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How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your Body?

June 11, 2021

If you or a loved one have been researching different ways to get treatment for opioid addiction, you may have heard of Suboxone. Suboxone is an FDA-approved brand name drug that contains both buprenorphine and naltrexone, used to help curb opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

It was made as an alternative to methadone, used to treat prescription opioids and heroin.

Since it is a long-acting opioid, the amount of time Suboxone stays in your system will vary, and can best be determined by looking at how it is metabolized.

Metabolization of Suboxone and Looking at Half-Life

The first thing to take into consideration for Suboxone staying in your body is half-life. Half-life is the amount of time it takes for half of a single dose of a drug to leave the body. Since there are two drugs in Suboxone (buprenorphine and naltrexone), we have to look at the half-life of each.

Buprenorphine has the longer half-life of the two, which ranges anywhere between 24 to 48 hours. The half-life of naloxone is much shorter, ranging from just a couple of hours up to 12.

How Many Half-Lives Does a Drug Stay in Your System?

It takes about five half-lives for a drug to completely leave your system. Since buprenorphine is in your system the longest out of two, we’ll take a look at five half-lives of it. 

If we assign an average half-life of 40 hours to buprenorphine, that means it could take 200 hours, or over 8 days, to leave your body. Therefore, it is generally safe to say that Suboxone could be in your system for up to 8 or 9 days.

However, it may be detected in your body for much longer.

Factors That Influence How Long Suboxone Stays in Your Body

The period of time that it takes for Suboxone to leave the body is different for everyone and based on a number of factors. These include:

  • Age
  • Weight, body fat content
  • Height
  • Speed of metabolism
  • Size of the last dose
  • How long abuse has gone on
  • Liver health and function

How is Suboxone Detected?

Urine – The most common type of drug test, Suboxone may show up in a urine test up to 40 minutes after taking it, and may show up for up to two weeks after your last dose, 

Saliva – Suboxone can be detected in your saliva almost immediately after taking it, and may show up for around five days

Blood tests – Blood tests may show Suboxone for up to 4 days after your last dose

Hair tests – With the longest detection window, a hair test may show Suboxone up to 1-3 months after your last dose

Getting Help for Addiction

For most people, taking medication as prescribed presents no worries about how long it will stay in their system. It’s always a good idea to keep in mind the effects of the medication and how it will impact things like your ability to drive. Always consult with your doctor to understand the full side effects and if it’s right for you.

Suboxone is one of the most effective medically-assisted treatments available in the fight against opioid treatment. Combined with a comprehensive care and recovery plan, like those you’ll find at IHAT, it can help with making a full recovery.

Unlike methadone and other stronger medications, Suboxone is less likely to make the user form a dependency, and withdrawal symptoms are not as severe. Being able to be prescribed Suboxone for take-home use as opposed to office-only administering makes it a flexible option for those with busy lives.

To learn more about IHAT’s programs and if they’re right for you or a loved one, please call 757-938-3654 today.


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