Can you get high on Bunavail?

Yes, Bunavail can trigger euphoric effect when used OTHER THAN PRESCRIBED. This prescription medication contains buprenorphine, which can be abused. More on Bunavail and euphoric effect here.

minute read

Bunavail does not get you high if you use it as prescribed.

However, euphoric effect is a possible side effect of Bunavail, especially when it’s used OTHER THAN PRESCRIBED. In fact, one of the main active ingredients in Bunavail is buprenorphine, which can be abused in a manner similar to other opiate/opioids (legal or illicit). Still, buprenorphine is generally not an intense enough drug to produce the heightened feelings of euphoria created by other opioids or opiates.

In the text below, we review Bunavail’s euphoric effect and abuse potential. If you still have questions at the end, we invite you to post your comments in the section below. We try to reply personally and promptly to all legitimate inquiries.

What’s in Bunavail? Bunavail chemistry and use

Bunavail is a partial opioid agonist and is prescribed as a part of the maintenance treatment for people dependent on strong opiates or opioids (such as heroin, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, or codeine). Its main active ingredients are buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is used to decrease cravings for these stronger drugs, while naloxone is meant to deter their abuse by rendering the effects of opiates or opioids null if/when taken.

Bunavail and euphoria

Bunavail can cause euphoria when abused, TAKEN OTHER THAN PRESCRIBED, or when taken by people with a low tolerance to opioids in order to get high. This is one of the main reasons that Bunavail is a controlled substance categorized as a Schedule III medication. However, because buprenorphine is not an intense enough drug to produce the heightened feelings of euphoria created by other opioids or opiates, it really requires tweaking in order to trigger a high.

So, how does Bunavail work on the central nervous system?

Bunavail and central nervous system effects

Bunavail contains buprenorphine, a medicine that works by attaching to the opioid receptors in the brain and blocking other opioids from binding to the same receptors. More specifically, buprenorphine acts as a partial agonist at the mu-opioid receptor and an antagonist at the kappa-opioid receptor. In layman’s terms, this means that buprenorphine causes a chemical block in the nervous system which dulls down the psychological need, or craving, for harder opiate/opioid drugs. Does buprenorphine cause a high? Buprenorphine does not get you high if you use it the right way.

The other active ingredient in Bunavail is naloxone. This chemical is a pure opioid antagonist, meaning it blocks the physical dependence to all opioids. It is used in Bunavail to deter opiate or opioid abuse. In fact, it causes the complete or partial reversal of the effects of harder opiates and can precipitate withdrawal symptoms.

Mixing Bunavail with other substances

Bunavail can cause interactions with others prescription medications and substances. While some people might think that mixing Bunavail with alcohol or other drugs might trigger a high, it can lead to deadly outcomes. Here is a list of substances you should avoid while using Bunavail:

1. Alcohol

Mixing alcohol with either buprenorphine or naloxone can lead to dangerous, and sometimes lethal side-effects. We advise you to check all food, beverage and medicine labels to be sure you avoid products which contain alcohol.

2. Prescription medications

Medications such as diazepam, alprazolam, lorazepam, temazepam, triazolam, Restoril, Valium, Xanax, and many others can interact with Bunavail. You should tell your doctor if you are currently taking or stopping use of any meds during your Bunavil treatment. Patients should be especially cautious, and always consult a doctor before taking:

  • anxiety medications
  • depression medications
  • muscle relaxers
  • narcotic pain medicines
  • seizure medications
  • sleeping pills

Of course, the list of medications is not complete and does not contain all drugs that may interact with buprenorphine and naloxone. There are many other prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal products that your doctor can warn you about.

Risks of Bunavail abuse

Bunavail abuse requires concentrated effort and manipulation of the medication for little “pay off” in terms of euphoric effect. When taken as prescribed, you face far less chances of facing side effects, such as addiction. However, misuse of this medicine is possible, especially if an opioid-naive person abuses it or if the route of administration is altered. When used as prescribed, Bunavail addictive potential is rather low, due to the nature of its composition and its mild effects on the central nervous system related to euphoria.

Problems or side effects of Bunavail

How long does Bunavail stay in your system? It can be detected for up to 2 weeks after last use. Bunavail can also be habit-forming, even when taken as prescribed for opioid maintenance treatment. Also, just like any other medication, Bunavail too can cause a number of side-effects. They include:

  • constipation
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • nausea
  • numbness on the inside of the mouth
  • profuse sweating
  • swelling of limbs
  • tongue pain
  • vomiting

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. If you experience more adverse side-effects or any of the following reactions you should ask for medical help ASAP:

  • allergic reactions (itches, hives, swelling of face, lips, tongue or throat)
  • confusion and/or lightheadedness
  • extreme drowsiness or weakness
  • extreme nausea
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • slurred speech and/or blurred vision
  • withdrawal symptoms (diarrhea, vomiting, body shakes, muscle pain, hot and cold flashes…)

Questions about the Bunavail high

Have more questions to ask? We welcome you to post them, and any other thoughts or personal experiences you may have about Bunavail use and treatment for opioid dependence. You can use the comments section at the end of the page, and we’ll provide a personal and prompt response to all legitimate inquiries.

Reference Sources: FDA: Highlights of Prescribing Information
FDA: Medication Guide: BUNAVAIL (buprenorphine and naloxone) Buccal Film
DailyMed: BUNAVAIL-buprenorphine hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride dihydrate film
DailyMed: Naloxone hydrochloride
PBM: Buprenorphine/naloxone Buccal Film (BUNAVAIL)
NC State Health Plan: Buprenorphine tablets and Buprenorphine/naloxone teblets/films
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I have read and agree to the conditions outlined in the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

  1. I have am trying to fight an addiction but unfortunately this morning I’ve taken 2.1 my bunavail strip but slipped up and did heroin also not a strong dose but still will I be OK? Should I consult a Dr? I’m in the beginning of my recovery please help me with an answer

    1. Hi Brittany. Yes, consult with your doctor. Also, you may need to enroll into a rehab program. Call a toll-free Heroin Helpline on 1-888-988-7934 to get in touch with trusted and confidential helpline professionals available 24/7. You will speak to a sympathetic, well-trained individual who can help you find a reliable recovery program that will meet your treatment needs.

  2. Why would someone, who is not an addict take Bunavail??? In other words, a normal person who has some arthritis but is in no way debilitated? Also, I fear abuse as my friend has insomnia, itching, swelling and tingling of hands/feet, feels sick to her stomach, sleeps all day, has jerky movements, pinpoint pupils and is NOT herself…

  3. I just wanted to let people know there is HOPE.I was on heroin an anything I got my hands on.I have been sober for almost 2yrs now.If I can do it an it work for me so can u.Good Luck!

    1. Hi Christina. Thanks for sharing! Hope you’ll inspire others to quit heroin for good… Stay strong!

  4. I am having some surgery and have been on bunavail for a while will my pain meds that are given to me in the hospital work if I have been on this medication ? The surgery is monday…

  5. My husband has been on bunavail for about a month, recovering from heroin. He lays around in bed most days complaining that he doesn’t feel good (headache, stomachache, etc.). Is this common? He has told his doctor and she said it’s not common.

  6. Iv been on subs for about six months, fully covered by insurance in Cali. I moved to TN and insurance here will only cover bunavail. Yes, I was completely bummbed and sceptical about this generic drug but it works. For me I have such a high metabolism and natural high tolerance for all drugs (and pain) that these strips (both brands) only work for my for about six hours. I’m prescribed this for chronic pain and opiate addiction. So as for opiate addiction I can say at least for subs that it usually works for a good 24 hours, but for chronic pain, they only work for the six hours. Iv only been on bunavail for chronic pain ,since I’ve been clean off H and pills since before I started bunavail (i got clean with subs). I will be on this medication for a long time bc of chronic pain, so , I am super concerned about this bunavail sticking to my teeth! I have perfect teeth never had a cavity in my 30+ yrs of life. So, on that note I def want to be back on subs, I trust it more and it’s not such a long ordeal to take. All I can say is if this rots my teeth over time the state better be prepared to pay for my pretty pearls and I’d be going for nice individual porcelain teeth, not a set of dentures. I know this much, they don’t have a sure answer on the teeth results yet bc we are the guinea pigs folks. Don’t be afraid to speak up to your doctor’s though. What are they gonna do throw us back to the streets to get back on dope? As far as the chronic pain, everyone in my group in Cali had been kicked off their opiates etc bc tollarances had set i n, meds quit working, the doctors consider us a “difficult patient” aka “pill seeker.” In Cali we had a group for chroinc pain management/suboxone; and, we had to meet every week for the first three months. This group was awesome and everyone their had similar stories to exchange, and it was incredibly beneficial and comforting to know that we weren’t alone in our experiences. They guy running the meetings was also an recovering addict,so, that just made it all the more comfortable. If anyone gets a chance to be apart of a group for this medication, do it! You will really appreciate it and get to chat with people that understand. But I want my suboxone back.

  7. Hello, I am desparitly trying to get off pain killers from a bad car accident a year ago. I know I will have withdraws because Iv taken 4-5 Norco 7.5 a day for a year +. I have children so I don’t abuse my meds I’m just ALWAYS in pain because well they are young boys and they play hard. If I miss out on these years because mommy is to sore or tiered I won’t get those special moments back. That’s how I feel when I’m hurting so bad to ride bikes or play sports with them. A doctor of mine gave me 1 6.3 bunavail to try out but I’m a little hesitant because I do have legit CHRONIC pain (fractured pelvis in 3 places and dislocated tail bone) I can’t go through the withdraw with the family I need to take care of and I can’t NOT take anything for pain because then I miss everything because I’m laid in bed sore from the grocery store trip I made that day. What do I do¿ I’m terrified to go back to the pain but I know long term effects will put me in a worst spot. I really don’t want this out in the open so if you could help me in anyway I’m ALL ears. But please don’t tell me to ask my Dr he is so busy he only talks AT me not too me. I understand I have Medicaid and they just want money but I need a real person who either understands or at least has some helpful advice!! PLEASE HELP ME BEE THE MOMMY I USED TO BE!!!! I’m only 27 ?

  8. So i recently started going to see a doc. to get off pain pills i have no insurance so im paying cash for doc and meds , i wanted to start on subutex because it is something i can afford plus i no they work due to experience .Suboxin is way to much money i cant afford that but they do work but out of my price range. Talking with my doc he recommended switching me to bunival do to program i can get scrip free for 1 yr , so i went with it. ive been on it for almost a week now 4.2mgs twice a day i had no problems going from one to the other i think they work pretty well im not craving meds and no withdraw symptoms , its doing its job . the only thing i can say that sucks about it is it dosent desolve very well and it takes like 30 min to do so it sometimes get stuck to my teeth and clumpy . i also feel im not getting all the meds in my system correctly due to that. im wondering if when it starts to clump up if i can swallow it and will it still have the same effect ? what is the best thing for me to do when it gets like that ?

  9. Hey, I just recently got prescribed Bunavail and have been reading a lot about them! I see below that people are asking If they can cut them in half and some asking why will it not tare or rip in half, well even though the package says do not cut, chew or swallow the strip my doctor said that it is OK to cut in half if that’s what I’m comfortable doing! I get two 7mg strips a day, but I have been folding the strip in half then cutting it with scissors and it still works Like its suppose to. What some people don’t know is how to use them properly, the letters and numbers are suppose to face your cheek, why? I’m not exactly sure but that’s what the paper says!

  10. Im on 2 8mg of subs. My dr is switching me over to bunavail. Am i going to be okay or feel different in anyway? im scared cause i have work the day i start it. I have been on subs since jauary of 2015

    1. Hello, Jamie. Every drug affects each person differently, so we really don’t know how Bunavail is going to work for you. Wait for it, and see. If it doesn’t work for you, then consult your doctor to switch suboxone back.

  11. I’m currently on bunavail 4.2mg twice daily. Last month I was on subtex 8mg twice daily, because I was pregnant but because I had my child they switched me. Anyway my question is why am I not getting 8 mg strips bc I’m not supposed to be tapering yet I’m just scared it will not work as well as my other meds did, What are the side effects ppl are complaining of? and also it is so hard to take and keep on my gums and cheeks any advice please??

    1. Hi, Serenity. I suggest you consult with your doctor about any medication concern you have. Also, have in mind that every drug affects each person differently, so maybe, you won’t experience any side effect.

  12. I am celebrating my 5th year of sobriety from everything other than heroin in AA at end of Dec..I have a sponsor, work the steps and did 4 years of continued counseling after rehab and half-way house. It took 22 years literally of on and off attemts of AA, counseling but never MAINTAINED SOBRIETY UNTIL ON SABOXONE FILMS. My struggle as of last year or 2 I have trouble w/ absorbtion into my system to the extend of feeling withdrawal symptoms stillAFTER TAKING MED…SO I THEN I OBSESS DAILY ON WHETHER THE SUB. IS WORKING OR HOW LONG I SHOULD SUCK ON MED…AND BECAUSE OF LACK OF SUBS. IN MY SYSTEM I AM LATHARGIC, DEPRESSED, PROCRASTINATE and ACHE to the extent of having trouble doing physical things. So because of all these behaviors. ..I feel like a person in active addiction. So it makes me want to go off but mentally am hesitant. I have never maintained long level of sob. B4 in all my attempts so it feels like wise thing to do is stay on it. My disease does not calculate that saboxon is not there for helping me stay sober…it just wants it to make me feel the way I use to…hence aren’t I acting like active addict???? I thought of switching but biov. Hasnt been out that long..

  13. I switched from suboxone to bunavail about 2 weeks ago. I was on 6 mgs suboxone. I take 4.2 bunavail. My nose is constantly running. I have diarrhea. No appetite. I thought that would be more bunavail but I feel like a few withdrawal symptoms. Do you think I need a stronger dose or just takes time getting use to bunavail? Also evening it feels worse and of course that say you can’t cut a bunavail in half. Why is that?

    1. Hi Tammy. Bunavail is a relatively new medication, and a lot of people are reporting that it does not work as good as it’s marketed to be working. I suggest you report all your symptoms to your doctor. You may need a higher dose, but the again, bunavail is marketed to provide the same effects as suboxone at half the dose. I feel that there is a lot more research that needs to be done with bunavail, because otherwise people are suffering and their sobriety is put in jeopardy.

  14. I was on the 4mg suboxone strips, taking half in the morning and half in the afternoon. My dr switched me to bunavail and I’m wondering if I can cut these like I did the suboxone and it still be effective?

    1. Hi Tiffany. I’d suggest you ask your doctor or a pharmacist for any changes you want to make in your medication plan.

  15. I am switching to this medicine from Suboxone. I am used to cutting my film strip in half and taking half twice a day. Why can’t I cut or rip this medicine (BUNAVAIL)?

  16. Hi I am currently seeing a doctor for opioid addicition & have been taking the subutex/suboxen. I’ve also started my tapering process as of 2 weeks ago. My doctor also told me he was going to be switching me to Bunavail at the next visit (next week) & gave me a Bunavail pamphlet to look over to get a general idea. I’m actually VERY nervous about the transition. I guess I’m worried that its not going to work as effectively as my current meds. So I’m basically wondering if its been reported by other users that it does NOT work as good as the manufacturer/Doctors say it does? I’ve done quite a bit of research but I can’t seem to find any blogs from actual user of this particular medication.
    Thanks -worried & anxious-

    1. Hi Ashley. Actually, a lot of people who’ve been switched have reported side effects and withdrawal symptoms. For many Bunavail has not been as effective as Suboxone. Remember that all effects you experience upon switching should be reported to your doctor.

  17. Well this is probably a crazy question. I was addicted to herion for about 4 years. I have been clean from herion for five years but still abuse percocet and roxy. It has just getting worse and worse and I realize this but I can not function without them. A co-worker noticed I was sick and gave me a bunavail and I was able to get through my day with only minor sickness. How do I go about seeing a doctor for these types of medicines

    1. Hello Michael. Cases of cross-addiction are not something uncommon among individuals recovering from one form of addiction. You have basically replaced the heroin for percocet and roxycodone, and if you are started on Bunavail it will only substitute the previous drugs. I’d suggest you get involved in therapy sessions or join a support group where peers and counselors (or therapists) will help you heal the need to use a substance in order to feel normal and function without needing medications.

    1. Hi Ellen. How has your menstrual cycle been affected? Does it come early or late, or you are experiencing other changes? Remember that any and all unusual effects should be immediately reported to your prescribing doctor, so a suitable treatment can be applied.

  18. I have a family member who is taking Bunavail, but I am not sure takes it as often as prescribed. He often shows up with the following symptoms: walks and talks with eyes closed, yet very able to carry on a conversation; some slurred speech, mimicking being tired; when his eyes are open one lid is half open and has a lazy eye; often seems overly happy and loving (i.e. unusually euphoric). He claims the Bunavail is making him high just like heroin. I suspect he is actually not taking the Bunavail for days so he can take some other depressant either used to sleep better or get high. Could these symptoms be caused by the Bunavail as he claims if it blocks getting “high”? Do they instead sounds more like a depressant/opiate? He is battling a heroin addiction.

    1. Hi Joe. That is an unusual behavior. The best way you can be certain of what he’s taking is to drug test him. Now it’s just guessing and you need to learn the truth as soon as possible.

    1. Hi Jim. You should consult over this with your doctor. Doses and time ranges when switching from one to another opiate medication should be closely monitored by medical professionals.

    1. Hi Robert. Buprenorphine is the main active ingredient in Bunavail buccal films and it competitively binds to the brain’s opioid receptors. If you take any opiate drug while on bunavail, there will be no effects produced from it. When on buprenorphine, you cannot get high off heroin or feel any effects from the drug.

I am ready to call
i Who Answers?