Suboxone and Subutex tablets contain Buprenorphine, a partial opiod agonist that decreases a person’s opiod dependence. These drugs are not as addictive as codeine, morphine and other opiates therefore, sudden stop of drug intake is not harmful. In addition, these two drugs are approved by DEA to manage and treat opiate addiction.
Suboxone is a drug used to treat opiate and heroin addictions. It contains the two important alcoholic-treatment chemicals: naloxone and buprenorphine. It has more potent and long-lasting analgesic effect compared to other opiods. Naloxone is a chemical that intensifies withdrawal symptoms of opiod if taken with alcohol. This mechanism of action reinforces a person’s decision to abstain from alcohol due to its deleterious side effects.
Buprenoprhine primarily acts as an analgesic and sedative. It increases a person’s pain tolerance and decreases the sensitivity to pain. It must be used only with the doctor’s prescription since it may cause mood alteration, euphoric feelings, pupil constriction and dizziness. It also acts as a respiratory depressant thereby causing cough reflex depression.
Notable differences between Subutex & Suboxone
1) Phase of treatment
Subutex (buprenorphine HCl)
This drug is given on the first week of opiod-addiction treatment. It contains buprenorphine hydrochloride. Its chief function is to avert withdrawal symptoms by its stimulation of the brain’s opiate receptors thereby reducing a person’s craving to take drugs.
Suboxone (buprenorphine HCl and naloxone HCl dehydrate)
It is used as a maintenance drug to lessen the possibility of injection abuse after the user completed the detoxification procedure. It also facilitates the reduction of the signs and symptoms of opiate dependence. It is prescribed for addicts aged 16-years old and above. It is less addictive than methadone and has smaller risk of overdose.
Naloxone is one major difference between Suboxone and Subutex. Suboxone contains an added agonist called naloxone HCl dehydrate which has the primary purpose of discouraging the addict from abusing the drug. It was designed in a way that if it is crushed, snorted or injected will result to a bursting precipitated withdrawal, which serves as a restraint for abuse. The decreased risk of abusing the drugs gives the doctors the freedom to prescribe Suboxone as a take-home medication.
Below is a simple illustration of the difference between Suboxone and Subutex:
A person taking Suboxone takes heroin. The Naloxone content of Suboxone fills the brain’s opiate receptors and will block other drugs from activating them. It will result to instant and severe withdrawal pains. This jam-packed withdrawal state cannot be upturned by heroin or any opiate drug.
A person on Subutex takes heroin. The buprenorphine content will strike the heroin away from brain’s opiate receptors and stick on the latter preventing heroin from causing its typical effects. Its partial agonist character will only prevent the sick feeling from the heroin but the receptors cannot be activated to cause euphoric feelings.
Suboxone and Subutex works similarly unless you decide to abuse the former. Both drugs are taken sublingually and under the supervision of doctors experienced in Buprenorphine prescription. These medical experts refer to those qualified doctors included in the list of in the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT).