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Can Suboxone Cause Acne?

Peter Manza, PhD profile image
Reviewed By Peter Manza, PhD • Updated Aug 3, 2023

Suboxone may cause acne, although significant definitive research hasn’t been done on this subject. The reports of this symptom are anecdotal but reported enough that they may be true. 

If acne is a symptom of Suboxone, it likely isn’t a common one, but we won’t know for sure until more research is conducted to check the validity of the claim.

Suboxone & Acne

While the subject hasn’t been heavily researched and it doesn’t appear to be a common symptom, there are enough anecdotal reports of Suboxone and similar buprenorphine-based medications causing acne that it may be a valid area of future study.[1] How pervasive of an issue this may be isn’t clear. 

Reputable medical sources don’t generally list acne as a common symptom of taking these medications. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t common. It simply means that it hasn’t been the focus of research to verify people’s anecdotal claims. Anecdotal claims shouldn’t be relied on for medical facts, as they can be inaccurate either intentionally or unintentionally, but they also aren’t necessarily untrue.

If you do experience acne while on Suboxone, it can be helpful to adopt general practices that can reduce acne, such as eliminating certain things from your diet, including flour, dairy, vegetable oil, caffeine, and sugar. It’s also important to employ a good skincare regime. If your acne seems severe or otherwise continues to bother you, you should talk to a doctor, as some prescription options exist to help manage acne more effectively.

Common Side Effects Associated With Suboxone

There are several common side effects that are well understood to sometimes be caused by Suboxone and similar drugs. 

One common issue is gastrointestinal problems, including constipation and stomach pain. The buprenorphine component of Suboxone is an opioid, and these drugs are known to cause these types of issues. However, it should be noted that buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which is a less potent opioid than the full opioid agonists more closely associated with misuse and opioid use disorder.

Suboxone may potentially cause some pain and irritation on the tongue as well as general mouth numbness and redness. Some people may experience headaches and back pain while on the drug as well. 

Suboxone may cause you to have blurry vision, although this shouldn’t generally be severe. It is common for people on Suboxone to have issues falling and staying sleeping.[2]

Suboxone can have other side effects, some of which may be serious, that are less common. Additionally, sometimes common side effects can be severe or long-lasting enough that they also might warrant concern. 

It is worth discussing with a doctor which symptoms warrant immediately contacting a medical professional if you experience them. Suboxone is generally considered a safe prescription medication but, like most prescription drugs, still has risks associated with it.


  1. Does Subutex/Suboxone (Buprenorphine/Naloxone) Cause or Cure Acne? Subutex/Suboxone Reviews. Acne Research. Accessed March 2023. 
  2. Buprenorphine Sublingual and Buccal (Opioid Dependence). National Library of Medicine. January 2022. Accessed March 2023.

Reviewed By Peter Manza, PhD

Peter Manza, PhD received his BA in Psychology and Biology from the University of Rochester and his PhD in Integrative Neuroscience at Stony Brook University. He is currently working as a research scientist in Washington, DC. His research focuses on the role ... Read More

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