Suboxone is a popular prescription medicine used for treating opioid addiction.
Unfortunately, some of the individuals who take Suboxone to get rid of opioid addiction end up getting addicted to this drug. This drug can be misused for an intense high by some users.
In some situations, you may want to get rid of Suboxone metabolites from your system as fast as possible. Thus, it is worth knowing how long does Suboxone stay in your system’.
What is Suboxone?
First of all, Suboxone is a prescription medication that contains the active ingredients Buprenorphine and Naloxone.
Buprenorphine is a partial agonist which beneficial for dealing with symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Naloxone contained in this drug is useful for reversing an opioid overdose.
In essence, Suboxone is an alternative to Methadone, another popular drug for treating opioid addiction. It is less potential for misuse in comparison to Methadone. It is mild and does not create an intense high as heroin or other opioids.
Currently, Methadone is available only at Methadone clinics or de-addiction treatment centers. Suboxone is a partial agonist available as a prescription medication in pharmacies.
The problem of Opioid Addiction and Drug Abuse
Opioid addiction is rampant among many people around the world.
According to research by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in the United States of America, more than 650,000 opioid prescriptions are dispensed daily.
As per a 2014 report published by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, there are over 1.9 million people in the United States with addiction problems related to painkillers alone.
With reference to a report by the National Institute Of Drug Abuse, “Prescription opioids are one of the three main broad categories of medications that present abuse liability, the other two being stimulants and central nervous system (CNS) depressants.”
Being an opioid, Suboxone is potentially addictive. This drug also can be abused for intense highs.
However, Suboxone will not have much effect on those who are severely addicted to opioids. However, those who have occasionally used or never used drugs are vulnerable to becoming addicted to Suboxone or Methadone.
If you are addicted to Suboxone, the presence of Buprenorphine in your system can remain in urine, hair, or blood with the help of gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS).
By knowing, ‘how long will Suboxone stay in your system’ you can find ways to deal with the withdrawal symptoms of this drug.
Half-Life Of Suboxone
The half-life of a drug refers to the time taken for the plasma concentration of a single dose of the drug to be reduced to half of its original size.
The Buprenorphine ingredient in Suboxone has a much longer half-life in comparison to other opioids. Buprenorphine has 37 hours as its half-life approximately.
If a dose of Suboxone takes 37 hours to reach its half-life, it will take approximately 8 days to get fully eliminated from your system.
Influencers Of Metabolization and Elimination
On average, for the complete elimination of Suboxone from the body it takes about 9 days
Nonetheless, Suboxone elimination from the system can vary in each person depending on a few variables specific to each user.
Here are some of the factors that influence the metabolism and elimination of the Suboxone from the system:
- Genetic features
- Body mass
- Hydration of the body
- Healthy liver function
- Healthy kidney function
- Speed of Metabolic rate
- Urinary pH
- Dosage (low vs. high)
- Duration of use
The process of metabolizing Suboxone in the liver creates metabolites that tend to stay in the body for even longer than the drug itself. Modern drug tests can detect these as well, so even after 9 days, an individual might still produce a positive test for the metabolites of Buprenorphine in his/her system.
How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System?
If you are addicted to Suboxone, you may want to get rid of this drug’s properties from your system. You may want to know how long time will Suboxone stay in your system’ for fear of its side effects or its possible interaction with other medications that you use.
How long a drug can stay in your system can be predicted by finding out the half-life of a dose of a drug.
By finding the amount of the drug that remains in the plasma we can approximately discover the half-life of a drug.
The half-life of Suboxone is approximately 37 hours. This means that within 37 hours after taking a dose of this drug 50 percent of its original properties will disappear from your system.
A dose of a drug that takes 37 hours to reach half-life need approximately 8 to 9 days for its complete elimination from the body.
Although the half-life for Buprenorphine is approximately 37 hours. However, the liver turns this drug into metabolites known as “Norbuprenorphine.” The half-life of its metabolite is not known or tested scientifically so far.
It is expected that potentially effective metabolites of this drug may stay in your system for up to 2 weeks.
Naloxone, another ingredient in Suboxone has a very short half-life of fewer than 60 minutes.
All the same, the amount of time a Suboxone stays in a person’s system is influenced by several factors. A person’s body weight, metabolism, drug interaction, dosage, frequency of use, duration of drug abuse are some of those major factors.
Will Suboxone show up on a drug test?
Various types of drug tests can detect the presence of Suboxone in your system. More advanced drug tests are best for detecting the presence of Suboxone with higher accuracy.
Normally, urine tests are done to discover the presence of opioids via the detection of morphine. Because most of the illicit drugs like codeine, heroin, cocaine, and others metabolize into morphine, but Suboxone doesn’t.
In addition, Suboxone is also detectable in hair, saliva, and blood tests.
How long does Suboxone stay in your blood?
A blood test is best suited for detecting substances shortly after the ingestion. Buprenorphine via blood test can be detected only for a few hours.
As per lab reports, Suboxone stays in your blood for about 2-12 hours after you had the last dose.
According to RxList.com report half-life of 24-42 hours in the bloodstream for Buprenorphine and just 30-81 minutes for Naloxone.
Typically, Suboxone abusers would use this drug at least once a day. A blood test is effective to detect the abuse of Buprenorphine on the same day of ingesting the drug.
The presence of Buprenorphine in the blood can vary from person to person depending on the person’s ability to metabolize the drug.
How long does Suboxone stay in your urine?
A urine test is the best drug testing method to detect the Buprenorphine presence in the system. Suboxone is detectable in urine within 40 minutes of ingesting it.
Buprenorphine is detectable in the urine for up to 2 weeks or more in persons using this drug in higher doses for a long period.
Usually, the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) urine testing method is most suitable for detecting this drug.
Other urine tests like liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) and cloned enzyme donor immunoassay (CEDIA) are also useful for tracing this drug.
How long does Suboxone stay in your hair?
A hair drug test is a complicated process that goes into a technical analysis of hair to identify the presence or absence of drug metabolites.
This kind of hair drug test is done mostly to detect the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs and steroids by athletes and sportspersons. A hair drug test can also be used to identify the opioid drug abuse history of an individual.
Drug test in hair is more accurate than urine or blood test to detect the presence of opioid drugs such as cocaine, PCP, opium, methamphetamine, and others. This is because the drug metabolites and opiate substances can stay in the hair follicles for a year or more.
The metabolites of Suboxone in hair can be detected in hair tests for 1 to 3 months from the cessation of using this drug.
How long does Suboxone stay in your saliva?
Saliva testing for detecting opioid drugs is a commonly used method.
It is possible to detect the presence of Suboxone in saliva just a few minutes after ingesting the drug.
Buprenorphine (Buprenex, Norspan, or Suboxone) is traceable in the saliva of the user for up to 3 to 10 days. The presence of the opioid drug in saliva can vary from person to person depending on the dosage, duration, and frequency of using the drug.
The drug detection time for the saliva test usually starts either immediately or just a few minutes after use.
The saliva test for drug detection is non-invasive and easy to administer.
The Bottom Line
Here is a quick summary of our discussion regarding ‘how long does Suboxone stay in your system’.
Evidence for previous tests suggests that Suboxone can remain in your system for up to 9 days after taking the last dose.
As Suboxone contains Buprenorphine and Naloxone; each of these ingredients has its half-life duration. Half-life refers to the amount of time it takes for half of a single dose of a drug to leave your body.
- Buprenorphine has 37 hours half-life
- Norbuprenorphine (a metabolite of Buprenorphine) remains in the system up to 9 days
- Naloxone has less than a 1-hour half-life.
Lastly, Suboxone is traceable in your system via saliva, blood, urine, or hair tests.