Subutex Vs. Suboxone: What’s The Difference?

In many instances, the first stage of substance abuse recovery is a process called detox. During this phase, persons with moderate to severe dependencies undergo the gradual but medically supervised withdrawal of the chemical they abused.

Occasionally, drugs similar to the substances the user was addicted to are employed for this purpose. Two such chemicals are Subutex and Suboxone.

Narcotic Substances

Opioids are also labeled narcotics and include chemicals such as heroin, methadone, opium, codeine, morphine, and oxycodone. When used for legitimate medical purposes, narcotic drugs are often prescribed by physicians to suppress severe pain brought forth by serious physical injuries and advanced illnesses.

Such drugs attach to the brain’s pain receptors. That said, over time, users can grow dependent on these substances and require larger and larger quantities to produce the desired effects. Such events may result in addiction. As dependency progresses, cessation precipitates painful and sometimes potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.


This drug is used to help those addicted to various opioid drugs gradually wean off said chemicals during medically monitored detox occurring inside drug treatment centers or hospitals. Known scientifically as buprenorphine, Subutex is employed at the addiction treatment process’s earliest stages.


The drug is administered through sublingual entry, which means the user places it beneath their tongue and allows the substance to gradually dissolve. This method is preferred because it enables the chemical to enter the recovering subject’s body at a quicker rate leading to fewer and less harsh withdrawal symptoms.


The material is typically given once per day. The amount of the drug administered may vary depending upon the severity of the recipient’s addiction and other health-related factors.

Side Effects

Subutex commonly elicits side effects including:

  • Headaches
  • Perspiration
  • Body aches
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Digestive problems such as constipation, nausea, and vomiting’

That said, the drug is capable of producing more severe physical manifestations such as breathing problems, a reduced pulse, vision problems, oral care concerns, and cognitive difficulties.

Special Considerations

Subutex is not indicated for everyone undergoing opioid recovery. The drug may be harmful to those with severe liver disease and other serious maladies. Moreover, prospective users should disclose the medications they take to attending doctors because Subutex may interact with some drugs.


Like Suxutex, Suboxone is employed to lessen the effects of opioid withdrawal in those detoxing from said drugs. In official scientific lingo, Suboxone is a combination of the substances Buprenorphine and Naloxone.

This drug is typically administered after detox’s initial phases are completed. Moreover, this substance is often taken until the offending narcotic is fully withdrawn.


Similar to Subutex, Suboxone is taken orally using sublingual film. Prior to administration, patients usually drink water to moisten their mouths. This action ensures the substance dissolves quickly and effectively.


The drug is typically taken on a daily basis. Specific dosage will vary depending upon how severe with patient’s dependency was, in addition to notable issues such as said subject’s general health, current weight, and mental state.

Side Effects

Even when used under strict supervision and for therapeutic purposes, Suboxone can precipitate side effects. The most common manifestations include:

  • Muscle pain
  • Digestive issues
  • Oral care problems
  • Dizziness
  • Cognitive concerns like difficulty focusing
  • Sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Vision disturbances

In rarer instances, the drug is capable of producing serious allergic or systemic reactions. Therefore, any unusual symptoms should be reported to a healthcare provider immediately.

The Differences Between Subutex And Suboxone

Medical professionals and addiction specialists note two significant differences between the substances. First, Suboxone contains the drug Nalaxone, in addition to Buprenorphine. Subutex is only comprised of Buprenorphine.

Another appreciable discrepancy between the two drugs is the times they are used during detox. Typically, Subutex is employed in the initial phases whereas Suboxone is employed as the process progresses.

Contacting Us

Individuals seeking to overcome their dependency to narcotic or other substances are encouraged to contact us at 844-639-8371.

The team of addiction specialists employed inside our southwestern Florida treatment facility take great pride in helping people overcome substance dependencies and recapture happy and worthy lives.

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