAMHSA

In 2019, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported that approximately 2 million people in the US misused prescription opioids, including buprenorphine products like Suboxone.

Source: NIDA

A study found that among patients in substance abuse treatment who were prescribed buprenorphine, 21% reported misusing the medication in the past month. Of those who reported misuse, the most common reason cited was to get high.

Source: Journal of Addiction Medicine


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Suboxone Vs Subutex Side Effects

Subutex vs Suboxone are medications used in the treatment of opioid addiction.
Subutex and Suboxone are medications used in the treatment of opioid addiction.

Subutex Vs Suboxone Side Effects

Subutex and Suboxone are medications used in the treatment of opioid addiction. While both medications contain buprenorphine as their active ingredient, Suboxone also contains naloxone, an opioid antagonist that can help prevent medication abuse by injection.

As with any medication, Subutex and Suboxone can cause side effects. Here are some of the common side effects of suboxone vs subutex:

  • Constipation is a common side effect of opioid medications like Subutex and Suboxone. This can be managed with dietary changes, increased water intake, and over-the-counter remedies like laxatives or stool softeners.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Some people may experience nausea or vomiting when taking Subutex or Suboxone. This can be managed with anti-nausea medication or by taking the medication with food.
  • Headache: Headaches are another common side effect of Subutex and Suboxone. This can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • Dizziness: Some people may experience dizziness or lightheadedness when taking Subutex or Suboxone. This can be managed by avoiding sudden movements or standing up slowly.
  • Sweating: Sweating is a common side effect of opioid medications like Subutex and Suboxone. This can be managed with proper hygiene and by wearing breathable clothing.
  • Insomnia: Some people may experience difficulty sleeping when taking Subutex or Suboxone. This can be managed with good sleep hygiene practices, such as establishing a regular bedtime routine and avoiding caffeine or electronic devices before bed.
  • Respiratory depression: Like all opioids, Subutex and Suboxone can cause respiratory depression, a potentially life-threatening condition in which breathing becomes slow and shallow. This risk is higher in people with respiratory problems or taking other medications that can depress breathing.
  • Liver problems: Rarely, Subutex and Suboxone can cause liver problems, including liver damage and failure. This risk may be higher in people with a history of liver disease or taking other medications that can affect the liver.
  • Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to Subutex or Suboxone, which can cause symptoms such as itching, hives, or difficulty breathing. This is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention.

It’s important to use Subutex and Suboxone only as directed by a healthcare provider and to immediately report any concerning side effects.

Subutex Vs Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms

Both Subutex and Suboxone are medications used to treat opioid addiction and dependence. However, as with any medication used for opioid addiction, withdrawal symptoms can occur when stopping use.

Withdrawal symptoms from Subutex and Suboxone are similar to those experienced when withdrawing from other opioids such as heroin or prescription painkillers. Some common withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Runny nose and teary eyes
  • Dilated pupils
  • Cravings for opioids

It’s important to note that the severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the individual’s level of dependence, the medication dosage, and how long the individual has been taking it.

Subutex Vs Suboxone Pill

The difference between Subutex and Suboxone pills lies in their composition. Subutex comes in a sublingual tablet form and contains only buprenorphine, while Suboxone comes in both sublingual tablets and sublingual film and contains both buprenorphine and naloxone.

Subutex is typically prescribed in the early stages of opioid detoxification, when withdrawal symptoms are most severe, and is usually tapered off as the patient progresses through treatment. Suboxone is typically prescribed for longer-term maintenance therapy, as the addition of naloxone helps deter abuse of the medication.

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Subutex Vs Suboxone Bluelight

“Bluelight” refers to a drug-related internet forum where individuals share information and experiences about various substances. It’s important to note that discussing and sharing information about using drugs in this way can be dangerous and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment.

Some individuals on bluelight have reported using Subutex and Suboxone for recreational purposes, although this is not the intended use of either medication. Some users report that Subutex produces a stronger and more euphoric high than Suboxone, which is likely due to the absence of naloxone in Subutex.

It’s important to note that using Subutex or Suboxone for recreational purposes can be very dangerous, as both medications can cause respiratory depression and other serious side effects when misused. Additionally, using opioids recreationally can lead to addiction, overdose, and other negative consequences. It’s always best to use medications only as prescribed by a healthcare provider and to avoid using drugs recreationally.

"Bluelight" refers to a drug-related internet forum where individuals share information and experiences about various substances.
Subutex Vs. Suboxone, “Bluelight,” is a drug-related internet forum where individuals share information and experiences about various substances.

Subutex Vs Suboxone High

The active ingredient in both Subutex and Suboxone is buprenorphine, which is a partial opioid agonist that helps reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings. However, Suboxone also contains naloxone, an opioid antagonist that can help prevent medication abuse by injection.

Some individuals have reported that Subutex produces a stronger and more euphoric high than Suboxone, likely due to the absence of naloxone in Subutex. However, it’s important to note that using either medication to get high can be very dangerous, as both medications can cause respiratory depression and other serious side effects when misused.

It’s always important to use medications only as prescribed by a healthcare provider and to avoid using drugs recreationally. If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction, it’s important to seek professional help and support from a healthcare provider.

Subutex Vs Suboxone Price

Depending on your region and insurance coverage, the cost of Subutex and Suboxone may change. Suboxone is generally more expensive than Subutex. Subutex typically costs between $120 and $150 for 30 8mg tablets when purchased without insurance, but Suboxone costs between $166 and $570 for the same quantity.

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We Level Up Subutex vs Suboxone Dual Diagnosis Treatment

The definition of dual diagnosis (also referred to as co-occurring disorders) can differ between institutions. However, it is generally described as the specific treatment of someone diagnosed with a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder simultaneously. Treating dual-diagnosis clients is a critical aspect of our inpatient treatment experience because co-occurring disorders are strongly correlated with instances of substance abuse.

Creating a treatment plan that addresses the physical aspects of withdrawal, the psychological connection with drug use, and managing underlying mental health disorders is part of setting clients up for success.  A thorough mental health analysis identifies possibilities for treatment.  Meeting with mental health counselors and medical care providers means access to behavioral therapy and medication treatment. At our dual diagnosis treatment center, We Level Up can implement the highest quality of care. 

We recognize the fragile complexities of how mental and substance abuse disorders can influence others and sometimes result in a vicious cycle of addiction.  That’s why we offer specialized treatment in dual-diagnosis cases to provide the most excellent chance of true healing and long-lasting recovery.

Accepting that you may be living with a mental illness can be challenging. However, treating the presenting substance abuse case can be magnitudes easier once properly diagnosed and treated. Only a properly trained medical professional can diagnose these underlying conditions.  If you believe you are suffering from a disorder alongside addiction, we urge you to seek a qualified treatment center to begin your journey to recovery. Call We Level Up detox center today.

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Sources
  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): https://www.samhsa.gov/
  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): https://www.fda.gov/
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/medications-to-treat-opioid-addiction/how-do-medications-to-treat-opioid-addiction-work
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/
  5. National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment (NAABT): https://www.naabt.org/faq_answers.cfm?ID=16
  6. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD): https://www.ncadd.org/about-addiction/addiction-update/buprenorphine-suboxone-vs-subutex
  7. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Buprenorphine Practitioner Locator: https://www.samhsa.gov/
  8. American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM): https://www.asam.org/resources/publications/magazine/read/article/2017/05/30/what-s-the-difference-between-suboxone-and-subutex
  9. National Library of Medicine – MedlinePlus: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a605002.html
  10. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): https://www.hhs.gov/