Suboxone is a brand-name medication used in opioid substitution therapy, a specific subset of medication-assisted therapy (MAT). Evidence has shown that it can decrease rates of opioid overdose, increase rehab retention, and reduce the need for emergency detox. But as we’ve seen time and time again with pharmaceutical drugs, even the best of intentions can end up being dangerous. Such is the case with this seemingly harmless partial opioid, as Suboxone was found to be capable of causing addiction, overdose, and even withdrawal effects. These potential risks have users wanting to know how to get Suboxone out of their system.
How Long Does Suboxone Stay In Your System?
The amount of time Suboxone lasts in the body is primarily the result of its two active ingredients: naloxone and buprenorphine. The latter has a particularly long half-life (the time it takes for a substance’s concentration in the blood to decrease by 50%) of 28-37 hours per dose.
Since it takes five half-lives for a substance to be considered fully eliminated, the total process can end up taking 5-8 days or up to 14 for someone with a damaged liver. This can take even more time depending on how much Suboxone was taken. Further, Suboxone can be detected by certain types of drug testing long after the drug has cleared the body.
- Detectable in blood: Up to 2 days after the last dose
- Detectable in Urine: Up to 6 days after the last dose
- Detectable in Saliva: Up to 3 days after the last dose
- Detectable in Hair: Up to 90 days after the last dose
How To Remove Suboxone From Your Body
The short answer is that there is no shortcut to instantly removing Suboxone from your body. Suboxone reaches its peak between 30 minutes to 3.5 hours of intake. The effects of Suboxone can be felt for 24 hours though the medication remains in the body for far longer. How long this process takes will largely depend on your metabolism and the amount of the drug in your system. Other factors that can affect the time it takes includes:
- Muscle mass vs. fatty tissue
- Suboxone dosage
- Frequence of Suboxone use
- Presence of other drugs
The majority of buprenorphine, and therefore, Suboxone, is metabolized in the liver where it is then excreted as bodily waste. Only 10-30% is excreted as urine.
Reasons You Might Want Suboxone Out Of Your System ASAP
Suboxone is regarded as a low-risk drug, but even the everyday side effects can be debilitating. Being an opioid, Suboxone is technically a central nervous system depressant that can result in heart, breathing, and digestive issues. Like any other medication, it can result in drowsiness, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating which can make it impossible to drive or operate heavy machinery. There are also other circumstances where you might be safer having eliminated Suboxone from your body.
Suboxone can cause allergic actions resulting in hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the mouth or throat. It can have life-threatening drug interactions if mixed with alcohol, antidepressants, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, hormonal contraceptives, HIV medication, and more. If you have taken, or anticipate ingesting, any of the aforementioned substances, the presence of Suboxone in your bloodstream could be extremely dangerous. Lastly, Suboxone can potentially cause side effects in breastfeeding newborns (though it’s largely to be considered safe).
Are you worried about being penalized for Suboxone showing up in a drug test? The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects individuals in medical-assisted treatment (MAT) from being terminated, denied employment, or being barred from services, programs, or other activities based on the presence of a medication such as Suboxone, Methadone, or Vivitrol in their system.
Are You Struggling With Suboxone?
Suboxone has the potential to do a lot of good in the addiction treatment community. Unfortunately, abuse or accidental misuse of this drug can turn a helpful medication into a dangerous substance. If you or someone you know might be in danger from their Suboxone treatment, contact Amethyst Recovery Center today.