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How long does buprenorphine stay in your system?

Buprenorphine is detectable in urine up to 4 days after ingestion. With a long half life (24-60 hours) and slow onset, buprenorphine is becoming the preferred medication for opiate addiction treatment. But it is unlikely that you will be drug tested for buprenorphine.

Why?

More on buprenorphine bio-availability, treatment protocols and tracking of opiate use here.

What is buprenorphine used for?

Buprenorphine is used in the treatment of opioid addiction. Doctors can prescribe a number of meds for opiate detox and long term control of cravings.  Buprenorphine is used for both.

As an opioid partial agonist, buprenorphine activates mu-opioid receptors in the brain enough to prevent withdrawal symptoms but not enough to induce a high. So the risk of addiction to buprenorphine is rather low when compared to other opioids.  And longer term use of buprenorphine to manage cravings also helps keep people in treatment.

These effects occur because buprenorphine has been designed to have a “ceiling effect”. So doses higher than 16-32 mg are unlikely to produce greater effect. As a result, buprenorphine helps keep patients in treatment, reduces illicit opioid use and reduces mortality caused by harder drug use (heroin, OxyContin, morphine, etc.).

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How do you take buprenorphine?

Buprenorphine is taken as a sublingual tablet.

Currently, only two forms of buprenorphine are approved for treatment of opioid addiction. Other forms of buprenorphine (ex. Buprenex) have not been approved by the FDA to treat opioid addiction. Medications containing buprenorphine that have been designed to decrease the potential for abuse by injection and have FDA approval include:

1. Subutex
2. Suboxone

Help finding Suboxone doctors.

Peak levels and half life of buprenorphine

Buprenorphine has poor oral bioavailability and moderate sublingual bioavailability. Why? Partly because buprenorphine is highly bound to plasma proteins.  Because of an extensive first pass in metabolism, buprenorphine has both slow onset and long duration (24-48 hours). Futhermore, the rate of absorption of buprenorphine is slower by the sublingual route, giving an average peak level at approximately 200 minutes after ingestion.

Likewise, buprenorphine has slow offset, and the half life of buprenorphine is greater than 24 hours (24-60 hours). This formula allows for once a day or every other day dosing when treating opiate addiction.

Buprenorphine drug testing

Currently, no precise test measures buprenorphine, although it can be detected in urine, blood, or hair by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in urine. Until new, commercially available tests are developed, drug tests for people receiving buprenorphine aim to detect OTHER substances of abuse.

In fact, opiate drug tests aren’t personal; they are just a way to track your recovery progress. Testing for buprenorphine or other opiates helps prescribing doctors detect substance use, adjust dosage, and monitor treatment compliance. Therefore, drug tests initiated by clinics or doctors who prescribe buprenorphine can provide both an objective measure of treatment efficacy and be used as a tool to monitor your progress.

How long does buprenorphine stay in the body?

Opioids like buprenorphine are synthetically manufactured drugs, which means that they are not directly refined from the poppy plant. While the chemical structures are the same as opiates, detecting synthetic opioids requires a lower sensitivity detection level than their natural counterparts. The average detection time for opioids like buprenorphine is around 3 days (2-4 day detection window in urine samples) but may be longer for chronic users.

Buprenorphine and addiction

People most at risk of becoming addiction to buprenorphine are those who HAVE NOT been previously physically addicted to opioids, or those who take buprenorphine other than prescribed (swallowed, chewed, snorted, injected). These users are more at risk of addiction because they tend to feel stronger euphoric effect of buprenorphine than those who take buprenorphine for medical reasons.

Problems with buprenorphine?

If you think that you have a problem and are misusing buprenorphine…you need to ask yourself if you are ready to stop, or not. Drug addiction treatment requires the full participation of addicts in order to be successful. Please leave us your questions and comments below. We welcome all experiences, will keep your comments anonymous and will respond to legitimate questions or concerns personally.

Reference sources: What is buprenorphine? CSAT buprenorphine information center
Northen Illinois University student handout: Drug Screening and Your Career
SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment Improvement Protocols: Chapter 9, Drug Testing as a Tool
NIDA Monograph Series: Buprenorphine: An Alternative Treatment for Opioid Dependence

Photo credit: MinimalistPhotography101

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51 Responses to “How long does buprenorphine stay in your system?
sue
4:34 pm November 20th, 2012

If they have no testing for it, how do you know how long it stays in you’re system, and it’s been a year since this post so do they no in 2012 test for it in a hospital enviroment urine test. The doctor ordered a urine test from the lab not a dip stick?

jennifer r
5:03 pm June 26th, 2013

I beg to differ buphrenorphine showed on my test 2 weeks after ingestion!!!!

george
8:58 pm October 10th, 2013

how long before a quarter of 8mg tablet (2mgs) leaves your system, and will it show up in drug test for employment??

Crystal
10:24 pm July 29th, 2014

I took 4mg of suboxone a on a wednesday then that saturday i took an 8mg. I do not do suboxone on a normal basis it had been around 4 months since i had taken any. well i have a drug test thursday what is my chances of passing. i am 5ft 3in 130lbs fairly active.

Sara
12:16 pm August 3rd, 2014

I’ve been on suboxone for about a yr with no script. My ex gave them to me for a minor opiate addiction I incurred because of spinal issues. He was controlling, I let him be this way, said he’d rather have me on sub than using the pain pills I had legitimately prescribed. I didn’t know a thing about this drug other than what he told me. For about 8mo I was splitting a 8mg strip daily (4mg a day) but then started taking 8 mg (4mg x2) daily the past few months. I don’t know what I was thinking. I didn’t get high from it. Just became kind of habitual to do a half (twice a day) and have a smoke while dissolving. I’ve since broken up with him, and have 1 1/2 strips left. I’ve been taking 1/4 a day since Monday. Is there any possible way that I can ween off with what I have? I have kids, and need to be functional. I want nothing else than to get back to where I was in life before I met him and that includes no suboxone! Or pills! Started working out, building my core muscles, and it has relieved my back pain enough that OTC meds help my pain now. I hope to hear back. Thank you.

Osama
8:43 pm August 11th, 2014

i was using 20mg of Nalbuphin injection 3 time in a singal day daily from last 6 months. then i use buprenorphine 0.2mg injection daily from last 60 days to leave Nalbuphin ADDICTION. my question is that now how can i gett off from buprenorphine . i want to clean. if i do not take this i feel bad whole day.

1:19 pm August 12th, 2014

Hi Osama, Here is an article related to your question that I believe may be helpful: http://prescription-drug.addictionblog.org/how-to-withdraw-from-buprenorphine/

Joan
1:33 pm August 12th, 2014

I had been on Lorazepam 1mg. twice a day. This dose was a reduction from a higher dose before that .My doctor reduced my dose to .5 mg once a day. This was about two weeks ago. I also stopped taking gabapentin about a week ago. I am experiencing some withdrawal symptoms now from the reduction of these medicines. I don’t see my psychiatrist until next week and I see my primary Dr. tomorrow. What can I do to make these feelings of anxiety, nausea, early morning waking, etc. to be lessened. Thank you.

lucky
6:24 pm August 15th, 2014

If I took 8 mgs twice a day for two days, aug 13 and aug 14 will I test positive for suboxone on Tue Aug 19th if that’s all I took I’m over a yrar

Jimi
2:34 pm September 22nd, 2014

I would like to know if, and when my doctor urine tests me to confirm that my suboxone levels are where they should be, if I’m not on any other medications… does this test detect any other non-opioid medicines? Such as: effexor, and doxepin? Or, is this test specifically designated to only measure bupenorephine level? Please respond. Thanks.

9:57 am September 26th, 2014

Hello Jimi. A simple urine test will only point out the presence of a parent drug or its metabolites. The level of drug or its metabolites is not predictive of when the drug was taken or how much the patient used.

Jimi
5:42 am September 27th, 2014

Hello, Ivana.
I understand what you’re saying.
But, when I went to see my suboxone doctor the last time, he was, I believe… able to detect the level of buprenorphine in my system. As he went on to explain that I was only using about 1 strip a day. He prescribes me 60 a month. 2 strips daily. How could he tell what my levels are in my blood from a urine test? All I know is that he sends my urine samples out to a company called, Lab corp. I also don’t know if the test that involves using gases to detect buprenorphine levels in the system are derived from a urine sample? If it is, thats what he must be ordering to be done by lab Corp. Again, I’m just speculating. If not, is my doctor lying to me, when He’s sitting there looking at the computer screen… and telling me that I’m not taking enough of my suboxone? Please help. Thanks.

11:39 am September 30th, 2014

Hi againg Jimi. Yes, your doctor can know for sure. In many cases, the doctor uses a certain mathematical formula based on the prescribing frequency, the dosage, the person’s age, weight, health and etc. to figure out an estimate range that the patient’s levels should fall in. Anything that goes much higher or lower than that range alerts them to a possible problem.

Annette
3:16 pm October 26th, 2014

First time i used butran patch on back….i took off because it made me itch, nausea, & threw up several times. How long till i feel better after removing patch…ive used only this one time. How long till out of my system & feeling better? please reply back asap. thx. Annette

12:08 pm October 28th, 2014

Hello Annette. The effect or side effects of the patch can last for up to 30 hours after removing it. But, you removed it earlier, so I’d say it would take about 24 horus before you stop feeling the effects.

Arlyia
11:51 pm January 12th, 2015

No on really knows the answer to the suboxone Questions.The effect the nausea the extememity of it all.Soboxone works great when used properaly! I belive thatSuboxone last 24 days in your system. everyone for gets the half live as well. In which Is 36 hours.So good luck figuring it out! if anyone comes up with the salution please leave a message

CountryRose
5:48 am February 18th, 2015

I was on Suboxone for 2 years. 3 a day for 1 1/2 years and 2 a day for the other half year. I tried to quit cold turkey a few weeks ago and Im not doing well. Since I was on such high doses is it possible that it will take longer than 30 days for the subs to not show up in my urine when they lab it? I could really use an answer to this question. Thank you for your time.

Bonnie
5:45 pm March 6th, 2015

I take suboxone every day for the last 2yrs, yet my last 3 urine test came up 2 of them being negative and one came up as contains only raw buprenorphine. I dont understand why? the only thing I can think is the lab they send the test to is some how messing up. The test that came up with the raw buperrnorphine they did a Tricyclic screen LC/MS/MS. Can you give me any explination to how this could happen?

3:42 pm March 12th, 2015

Hello Bonnie. Labs are not always 100% accurate and human mistakes do happen. But, three times in a row is not common. Are you taking any other medications? If you are, you should give the lab a full list of medicines, so the lab can see if there may be some sort of interaction. Also, you can request a hair follicle test, which can detect buprenorphine more accurately.

toni 78
11:55 pm April 3rd, 2015

I use subutex frequently. The last half I had done wason Tuesday. Then Friday I did a quarter of one. Then on Saturday I did a half. When will my system be clean from subutex

10:41 am April 6th, 2015

Hi Toni. Buprenorphine has slow offset and elimination time. The half life of buprenorphine is greater than 24 hours, and in fact it ranges between 24-60 hours. So, it would take a couple of days for the drug to completely leave your system.

Dawn
5:47 am August 19th, 2015

OK… So, I just got kicked out of a 14 day treatment facility for testing positive for buphrenorphine yesterday. The last time I ingested it was 8 days prior. Wtf??? I don’t understand this at all. I have not done anything to deserve this. I requested a new test but was denied. I know what I’ve done and I admit to my mistakes when I make them… But this is not MY mistake. Now my life is in complete chaos, and I am in a worse position than I was in before I sought treatment. Looks like the only mistake on my part was choosing that so called “treatment facility”. Anybody know of a way to seek justice for this wrong doing? Is there any proof of this happening to others? And if so… Where can I obtain it?

Kristian
9:37 pm August 22nd, 2015

I took an 8mg pill of Suboxone Friday morning around 7 am… It is now Saturday afternoon. I will have a random drug test likely this week and I would like to know if the buprenophrine will show up. If this is my first and only time taking one pill, how long will it be in my system/detectable?

David
5:36 pm September 2nd, 2015

They have a test for it now so i jist got a positive yesterday for it a

Michael
11:19 pm September 25th, 2015

Will buprenorphine be out of my urine 7 days after taking it? I took it twice, one Sunday and then Tuesday. I plan to drink more water than usual (I don’t really drink water). I have a ua next Wednesday and need to know if I’ll be able to pass. Any info will be helpful. Again, the test will be 8 days after taking it last. Thanks in advance.

Todd
2:26 am October 5th, 2015

I have been taking 24mg of subtex for1 year but need to go off for surgery. How long do I need to be off of them to have the pain meds work after surgery ??

Betty
4:23 pm October 6th, 2015

I use suboxone and now if I don’t take it I go through withdrawals I’m in the same hole as with the pain pills drill addicted what can I do????

Terri
9:36 pm October 7th, 2015

I’ve been on Butrans about 3yrs give or take. Do to insurance I’m off of it bc of expense. Any way at 15mcg how long before it is out of your system. Been a week for me all feel is TIRED

Melanie
9:33 pm October 15th, 2015

I just got tested by my P.O. and the urine test did test for Buprenorphine.

Melanie
9:46 pm October 15th, 2015

Please help me. I snorted a quarter of subutex every day for 11 days. Please tell me how many days it will be on my urine. I see my P.O. again on Tuesday. Last quarter snorted today which is Thursday. Please help. I’m freaking out!!

Ric
10:59 pm October 25th, 2015

Hi if you snort say 2 3 ml of subbys a day then cut dwn to 1 ml a day for 3 days then just a tiny quarter of 1 ml then nothing for 1 and a half days will it show up in a blood test for a job opportunities plz

gary
7:51 pm November 25th, 2015

After stoping suboxone,how many day does it take to be out urine and blood?

12:03 am November 27th, 2015

Hello Gary. Well, everything depends on the dosage, duration of intake, metabolism, etc. Usually, Suboxone can be detected up to 3 days, but possibly days later, if you have used it in higher doses.

emily
5:54 am November 29th, 2015

Hi I’m prescribed two 8mg suboxone strips a day for a heroin addiction that my P.O. does not know about. I haven’t taken any since yesterday afternoon, however I injected it instead of taking it orally (I know I shouldn’t have!). I see my P.O. on Tues and will have a mouth swap drug test done that gets sent to a lab to be tested on. I dont want her to know I’m prescribed them. If I don’t do any till then from yesterday afternoon (Friday Nov. 27), will it be out of my system enough to atleast not show up in my lab tested saliva drug test on Tues Dec.1?! Please respond asap!!

Shazam
2:52 pm November 30th, 2015

I been taking 8 mg buprenorphine since Thursday feel very ill and is not helping with withdrawals of heroin , went to my prescribers they said they can not do any thing I have to wait for my appointment on Friday, cos I have to use heroin on top to help with illness feelings, what shall I do stop taking buprenorphine?

Gary
8:49 pm December 9th, 2015

I use to abuse pills now for the last two years I’ve been on suboxone first year was perceived insurance stopped paying for suboxone but tell pay for the iPod pills. I need help to get off suboxone since I don’t want to be pill dependant nor rely on suboxone to feel normal I want to wake up normal please help me. I have severe withdrawal s when I don’t have or can’t get suboxone. I have a kidney disease would this make it harder for me to get clean.

12:56 pm December 10th, 2015

Hi Gary. You are probably decreasing too much of doses or stopping all use suddenly and abruptly, which is why you are experiencing adverse withdrawal reactions. The key is to taper off the medication slowly and gradually, which will give your organism time to adapt as you go. You can call your doctor or pharmacist to help you create a tapering schedule fit for you, and to also suggest some prescription or over-the-counter remedies to manage or treat the withdrawal symptoms that do occur.

Sherryl
1:27 pm December 30th, 2015

Suboxone does have a text because my doctor detected it with a uterine test

James
2:00 am January 3rd, 2016

Ive been taking Suboxone for a little while but now my doc wanted me to try Bunavail ..I was told there the same and my dosage is the same ..8mg/2mg subs..now 4.2mg/0.7..but I can just tell that somethings not the same…I dont get the same relieve and I wake up in the middle of the night with lite withdrawals. Whats the big difference between these two ?

Chester
7:02 pm January 23rd, 2016

I’ve been on suboxon for about a week, don’t like the way feeling headache’s cramps in stomach!! If I just stop taking it am I going into withdrawal? Don’t want withdrawal again!!! Not strong enough! Help!!!!

LYNNE
5:19 am January 28th, 2016

If you have took a half of suboxone in a matter of a week, will it still take 15 days to come out of your system? I have been told from other web sites that no matter how much you take it will take 15 days regardless of the dosage. Is that true? I have took a pinch before and had a drug screen 2 days later, and it didn’t show up. Was it because it was to early to detect or was it because I didn’t take that much of it? I honestly only take it when I am hurting, I was born with back issues, I have very large spaces in between the nerves and discs in my lower back, and I have issues with sitting to long and standing to long cause of my tail bone, and nerve damage in my back and legs, I walk with a limp and I would of never known the problems with my back if it wasnt for a bad accident I was in, Doctors never took me seriously as a young girl, I guess they thought I was an addict at 10 yrs old, IDK what the worlds coming to, all I know is that I will not pass judgment on to anyone because ive never had to walk in there shoes. I leave that up to our Father In Heaven, but I was told to call an Pharmacist for all my questions, but can you honestly ask a pharmacist how long any drug will stay in your urine, I know it stays longer in your blood than your urine, well I guess it does anyways, I’ve been a nurse for over 21 yrs. And i’ve took care of alot of sick people, and the way I look at life is just when you think your life is at its worst, just remember someone else is out there worse off than you are just be greatful for your many blessings, even though it seems really hard to at times, it does get better. Thank You…

Michelle
7:36 pm February 11th, 2016

I took maybe 1 1/2 mg of subutex on wed. How long will it take to be clean? Before that i was completely clean for a month. I have a drug test that i have to pass. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Patricia
11:41 pm March 17th, 2016

I am using a Buphrenorphine patch 20mcg/hr times 1 weekly for burning pain from.RA, post cervical fusion, joint pain, and FMS. I also take 3-6 15 mg oxycodone for breakthrough pain.
On a drug test in January, I had a urine drug screen that registered positive for the oxycodone, but no buphrenorphine was detected.
I can’t get my dr to talk to me, just his med asst. I have taken my pain medication as prescribed. I also taken tizanidine for spasm. And I have fatty liver syndrome with elevated enzymes and elevated creatinine and BUN.
I’m a former medical technologist with 30 years experience in hematology, immunology, microbiology, chemistry, and have done drug screening on several automated systems and with CLIA waived dip screening. I am educated about toxicology.
Is there anyone who would be willing to address my issue with clinical facts and help me prove that I am using my Butrans patch? My hair is 22 inches long-will it help to prove I’ve been using my medication as prescribed? Or a liver biopsy?

need advice quick
6:44 pm March 19th, 2016

I have been taking suboxone for about 3 month now! I took a dose on Friday and found out I had a drug test on Monday if I dont take any from Friday till Monday will it still be in my system? And if so how can I get it gone quicker?

Stacey
4:27 am March 26th, 2016

Hi, I am writing because I have been taking 8 mg hydromorphone 4 x’s a day as well as 30mg’s of oxycodine hcl 4x’s a day for the past 8 years if not longer. I have just recently moved back to Pennsylvania from Colorado/Texas. I have been on these very very strong pain meds due to legit health problems however, I for 2 months now can not find a Dr willing tonwrite me for anything stronger than either 5-10mg oxycodone hcl tabs 4 times a day. This medication is barely holding the withdraws away let alone doing anything for my pain. I’m writing in hope that maybe somehow this can be some thing I can at least try, maybe it will help my pain and also keep me from having to feel like I’m in withdraw constantly. I would much appreciate a response as soon as you can send me one. I currently am located near Shamokin Pa.
Please please help,
Much appreciation,
Stacey

Caleb
5:12 am March 30th, 2016

How long after one dose of bup does it take to get out of your system for a urine test

Mirtha
2:53 am April 17th, 2016

How long sebotex shows in a blood test??

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
4:19 pm April 19th, 2016

Hi Mirtha. Subotex can be detected in a blood test, and its detection time-frame is up to 4 days.

Kristen
3:33 am May 6th, 2016

I took one 600 mg neurontin today. My papaw is trying to get my cousin back. He keeps telling me that they’re coming..
They’re supposed to be here in the morning & I’m scared too death about a drug test.

Sam
9:05 pm May 11th, 2016

I used Buprenorphine prescribed by my doctor for about 7 years for the treatment of severe back pain. I stopped in January and am feeling like my arms have a second degree sunburn on them. I also feel very warm at night and can only sleep with a sheet over me even if its cold in the room. My doctor has now retired and I am unable to ask him about this. Is this a normal withdrawal feeling? Any thoughts on how long it might last? I used to have severe chills and cramping in my legs along with bad sneezing, but those symptoms have resolved themselves. Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated! Oh, 1 other thing, it was so bad one night that I used some leftover Vicodin to stop the feeling temporarily in my arms. Only did that once though as I don’t want to get hooked on Vicodin.

robrt
5:24 pm May 18th, 2016

My doctor has me on xanax, abuteral, percocet, lomotil, crestor, hydroxizln I had a subutex givin to me to try for my cronic back pain.about a week latter the docters office did a urine speciment the nurse called and said I had morphine and dillota in my urine.was test contaminated or is there some other possibility?

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