Opiate addiction is a major issue in the U.S.
In fact, one of the biggest drug problems today is prescription drug opiate addiction. Opiate addiction involves a large variety of drugs ranging from legal drugs such as morphine, codeine, fentanyl to illegal drugs such as opium and heroin.
Subutex is one of the most popular prescription drugs used for dealing with opiate dependence.
Incorrect use of the Buprenorphine pill can cause dependence and adverse effects on health.
For safety reasons it is worth finding an answer to the question ‘how long does Subutex stay in your system.’
Basic Facts on Subutex
Generic Name: Buprenorphine Sublingual Tablets
Brand Name: Subutex
It is used for treating opioid dependence. Buprenorphine is an opioid replacement agent which helps in managing the withdrawal symptoms of opioidergic drugs.
Buprenorphine is the active ingredient in Subutex. It creates similar effects like the agonist (a chemical) that influences the functions of the receptors in the brain.
It binds the receptors in the brain and nervous system that produce the withdrawal symptoms of opiate drugs.
Buprenorphine works as a “substitute drug” for an opioid. But it does not produce intense withdrawal symptoms like the opioid drugs when discontinued.
However, prolonged use of Subutex for attenuating the withdrawal symptoms of opiates can become addicted to it.
‘How long does Subutex stay in your body depends upon the doses you take and its half-life cycle.
Subutex Uses and Benefits
Subutex is used for overcoming the withdrawal symptoms of opiate addiction.
It helps to arrest the cravings for opiate drugs and prevents the withdrawal symptoms of the addiction.
Buprenorphine is approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for addiction treatment. It is listed under the Schedule III category of medicines that can be used under the direct supervision of a doctor.
Subutex works best for opiate addiction when used in combination with psychotherapy and addiction counseling.
Half-Life of Subutex
Subutex is available in 2mg and 8mg tablets for sublingual administration.
The peak level of concentration of this drug occurs from 40 to 100 minutes after administering this drug. The peak level of its presence in the blood may last up to 3.5 hours before it starts declining.
The half-life of a drug refers to the time it takes to remove half of the drug from the body.
According to a 2005 study published in the Psychiatry Medical Journal, the terminal half-life of buprenorphine ranges from three hours after intravenous administration to 28 to 37 hours after sublingual administration.
How Long Does Subutex Stay In Your System?
Long-term use of Subutex can make the users get addicted to this medication. It works in the body of the user as a substitute for opiate drugs, opium, or heroin.
After quitting the use of this medication, some of the users might begin to experience strong withdrawal symptoms. For this reason, it is good to find ‘how long Subutex can stay in your body.’
Subutex mostly contains a Buprenorphine compound. Just by discovering the half-life of the Buprenorphine compound, we can estimate the approximate time this medication stays in your system.
According to a research report, the half-life of Buprenorphine ranges between 24 to 60 hours with 37 hours as the mean. That means to say, within 37 hours after quitting the use of Subutex, 50 percent of this medicine will be excreted from your body.
Therefore, in 8.5 days 100 percent of Subutex will be eliminated from your body.
However, some reports suggest that complete clearance of Subutex from the body needs up to 12 days for a normally healthy individual.
The metabolites of Buprenorphine continue to stay in the hair follicles or the fat cells (adipose tissues) of the body for a much longer time.
Buprenorphine in your body breaks down into Norbuprenorphine. This metabolite has an estimated half-life is about 57 hours. This implies that this drug can take more than 12 days to get cleared from your system after you had the last dose of this medicine.
Factors Influencing The Elimination Of Drugs
How much time Subutex stays in the body is determined by certain factors on the individual user and other conditions such as:
- Dosage of drug taken
- Age and body size of the individual
- Frequency and duration of usage
- Health condition of the user
- The hydration level of the body after consuming Subutex
- Physical activity and exercises performed by the user
- The genetic disposition of the individual in responding to medication.
On average, Subutex takes about 8.5 days to get eliminated from your system.
People with large and well-built bodies have better metabolism and clear drugs and toxins faster from the body.
Similarly, young and healthy persons eliminate residues of drugs faster from the body in comparison to old or ill-healthy people.
Healthy functions of the liver and kidney are the most important factor that decides the speed at which Subutex will be removed from your system.
A chronic user of Subutex will have a considerable amount of metabolites of the drug deposited in the fat tissues and hair follicles which stays there for a longer time.
A person suing Subutex along with other medications can either slow down or quicken the elimination of Subutex from the body. It is because some drugs affect metabolism by either increasing or decreasing the efficiency of concerned hepatic enzymes.
Subutex Metabolism, Absorption, and Excretion
Subutex is commonly available in sublingual tablet form.
The moment you place the tablet under the tongue, the active ingredients in the drug begin to enter into your systemic circulation through the mucous membranes under your tongue.
The absorption of the drug takes place instantly regardless of the duration you place it under the tongue.
Buprenorphine is metabolized by the liver. With the help of a CYP3A4 enzyme, the liver breaks down Buprenorphine and converts it into Norbuprenorphine. The bioavailability of the drug reduces to 31 percent due to the first-pass effect.
Between 40 minutes to 3.5 hours after using the pill your blood will have the peak concentration of this drug.
Buprenorphine binds the plasma proteins. It is then distributed throughout the body because of its lipophilic nature. Buprenorphine undergoes glucuronidation which ultimately turns the drug into glucuronides. It is then excreted through bile and feces. Only less than 30 percent of this drug is eliminated through urine.
How long does Subutex stay in your urine?
A urine test is the preferred type of drug detection test as it provides a long window of detection.
Since Buprenorphine does not metabolize into morphine, only by using an extensive urinalysis can detect the level of this drug present in the urine. The minimum identifiable value of Buprenorphine is 5ng/ml.
Subutex is detectable in the urine within 1 hour after using this drug. In long-term users, this medication can be detected in urine up to 2 weeks after the final dose.
How long does Subutex stay in the blood?
Within 40 minutes after administering Subutex, it is detectable in the blood. However, the highest amount of this drug’s content is traceable in the blood during the peak hours of its concentration ranging between 40 minutes-3.5 hours after the use of this drug.
It is possible to trace Subutex in the blood up to 1 week in Norbuprenorphine form after using the final dose of this drug. The traceability period of Subutex in the blood depends on the frequency and dosage of the drug used by the patient.
How long does Subutex stay in your hair?
A hair test can detect the presence of Subutex in hair follicles up to 3 months after the cessation of using this drug.
However, the metabolites of this drug get deposited in the hair follicles only when a person uses the drug regularly for a long time.
Some of the studies have detected the presence of 156.8 pg/mg Norbuprenorphine and 105.2pg/mg Buprenorphine in the hair follicles of chronic users of the drug.
How long does Subutex stay in Saliva?
A saliva test can detect the presence of Subutex in your system for up to one week in chronic users of this drug.
Subutex is a sublingual drug. The concentration of the properties of this drug in the saliva is quite high during the first 4o minutes after consuming it. It is because this drug first diffuses into the salivary fluid before being absorbed into the systemic circulation.
A saliva test gives a more accurate result than a blood test in detecting drugs in your system.
How to clear Subutex from your system fast?
Here are a few simple steps for clearing Subutex from your system fast:
Completely stop the usage of the drug to prevent the further accumulation of the drug in your system.
Subutex can get accumulated in the adipose cells of your body because of its lipophilic nature. Thus, engaging in fat-burning exercises and eating fat-burning diets help in the faster elimination of Subutex.
Having an ‘activated charcoal’ supplement may help to bind the unabsorbed drug.