What is buprenorphine?
Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, meaning it activates the same receptors as other opioids but with less intensity. It is used primarily in the treatment of opioid addiction, as well as for pain management.
Buprenorphine was first synthesized in the 1960s by British pharmaceutical company Reckitt & Colman. It gained FDA approval for opioid addiction treatment in 2002, offering an alternative to methadone in medications for addiction treatment (MAT).
Buprenorphine is available in various forms, including sublingual tablets (e.g., Subutex®️), sublingual films (e.g., Suboxone®️, which also contains naloxone), and extended-release injectables (e.g., Sublocade®️).
How long does buprenorphine stay in the body?
Buprenorphine has a half-life of approximately 24 to 42 hours. It takes roughly 120 to 210 hours for the drug to be completely eliminated from the body.
Buprenorphine pills are typically small, white, and hexagonal or round. Sublingual films are thin and rectangular, with the dosage and brand name printed on them.
- Small, white, hexagonal pill with "8" and a sword symbol on one side (8 mg Subutex®️)
- Thin, orange, rectangular film with "N8" imprinted on one side (8 mg buprenorphine with 2 mg naloxone, Suboxone®️)
- Thin, orange, rectangular film with "N4" imprinted on one side (4 mg buprenorphine with 1 mg naloxone, Suboxone®️)