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Subutex (Buprenorphine)

What Is Subutex?

Subutex is the brand name for buprenorphine, a schedule III substance approved in 2000 to be prescribed by certified physicians to treat opioid addiction.  According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, physicians wrote 3 million prescriptions for buprenorphine-based drugs, such as Subutex and Suboxone, in 2012.

While some drug treatment professionals found Subutex to be relatively effective in controlling opioid addiction, there was still a high tendency for abuse and continuous opioid dependence. Many drug abusers sought to use the drug intravenously to obtain the same euphoria they have previously experienced with heroin or opioid painkillers. This trend of abuse led to the need to develop Suboxone.

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Difference Between Subutex and Suboxone

Suboxone contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, whereas Subutex contains only buprenorphine. Naloxone is considered an opioid antagonist, meaning it fills the receptor sites without activating them or causing physical dependence. The main difference in the effectiveness of both drugs in treating opioid addiction is the potential for abuse. Due to the presence of Naloxone, individuals are less likely to abuse Suboxone.

There is often confusion between Subutex and Suboxone. Both contain buprenorphine. Although they are both widely advertised to treat opioid addiction, they are both opioid drugs. The difference is that Subutex is an opioid only (buprenorphine), whereas Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone (an opioid antagonist). An opioid antagonist is a substance that works by reversing and blocking the effects of the drug in the body.

Despite its intent to be used as a treatment for opioid addiction, Subutex and Suboxone can be very addictive and produce similar withdrawal effects to other opioids. Symptoms of Subutex (buprenorphine) withdrawal can vary in severity and duration based on several different factors. These factors include the length of use of the drug, dosage, patient’s health status, emotional stability, and much more.

Subutex Addiction

Addiction is the process of acquiring and using a substance regardless of the negative consequences that are likely to result. Dependence can occur even with drugs that are prescribed.

Some common signs of addiction are:

  • Taking drugs from someone else
  • Dismissing essential life aspects while directing all focus to the substance
  • The constant need for cash
  • Failing relationships
  • Increased moodiness
  • Isolation
  • Missing work or other obligations
  • Lack of interest in once pleasurable activities

When someone is considering ending their use of Subutex, withdrawal symptoms are always a concern. Consulting a medical doctor is extremely important. Cold-turkey detox of buprenorphine-based drugs might be possible; however, to ensure safety and maximize comfort, medical supervision is often the best treatment option. Additionally, medical detoxification, such as rapid detox, tends to provide much better results.

Want to get off of Subutex?
Call 310-205-0808.

Subutex Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

Cold-turkey Subutex withdrawal can last for a month, and symptoms can include:

Most physical withdrawal symptoms will subside after 3 to 4 weeks, but some intense cravings may remain. Physical withdrawal symptoms are usually the worst in the first week after the discontinuation of buprenorphine-based drugs. However, unlike other shorter-acting opioids, withdrawal can remain intense for over three weeks, which adds to the possibility of immediate relapse. If the individual succeeds in overcoming physical distress in the first few weeks, they will likely still be experiencing depression or intense cravings.

Example of a Subutex withdrawal timeline:

  • The first week: physical symptoms at their worst, including sweating, shaking, nausea, vomiting, restless-legs syndrome, muscle and bone pain, and more.
  • Second and third weeks: remaining physical symptoms, insomnia, anxiety, hypertension, and irritability
  • Fourth week: intense cravings, lack of energy, and depression


Due to this prolonged withdrawal syndrome phase, it is important for people who would like to stop Subutex or any other buprenorphine-based drug to contact a medical professional.

Remember, getting through the actual detox phase is the most crucial step towards recovery, regardless of what you may choose after-care. More importantly, without an adequate detox program, you will never be free of opioid dependence. Moreover, the best advice you can receive is to seek professional medical assistance throughout this challenging phase. Don’t suffer alone; there is an effective solution to Subutex addiction.

Want to get off of Subutex?
Call 310-205-0808.

Subutex Detox Treatment

Detoxing from buprenorphine can cause extreme fear and keep individuals from seeking the help they need. Inpatient medically supervised detox programs are often the most comfortable and safe option.
People suffering from Subutex addiction may begin treatment with medical detox. During the detox phase, a medical team will help the patient overcome the withdrawal with sedatives and other medication to control discomfort and vitals. Subutex will be clearing your body in a safe, systematic way. This medical detox is done in an inpatient hospital setting to ensure safety and comfort for the patient.

Waismann Institute® and Domus Retreat® have succeeded in maintaining one of the highest success rates of any existing Subutex detox available. Our quadruple board-certified medical director performs our Subutex detoxification procedures in a full-service accredited hospital. Patients receive the best results, superior medical care, private rooms, and an array of specialists. Thousands of patients worldwide have traveled to our center for our superior safety protocol and unparalleled reputation. Patients from 18 to 82 years of age have achieved full success.

Withdrawal may be a painful and scary process to endure, but like most things in life, it is temporary. If it is handled with responsibility and expertise, it can be successfully overcome. Exclusively located in Southern California, Waismann Method® is a private and safe answer to ending your Subutex dependence. Call Now: 310-205-0808.

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