How long does Subutex stay in your system?

Subutex (buprenorphine hydrochloride) – an opioid addiction treatment

Subutex (buprenorphine) is an opioid most commonly prescribed to patients as a substitute drug to help manage withdrawal symptoms from opioid use disorders. Buprenorphine acts as a partial agonist by activating mu-opioid receptors in the brain. 

Developed as an alternative to methadone, Subutex is most commonly prescribed for those addicted to heroin or other opioids as medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Subutex differs from Suboxone as Suboxone is comprised of both buprenorphine and naloxone.

Although Subutex is still an opioid, it doesn’t produce the same intense high as other commonly used opioids resulting in a lower potential for abuse. Despite this, Subutex is still an addictive opioid with the potential for substance abuse and risk of misuse, which patients must take into consideration before taking the drug. Learn more about withdrawal from Subutex.

Subutex drug detection times

Drug screens and drug tests can detect buprenorphine within Subutex following consumption of the prescription drug and after the user is no longer feeling the opioid effects.

The detection window for each type of test is as follows:

  • Blood: up to 2 days
  • Saliva: up to 24 hours
  • Urine: up to 10 days
  • Hair: up to 90 days

The half-life of Subutex

The half-life is the amount of time it takes for half a dose of methadone to leave one’s body.

Subutex taken sublingually has a half-life of around 37 hours, meaning this is the amount of time it takes for half a dose of Subutex to leave one’s system. It will take between 20-70 hours for half a dose of Subutex to be eliminated from the body. This is due to the buprenorphine component of Subutex, which has an extremely long half-life.

However, this can take longer for those who are long-term users of the opioid drug.

Detecting Subutex in a patient’s body

Subutex is detectable in saliva, blood, urine, and hair drug tests, even after a patient no longer feels the effects of Subutex. More advanced drug screening tests for buprenorphine are required as a person may not test positive on a standard drug screen.

As Subutex is a newer opioid medication, there may be a higher risk of false positives. 

Blood tests

Blood testing can detect Subutex up to 2 days following ingestion.

Saliva tests

Subutex is detectable in saliva samples for up to 3 days following ingestion.

Hair follicle tests

A hair test can detect Subutex up to 90 days following ingestion.

Urine tests

Urine testing can detect Subutex up to two weeks following ingestion.

Factors that determine how long Subutex stays in your body

There are many factors that influence how long Subutex takes to completely leave the body, and this varies from person to person. Due to Subutex being a long-acting opioid, it has the potential to stay in a patient’s system much longer than traditional short-acting opioids. If someone has been consuming Subutex by taking high doses for a long period of time, it will take longer for the drug to leave your system.

Factors that may affect how long it takes Subutex to be metabolized in the body include:

  • Age
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Body’s metabolic rate
  • Liver functionality
  • Body mass index (BMI) & body fat content (percentage of body fat)
  • Quantity of Subutex consumed
  • Duration of Subutex consumption

Risks of Subutex – health problems, opioid withdrawal syndrome

Subutex as an opioid medication, is most often used as a treatment for patients who experience opioid withdrawal symptoms from drug abuse by preventing them from activating pain receptors. However, there is a risk for addiction and Subutex drug abuse. The risk of abuse increases when mixing substances, including benzodiazepines.

A dose of buprenorphine in Subutex is processed through the liver. As the liver metabolizes the buprenorphine, individuals with poor liver function or high buprenorphine exposure will have higher levels of Subutex in their system until the body processes the substance.

Treatment programs for Subutex addiction can be facilitated at a suitable drug rehab center.

Subutex treatment: programs for drug abuse

Medical professionals or your healthcare provider can suggest addiction recovery centers for opioid use disorder treatment. The types of treatments offered encourage sober living and relapse prevention.

Drug addiction treatment centers offer professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment options such as medical detox, inpatient rehab, and outpatient treatment to overcome addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

Treatment center options are also suitable for dual diagnosis and co-occurring disorders including the following:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Opiate addiction
  • Opioid dependence
  • Mental health treatment (bipolar disorder, behavioral therapy)

Check if your insurance covers rehab costs for Subutex treatment.

Subutex addiction treatment through ANR

Accelerated Neuro Regulation (ANR) is an extremely effective opioid addiction treatment. ANR is the only form of medical treatment that works to regulate the critical endorphin-receptor imbalance, tackling the root cause of addiction in the central nervous system. Unlike traditional detox treatment, ANR works on a deeper level and targets the physiological mechanism behind dependency. After treatment with ANR, patients can go back to their daily lives without ongoing pain or the constant fear of relapse.

Find out more about our Subutex addiction treatment programs.

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