Advertisement

What is Subutex?

Subutex (buprenorphine) is a medicine prescribed to adults who are addicted to opioid drugs, including heroin and narcotic painkillers like morphine. Subutex can help you break your dependence on opioid drugs by preventing or stopping withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking opioids and by reducing cravings for the drugs. It works by attaching to opioid receptors in the brain, which prevents the abused drugs from hooking on and having an effect.

Other medicines that treat opioid dependence, such as methadone, are distributed only at clinics where the doctors specialize in addiction treatment. When Subutex was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, it was the first drug for treating opioid addiction that could be distributed in a doctor's office and dispensed at a pharmacy.

If you are trying to break an addiction to opioids, your doctor is likely to start you on a low dose of Subutex and have you take it in his or her office. Your doctor may increase your dose over several days. Eventually, you'll probably be switched to another drug, Suboxone, which is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, another ingredient that helps with opioid withdrawal.

Subutex is less addictive than methadone and is easier to take. It comes as a 2 milligram (mg) or 8 mg tablet. The tablets go under your tongue, where they dissolve.

Continue Learning about Opiate Agonists

How does tramadol treat fibromyalgia?
Donna Hill Howes, RNDonna Hill Howes, RN
Tramadol (Conzip, Ultram) is a weak narcotic pain medication. It is sometimes prescribed for people ...
More Answers
How do you treat constipation and other side effects of taking opioids?
Devi E. Nampiaparampil, MDDevi E. Nampiaparampil, MD
Your doctor may prescribe a stool softener along with an opioid to prevent constipation. Other commo...
More Answers
What should I avoid doing while on opioid medication for chronic pain?
Travis M. Hendry, MDTravis M. Hendry, MD
Take opioid pain medication (strong medications that affect the way your brain handles pain sign...
More Answers
How can I prevent opioid medication withdrawal symptoms?
Travis M. Hendry, MDTravis M. Hendry, MD
To avoid opioid medication (strong medications that affect the way your brain handles pain signa...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.