How Long Does Subutex Stay in Your System? Buprenorphine Withdrawal

subutex pill
Subutex Side Effects

Opioids or narcotics can be helpful when it comes to pain, with some doctors even prescribing the medication. However, certain substances like heroin, oxycodone, and morphine can cause cravings and a certain level of dependence on these drugs. It’s imperative that such an addiction is treated.

This is where Subutex came in. Although the brand name itself has been discontinued, its main proponent in the formulation is still included in prescriptions in combination with others. If you want to learn more about Subutex, side effects, and addiction, continue reading.

What Is Subutex Used For?

Subutex, which refers to buprenorphine, is a formulation that was approved a few years back in treating opioid addiction. It was able to combat the cravings sparked by several opioid substances, as well as fight off the withdrawal symptoms of those opioids. Aside from being a genuine treatment, it was also good for preventing a relapse.

Keep in mind that buprenorphine is often prescribed with naloxone, which is a proponent in Suboxone. However, it is quite different from Suboxone in terms of the formula’s composition. Subutex contains buprenorphine solely, while Suboxone has that and naloxone in its formulation.

How Long Does Subutex Stay in Your System?

The half-life of buprenorphine is normally one or two days. However, the drug can still be partially active for up to four days if it isn’t flushed out of one’s bloodstream. The body can take longer to process Subutex out of the body too, due to the effects that came as a result of its use. Taking Subutex in combination with other substances may lengthen its half-life as well.

There are several other factors that may cause Subutex to stay longer in your body’s system as well. How it is administered, the amount of the dose, and how frequently one takes their doses can all contribute to the drugs sticking it out in your system. Biological, genetic, and environmental factors may also play a part.

How Long Do the Side Effects of Subutex Last?

Subutex side effects can last at varying times depending on its half-life in one’s system. Certain effects such as fever and nausea may wear off much faster, while cramps and sleep may occur daily for a period of time. Generally, the buprenorphine’s effects are the most evident in its first few hours. The pain relief that it offers has never been a total cure.

If you or someone you love is experiencing these side effects, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a treatment center. They will be able to assist you and administer medication to calm them. Consider seeking out a new treatment plan that eliminates Subutex to be free of the side effects that accommodate it.

What Are the General Effects of Subutex?

Subutex’s general effects can depend on the length of its use. In terms of the short-term impacts of Subutex, the main thing that it can do for a person is to reduce cravings and any withdrawal symptoms of opioid addiction or dependency. It also physically and mentally relaxes the individual by slowing their breathing and offering mild euphoria throughout use.

Subutex isn’t recommended for long-term use though, due to its effects on your health. There is a ceiling effect where an increased dosage of it may just level off the substance’s positive effects rather than increasing them. Some people may form a dependency on Subutex regardless of that gradual level off, leading to abuse and several side effects. 

buprenorphine side effects

What Are the Side Effects of Subutex?

When Subutex’s side effects appear can be a case-to-case basis that’s dependent on a variety of factors. Some patients may develop these over time, while others may be due to a change in dosage. Mixing it with other kinds of drugs and substances can also lead to some side effects too.

With an appropriate prescription and intake, you should be free of most of Subutex’s side effects. However, since Subutex’s buprenorphine is regarded as an opioid substance despite being used as treatment, there’s an increased possibility of abuse and harm. Here are several side effects from Subutex addiction and dependency:

  • Fever Patients may experience fever and imbalances in their body temperature a day after Subutex’s administration, though this can depend on one’s tolerance. Sweating and shivering are also considered side effects of the drug.
  • Nausea Sudden and intense dizziness is a common side effect that people may associate with Subutex, especially when it comes to increasing dosage. Nausea may be accompanied by vomiting.
  • Muscle Cramps Although Subutex may help reduce the pain symptoms brought upon by other opioid substances, it may also create its own over time. Muscle stiffness and muscle cramps can occur due to Subutex use.
  • Constipation Subutex has been linked to constipation in the past. This connection is due to buprenorphine’s effects on the body’s intestinal fluid secretion, as well as its overall fluid absorption.
  • Imbalanced Sleep Most people taking Subutex will report a reduction in the number of hours that they sleep. The quality of their night’s rest has changed too due to the other side effects that the medication causes.
  • Increased Cravings Subutex has been intended to regulate and reduce the cravings for other opioid substances. However, continuous buprenorphine intake can also cause a new set of cravings for that specific substance.
  • Difficulty in Breathing Subutex can start to cause respiratory depression when it is taken with other kinds of substances, whether it’s alcohol, sedatives, and more. This difficulty in breathing can lead to an increased heart rate.
  • Death In the worst-case scenario, Subutex can cause cardiac arrest and death. This side effect may also occur when Subutex is used alongside other depressant medications or substances.


Withdrawal from Subutex addiction and dependency may result in symptoms from other opioid drugs appearing again. Certain physical side effects resulting from Subutex use may also occur with more psychological symptoms during withdrawal. A person may experience more mood swings and irritability due to their withdrawal and cravings.

The withdrawal symptoms can usually span from a week to 10 days. It can be quite difficult to overcome a relapse into Subutex use again, especially when the withdrawal symptoms are at their strongest during the third day.

What Will Treatment for Subutex Be Like?

Subutex withdrawal treatment will gradually eliminate the drug from your treatment plan, with the dosages slowly reduced. After that, a different medication should be taken, with the patient placed under medical supervision to observe its effects. Rehab and recovery in a treatment center would also be best.

Detoxification and counseling are two phases that can be incredibly helpful in your journey to being clean from Subutex use. There are also other programs and support groups available for you to explore so that you can cope and get better.


To sum it up, it can be a helpful treatment against other opioids. Frequent and long-term use can lead to addiction and dependency though, which can be difficult to deal with. If you or someone you love is showing side effects that may indicate Subutex addiction, don’t be afraid to seek out help. It isn’t too late to improve your quality of life and overcome your dependency.