Medical Advice

Buprenorphine vs Suboxone: Similarities and Differences

Buprenorphine vs Suboxone

Opioid-based medicines are known to us because of the pain we have suffered either due to injury or any other medical condition. The drug is so volatile in nature that it has an abusive accountability. Buprenorphine and suboxone are two common opioid drugs used for treating opioid dependence and for various off-label use. This blog aims to analyze buprenorphine vs suboxone comparison that helps understand these drugs deeply.

It is easy to observe that such kind of medications are available only with the help of the prescription of a medical healthcare expert but also their accountability of use.

So, let’s start the blog with a brief introduction to an opioid and then compare them depending on various factors.

What is an opioid?

Opioid is a medication that is obtained naturally from the opium poppy plant. Such kind of medication provides relief from pain to an individual.

Not only this reason opioids are known for but it also treats medical conditions such as diarrhea, cough, or reversing an overdose.

Comparison: Buprenorphine vs Suboxone

What is Buprenorphine?

This FDA-approved drug is to be used as the medicine for treating pain and opioid disorders. The drug is obtained from thebaine, which is an alkaloid found in the poppy plant.

It is also used as a principle medicine in treating drug dependency in people, such as heroin. It is found to be the most appropriate method for treating such patients, that too with a less potent opioid.

Buprenorphine is the generic name of the medicine and it is sold under several brand names such as Sublocade (subcutaneous injection), brixadi (hypodermic injection), Subutex (tablets), and Butrans (dermal patch), etc.

What is Suboxone?

The medication is somewhat similar to buprenorphine and is an opioid-based drug that is not used for treating pain in people. Being an opioid based medicine it is considered narcotic.

Suboxone is a mixture of buprenorphine and naloxone. Naloxone binds the effects of the opioid drug such as relief in pain and addictive usage. It is used as a medication to treat narcotic-based addictions. Buprenorphine and naloxone are the generic names of the medicine and belongs to the drug class of narcotic

Drug Interactions: Buprenorphine vs Suboxone


It becomes necessary to consult a healthcare professional when you are facing problems while breathing, using antibiotics, medications related to heart or blood pressure, and medications used for treating multiple episodes of seizures.

Some drugs that can interact with this drug are as follows-

  1. Avoid taking this medication along with HIV treatment.
  2. Medications used for treating allergies, colds, or asthma
  3. Sedatives such as valium, alprazolam, Xanax, etc are not recommended for use with this medicine
  4. Drugs that make you feel drowsy or sleepy, muscle relaxants or medications used to treat disorders related to mood, etc.
  5. Don’t take those drugs that can affect serotonin along with the medication.


It is an opioid-based drug that is only used to treat people who are dealing with high-potency addictive substances.

This kind of medication requires an expert’s supervision, who is responsible for providing you an accurate dose of the drug.

Your healthcare professional should know your medical past as the drug has an abusive accountability as well as can cause death of an individual if ingested with certain medications, which are as follows:

  1. Medications that are used to treat an irritable bowel, overactive bladder, or motion sickness are avoided in order to abstain from the side effects of the medicine.
  2. Drugs that are used to treat allergic disorders, and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) medications are to be avoided.
  3. Medications that are utilized for the treatment of depression, headaches, or migraine are not suggested to be taken with suboxone.
  4. Sedatives such as diazepam, Klonopin, or lorazepam are not consumed with this drug.
  5. Other opioid medications or drugs such as cough relief medicine

Uses of Both Medications:

Mainly Buprenorphine is used to treat opioid use disorder and opioid withdrawl symptoms. It is also used to manage pain in individuals. Sometimes doctor prescribes this medicine for neonatal abstinence syndrome. It happens when someone takes opioids for a long time during pregnancy.

It works in the brain and interrupts the nerve’s signal pain between the brain and the body and reduces the pain. This drug replaces other opioids reduces the withdrawal negative effects, and decreases the drug’s harm.

In other ways, Suboxone is also used to treat opioid dependence in people. It is also used for some off-label useto treat attention deficit hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) in both children and adults.

This drug contains buprenorphine in four parts and naloxone in one part. At first, buprenorphine works in the brain to think that it is receiving a full dose of an opioid. Naloxone blocks the opioid receptor’s activation, thereby reversing the buprenorphine euphoric effects.

Which medicine is cost-effective? (Buprenorphine vs Suboxone)

The generic variant of buprenorphine is a much better economical option for those who find suboxone a costly medicine.

Rest things are decided on the basis of insurance capping of an individual.

Side effects of Suboxone and Buprenorphine Drug:

Both medications have the potential to have common and severe side effects as follows-

Common side effects-

  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Back pain
  • Constipation
  • Redness
  • Blurry vision
  • Tongue Pain

Severe Side effects-

  • Difficulty in berating
  • Swelling of the face, tongue, lips
  • Hallucination
  • Fever
  • Confusion
  • Chills
  • Menstuaral period problem
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Liver problems: Stomach pain, dark urine, jaundice.

Also, sometimes individuals may face dental problems after taking buprenorphine.

Availability of Drugs:

You may find that the availability of buprenorphine across some countries along with the United States is only on the basis of the prescription of a healthcare professional who has attained additional training.

Suboxone is also a regulated drug, but the existence of naloxone makes the medicine additionally restricted.


In conclusion, we have seen that Buprenorphine and Suboxone are not the same. Suboxone is a drug that consists of two components that are used for treating opioid dependency in an individual.

Buprenorphine is termed as an opioid agonist, which is used for the treatment of an individual who is opioid dependent or used as the remedy for treating pain whether moderate or severe.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *