What Is The Difference Between Suboxone And Subutex?

If you’ve been wondering about the differences between suboxone and subutex, this post will be of help to you. Because there are many important distinctions – like how they’re administered, their cost, and whether or not they cause withdrawal symptoms – it’s not always easy to tell which drug is better.

What is Suboxone

Suboxone is a prescription drug that comes in the form of a film strip and is intended to treat opiate addiction. The strip is placed under the tongue and dissolves slowly, delivering the active ingredient buprenorphine over time. This buprenorphine is what keeps the drug addict from experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine, like methadone, is an opiate that works on the brain as heroin or OxyContin does. So, it’ll keep the addict coming back for another dose just as heroin or morphine would.

What is Subutex

Subutex is also a prescription medication, but it’s used to treat short-term opiate withdrawal symptoms rather than long-term addiction. It works the same way as suboxone does – it contains buprenorphine, an opiate, and is placed under the tongue for absorption.

What is The Difference Between Suboxone and Subutex

1. How They’re Administered

Suboxone film strips are placed under the tongue where they dissolve, delivering small amounts of buprenorphine over many hours. Subutex, on the other hand, is taken as a pill that contains buprenorphine. Because subutex is swallowed rather than placed under the tongue like suboxone, it’s absorbed much more quickly. This is a good thing because it helps prevent withdrawal symptoms from occurring in the middle of the night when they might disrupt sleep.

2. Cost

Suboxone film strips can cost up to $1 each if you buy them from a pharmacy. Buying them from a rogue pharmacy or drug dealer might cost you even more. Subutex pills can be obtained for less than $1 per pill and are usually even cheaper if you buy them in bulk. If you want to purchase a full film strip, you can buy them for about $20. If you want to buy one, you can get it for about $20-30. But you’ll probably have to buy several strips to absorb the buprenorphine.

3. How They’re Used

Suboxone is specifically designed to be placed under the tongue, where it will slowly dissolve. This lets the buprenorphine in suboxone reach your bloodstream rapidly, which can help prevent withdrawal symptoms. Subutex pills are swallowed so that they can be absorbed faster by your body, usually within about 20 minutes after ingestion. This is why subutex is used to treat short-term opiate withdrawal symptoms rather than full-blown addiction.

4. Side Effects

Both medications contain the same active ingredient (buprenorphine), and therefore they both carry the same risks. There’s a slight difference in severity, though. Suboxone is more likely to cause milder side effects like drowsiness or constipation. Subutex pills are rarer, and therefore have a shorter track record of use. Since they’re designed for you to take once a day, side effects of subutex may be less severe than those associated with suboxone. Side effects associated with either medication can range in severity anywhere from mild (drowsiness) to life-threatening (depression).

5. Withdrawal Symptoms

Suboxone is a bit harder on the body than subutex, which allows it to prevent withdrawal symptoms from occurring in the middle of the night. Suboxone can cause uncomfortable side effects if taken too regularly, such as constipation and diarrhea. This is why you should only take suboxone when you need it. If you take suboxone too many times a day, you might trigger a nasty withdrawal. On the other hand, you can take subutex two or three times a day with little to no side effects. But keep in mind that you need to take subutex daily to prevent withdrawal symptoms, so it’s possible to overdose.

6. What to Expect

Suboxone is an opioid agonist/antagonist. It contains buprenorphine, which is what helps to relieve the symptoms of opiate addiction. Subutex is similar in this respect, but its effects wear off quickly. This means that if you stop taking subutex suddenly, withdrawal symptoms will likely occur again. If you take suboxone too frequently, you might trigger a withdrawal period. This is why it’s recommended that you only take suboxone when your body needs it. You need to take subutex daily to prevent withdrawal symptoms, so you don’t have to worry about sudden withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms linked with suboxone can be mild or severe. The severity is determined by how long you take the drug.


To sum it all up, suboxone and subutex are both buprenorphine-containing prescription drugs. Suboxone offers a slower absorption time, while subutex is faster. Subutex gets targeted at patients who are not fully addicted to opiates, while suboxone gets targeted at opioid addicts. Knowing the differences between these two medications will help you choose which one is right for you.

If you need suboxone or subutex, contact the professionals at our local office or give us a call. We can help you to get the right medication today. We provide gentle and compassionate care for our patients and advocate for their needs at all times. Call us at 833-846-5669.