Suboxone treatment can help those suffering from opioid addiction find their path to recovery by relieving pain and lessening withdrawal symptoms. However, Suboxone itself is a drug and has the potential to be addictive, which is why you should always seek Suboxone treatment under the care of a licensed professional – find a Suboxone doctor near you.
Due to Suboxone’s addiction risk, many people worry about how long Suboxone will remain in their system. While everyone’s experience differs, below you can read how long Suboxone might remain in your system, and learn the factors which impact your body’s ability to metabolize it.
The half-life of a drug is how long the dose takes to leave your system. Suboxone’s half-life is dependent on its ingredients, Buprenorphine and Naloxone. Buprenorphine’s half-life is around 37 hours, which is longer than most other substances. Naloxone’s half-life is much shorter, only 2–12 hours. While Naloxone will leave your system rather quickly, Buprenorphine will stay for a longer period of time.
Suboxone tends to have a longer half-life, since withdrawal doesn’t take effect until a few days after you’ve taken the drug, and since Buprenorphine has that long half-life. Basically, half a Suboxone dose will remain in your system until 20–73 hours after ingestion. It will take twice as long for the entirety of the drug to be gone (sometimes over 8 days). We realize that this is a large time discrepancy, but knowing which factors impact Suboxone’s half-life can give you a better idea of what your experience could be.
Though the average person should clear their body of Suboxone after 9 days, this won’t be the case for everyone. Some people may excrete the drug faster, and some people may take even longer than 9 days to fully excrete all Suboxone, even if they started taking the drug at the same time. Take a look below at the factors that could affect how long Suboxone remains in your system.
Elderly patients could be more likely to excrete Suboxone at a lower rate, due to reduced blood flow, health problems, other medications, and overall decreased bodily efficiency.
The greater the dose of Suboxone relative to your body mass, the longer it will remain in your system. However, Suboxone is stored within lipids or fats throughout the body. So even if you have a larger body mass, if you have a higher percentage of body fat, you will retain Suboxone for a longer period of time. If you have a low percentage of body fat, you may be able to clear the drug quicker.
Staying hydrated can help clear out Buprenorphine and therefore Suboxone much more quickly by flushing it out of your system.
The liver is responsible for metabolizing Buprenorphine, so if you suffer from cirrhosis, liver disease or liver failure, then Suboxone may stay in your system longer. The liver’s inability to do its job will allow more Suboxone to accumulate within your body.
Your metabolism may influence how quickly you can excrete Suboxone from your body. This factor is connected to your level of body fat, since people with less body fat and more muscle tend to have a faster metabolic rate and burn more energy at rest.
Someone with acidic urine or a low pH will be able to rid their body of Suboxone faster than someone with alkalinized urine or a high pH.
The higher your general dosage, the longer Suboxone will remain in your system, simply because there is more to excrete. Your liver will have much more to do, and Buprenorphine will have a greater chance of finding storage in body fat. To know where your dose stands on the low to high chart, here are some standard doses: a low dose is considered to be 2mg of Buprenorphine and 0.5mg ofNaloxone, an average dose is 4mg/1mg, a moderate dose is 8mg/2mg, a high dose is 12mg/3mg, and the highest dose is 24mg/6mg.
This won’t be surprising, but the more frequent and the longer you have used Suboxone, the more likely it is that it will have a longer half-life and remain in your system for a greater period of time. If Suboxone is able to accumulate, especially Buprenorphine, then it will take longer to excrete.
Taking another substance, whether a drug or a supplement, could affect your body’s ability to metabolize Suboxone. Depending on the substance, it could increase efficiency or decrease efficiency, though a lot depends on how that substance affects your liver and your metabolism. If you are taking other medications while on Suboxone, be sure to inform your Suboxone doctor to know how it will affect your treatment.
While Suboxone is being metabolized, the liver actually creates metabolites that stay in the body longer than Suboxone will. One of these is nor buprenorphine, which can remain in the body for over 9 days and up to two weeks. Even if Suboxone has fully left your system, you should know that modern drug tests can detect metabolites as well.
Naloxone leaves the body much more quickly than Buprenorphine, so drug tests are less likely to detect versus the Buprenorphine. The four major drug tests that can detect Buprenorphine are:
1. Blood Test
This test can usually detect drugs shortly after taking them. A blood test works best a little over 2 hours after the last dose.
2. Saliva Test
This type of test is more popular because it is less invasive than a drug test. It can detect Buprenorphine for a few days and even more than a week after the last Suboxone dose.
3. Urine Test
Commonly used by employers, this test can detect Buprenorphine just 40 minutes after ingestion. For people who use Suboxone frequently and at high dosages, Buprenorphine can be detected for up to two weeks after ingestion.
4. Hair Test
The metabolites can buildup in hair follicles and last for 1-3 months. However, this is not the most reliable type of drug test.
When it comes to the ins and outs of Suboxone treatment, be open with your Suboxone doctor about any concerns you may have. While it has its risks like any medication, it can also be an effective treatment that can help you restore your life and find freedom from opioid addiction.
If you are looking for a Suboxone doctor near you, explore Buprenorphine Doctors for the answers you need. We have a directory full of opioid addiction doctors, and another list of opioid treatment clinics. Visit us today and see what you can find!