Opiate addiction is a major issue in the U.S.
One of the biggest drug problems today is prescription drug addiction. Opiate addiction involves many drugs, ranging from legal ones, such as morphine, codeine, and fentanyl, to illegal ones, such as opium and heroin.
Subutex is one of the most popular prescription drugs 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?”
Subutex: An Overview
Generic Name: Buprenorphine Sublingual Tablets
Brand Name: Subutex
It is used to treat opioid dependence. Buprenorphine is an opioid replacement agent that helps manage the withdrawal symptoms of opioidergic drugs.
Buprenorphine is the active ingredient in Subutex. It creates similar effects as 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 opioid drugs when discontinued.
However, prolonged use of Subutex for attenuating the withdrawal symptoms of opiates can lead to addiction.
‘How long Subutex stays in your body depends upon the doses you take and its half-life cycle.
Subutex’s uses and benefits
Subutex is used to overcome the withdrawal symptoms of opiate addiction.
It helps to arrest the cravings for opiate drugs and prevents the withdrawal symptoms of the addiction.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has approved buprenorphine 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 combined with psychotherapy and addiction counseling.
Half-life of Subutex
Subutex is available as 2mg and 8mg tablets for sublingual administration.
This drug’s peak concentration level occurs 40 to 100 minutes after administration. 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 users addicted to this medication. It works in the user’s body 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 from 24 to 60 hours, with 37 hours as the mean. That means that, 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 takes up to 12 days for a healthy individual.
The metabolites of buprenorphine stay in the hair follicles or the fat cells (adipose tissues) of the body for much longer.
Buprenorphine in your body breaks down into norbuprenorphine. This metabolite has an estimated half-life of about 57 hours. This implies that this drug can take over 12 days to get cleared from your system after the last dose.
Factors Influencing the Elimination of Drugs
How much time Subutex stays in the body is determined by certain factors about 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.
Subutex takes about 8.5 days to be eliminated from your system.
People with large, well-built bodies have better metabolisms and clear drugs and toxins from their bodies faster.
Similarly, young and healthy people eliminate drug residues from the body faster than old or sick people.
Healthy functions of the liver and kidneys are the most important factor determining the speed at which Subutex will be removed from your system.
A chronic user of Subutex will have a considerable amount of the drug’s metabolites deposited in the fat tissues and hair follicles, which stay there longer.
A person taking Subutex and other medications can either slow down or quicken the elimination of Subutex from the body. It is because some drugs affect metabolism by increasing or decreasing the efficiency of certain hepatic enzymes.
Subutex Metabolism, Absorption, and Excretion
Subutex is commonly available in sublingual tablet form.
The moment you place the tablet under your tongue, the active ingredients in the drug begin to enter your systemic circulation through the mucous membranes under your tongue.
The drug’s absorption occurs instantly, regardless of how long you place it under the tongue.
The liver is responsible for buprenorphine metabolism. With the help of the CYP3A4 enzyme, the liver breaks down buprenorphine and converts it into norbuprenorphine. The bioavailability of the drug drops to 31 percent due to the first-pass effect.
Between 40 minutes and 3.5 hours after using the pill, your blood will have the peak concentration of this drug.
Buprenorphine binds to 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 Suboxone stay in your urine?
A urine test is the preferred type of drug detection test as it provides a long detection window.
Since buprenorphine does not metabolize into morphine, only an extensive urinalysis can detect the level of this drug present in the urine. The minimum identifiable value of buprenorphine is 5 mg.
Subutex is detectable in the urine within 1 hour after using this drug. Long-term users can detect this medication 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 and 3.5 hours after using it.
It is possible to trace Subutex in the blood for up to 1 week in norbuprenorphine form after using the final dose of this drug. The frequency and dosage of the drug the patient uses determine the traceability period of Subutex in the blood.
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 it regularly for a long time.
Some studies have detected 156.8 pg/mg of norbuprenorphine and 105.2 mg. of buprenorphine in the hair follicles of chronic drug users.
How long does Subutex stay in the 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 40 minutes after consuming it. 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 detecting drugs in your system.
How to Clear Subutex from Your System Fast?
Here are a few simple steps for clearing Subutex quickly from your system:
Completely stop the usage of the drug to prevent the further accumulation of the drug in your system.
Subutex can accumulate in the fatty cells of your body because of its lipophilic nature. Thus, engaging in fat-burning exercises and eating fat-burning diets helps in the faster elimination of Subutex.
An ‘activated charcoal’ supplement may help bind the unabsorbed drug.